The McKnight Foundation’s Global Collaboration for Resilient Food Systems—formerly called the Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP)—cultivates resilient food systems globally by bridging farmer-centered agroecological research, action, and influence.
Two intertwined strategies, one regional and one global, advance this goal. We believe that by bridging grounded knowledge and initiatives to change global and cross-national systems, we can increase the likelihood that on-the-ground progress toward agroecological transformation will be supported rather than blocked by global policies, funding flows, and research norms and agendas.
- Strategy 1: Accelerate local and regional food systems transformation by scaling co-created agroecological knowledge and practice.
- Strategy 2: Influence global and cross-national funding flows, policies, and research norms to enable agroecological transformation.
The program funds participatory, collaborative research on agroecology. Grants either support regionally based research projects that are grouped into three regional communities of practice (CoPs) in Africa and South America, or are cross-cutting in nature. Regional projects typically link international, national, and/or local organizations with communities of smallholder farmers, researchers, development professionals, and other stakeholders. Cross-cutting projects support aspects of work across regions. Our projects generate technical and social innovations to improve productivity, livelihoods, nutrition, and equity for farming communities. Large-scale impact is realized when new ideas, technologies, or processes are adapted to different contexts, when insights from research catalyze change in policy and practice, and when innovation inspires further success.
Communities of Practice & Cross-Cutting Efforts
We focus on three regions of high food insecurity, funding projects that complement and enhance regional and programmatic grant portfolios. We use a Community of Practice (CoP) approach, in which people and organizations with a common commitment to agroecology interact regularly to improve their work. Our CoP model emphasizes networking, learning, and collective action. The regional CoPs aim to facilitate collaboration, knowledge co-creation, and innovation/information exchange, as well as helping to strengthen capacity at regional, institutional, project, and individual levels. Learning exchange occurs within, between, and beyond the four geographic CoPs. Also active in each CoP region are farmer research networks (FRNs) that bring together farmer groups, research institutions, development organizations, and other relevant stakeholders in a co-created process of sharing and building knowledge.