In 2018, capacity building initiatives across the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and Platforms continued to play a crucial role in a range of activities. These encompassed training programs for a range of stakeholders; the production and dissemination of tools and manuals; guidance on, and support for institutional and organizational changes and improvements; and support for improved practices and methods.


An increased mix of digital approaches to capacity development was evident, with blended learning and digital and online resources and tools important components of capacity development initiatives. Engagement with governments, NGOs and the private sector was also included in numerous capacity development programs, as well as support and mentorship for young people.


Knowledge dissemination through online tools
PIM 2018 annual report
In 2018, the global program, Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), launched a free Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) in cooperation with the University of Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment and PIM partner, ICRISAT. The online course, titled “Land Matters! Integrating Soil Degradation Concerns and Solutions into Policy Processes” was attended by 1,600 participants. The course sought to help participants understand how to influence policymaking to foster sustainable soil protection and rehabilitation.
Source: PIM, AR 2018.


Support for PhD students was also integral to capacity development activities. Table 12 presents an overview of the number of PhD students supported as part of CGIAR capacity development efforts, as an example of support for the next generation of research leaders in agricultural research and science.



Fostering a global community of researchers on agriculture, nutrition and health
A4NH 2018 annual report
In 2018, the Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy (ANH Academy) Week was held in Accra, Ghana. ANH Academy Week helps convene a global community of researchers and research users working on agriculture, nutrition and health challenges. Since 2016, A4NH has co-organized this annual event with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. These events enhanced individual capacity of early-career researchers from low- and middle-income countries and filled a gap in networking opportunities around agriculture, nutrition and health.The 2018 ANH Academy Week attracted 343 participants from 49 countries, who attended 17 learning labs and heard results from nearly 200 scientific presentations. A4NH researchers led learning labs on metrics for diets, women’s empowerment, food safety, and child growth; research communication strategies; and co-led a session with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition on public-private collaboration.
Source: A4NH, AR 2018.


People Trained by CGIAR
In 2018, a total of 1,016,814 people were trained by the CGIAR, from which 1,012,972 were trained in short-term courses, with 48% of these being women. There were 3,842 people involved in long-term training courses (39% were women), including 545 PhD students. CCAFS reported in their annual report that “in 2018, more than 700,000 participants benefitted from capacity development activities, with a focus on UNFCCC processes.” As an example, CCAFS provided training on nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in Africa (CCAFS, 2018).


Table 9 presents an overview of the number of people trained by CGIAR in 2018.


Education on nutrition improves the diets of young children
RTB 2018 annual report
A large community-level agriculture-nutrition intervention, led by CIP, implemented the program Scaling up Sweet Potato through Agriculture and Nutrition (SUSTAIN), used a combination of nutrition education and social and behavior communication (SBC) strategies to improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices among different categories of women in western Kenya. Nutrition education activities comprised nutrition messaging, counselling, cooking demonstrations in health facilities, mother-to-mother clubs, public awareness campaigns and SBC. These approaches were used to promote the incorporation of biofortified orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) into the diets of children 6-23 months of age. The SBC focused on addressing cultural and psychosocial factors that hinder or facilitate the adoption of recommended IYCF practices. A study on the impact of the intervention on the behavior of caregivers showed that early breastfeeding initiation was largely adopted (75%). Adoption of other practices included the provision of diverse diets (21%), and the incorporation of OFSP roots (21%) and OFSP leaves (11%) into the diets of young children. The findings indicate that using a combination of nutrition education strategies has a positive effect on improving the use of recommended IYCF practices, but long-lasting efforts are needed to influence behaviors at scale.
Source: RTB, AR 2018.


Business mentoring supports seed businesses in Nepal
MAIZE 2018 annual report MAIZE partner, CIMMYT’s Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Project (NSAF), is engaging more than 100 Nepalese seed companies and service providers in a business mentoring process to equip them with the required skills to run viable and competitive seed businesses.Nepal’s agriculture is mostly small-scale and subsistence-oriented, characterized by a mix of crop and livestock farming. The agriculture sector represents approximately one-third of the country’s GDP and employs 75% of the labor force.The NSAF project facilitates sustainable increases in Nepal’s national crop productivity, income and household-level food and nutrition security across 20 districts, including five earthquake-affected districts. The project promotes the use of improved seeds and integrated soil fertility management technologies along with effective and efficient extension, including the use of digital and information and communications technologies.



Photo by CIP