Concept Note   



The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) is presently implementing a project titled: Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programmeex-pillar IV (CAADP-XP4). Implementation of this 5-year Project started in 2019 and is part of the European Union’s (EU) Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) initiative. The project is expected to deliver five (5) key outputs namely:(i) Strengthened capacities of ASARECA and partner organizations in competencies required for successful implementation of the CAADP-XP4 project; (ii) Multi-stakeholder partnerships for innovation established and in operation; (iii) Policies in support of climate-relevant agriculture and food systems transformation formulated, investments increased, advocacy and market linkages strengthened; (iv) Knowledge management and communication systems for decision-making and sharing of innovation and for advocacy related to climate-relevant agriculture transformation established; and (v) Enhanced planning, coordination, monitoring, evaluation, learning, and reporting. 

Background and Rationale

ASARECA and other partner organizations are engaged in the implementation of CAADP-XP4 project. The project has a strong focus on climate-relevant research and development agenda designed to deliver resilient food and agricultural systems in Africa. ASARECA and her core partners, particularly the National Agricultural Research Institutions recognize the critical role that joint regional projects and programs, as well as joint resource mobilization plays in ensuring sustainable generation, scaling out and commercialization of resilient and climate smart technologies. These regional initiatives should generate reliable public goods. However, resource mobilization is a daunting task that requires concerted efforts and commitment in order to access multiple funding from both traditional and non-traditional donors in the AR4D landscape. Based on this, ASARECA has joined forces with her strategic stakeholders/partners to develop credible concept notes and proposals to be submitted to potential donors for funding.

ASARECA has therefore prioritized the joint development of concept notes and regional projects under the CAADP-XP4 project. Specifically, ASARECA has planned to convene: (a)concept note/proposal development write-shop based on isolated/synthesized Calls and for selected specialists (activity 2.2.4 (ii)); and (b) virtual meetings to plan how to, and to respond to placed calls (Activity 2.3.3 (iii)).It is noteworthy that ASARECA has in the past engaged stakeholders to develop regional projects and will thus use that experience and concepts to come up with joint regional transformative projects that cover multiple countries and landscapes. Based on the foregoing, and the need to ensure sustainability of its AR4D programs within the ECA region, ASARECA shall convene a team of scientists from her Member States to discuss and develop regional project proposals that respond to the emerging regional priority needs.

Given the complexity in developing such mega-regional projects, as well as the urgency of having this process completed as soon as possible,ASARECA recently organized a planning meeting with key scientists from her14 NARIs. The overarching objective of this meeting was to kick start the process of developing a transformative regional project. The meeting reviewed the previous regional projects and discussed opportunities for riding on the concepts postulated by these projects so as to develop other mega regional research and development projects for the region. This write-shop is scheduled for 14thto 16thOctober 2021 in Entebbe, Uganda.


The overall objective of the write-shop is to develop a regional transformative project proposal.

The specific objectives are:

  • To agree on critical emerging issues and country priorities that need to be considered for inclusion in this refreshed regional mega-project proposal.
  • To review the different perspectives of the member countries’ priorities as well as commodities that should be included in this regional mega-project;
  • To identify the possibility of clustering member countries into smaller blocks depending on their similar priorities and needs, and thus developing concept notes that address those identified needs; and
  • To jointly review/evaluate the available alternative development partners to be targeted for possible consideration of this / these refreshed regional mega-project proposals coming out of the write-shop.

Expected Outputs

  • Critical emerging issues and new country priorities included in the regional project proposal.
  • Draft Regional AR4D Transformation Project proposal.
  • Potential donors identified and agreed upon for eventual submission of the regional project proposal.


The write-shop will be both virtual and physical and will be conducted through plenary sessions and group writing sessions. The write-shop will be facilitated by ASARECA Secretariat staff with the full participation of the country representatives.

Target Participants

The write-shop will target key scientists from National Agricultural Research Institutions in the 14 ASARECA member countries of Burundi, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Kenya, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Dates and Venue

The physical venue for the write-shop from 14th to 16th October 2021 will be Entebbe, Uganda. Participants via Zoom platform will be given the meeting link in advance.

Covid-19 Protocols

Given that Covid-19 pandemic is still here with us, and given that we have to observe all the health regulations and standard operating procedures, ASARECA expects that the travelling participants will have to ensure that they receive their PCR Test certificates prior to travelling.


Start Date: 
Thursday, 14 October 2021
End Date: 
Saturday, 16 October 2021
Hybrid: Physical-Entebbe, Uganda & Virtual
Published On: 
Wednesday, 06 October 2021