GCRF: Social and Environmental Trade-offs in African Agriculture

Lead Research Organisation: International Institute for Env and Dev
Department Name: Natural Resources Group

Abstract

This proposal addresses the challenge of achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 (zero hunger), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), and SDG 15 (ecosystem conservation) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Conflicts and trade-offs between these goals are rapidly intensifying because of ongoing population growth and economic development, while decision makers in government and the private sector continue to base their actions on an insufficient understanding of possible socio-economic and environmental impacts of different agricultural development pathways. The proposed programme aims to enhance the capacity of UK and African organisations to investigate these impacts and trade-offs through a participatory process that combines state-of-the-art research with effective engagement with research users. Its vision is for key government and private sector actors to adjust their policies, strategies and investments to take more account of the impacts, risks and trade-offs within and between socio-economic and environmental dimensions of different agricultural development pathways, and for civil society organisations to have a greater role in shaping the national discourse on agricultural development.

The research process will involve a context analysis of each country as a whole, followed by analyses to determine: (i) drivers of current agricultural landscapes, (ii) impacts of different agricultural development pathways on socio-economic factors, biodiversity and the capacity of ecosystems to provide services to people over the long term, (iii) the role of institutions and policies in shaping agricultural systems; and (iv) the political and economic barriers to more joined-up policy and planning. This will inform the building, with key stakeholders, of scenarios for agriculture and land use change, taking into account climate change, predicted rates of human population growth and urbanization, and ultimately leading to an improved understanding of the impacts, risks and trade-offs of different agricultural developmental scenarios. The programme will support stakeholders in 'making sense' of, and using, the refined scenarios to inform policies, investments and advocacy at sub-national and national level.

Our interdisciplinary research process will be accompanied by activities to assess and develop both the technical and 'process oriented' capacities of participating researchers and stakeholders (policy-makers, investors, civil society actors / NGOs), with the aim of strengthening their ability to co-develop relevant research and to assess and use the outcomes for decision making and advocacy. New partnerships will be developed between researchers in Africa and the UK, between different disciplines, and between different stakeholder groups in the three countries via National Learning Alliances.

The ultimate beneficiaries of this process will be poor rural and urban households who would benefit from more coherent policies supporting the long-term sustainability and resilience of farming systems and local ecosystems. These make up a large proportion of the human population in sub-Saharan Africa and include (a) the poor in rural areas whose food security is based on subsistence agriculture and using income from agricultural labour and cash crops to purchase food to cover gaps, and (b) poor rural and urban populations who produce little or no food themselves, but who are highly dependent on food purchase and thus exposed to food price risk resulting from failure to balance food supply and demand.

Planned Impact

This Programme targets a challenge that lies at the heart of sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) - how agriculture should develop to achieve food security in the context of rapidly growing demand for food (150% by 2050), while at the same time safeguarding key ecosystem services and avoiding contributing to growing inequalities in society. Current agricultural development strategies are poorly informed, particularly in light of projected regional changes in climate - contributing to increasing inequalities and potentially further marginalisation of those who depend on agriculture for a living.

To address this challenge, the Programme will engage closely with stakeholders to better understand the impacts, risks and trade-offs within and between social, economic and environmental dimensions of different agricultural development pathways. We expect the three objectives of this Programme (enhanced knowledge, relationships and research capacity) to result in better informed and better connected government actors, civil society organisations, private sector actors and research organisations - and ultimately in better-informed agricultural policies, strategies and investment decisions. All four groups of actors will benefit from participation in the National Learning Alliances (NLAs), which will provide them with direct linkages to other stakeholder groups on whom they depend for funding, evidence, advocacy or investment.

The proposed activities are designed to bring about a lasting change of how choices about agricultural policies and investments are made and implemented by forging a new network of relationships between researchers and research users. This should lead to better management of the competition and conflicts between food security, environmental protection and social justice goals of agricultural development in SSA.

Ultimately the primary beneficiaries of this Programme will be poor and vulnerable people who depend on functioning ecosystem services for resilient and productive agricultural systems that can support their food security, livelihoods and well-being. These include (a) the poor in rural areas, whose food security is based on subsistence agriculture and using income from agricultural labour and cash crops to purchase food to cover gaps, and (b) poor rural and urban populations who produce little or no food themselves, but who are highly dependent on food purchases and thus exposed to food price fluctuations.

