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Islands in the ocean : the institutional deficiency of ecoregional programmes

Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters, H. Verkuijl, M. Kooijman, W. Heemskerk

The contribution of ecoregional programmes to more effective organisation of agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa is disappointing. They seem to compete with the National Agricultural Research Systems, rather than being complementary. They have created temporarily niches , well endowed with financially and technical support, not always respecting strategies and procedures of national and local research centres. Ecoregional programmes could make a more effective contribution to development oriented research by focussing more explicitly on the institutional support to national and local centres. The change from the current research focused approach to the facilitation and strengthening of
institutional processes is an enormous challenge, in which the experiences gained by KIT in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Benin, Mali and Mozambique could provide assistance.

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