Sub-project 13

Transferring research results into policies and practice

Contact: Dr. Emil Gevorgyan

Small producers in Kenya have so far been unable to supply the increasing demand for indigenous leafy vegetables. In order to increase the productivity and profitability of AIV cultivation, innovations in garden horticulture are needed throughout the value chain. In order to develop solutions and to put them into practice, close cooperation is required from all actors within the value chain, as well as from researchers and political decision makers. Currently, these actors are not communicating enough with each other.

In order to ensure that the results of the overall project reach these actors in a practical and relevant form, HORTINLEA has set up the coordination of internal and external communication, and the dissemination of the results, as a sub-project. A strategy for internal communication has been developed and is being put into practice: Offering a website, information resources and regular workshops with a focus on 'knowledge transfer and knowledge management'. Development of a comprehensive strategy for the dissemination of research results in policy and in practice. The aim of this strategy is to bridge the gap between scientific expertise and its practical implementation.

Among the important preconditions for success is good internal communication among participating researchers from different scientific disciplines and countries. This requires not only professional expertise but also 'soft skills' in mediation and communication, skills that SLE has been teaching for many years.

Among the most important criteria in the development of a communication strategy is the use of methods that promote equality of opportunity across the genders and that help reduce poverty. Topic-based meetings are used as an opportunity to discuss the feasibility of the innovations that result from research work, and their relevance to gender and poverty issues.

Channels of communication and strategies for the dissemination of information are developed and reinforced. SLE has initiated cooperation with farmers' groups and organisations as well as with potential partners such as KALRO, KAPAP, SACDEP, KENRIK, MOA-Kenya, GIZ, FAO, USAID and ICIPE. The initiative also includes setting up an innovative platform for active learning and knowledge exchange among the actors involved in the AIV innovation system.

The following specific activities were set up in order to keep all participants in the consortium regularly informed about the progress of HORTINLEA and to promote the effective flow of information:

  • A project website was developed, as the primary platform for the dissemination of information about HORTINLEA's activities;
  • Quarterly newsletter for the consortium;
  • HORTINLEA brochure for participants in Germany and Kenya;
  • HORTINLEA film to inform the wider public in Kenya and Germany about the importance of indigenous vegetable cultivation to nutrition. This film is available to view on the Youtube channel and website of the project.
In 2014, an SLE study was set up to examine the practical relevance of the results from HORTINLEA, and to recruit new partners for cooperative knowledge exchange. SLE study 'Connecting Innovators, Making Pro-Poor Solutions Work - The Innovation System of African Leafy Vegetables in Kenya' focuses on the AIV innovation system. This study offers insights into the interactions among different actors in the value chain. It highlights opportunities and continuing limitations in the use of AIVs in Kenya.


Building on the results of that study, another SLE study, 'Closing the knowledge gap between research, policy and practice - Circular knowledge exchange on African indigenous vegetables for improved food and nutrition security in Kenya and Tanzania' was conducted and published. It outlines major steps for ensuring that the research results of the Horticultural Innovation and Learning for Improved Nutrition and  Livelihood in East Africa – HORTINLEA project will reach multiple stakeholders and benefit them in the future.

PhD theses (2013-2018):

Nancy M. Laibuni: Research to Action: The Case of African Leafy Vegetables Value Chains

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Photo Forschung Fokusgruppen Diskussion
Picture 1: Three Female farmers explain the sensitivity of different leafy vegetable varieties to heavy rains. Focus group discussion in Lugari, Kakamega.

Photo Forschung Frau Clementine

Picture 2: Agriculture consultant Mrs Clementine explains the effects of climate change in Nakuru during a training session (training in focus group discussions) 30.11.-2.12.2015, Kenya, Egerton University.