Both groups are affected by both "on-site" and "off-site" environmental impacts. "On-site" (within the agro-ecosystem itself) concerns in particular degradation of soils and loss of agrobiodiversity due to progressive narrowing of the crop genetic base, contributing to loss of resilience of the system in the long-term - which affects in particular poorer farmers. "Off-site" environmental impact of agriculture concerns its expansion into forests and woodlands, with major implications for local, national and global interests in biodiversity and ecosystem services - again particularly important for poorer household. The Programme will raise awareness about these impacts.

In all of the above, and particularly the environmental impacts, the spatial dimension is crucial. Risks and trade-offs must be managed not only at an aggregate level but also with spatial differentiation that enables trade-offs to be managed within and between different parts of the country, and thus more effectively, efficiently and equitably balance the three dimensions of national sustainable development.
 
Description Co-funding for Year 1-2 Theory of Change and scenario development (Food, Forests and Biodiversity)
Amount £90,800 (GBP)
Funding ID 2760 
Organisation Luc Hoffman Institute 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country Switzerland
Start 01/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP)
Amount $75,987 (USD)
Organisation The Nature Conservancy 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 07/2017 
End 12/2019
 
Description UCL Collaborative Social Science Domain Social Science Plus
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation University College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2018 
End 07/2019
 
Description ADVENT 
Organisation University of Southampton
Department Institute for Life Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration between Sentinel partners at UCL (Abbie Chapman, Tim Newbold) and the ADVENT research project (Rob Holland) at the University of Southampton. ADVENT: Addressing the Valuation of Energy and Nature Together. The link with Sentinel is in the parts of ADVENT related to human demand and implications for ecosystem services and resources. The project is helping Sentinel to model the potential trade flows associated with agricultural development and their impacts on biodiversity in our focal countries.
Collaborator Contribution The ADVENT project seeks to explore future UK low-carbon energy pathways and quantify their differing implications for stocks of natural capital (e.g. groundwater and natural habitats) and for the provision of ecosystem services (e.g. irrigation, visual amenity, recreation). The project is helping Sentinel to model the potential trade flows associated with agricultural development and their impacts on biodiversity in our focal countries.
Impact -
Start Year 2018
 
Description AFRICAP 
Organisation University of Leeds
Department School of Biology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Sentinel project is collaborating with GCRF Grow 'sister-project' AFRICAP (led by University of Leeds) on its project management and governance systems. The Sentinel PI is an active member of AFRICAP's advisory board. Sentinel's project manager is providing high-level review and feedback of AFRICAP's financial reports and project management, in a reciprocal arrangement between the project managers. The two projects are currently (March2020) looking for ways to collaborate more on their work in Zambia, which has a few strands of work that potentially overlap in content or in stakeholders (e.g. scenario development).
Collaborator Contribution AFRICAP's project manager is providing high-level review and feedback of Sentinel's financial reports and project management, in a reciprocal arrangement between the project managers. The two projects are currently (March2020) looking for ways to collaborate more on their work in Zambia, which has a few strands of work that potentially overlap in content or in stakeholders (e.g. scenario development).
Impact -
Start Year 2017
 
Description Challinor 
Organisation University of Leeds
Department School of Earth and Environment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration between Sentinel partners at UCL (Abbie Chapman, Tim Newbold) and Professor Andy Challinor at the University of Leeds. Prof. Challinor was a Co-Investigator on AMMA2050, a DfID-NERC Future Climates for Africa project 2015-2019, and CGIAR project leader for 'Climate change, agriculture and food security' (CCAFS) project. Sentinel is collaborating with Prof Challinor on climate change and food security, linking with his work on climate modelling for food production and food security analyses.
Collaborator Contribution Sentinel is collaborating with Prof Challinor on climate change and food security, linking with his work on climate modelling for food production and food security analyses.
Impact -
Start Year 2018
 
Description Learning partnership with Development Corridors Partnership project 
Organisation United Nations (UN)
Department UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The SENTINEL project has developed a partnership with fellow-GCRF cohort project DCP, led by UNEP-WCMC in Cambridge. IIED is hosting DCP's Project Manager in their London offices for 2 days a week, and the projects plan to share tools and experiences to learn from each other, with the aim of strengthening and enhancing each of the projects.
Collaborator Contribution IIED (lead institution for SENTINEL) is hosting DCP's Project Manager in the IIED London office for 2 days a week, free of charge, with the aim of enhancing inter-project relationships and learning, particularly with regard to project management methods. The SENTINEL and DCP teams are each participating in the other's External Advisory Group.
Impact There are no direct outputs or outcomes yet, but we hope the outputs and outcomes of each of the projects will be strengthened as a result of this collaboration between thematically-related GCRF cohort projects.
Start Year 2017
 
