Innovating pro-poor Strategies to safeguard Food Security using Technology and Knowledge Transfer

Trans-SEC is an international, interdisciplinary consortium of 14 partners, comprising a total of more than 50 researchers, along with many other actors. Trans-SEC's research programme aims at securing food production systems among smallholders in two regions of Tanzania. This programme includes the following key components:

a) Establishing a lasting German-African network for research, development and innovations in the Tanzanian food system,

b) analysing and identifying current problems in food supply,

c) participatory development of sustainable strategies for stabilising food value chains adapted to local and regional conditions, and testing the applicability of these strategies.

Trans-SEC aims to identify innovative strategies (new, successful practices) within food value chains in rain-fed agriculture among Tanzanian smallholders, and to adapt and transfer these strategies to other areas. Researchers from various different research institutions will carry out action research in four villages (4000 households) in the target regions Morogoro and Dodoma.

Implementing institute: Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung; ZALF)

Role of the SLE:

Joint research projects are not only technically challenging. Because of the variety of different institutions, faculties and people involved, some of whom may come from different regional, academic, sectoral and cultural backgrounds, there are additional challenges for communication and cooperation. When different backgrounds, aims and interests meet, there may be points of disagreement. The result is that joint research projects often involve repeated rounds of discussion among institutions, organisations and individual people.

In order to ensure that these discussions remain productive and do not result in conflict, Trans-SEC has included a mediation component in its structure, beginning already at the planning stage. Dirk Sprenger, an experienced trainer in conflict management and mediation at the SLE, represents the SLE within Trans-SEC in implementing this conflict prevention component, and is accompanying the project continually throughout its 3+2 year duration.

The conflict prevention component involves services such as workshops and training sessions, presentations, individual or group coaching/supervision, and mediation.

Alongside the practical implementation of the component, there is also a parallel research aspect, involving the Institut für Konfliktmanagement of the Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and two PhD students as the main actors. The aim is to research how conflict prevention systems can be effective in large joint research projects. Although there is extensive research on this question for private companies, the focus on international joint research projects is a mostly unresearched topic.

Implementation: Dirk Sprenger

SLE contact person: Dr. Susanne Neubert

Duration of project: 3 (+2) years (2013 - 2018)