During ICRAF science week in September, a special session on lessons from 20 years of ASB Partnership was held. Notable was a presentation by Dr. Anne-Marie, the CGIAR Science Advisor and former 2nd Chair of ASB/GSG on lessons from the partnership across the years. She lauded ASB Partnership as a model for successful integrated networks and other programs within the CGIAR and elsewhere. She highlighted five important lessons:
- The first theory of change that providing new scientific evidence and improved practices would trigger decrease in deforestation was far too simplistic/naive about how science can influence the rest of the world
- Interdisciplinary and multi-institutional approaches developed (e.g., ASB matrix) produced relevant and useful results that uni-disciplinary and uni-institutional approaches could not have produced
- Governance and management structure need to be aligned with science implemented (inclusive, transparent, accountable)
- To generate new knowledge, IPGs, it is essential to have baseline/benchmark in multiple sites, understanding of processes at play in environment and at spatial-temporal scales before scaling up
- Flexibility, willingness to learn from mistakes, asking existential questions, re-inventing program are essential to evolve realistic Theories of Change overtime.
Lalisa Duguma and Dieudonne Allemagi both of ASB Partnership also talked from the perspective of a young scientist, highlighting new relevant methodologies and tools that currently are being used to respond effectively to policy and community needs in the humid tropics.