Benchmarking exercise for researchers from ASARECA member countries

The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) is presently implementing a project titled: Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme CAADP ex-pillar IV (CAADP-XP4). This 5-year Project is of the European Union's (EU) Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) initiative. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) manages the Project, and ASARECA is one of the five partner organizations benefiting from the EU’s support. Other beneficiary organizations include: (i) African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS); (ii) Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA); (iii) CORAF); and (iv) Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA).

The overarching goal of the CAADP-XP4 project is to contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and contribute to the progressive achievement of sustainable development goals on: (i) zero hunger (SDG2); (ii) the action to mitigate climate change impacts (SDG 13); (iii) promoting progress towards ending poverty (SDG l); (iv) gender equality (SDG 5); (v) decent work and economic growth (SDG 8); and (vi) responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). The project will additionally contribute to Agenda 2063 and the Malabo Declaration of the African Union (AU).

The project will enable agricultural research and innovation, including extension services, to contribute effectively to food and nutrition security, economic development, and climate mitigation in Africa. This will be achieved by improving the capacity, effectiveness and positioning of the regional and sub-regional agriculture research and extension organizations as well as National Agriculture Research Systems (NARS), and by promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing among the organizations.

The project will deliver five key outputs namely:

  1. Strengthened capacities of ASARECA and partner organizations in competencies required for successful implementation of the CAADP-XP4 project; 

  2. Multi-stakeholder partnerships for innovation established and in operation;

  3. Policies in support of climate-relevant agriculture and food systems transformation formulated, investments increased, advocacy and market linkages strengthened;

  4. Knowledge management and communication systems for decision-making established; and

  5. Enhanced planning, coordination, MEL and reporting.

To enhance implementation of Output 1 stated above, ASARECA conducted a Capacity Gaps Assessment (CGA) in its 14 member countries. This assessment identified specific capacity strengthening areas that need immediate attention. 

These capacity areas include: Monitoring and Evaluation; Knowledge Management and Technology, Innovations and Management Practices (TIMPs).


The overall objective of the benchmarking exercise is to build the capacities of the technical staff in ASARECA member countries.

The specific objectives include:

  1. To increase knowledge in technical areas where participants have skill gaps

  2. To enhance the capacity of ASARECA partners to perform better in their duties.

  3.  To facilitate mentorship among ASARECA partners 

  4. To promote coordination and learning among ASARECA partners

Expected Outcomes  

The expected outcomes are:

  1. Increased knowledge in technical areas where participants have skill gaps

  2. Enhanced capacity of ASARECA partners in performing their duties better

  3. Mentorship among ASARECA partners facilitated

  4. Coordination and learning among ASARECA partners promoted

The benchmarking exercise will be hosted by Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO). It will involve field visits, mentoring, training sessions and peer learning and will take up to 5 working days from 18 to 22 October, 2021.

Start Date: 
Monday, 18 October 2021
End Date: 
Saturday, 22 October 2022
National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)-Uganda
Published On: 
Wednesday, 20 July 2022