Developing a regional agricultural and rural innovations PhD training program in eastern africa: The Egerton University experience

Although agricultural and rural sectors have a substantial economic share in Africa, their performance have remained sub-optimal due to many challenges including limited supply of high level professionals in agricultural and rural innovations to spearhead the facilitation of the interfaces of social, cultural, political and economic aspects. This paper provides insight into experiences and lessons learned in developing a regional PhD programme in Agriculture and Rural Innovation Studies (ARIS) to address the complex and multi-dimensional problems of agriculture and rural development. The paper presents the process, lessons and issues for further consideration in the full implementation of the programme. The paper asserts that, among other institutional issues, the structures and processes for approving new programs should be clearly understood by all concerned to fast-track approval and deal with uncertainty. By understanding changes in the development goals and by adapting training programs to prepare innovative students, universities will have more opportunities to sustain communitybased development programs. The impending implementation stages including staff-retooling, marketing, completion of modules and resource mobilization are urgent.
Bien que les secteurs agricole et rural ont une part substantielle économique en Afrique, leurs performances sont restées sousoptimale en raison de nombreux défis, notamment l’approvisionnement limité de professionnels de haut niveau dans les innovations agricoles et rurales, fer de lance de la facilitation des interfaces sociales, culturelles, politiques et des aspects économiques. Le présent document donne un aperçu des expériences et des leçons apprises dans l’élaboration d’un programme régional de doctorat dans l’agriculture et études d’innovations rurales (ARIS) pour résoudre les problèmes complexes et multidimensionnels de l’agriculture et du développement rural. Le document présente le processus, les leçons et les questions à approfondir pour la mise en oeuvre complète du programme. Le document affirme qu’entre autres, les questions institutionnelles, les structures et les processus d’approbation des nouveaux programmes doivent être clairement comprises par toutes les parties concernées par l’approbation accélérée et face à l’incertitude. Par la compréhension des changements dans les objectifs de développement et l’adaptation des programmes de formation pour préparer les étudiants innovateurs, les universités auront davantage de possibilités pour soutenir les programmes de développement communautaire. Les étapes de mise en oeuvre imminente y compris l’organisation du personnel, le marketing, la réalisation de modules et la mobilisation des ressources sont urgents.
The Egerton University experience
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Printed resource

About the RUFORUM 2010 Biennal Conference
"The 2010 RUFORUM Biennial Conference was the second in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholders in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Strengthening Higher Education"