Understanding and advancing agricultural sustainability in developing regions of the world is a complicated matter. To better address the challenges we collaborate with a fast-growing group of key institutions and world-leading companies in the following ways:
- Opportunities for and knowledge exchange with leading institutions, UN agencies, firms, and global experts
- Preferential access to experienced practitioners and practical methods for Performance Monitoring and Impact Assessment to measure sustainability
- Learning distilled from diverse global interactions offer better ways to understand and address the specific challenges of sustainability
- Advanced tools that are standardized for effective data gathering including COSA Indicators and COSATouch digital data capture technology
- Priority access to an expanding COSA knowledge base (published and unpublished) and to COSA networks, for research and funding partners.
We invite different perspectives and diverse partners to advance our ability to understand and manage sustainability. Partnership is open to qualifying firms or organizations with managerial support for the objectives embodied in COSA. All Partners contribute resources in the form of shared knowledge, mutual projects, time, or funding.
- Our Partners share a clearly defined interest in active learning and innovation for the purpose of advancing sustainability in food and agriculture systems
- Our Partners are legally registered organizations with operations, investments, or interests in developing countries (development agencies, government bodies, universities, foundations, companies, associations, and NGOs)
If your organization is interested, start by submitting a basic request to Saurin Nanavati. Typically, the process includes agreement on a standard Memorandum of Understanding. In some cases, where work is more clearly defined, a subsequent contractual agreement may be necessary.
General Partners work directly with COSA to share and advance knowledge of sustainability and how best to measure it. A Partner is different from a client in that clients engage in transactional relationships with COSA to understand sustainability in ways that meet their organizational needs.
Partners typically work with COSA in a collaborative process of mutual learning and usually interact with COSA around specific projects. In cases where Partners utilize COSA Advisory Services or Impact Assessment or Performance Monitoring, they do so in a collaborative process of mutual learning. The development and exploration of sustainability approaches is a confidential process with each partner. Yet, the public benefit of any overall learning is annually distilled and shared with COSA Partners who value better ways to understand and address the challenges of sustainability.
Research Partners are typically top-notch institutions, actively present in developing countries, with whom we collaborate to advance methods and conduct field work. Submit an inquiry or request to Saurin Nanavati.
While each arrangement is different, here is a brief summary of the respective roles of COSA research partnerships.
Typical Roles of COSA
- May secure initial projects and clients for the work
- Shares COSA intellectual property and trains Research Partner on COSA Impact Assessment
and Performance Monitoring methods
- Provides state-of-the-art data collection technology and tested instruments
- Maintains secure global database
- Shares best practices and links to COSA network of research and development organizations,
companies, and donors
Typical Roles of Research Partner
- Provides a competent manager as counterpart and may secure some funding
- Recruits and trains surveyors (initially with COSA support)
- Plans and manages field data collection
- Conducts data cleaning and analysis in collaboration with COSA
- Eventually takes over COSA research independently and continues to share new research data
COSA seeks Funding Partners that align with its practical and business-like approach to accelerating sustainability. Part of COSA is self-financing but Funding Partners support these critical aspects of the overall mission and direction of the “public good” part of our work:
- Vital funding to conduct capacity building for emerging economy institutions, educational and scientific advancement, conferences to share best practices, communication, and training
- Testing and adapting innovative “technologies” ranging from advanced data-gathering technology and relational databases to testing instruments such as the Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI) and the Producer Organization Appraisal for widespread use
- The expansion to new countries or new crops
The first step is a discussion with COSA President, Daniele Giovannucci to determine common interests and options. Some Funding Partners provide core funding for the overall mission while others prefer more targeted investments including the adaptation of COSA tools for use by their own institutions.