Description PBL 
Organisation Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Sentinel partners at UCL (Abbie Chapman, Tim Newbold) are collaborating with Dr Elke Stehfest at PBL on use of the IMAGE model and crop modelling.
Collaborator Contribution Sentinel partners at UCL (Abbie Chapman, Tim Newbold) are collaborating with Dr Elke Stehfest at PBL on use of the IMAGE model and crop modelling.
Impact -
Start Year 2018
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation Copperbelt University
Country Zambia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation Ethiopian Development Research Institute
Country Ethiopia 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Department of Life Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation University College London
Department Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation University of Ghana
Department Department of Soil Science
Country Ghana 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation University of Greenwich
Department Natural Resources Institute Greenwich
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Zoology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Environmental Change Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SENTINEL Project Collaboration 
Organisation University of Reading
Department School of Agriculture, Policy and Development Reading
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is the main project collaboration between the institutions of the Co-Investigator team. As lead institution housing the Principal Investigator and the Project Manager for the project, IIED has initiated and built the collaboration between the partners during the project proposal stage, and during the project inception phase has established written collaboration agreements between the institutions. IIED will continue to lead the project and this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have contributed to the building of the collaboration during project proposal and inception phases, including intellectual input into the proposal, conceptual framework and work programme, and administrative/legal support in the drafting of the collaboration agreements. As Co-Investigators for the project, all partners will continue to contribute to the project and to this collaboration.
Impact The collaboration is interdisciplinary, including expertise in the following subjects: international development, sustainable development, agriculture production systems, food security, forestry, natural resource management, social sciences, equity, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology, soil sciences, climate change, land use, modelling, scenarios, remote sensing/GIS, spatial analysis, capacity development, policy research, research-policy engagement. Outcomes and outputs of the partnership will be added here during the course of the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SNAPP 
Organisation Science for Nature and People Partnership
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Sentinel worked with the SNAPP Working Group on Agriculture, Food Production and Forest Conservation/Management in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of the 21-month project of this SNAPP Working Group was to raise awareness and understanding at international level and within its four focal countries (Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia and Tanzania) of the disconnects and related risks and trade-offs within and between policies and strategies for food production and forest conservation in sub-Saharan Africa, and generate evidence and guidance to support better management of these risks and trade-offs. Most of the Sentinel Co-Is were also members of this SNAPP Working Group and there was a large degree of complementarity between the two projects.
Collaborator Contribution SNAPP convened four meetings of the Working Group (the first having taken place in October 2017, the second in April 2018, the third in September 2018, and the fourth in March 2019). Sentinel was able to take advantage of these meetings to adjoin Sentinel meetings, thereby achieving better value for money from travel expenditure by splitting travel costs across the projects. SNAPP's scope was broader than Sentinel's, but added important details to the theoretical underpinnings of Sentinel's work.
Impact The main outputs were the following publications, which are included as Sentinel publications (see Publications section) since they are co-funded outputs: Hou-Jones X et al (2019) Creating enabling conditions for managing trade-offs between food production and forest conservation in Africa: Case studies from Ethiopia and Zambia (IIED Working Paper); Franks P (2019) Conservation versus food production in Africa: better managing trade-offs (IIED Briefing); Gusenbauer D & Franks P (2019) Agriculture, nature conservation or both? Managing trade-offs and synergies in sub-Saharan Africa (IIED Working Paper). Three Sentinel-SNAPP co-funded country briefings are in preparation, to be published in March 2020 (Ghana; Ethiopia; Zambia).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Sentinel / Ghana NLA partnership 
