While maintaining autonomous programs in their respective regions, the FIRE Africa, FRIDA and ISIF Asia programs collaborate extensively globally as the Seed Alliance.
Each regional program designs and defines its own strategies to enable it to reach the Seed Alliance’s objectives, which provides them with the flexibility and autonomy to operate in their own localities. However, in addition to sharing the Seed Alliance’s overarching objectives, the programs share a common framework for monitoring and evaluation. Data is collected through the online application system used by each regional program. The technical and financial reports submitted by funding recipients, surveys, and a ranking assessment system for supported projects were designed during the first phase of the Alliance.
The official language for the Seed Alliance is English.
- FIRE Africa supports English and French.
- FRIDA supports Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- ISIF Asia works mainly in English although selected content is translated to APNIC’s helpdesk languages. The FAQ section of the ISIF Asia website has been translated to Simple and Traditional Chinese, Hindi, Bengali, Bahasa, Indonesia, Tagalog and Japanese.
Conference calls, online chat, mailing lists, collaborative editing, cloud storage and a basic intranet site support the archive of documentation produced and facilitate the tracking of activities implemented. Various other useful tools help the Alliance in their daily work, reducing costs and allowing staff to work in their own time and at their own pace.
The Seed Alliance uses closed mailing lists for coordination among the team and partners, to follow-up on the development of the online platforms and use, as well as for updates on the progress of supported projects and mentoring programs.
The Seed Alliance team follows, whenever possible, a similar calendar of activities to launch calls for funding and make announcements simultaneously, as well as to plan workshops and events together to make the most out of global participation.
The website architecture and content structure is shared by the three regional programs, and each one aggregates content from its own social media profiles:
Each site has a statistics module that enables very basic information about every call for applications to be retrieved. Analysis of the statistics collected was conducted every year as part of the Seed Alliance’s technical reporting requirements. APNIC commissioned the design of a more elaborate statistics module, which highlighted a series of improvements of how data is collected through the application process.
Each of the program’s websites has an integrated private dashboard, where all applications received are stored and can be viewed, organized, reviewed and scored. Only the secretariat and the jury/selection committee(s) can access the private site during the selection process.
The three programs have actively started to promote the use of discussion forums (and other online tools) to enable the Grants and Awards recipients, together with other researchers, to form a research community where they can discuss common interests, develop methodologies, and share experience. Although uptake and active participation, has so far been relatively low, it has been reported as effective for those involved.