What's happening at IRRI
Thursday, May 26, 2016, 01:15pm - 02:15pm
Impact Acceleration: enabling vibrant and empowered rural communities within a vital rice industry
Head, Impact Acceleration Unit
The rice industry is transforming rapidly through vertical integration and the transformation of production and marketing. This presents both an opportunity and a risk for more marginal farm households. In order for the benefits of rice science to reach more marginal farmers, for excitement in farming to be instilled in the youth, and for women to be able to participate as they desire, IRRI needs to be a catalyst by embracing the opportunities of last mile delivery. The increased demand of donors and the state for inclusive impact to scale has led IRRI to form the Impact Acceleration Unit.
The Impact Acceleration Unit will not only draw on the collective of IRRI’s research divisions, the communication and partnerships offices, and the new Rice Science Academy, but will also create an action and reflection environment that enables people to engage and contribute. The principles, in their early formation, are articulated, but these will evolve over time with the collective experience across IRRI itself and its partnerships and networks. For innovation, there are technological, economic, social, and organizational components; however, often, the organizational components are not addressed.
Important pillars for impact acceleration within IRRI are: networks and partnerships for collective impact to scale, purposeful inclusion of poorer households, women and youth, innovations with the private sector for expansion of inclusive market opportunities, innovations in scaling that may be technology specific, capacity building in knowledge and practice for rural advisory service professionals and informal village extension agents, and the strengthening of knowledge pathways through information technology for rapid scaling-out of new technologies and enterprises and market information. Information communication technology will strengthen grassroots communication. Policy and rural investment will be driven by evidence-based impact to scale and through the visible strengthening of the value chain and its various actors. Careful attention is given to the business of extension and farming, underpinned by a commitment to the processes that empower rural communities within the rice industry.
Havener Auditorium, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, 4030 Laguna, Philippines