DURAS Project: Innovative partnerships for sustainable development

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AGROPOLIS International

The DURAS Project, which ran from 2004 to 2008, established a truly pioneering means of integrating innovation from science with that from communities themselves. At the heart of DURAS has been its innovative competitive grants system. Following an original selection and evaluation process that placed a premium on multi-stakeholder partnerships, 12 projects were funded in Africa and Asia over a period of three years, each involving an array of disciplines and partners. These programmes allowed research institutions and civil society organizations to work as true partners, each bringing their own knowledge, understanding and ideas to the interface between science and society and breaking through institutionalized barriers to bring a new dimension of engagement and mutual understanding. Each article in this publication was written by the project participants. It is an attempt to capture, in a few pages, the complex, yet mutually enriching experience of partners across a wide range of development contexts. It also presents some key results and lessons learned along the way that will have value to many others working to create more integrated AR4D systems.

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