ACIAR’s program in Pakistan, known as Aik Saath, is looking for potential partners to help improve lives and livelihoods in the rural sector. Recent projects have shown that more effective engagement with NGOs, other donors and the private sector can multiply the impact of ACIAR’s research.
ACIAR is proud of its legacy of research in Pakistan, undertaken through close partnerships with government and research institutions. However, despite many breakthroughs, agriculture underperforms in driving Pakistan’s rural and national well-being. Valuable research outcomes can only be transformed into great development impacts if their benefits continue and are scaled out to the wider community. Broader partnerships have a key role to play.
Aik Saath is an Urdu phrase meaning Together, reminding us that Together we achieve more. ACIAR is a small, specialised agency managing Australia’s investment in agricultural research for development across thirty countries. ACIAR works to maximise the impact of its funding by facilitating partnership at all levels. This involves Australia’s farmers and agricultural researchers, operating in the world's most challenging and variable conditions, as well as the international CGIAR network.
Tackling the complex challenges faced by small farm families requires teams and time.It begins with listening to families and understanding their hopes and priorities. Aligning community goals with Pakistan’s strategic goals is crucial - ACIAR’s relationships across government and with research institutions have been built over decades. This ensures the research is well-targeted and aligned with any related activity.
However, while ACIAR’s early projects were more focused on specific topics, the issues being addressed today are multi-faceted, ranging from “complex” to “wicked” problems. These require integrated “transdisciplinary” approaches, where specialists from many biophysical and social science disciplines collaborate with marketing and economic analysts.
For such initiatives, there are still many missing links:
- NGOs and donor agencies may be involved in the same villages as ACIAR projects do and have deeper community perspectives. They also work across hundreds or thousands more communities than any ACIAR project can and are able to extend findings far and wide.
- the private sector also has an extension role with its reach across the whole rural sector, from supplying farming inputs such as seed, fertiliser or equipment to marketing and processing produce. Many ACIAR innovations rely on the private sector to give smallholders sustainable access to innovations from research.
- Finance, phone services, insurance and advice are all essential for smallholders to improve their efficiency and profitability, with both government and private stakeholders involved
Recognising this, one of the six high-level objectives in ACIAR’s 10-year strategy 2018-2027 is:
Fostering more inclusive agrifood and forestry market chains, engaging the private sector where possible.
Aik Saath fosters collaborations to help maximise the impact from ACIAR Research for Development projects in Pakistan.
Aik Saath is facilitated by the ACIAR Country Office in Pakistan: [email protected].
A list of ACIAR's current projects in Pakistan can be found here.