The Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI)

On February 9th, 2012, Michigan State University’s (MSU) Food Security Research project, the project Thom had been a principal investigator on for some 12 years, transformed into a new, independent, Zambian-based and -managed institute called the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute(IAPRI).  Indaba has its own executive board composed of private and public sector stakeholders and is home to 9 research fellows (all Zambian).

The goal of Indaba is to act as an independent and impartial policy analysis research group for agricultural and food security issues.  Their role is to provide evidence-based information to the government, private firms, and international donors.  (Think the Brookings Institute or the Rand Corporation.)

Michigan State University’s new role is to provide training and technical support for research and outreach activities.  MSU also is helping to build institutional capacity in the areas of financial management systems/processes and fundraising.  As time goes on MSU will fade more and more into the history books as Indaba develops its capacity to conduct all activities independently.

Thom’s already worked on a similar project in Kenya, where he helped in the development of the Tegemeo Institute.  At this point Tegemeo is completely independent and generates its own funding.  Some MSU professors still collaborate with Tegemeo staff on various research projects, just as an MSU professor might collaborate with someone from Cornell University on a specific project.  They share resources, skills and knowledge.

The launch was a BIG DEAL.  Ministry officials, the U.S. and Swedish ambassadors, and various other dignitaries came for the launch.  They had Zambian dancers greeting the guests.

Dignitaries gave speeches, followed by the formal hand-off of the project from MSU (by the esteemed Professor Jayne) to the Chairman of the Board of the Indaba Institute, Dr. Mick Mwala, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zambia.

Here is Thom with the Director of the Indaba Institute (and good friend) Chance Kabaghe.  (We’re all convinced that one day Chance will be president of Zambia.)

The event got a lot of press coverage.  See this article in the Lusaka Times.  And this article in The Globe Newspaper.

Congratulations Indaba!


About Kimm X Jayne

Gravatar Photograph from the exceptionally talented Ben Heine.
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10 Responses to The Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI)

  1. Mikey says:

    Good work, Thom!

  2. Joanne Hutchinson says:

    Way to go Thom! Congratulations! It is so nice to hear a positive story and a means to help Zambia become more independent. I am going to Western province again this August and I hope to implement composting!

  3. Bridget says:

    Yeah! what a legacy!

  4. seniya says:

    why the change of name

    • Kimm X Jayne says:

      Apparently the Zambia-led board and leaders decided on the name change, I think to ensure it was truly a Zambian-based NGO and make it clear it wasn’t a foreign entity.

  5. Do they have a website to share their research results?

  6. jingy says:

    I am a beneficiary of the research conducted by your org and am interested in conducting and contributing to further research-i love research. Kindly advice.

  7. kasanga Betrum says:

    I write to request for a part-placement(job) with your organization. I was a full time student of Cooperative College Under the Diploma In Agribusiness Management in December 2013.I will send my CV upon request.
    This will help in evaluating my competence in the field of Agricultural Research and Rural socialogy.
    Yours faithfully,
    Kasanga Suta Betrum

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