Organisation Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Ghana
Country Ghana 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Ghana National Learning Alliance (NLA), hosted by the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-STEPRI), is a multi-stakeholder forum that sits under the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) programme. It comprises technocrats from government departments, researchers, journalists and members of civil society organisations, all with an interest in promoting the sustainable intensification of agriculture. The alliance supports a social learning process around three themes identified as being particularly important in the Ghanaian context: - Agricultural services: pesticide access and policy (case study - Fall Armyworm); - Equity: gender and climate smart agriculture investments; - Trade-offs: alternate protein sources for sustainable livestock feed resource management and smallholder decision-making around inputs. The Sentinel project team members in Ghana presented, during an NLA workshop in January, the three Sentinel research clusters: 1. Understanding agricultural expansion 2. Understanding the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of agricultural expansion 3. Understanding trade-offs between food security and conservation objectives As a result of this workshop, the following areas of shared interest were identified: (a) Agricultural expansion and agricultural intensification are intrinsically connected. Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFa) has the ambition to promote sustainable agriculture that makes responsible use of natural resources. Agricultural expansion is the less desirable option - food security and rural livelihoods should ideally be achieved via agricultural intensification and the development of thriving agribusinesses, and not by expanding agriculture into natural habitats. (b) The drivers and dynamics of agricultural expansion are poorly understood and documented in Ghana, with relevant data and information scattered between different line ministries and departments. Sentinel can make a meaningful contribution by consolidating the knowledge base on expansion, and support inter-departmental and ministerial collaboration. NLA members are interested in understanding whether current trends of agricultural expansion could be reduced (and if yes, by how much) if intensification of agriculture were accelerated. (c) The equity and gender dimensions of agricultural expansion and intensification are of great interest to NLA members. Little is known about the role of women and youth in agricultural expansion and the decision making processes that influence choices of expansion versus intensification of agriculture. (d) The expansion of crop lands also affects the livestock sector, where crop lands expand into grazing lands. To some extent, this can be addressed by changes in the livestock husbandry system, but the scope and scale of this dynamic is not well understood.
Collaborator Contribution The main contribution from the NLA so far has been that their facilitator, Dr Minong Karbo, is the chairperson of the Sentinel Ghana Country Advisory Group (CAG) and as such member of the project's overall External Advisory Group (EAG). As such he has participated in the number of CAG and EAG meetings, and supported us in better understanding the political economy around agricultural development in Ghana, as well as connecting us with key stakeholders. Some NLA members also participated in the Sentinel-organised participatory scenarios development workshop in Ghana in July 2018.
Impact So far no specific RESEARCH outcomes have resulted from the collaboration. The outcomes are related to relationship building (objective 3 of the Sentinel project) by connecting project researchers in Ghana with key stakeholders in the country.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Smith-Aberdeen 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Department School of Biological Sciences Aberdeen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration between Sentinel partners at UCL (Abbie Chapman, Tim Newbold) and Professor Pete Smith at the University of Aberdeen. Sentinel is interested in Prof. Smith's work on global change impacts on ecosystems, soils, agricultural and land-based options to mitigate climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental and agricultural sustainability, global carbon cycle, ecosystem modelling, food security, ecosystem services, and bioenergy; and is collaborating with him on looking at impacts on agriculture, agricultural sustainability, ecosystem modelling, food security, and ecosystem services.
Collaborator Contribution UCL is collaborating with Prof. Smith on looking at impacts on agriculture, agricultural sustainability, ecosystem modelling, food security, and ecosystem services.
Impact -
Start Year 2018
 
