Webinar with Universities on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation: Bringing System-wide Change in Asia-Pacific - Synthesis Report


The Webinar with Universities on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation - Bringing
System-wide Change in Asia-Pacific took place on 16 November 2017, 13:00hrs (CET) under the
Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO). The Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) organized
and moderated the webinar, with support from FAO, the Global Confederation of Higher Education
Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA) and Global Forum for Agricultural Research
The Webinar addressed the need to equip agricultural graduates and university staff with soft skills
(“functional capacities”) enabling them to facilitate innovation processes to better tackle the
complex challenges agriculture is facing today and will face in the future. The Webinar aimed to:
1. Improve understanding of the Common Framework designed under the Capacity
Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS) project – the different dimensions
of capacity development consisting of individuals, organizations and enabling environment,
as well as the relationship between these dimensions.
2. Raise interest in integrating the Common Framework principles, approaches and tools in
higher education curricula by universities to improve system-wide capacity for change and
thereby realize the potential of innovation.
3. Raise awareness of the importance of developing soft skills (“functional capacities”) to unlock
the potential for agricultural innovation and the role of higher education in developing the
respective capacities.
4. Initiate reflection towards a mindset shift in culture of higher education organizations in the
Asia-Pacific region from: (i) considering knowledge generation as a final objective, to using it
as a means to achieve change; (ii) understanding of the system components to systematic
understanding of the relationships between the components; (iii) consulting beneficiaries to
facilitating engagement for interactive learning between innovation actors; (iv) teaching to
learning; and (v) focus on individual merit and competition, to promoting teamwork and
collaboration between and within organization


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soft skills
functional skills
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