The Knowledge and Capacity Development Cluster (KCDC) facilitates transformational change in line with ICRISAT's vision of a prosperous, food-secure, gender-responsive, gender-equitable, and resilient dryland tropics.

The Cluster, which includes the Dryland Academy, performs a pivotal role in supporting ICRISAT's mission by strengthening the capacities of diverse actors in agricultural value chains and food systems.

We believe that empowering these actors will enable them to drive substantial reductions in poverty, hunger, malnutrition, and environmental degradation, while advancing gender equality and social inclusion.

Through our cluster, we foster processes that enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals and groups involved in agriculture. By equipping them with the necessary capacities, we empower them to transform agricultural systems and create positive impacts in the dryland tropics.

Training is only one among the several potential capacity development interventions. Other interventions include mentoring, coaching, peer group interactions and consultations, among others, that are specifically tailored to target stakeholders' unique interests and needs. KCDC adopts a gender responsive approach, whereby knowledge and capacity development encompasses methodologies and materials that consider the learning needs of female and male participants – by age and other socio-cultural-economic indicators – alongside ensuring that every participant gets an equal opportunity to participate and benefit.

Staff and external stakeholder capacity development opportunities

ICRISAT also organizes capacity building activities for staff and external stakeholders through Human Resources, Projects, Networks and Platforms to which ICRISAT staff are members. An example of this is the Shaping Policy with Evidence short course organized by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex and funded by the GENDER Platform for selected platform members. ICRISAT has also taken a step forward in this aspect and launched iLEARN, a learning opportunities tool for staff members across locations and cadres.

At KCDC, we recognize the importance of collaboration and inclusivity. We engage with various stakeholders, including farmers, researchers, policymakers, extension workers, and entrepreneurs, to co-create and disseminate knowledge. By building strong partnerships and facilitating participatory learning, we aim to catalyze systemic change and sustainable development in the dryland regions.

Through our collective efforts, we are creating resilient, equitable, and sustainable food systems that contribute to the well-being of communities in the dryland tropics. KCDC is dedicated to empowering individuals and fostering transformative capacities to achieve our shared vision of a better future.