Regional Agricultural and Environmental  


The Innovation for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction: Towards an enabling Environment for Systems of Innovation in Southern Afri (ISP-TEESA)


 The Netherlands Directorate General International Cooperation (DGIS).

ISP-TEESA programme aim was to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction by helping to enhance the role of science & technology in innovation systems. It does so through projects that improve an enabling environment for appropriate biotechnologies for the poor and their safe use. RAEIN-Africa solidly embraced an innovation systems approach to development, which involves investing in and strengthening of multi-stakeholder bottom up processes.

The ISP-TEESA theory of change

Turning innovation systems approach theory into practice was the driver behind RAEIN-Africa’s ISP TEESA Theory of Change (TOC).  Based on its earlier experiences and advised by its Board and by stakeholders in various SADC countries, a theory of change was articulated. The TOC emphasized two main strategies: knowledge & technology development, and policy & governance influencing. The two strategies were meant to be mutually reinforcing. The TOC spells out:

  • An integrated approach to the variety of knowledge generation and innovation projects, that create synergy, address context specific challenges, support capacity development, and create an enabling environment that helps emerging technologies work for the poor.
  • Public participation in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring, and in the development of an enabling policy and regulatory environment necessary for maximizing the benefits of science and technology and innovations in SADC, and
  • The establishment of innovation platforms on technologies, governance and policy influencing. Such platforms bring together stakeholders from science (multi-disciplinary), government, civil society groups, community representatives, media, and legal and regulatory bodies.

Other significant supporting projects include national needs assessment studies aimed at influencing agenda setting towards responsiveness to communities’ needs and contexts, need driven research, development of high-level guidelines in relation to biotechnology and biosafety, training on innovation systems approaches and in relevant technical skills, and regional exchange and learning events.

Innovative Technologies for Enhancement of production systems and management of the environment (ITEM)

Innovative technologies for enhancing rural livelihood

Multi-stakeholder innovation platforms were established and empowered to address context specific challenges on improve productivity, food security and livelihoods of resource constrained rural communities. Innovation platforms worked on:

Improvement of Sweet Potato Production in Makhanga Extension Planning Area Using Tissue Culture (Malawi):

This platform contributed to improved food security and livelihoods development through use of quality sweet potato planting materials, produced through tissue culture. In addition to an increase in biodiversity of sweet potatoes to the Makhanga community, substantial yield increases were recorded.

Application of Artificial Insemination (AI) in Namibian Livestock Production to Improve Livelihood of Small Scale Farmers: A Case of Otjinene


Livestock production is the major source of livelihood for rural communities in Namibia. Productivity is threatened by inbreeding and reduced vigour of the available genetic materials. This platform used artificial insemination to contribute to improved livestock productivity in cattle. Through the platform, a number of smallholder farmers have been trained in a number of areas including artificial insemination, disease management and overall rangeland management.

Improving Smallholder’s Livelihoods through Use of Disease Free Banana Planting Materials and Coordinated Mechanisms of Actors in the Banana Value Chain (Tanzania)



This platform used tissue culture to produce disease free banana planting material for smallholder farmers. The platform used biotechnology to build on knowledge held by farmers on their varieties.

Understanding Climate Change adaptation strategies in the SADC

Project’s objective was to develop and share experiences and learnings on how to strengthen resilience to social, economic and environmental shocks and stresses from emerging development challenges through generation of knowledge on climate change adaptation strategies and biofuels in the SADC. Outputs include

  • Scoping study on impact of climate change, and coping and adaptation strategies by rural communities.
  • Scoping study to determine the impact of biofuels on rural communities.

     Other products include  

  • three policy briefs (on biofuels, climate change adaptation, and socio economic consideration regarding GM crops), seven national country studies on socio-economic issues in introducing new technologies, nine laboratories participated in proficiency testing (GM detection), an online database established, three case studies (two on climate change and one on impact of Jatropha on rural livelihoods), and six formal publications. Towards a framework for Biofuels development in Zimbabwe
  • Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in the Chiawa Community in Lower Zambezi.
  • Unpacking the Socio-Economic Issues of GM Crops: Towards development of a socio-economic considerations guideline for biosafety decision making

Knowledge generation on bio-strategic energy resources

Towards a framework for Biofuels development in Zimbabwe

Regulatory Innovation: Breaking Biosafety Boundaries in Southern Africa (RIBBB-SA)

Informed decision making on Biosafety

The Botswana Public Awareness and Public Participation Innovation Platform (BOPAPIP)

This platform was established to stimulate national dialogue towards the finalization of the country’s National Biosafety Framework and to enhance opportunities for public awareness and engagement with the process.

Innovation Platform for Biosafety Public Participation: The Case of Swaziland:


The platform was established at the request of the country’s regulatory authority, with a view to facilitate engagement of all actors from the general public to high level policy makers to facilitate enactment of the Biosafety Legislation.

Innovation Platform for enhanced Public Awareness and Public Participation in Biosafety Decision Making Process: The case of cotton in Zambia:


This platform spearheaded and informed the public, and supported their subsequent participation in discussions on approvals for the production of Bt cotton in Zambia.

Capacity Development

RAEIN-Africa working with its technical teams implemented the following trainings for SADC partners from public, nongovernmental, academic, and research institutions:

  1. 31 participants from 13 SADC countries trained on assessing socio-economic impact of the introduction of biotechnologies,
  2. 210 participants from eleven SADC countries trained on theory and practice of innovation systems and multi-stakeholder processes in agriculture and rural development
  3. 45 Biosafety practitioners from three SADC countries in country Risk Assessment and Risk Management Biosafety risk assessment and risk management.
  4. Negotiation skills on Biodiversity related Conventions and Protocols for SADC delegates to COP-MOPs
  5. Capacity development on GM detection for nine laboratories across the SADC region
  6. Capacity development support for NBFs in influencing policy making
  7. Capacity development on emerging CBD protocol (Access and Benefit Sharing, and Liability and Redress)
  8. Use of M&E tracking tool as follow-up after trainings