Description The role of gender equity in the conservation outcomes of natural resource management 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Abbie Chapman is a Co-Investigator and Tim Newbold a Collaborator on a funded pilot project led by Dr Emily Woodhouse of UCL's Department for Anthropology. They applied for funding from the UCL Collaborative Social Science Domain and have contributed insights regarding the availability of large-scale data to use to meet this project's aims.
Collaborator Contribution - Scoped out the availability of large-scale, freely available data relevant for the investigation of the role of gender in conservation outcomes. - Presented the findings of this scoping exercise at a funded workshop. - Participated in the funded workshop.
Impact Multi-disciplinary: - Emily Woodhouse: Anthropology - Helen Anthem and Rob Small: FFI (NGO, social science)) - Abbie Chapman, Tim Newbold, and Dan Ingram: Biodiversity and Environment Research - Phil Franks and Barbara Adolph: IIED (biodiversity, social science, agriculture, economics) - Joyce Mbataru: Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (conservancies, communication, development, media relations)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Email newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Three email newsletters have been sent to a mailing list of stakeholders (currently > 500 subscribers), outlining new blog entries on the website and other news from the project. Newsletters were sent in June, August and December 2019 so far, with more planned for 2020 and 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.sentinel-gcrf.org/newsletter-archives
 
Description Ethiopia CAG meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meetings of the Ethiopia Country Advisory Group: An in-country governance group made up of key stakeholders. The meetings are an important platform for engaging with our key stakeholders in each country.
Sentinel's Country Advisory Groups (CAGs) in our three African focal countries, Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia, include members representing a range of national stakeholders within each country - e.g. from key line ministries, civil society organisations, the private sector, and academia / higher education. The CAGs play an advisory and monitoring role at country-specific level, and also feed into project-level strategy via their chairs who sit on the External Advisory Group (EAG). They provide strategic advice, critical and constructive feedback at key points throughout the project, and provide links and outreach with key national and regional processes that will contribute to achieving Sentinel's goals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
URL https://www.sentinel-gcrf.org/country-advisory-groups
 
Description Ghana CAG meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meetings of the Ghana Country Advisory Group: An in-country governance group made up of key stakeholders. The meetings are an important platform for engaging with our key stakeholders in each country.
Sentinel's Country Advisory Groups (CAGs) in our three African focal countries, Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia, include members representing a range of national stakeholders within each country - e.g. from key line ministries, civil society organisations, the private sector, and academia / higher education. The CAGs play an advisory and monitoring role at country-specific level, and also feed into project-level strategy via their chairs who sit on the External Advisory Group (EAG). They provide strategic advice, critical and constructive feedback at key points throughout the project, and provide links and outreach with key national and regional processes that will contribute to achieving Sentinel's goals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
URL https://www.sentinel-gcrf.org/country-advisory-groups
 
Description Key stakeholder meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In all three Sentinel countries (Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia), the Communications officers have been arranging regular one-to-one meetings with individual key stakeholders, in order to establish a dialogue between Sentinel and the stakeholders throughout the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Keynote speech on NbS at the World Biodiversity Forum in Davos, Feb 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote speech on NbS at the World Biodiversity Forum in Davos, Feb 2020, followed by a panel debate/discussion on evidence fo NbS and challenges to implementation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Panel discussion/debate on NbS for climate, health, water and economy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I convened and spoke at a high-level expert panel on the value of nature-based solutions at the Conduit Club in London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Participatory scenario development workshops in Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia (July 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A 3-day participatory scenario development workshop was held in each of the three African focal countries in July 2018. Participants were key stakeholders identified from each country's stakeholder analysis. The main purposes were to engage the stakeholders in the project, co-develop feasible scenarios for agricultural development in each country, and co-develop possible research questions for the project to address. Country teams will continue to engage with the same groups of stakeholders (and others) throughout the project. The main output was an engaged stakeholder group who we can return to for future project activities; 4 co-developed scenarios for each country; and a long-list of research questions, which the project team then narrowed down to a final refined short-list using a systematic approach.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.sentinel-gcrf.org/blogs
 
Description RUFORUM PhD student training (Oct 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Two days prior to the RUFORUM Biennial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, October 2018, two Sentinel team members (from Imperial and Copperbelt University) facilitated a 2-day participatory scenario development training workshop (organised by the RUFORUM). The main purpose of this activity was to: (a) engage with SENTINEL PhD students and other RUFORUM PhD students, (b) to introduce them to the scenario development process, and (c) in doing so also allow them to get a clearer idea of the SENTINEL objectives. After the workshops, the students reported that they were keen on utilizing these tools within their own institutes/projects and that it had increased their awareness of the wider issues surrounding agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description RUFORUM PhD student training, Dec 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Sentinel researchers from RUFORUM, Reading University and Imperial College London held a research orientation week for the second cohort of PhD students at the RUFOURM Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 2-6 December 2019 in Cape Coast, Ghana to address student capacity needs. 24 participants attended the side event. The training workshop, mentorship session, oral and poster presentations at the AGM have enhanced the students' skills base. PhD students also had an opportunity to network among themselves, with policy makers and other senior researchers at the AGM.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description RUFORUM biennial conference 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Sentinel researchers attended the RUFORUM Biennial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, October 2018, to engage with (a) RUFORUM member university Deans, from across the African continent (largely with a view to engaging with them on Sentinel's horizon scanning study); (b) current and potential future PhD students from RUFORUM member universities - with a view to engaging them with Sentinel's research and flagging the opportunity to apply for a research grant from the project via the RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship programme; and (c) other RUFORUM members and students, to raise the profile of the project more generally. Various methods of engagement were used, including a Sentinel exhibition stand, distribution of project flyers, two Sentinel team members presenting (from IIED and Imperial), and distribution of the horizon scanning questionnaire.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ruforum.org/Biennial2018/
 
