GCP Blog Connect with us GCP on Facebook Follow GCP on Twitter GCP on LinkedIn Subscribe to GCP Newsletter Subscribe to our RSS feeds

GCP launches communities of practice


The first half of 2011 has been community season at GCP.

Comprehensive discussions on the formation, expansion and management of communities of practice (CoPs) were held In February following a data management workshop held for GCP researchers in West Africa at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) headquarters at Ibadan, Nigeria.

chickpea-flower a-in-a-r-webThe CoP for chickpeas was launched at the 4th Tropical Legumes I annual project meeting in Madrid, Spain, at the beginning of May 2011. It is to be coordinated by Dr Pooran Gaur (ICRISAT) and mentored by Dr Teresa Millán (Universidad de Cordoba), and will initially bring together chickpea breeders and researchers from Algeria, Ethiopia, India and Kenya.

cowpea-flower a-in-a-r-webA joint CoP for cowpeas and soya beans was launched at the Tropical Legumes II annual project meeting at IITA in mid-May 2011, with the pioneer membership drawn from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and USA. The CoP will be coordinated by Dr Ousmane Boukar (IITA) and mentored by Dr Jeff Ehlers (University of California-Riverside).

At the annual Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) project meeting in June 2011 (held at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands) two mentors were identified for the data management CoP - Dr Arturo Franco (CIAT) and Dr Elizabeth Arnaud (Bioversity). Dr Ibnou Dieng (Africa Rice Center) and Dr Manoj Kumar Singh (National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology/ Indian Agricultural Research Institute) will serve as co-ordinators. This CoP was launched in February 2010 at the inaugural meeting of the IBP in Hyderabad, India - with the pioneer members drawn from the user cases of the platform and the developers working on the informatics tools.

Vibrant communities of practice are an integral part of GCP's approach to capacity development in Phase II and post-GCP sustainability of the IBP. "CoPs leverage the natural human inclination to cluster with peers - we are more likely to adopt and apply what our peers have tested and can attest to," observed Dr Ndeye Ndack Diop, GCP's Theme Leader for capacity building. "We will more readily seek counsel from our peers in the confidence that they sit where we sit and will bring empathy and understanding with the solution."

beans n.palmer ciat-web-squareDr Diop explained that consultations are already under way to form CoPs for beans and rice in Africa, which will build on existing breeder networks - such as the Pan-African Bean ir74-pup1 left ir74 without pup1 right-square-smallResearch Alliance (PABRA) and its affiliate regional networks in eastern, central and southern Africa, and on the Africa Rice Breeding Task Force.

Other operational GCP communities of practice are one for cassava breeders in Africa and another for rice in the Mekong basin.

Related links:

  1. GCP's communities of practice (hosted on IBP website)
  2. Rice breeding community of practice in the Mekong basin (Asia)
  3. Legumes Research Initiative (Tropical Legumes I Project)
  4. Integrated Breeding Platform