KEY IMPACTS IN 2017
countries benefited from people joining ICARDA capacity-development activities
trainees participated in ICARDA center-level group courses
interns, non-degree trainees, and newly enrolled MSc and PhD students benefited from training opportunities
participants and trainees in Afghanistan and Iraq attended farmer field days and in-country training courses
Capacity strengthening is core to ICARDA's mission, helping to deliver quality research and development impact, and ensuring that agricultural investments are country-led and sustainable over the long term.
Capacity strengthening initiates a process of change, providing farmers, researchers, and extension officers with the strategic skills and knowledge to transform agricultural production systems. In recent years, ICARDA has seen an increase in the number of female participants in its capacity-building initiatives. In ICARDA-supported PhD programs, for instance, there are now equal numbers of female and male scientists.
In 2017, more than 750 professional staff members from national programs were involved in ICARDA-facilitated capacity-development activities. These training events were in the form of regional courses and workshops, and individual degree, non-degree, and internship programs.
We continued to build on our extensive network of partnerships to apply research in the field, and engaged closely with smallholder farmers through the practice of extension. We also enhanced access to scientific expertise and opportunities in applied research.
ICARDA provided individually tailored learning opportunities for 21 researchers from partner organizations. To secure long-lasting impacts, we also focused on the needs of young scientists, providing training opportunities, work experience, and joint supervision for 13 interns and 38 newly enrolled PhD and MSc students in collaboration with universities.
SELECTED ACTIVITIES AND INITIATIVES
Launching an e-learning platform
ICARDA's Capacity Development Unit launched an e-learning platform (www.icarda.org/capacitydevelopment/ e-learning-platform) offering stand-alone e-learning courses as well as additional content for faceto- face training. The platform gives ICARDA trainees a new learning experience and leverages modern technologies to enhance teaching, learning, and professional development. The platform addresses the challenge of targeting diverse trainees from different regions and different time zones.
Training the researchers of the future
A Young Agricultural Scientist Program (YASP), part of the "Enhancing Food Security in Arab Countries" initiative, provided training for seven young scientists from Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan and Syria. The program strengthened the scientists' knowledge and expertise across various areas related to wheat production systems, including the breeding of field crops, biotechnology, plant protection, and water and soil management. ICARDA's Morocco Platform, focused on the intensification and diversification of rainfed cereal-based production systems, also offered training opportunities and supervised the research of 130 ongoing MSc and PhD research projects.
Supporting post-conflict transition
ICARDA continued to support the capacity development of farmers and researchers in Afghanistan and Iraq, supporting the post-conflict transition of both countries. With funding from a range of donors, the Center provided capacitystrengthening opportunities for over 1,300 people on a range of topics, including biotechnology application, water management, rainfed agriculture, salinity management, and cereal and legume crop improvement.