Description Reading: SAPD International Development PhD Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation by Sentinel PDRA at Reading University (Nugun Patrick Jellason) to the SAPD International Development PhD Network, on: "Exploring the drivers of forest expansion in African agriculture: Examples from Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia". Main audience was researchers and postgraduate (MSc/PhD) students with diverse backgrounds and from different cultures. Interests were expressed and certain reactions were made regarding related research going on by students and other institutions around the world. A former staff of Global Land Tool Network pointed to the work they are doing on Land Tenure Security and Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Science Forum 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Sentinel researchers attended the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) Science Forum in Stellenbosch, South Africa, October 2018. During this time they (a) engaged with various International stakeholders and donors (incl. producers and consumers of research) to discuss interactions between UN Sustainable Development Goals (both positive and negative), and to raise the profile of the SENTINEL project more generally; (b) contributed to a foresight session - with a view to discuss the SENTINEL project objectives and activities (e.g. horizon-scanning, scenario workshops). Since this activity, many of the Science Forum participants have been involved with and contributed to the ongoing Horizon-scanning activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.scienceforum2018.org/
 
Description Sentinel website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The Sentinel public website launched in September 2018: www.sentinel-gcrf.org. The project team agreed that the website needed to be simple, manageable, meaningful and functional, and guided by the communications strategy for the project. The site was designed in August-September 2018, and a phase 1 launch went live in September 2018, with basic pages on what the project is about, who the partners are, plus a regular feed of mini-blogs from the project. Phase 2 launched in March 2019, which added new pages describing our research and capacity development programmes in more detail, a publications library, and information about our governance/advisory boards. With the phase 1 launch, we received several messages via the website indicating people's interest in the project (from our African focal countries) and a desire to be kept informed about our work. Based on this, we established a regular (2/3-monthly) e-newsletter that people can sign up to via the website to receive updates from the project. The newsletter began in 2019 and we now have over 500 subscribers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
URL http://www.sentinel-gcrf.org
 
Description UCL - 29th International Congress for Conservation Biology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Sentinel UCL Co-Investigator Tim Newbold gave a short (<15 minute) presentation during the conference in the 'Spatial Ecology and Conservation' session. Audience included researchers, students, agency personnel, environmental educators, practitioners, and other conservation stakeholders. There were over 2000 at the conference. Presentation was on "Staple crops growing in biodiversity hotspots highlight socio-economic and environmental trade-offs in Ghana". The conference took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description UCL - British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Sentinel UCL PDRA Abbie Chapman gave a presentation during the 'Conservation Science and Policy: Decision making for conservation' session and information about it was shared via Twitter. The presentation was 12 minutes. The audience included researchers, students, and ecologists in other organisations (approx. 30 people). Presentation was on: "Staple crops overlap with African biodiversity, creating trade-offs between Sustainable Development Goals". The Annual Meeting ("Celebrating Global Ecology") took place in Belfast, UK, December 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description UCL - Genetics, Evolution and Environment Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Sentinel UCL Co-Investigator Tim Newbold gave a presentation at an internal UCL departmental seminar, on "Habitat loss, climate change, and the homogenisation of the world's biodiversity", including discussion of the Sentinel project. Audience was researchers and students at UCL (approx. 30 people), and it took place in November 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description UK Government POSTnotes consultation: Nature and Climate Change 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I was interviewed for and provided extended comments on a UK Parliamentary POSTnote on nature and climate change targetting UK politicians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PN-0617
 
Description Zambia CAG meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meetings of the Zambia Country Advisory Group: An in-country governance group made up of key stakeholders. The meetings are an important platform for engaging with our key stakeholders in each country.
Sentinel's Country Advisory Groups (CAGs) in our three African focal countries, Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia, include members representing a range of national stakeholders within each country - e.g. from key line ministries, civil society organisations, the private sector, and academia / higher education. The CAGs play an advisory and monitoring role at country-specific level, and also feed into project-level strategy via their chairs who sit on the External Advisory Group (EAG). They provide strategic advice, critical and constructive feedback at key points throughout the project, and provide links and outreach with key national and regional processes that will contribute to achieving Sentinel's goals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
URL https://www.sentinel-gcrf.org/country-advisory-groups