IndoBeef’s first annual planning meeting provided an opportunity for the Indonesian and Australian research activity coordination and leadership teams to discuss research progress and plans for both PalmCow and CropCow.
The meeting commenced on Tuesday, 9th October, with an update from the research coordinators in each of the PalmCow and CropCow projects, in the areas of market chain research, animal production research, socioeconomics research, adoption and scaling out research, and gender research. Each presenter provided an update on progress to date, an opportunity to discuss any issues of concern with the project teams, and planned activities for the next six months.
There were also presentations and discussion of data management (progress, concerns, plans and recommendations for data collection); monitoring and evaluation (including reporting structure and frequency), communications activity (social media, website and printed articles); risk management, OH&S and team member well-being (in light of the recent earthquakes in Lombok); continued alignment of project budgets with planned activities; and a discussion of opportunities and processes for building the capacity of project team members.
Discussions regarding these research and management topics allowed the PalmCow and CropCow teams to identify refinements to project activities and approaches, and to finalise and present IndoBeef plans to the IndoBeef Reference Group (IRG).
The IRG has been established as a steering committee to guide IndoBeef, and is comprised of representatives from ACIAR (Dr Peter Horne), DFAT (Dr Tristan Armstrong), ICARD (Dr Atien Priyanti), the Indonesian beef industry (Mr Yudi Guntara Noor), and the Australian beef industry (Mr Troy Setter).
On Wednesday and Thursday, 10-11 October, the IndoBeef Leadership Team (ILT; comprising Dr Yeni Widiawati, Professor John Ackerman and Professor Tjeppy Soedjana from PalmCow; and Dr Yenny Nur Angraenny, Professor Heather Burrow and Professor Budi Haryanto from CropCow), as well as the project research activity coordinators presented their refined project and activity plans for PalmCow and CropCow for the next six months to the IRG. These presentations gave members of the IRG the opportunity to provide additional feedback to the project teams to further improve their plans.
Further opportunities for feedback and discussion were made possible on Thursday afternoon, when the IRG and ILT met for further discussions. The following day (Friday, 12th October) the IRG and ILT completed a field trip to a PalmCow site in Riau.
Overall, the IRG were happy with the progress made in both PalmCow and CropCow since IndoBeef had been officially launched in January, 2018. Positive discussions were held between the IRG and the IndoBeef team, some key suggestions provided by the IRG included:
ensuring that both projects engage and work with industry (particularly the private sector, where that sector will add value to project objectives) early in the project life;
promoting the benefits and achievements of IndoBeef more broadly, where such promotion will add value to project objectives;
ensuring that IndoBeef aligns with broader development impact goals, including economic, social and environmental impacts, and contributing to both individual and institutional capacity building;
a willingness to innovate in areas such as scaling out, without necessarily adhering to what is currently considered best practice; and
the strong integration of social sciences and technical sciences, particularly with respect to IndoBeef’s gender research program, will make a notable contribution to DFAT gender programs.