Leveraging the DeSIRA Initiative for Agri-food Systems Transformation (DeSIRA-LIFT) Project

Financed by the European Union (EU) to the tune of € 6,500,000, the three-year initiative (June 2021-May 2024) is aimed at contributing to climate-relevant, productive and sustainable transformation of agri-food systems in low and middle-incomes countries.

Objectives of the project

The overall objective of the DeSIRA-LIFT Project is to support the DeSIRA initiative’s current and future activities in order to enhance its impacts in countries of intervention.

 Specific objectives

  1. Supporting country-based DeSIRA project implementers to enhance their capacities to manage climate change-oriented innovation systems in line with sustainable agri-food systems transformations.
  2. Supporting CAADP-XP4 organisations (ASARECA, AFAAS, CCARDESSA, CORAF, and FARA), Global Forum for Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR), and the Tropical Agricultural Platform (TAP) in promoting Agricultural Innovation Systems.
  3. Making knowledge work for the EC policy (DG INTPA, EU delegations and their partners) and contribute to the policy dialogue on agri-food system transformation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Project three support service areas, and their immediate outcomes

Service area 1: Support to country-based DeSIRA projects

The immediate outcomes of this service area are increased capacities of DeSIRA project partners in managing and navigating pathways to agri-food systems transformation. The intermediary outcomes are increased capacities of in-country AIS actors in developing and scaling climate-relevant innovations.

Service area 2: Support to CAADP XP4 organisations and partners

The immediate outcomes of this service area are increased capacities of regional and continental AIS actors, in particular the CAADP XP4 organisations in Africa, in fulfilling their mandates, engaging in policy dialogue and establishing regional and international partnerships. The intermediary outcome is enabling regional and continental AIS actors to contribute to the fulfilment of the Malabo commitments.

Service area 3: Enhancing policy support

The immediate outcomes this service area are evidence-informed and actionable knowledge for policy dialogue and for the transformation of agri-food systems. The intermediary outcomes are an enabling international policy environment for research and innovation in agri-food systems.

Purpose of the three service areas

Service area 1: Support to country-based DeSIRA projects

The purpose of this service area is to enhance the impacts of the country-based DeSIRA projects, by promoting AIS thinking and practice, and the use of developmental evaluation approaches for managing transformative changes and developing capacities for AIS.

Service area 2: Support to CAADP XP4 organisations and partners

The purpose of this Service Area is to support CAADP XP4 organisations, GFAR and TAP in their respective AIS-related roles. DeSIRA LIFT will complement EU-funded initiatives managed by IFAD, FAO and GFAR, the One Planet Fellowship Program and other partners.

Service area 3: Enhancing policy support

The purpose of this service area is to feed scientific and local knowledge and evidence into policy dialogue and design. It will also serve to support projects in connecting to, and aligning with, relevant EU, African Union, and wider policy imperatives.

Implementing partners

  • Wageningen University and Research: Project manager and lead partner.
  • Agrinatura, DG INTPA and the DeSIRA LIFT team: Steering committee in charge of monitoring of the planning, implementation and results.
  • Centre for international cooperation research and development in agriculture.
  • Instituto Superior de Agronomia / University of Lisboa.
  • Comité de liaison Europe-Afrique-Caraïbes-Pacifique.
  • Natural Resources Institute / University of Greenwich.
  • Swedish Agricultural University.

Main stakeholders

  • DeSIRA project grant holders and national partners
  • African and Sub- Regional Organizations: FARA, AFAAS, ASARECA, CCARDESA, CORAF/WECARD
  • International Organisations: FAO, IFAD
  • Multistakeholder global mechanisms: TAP, GFAR
  • European networks and fora: Agrinatura, EIARD, EFARD
  • National level stakeholders including research organisations, farmer organisations, private sector, public institutes, and civil society organisations.