This blog has been very quiet for some months. However, the CGIAR Systemwide Livestock Program continues to be active. With the departure of the Coordinator – Bruno Gerard – from the SLP, it is also a time of transition for the team.

Below is a short update from ILRI Deputy Director General John McDermott on the coming period:

“Bruno Gérard will be joining CIMMYT from 1 September 2011 as the Programme Director, Global Conservation Agriculture Programme, based in Ethiopia, and will therefore be ending his tenure as SLP Coordinator.  I am sure you would like to join me in both thanking Bruno for his three years as SLP Coordinator and the tremendous leadership he has shown in moving this joint CGIAR agenda forward, as well as congratulating him on his new appointment.

Given that we are undergoing a transition period during which SLP activities will become fully integrated into the new CGIAR Research Programmes (CRP1.1 and 1.2 in particular), we have put in place some interim arrangements for SLP, which we anticipate will continue to evolve as the CRPs are initiated.

Oversight of SLP coordination and administration: Shirley Tarawali (Theme Director of People, Livestock and the Environment, ILRI, Ethiopia). 

Day to day management of the current SLP regional projects: Diego Valbuena,(Postdoctoral Scientist, SLP, Ethiopia) with backstopping from Alan Duncan (Livestock Scientist, People, Livestock and the Environment Theme, ILRI, Ethiopia)

Wubalem Dejene will continue as the Programme Assistant, dealing with budgeting and administrative issues”.

John McDermott
Chair, Livestock Programme Group
Deputy Director General (Research), ILRI, Nairobi

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From 9-10 December 2010, Researchers in a project carrying out four regional cases studies of ‘crop residue trade-offs in crop–livestock systems’ met in Addis Ababa to review progress and plans.

We recorded the reporting back sessions that discussed lessons and gaps related to the content focus of the project, the process followed so far, and the tools used.

In this video, Alan Duncan reports on the content discussions. Some ‘gaps’: Are the survey tools capturing sufficiently the higher-level policy and institutional environment? Are we capturing more open questions about how farmers make decisions? On the lessons: we need to better integrate the social with the technical; and we need to keep our eyes on the global drivers, as well as the regional ones. View the video

In this video, Diego Valbueno reports on the discussions of the process lessons and gaps. First, such a regional study needs someone to really facilitate coordination, harmonization and information sharing (among the regions and not just between regions and the central project coordination). We needed a common understanding of the tools we are using, and why. Very important – how are we going to disseminate information – to farmers, to policy? Are there some better ways in which we could have developed our framework and instruments? Perhaps we could have had a better picture of our analysis steps before we devised our data collection instruments? View the video

In this video, Nils Teufel reports on the tools and technical software used in the project, including SPSS, CSPRO, Google Earth. A big issue across the tools was training and we need to, for instance, draw on people with specialist knowledge across the project. Data management and archiving was discussed and some lessons from the questionnaires and survey tools were derived. View the video

More on the meeting

Important components of the ‘Optimizing benefits from crop residues in smallholder crop-livestock systems in Africa and South Asia regional case studies’ project are village and household surveys in each of the four regions.

The village group surveys aim to capture: drivers and market access, communal feed resources, and systems evolution in term of feeding strategies and soil productivity. The thematic household surveys aim to capture: decision making for the allocation of crop residues, soil fertility management practices and feeding strategies, and retrospective questions to understand farm evolution and trajectories.

During is week’s project review and planning meeting, Diego Valbuena shared some comparative aggregated village data from the 7 different project sites – in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

See his presentation:

See the project proposal and flyer

See the meeting wiki page

SLP is starting to migrate its website to WordPress to gain in dynamics. SLP old site will be accessible during the transition period at www.vslp.org