Call for participants

With the human population of sub-Saharan Africa expected to double, and food demand to triple over the next half century, it is important to realise that decisions made today can have profound effects on the future. Moving forward, it is therefore vital that we ensure governments, policy makers and private sector have access to the most up to date and relevant knowledge to aid them in the decision-making process. 

To support this objective, the SENTINEL project team in partnership with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) are leading a Horizon scanning activity to identify the 100 most critical research questions that, if answered, would have the greatest positive impact on addressing these challenges, and aid in the decision-making process.

What is Horizon scanning?

Horizon scanning involves asking experts and stakeholders to highlight important questions that need to be answered in order to solve a given problem. It is an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to identifying knowledge gaps and important key research questions. For an example of horizon scanning and the types of questions that have been raised through similar activities, please see here. The aim of this horizon scanning activity is:

“Achieving food and nutrition security, reducing inequality, and preserving terrestrial ecosystems: 100 critical research questions for decision makers in sub-Saharan Africa.”

This horizon scanning process involves three key stages. First, by consulting with stakeholders and experts a large list of questions will be gathered. Secondly, these questions will be split and organised into key thematic clusters. Finally, the list of 100 critical questions shall be refined and identified through a two-day workshop involving a diverse panel of experts and stakeholders selected from participants involved in the earlier stages of the activity. Currently, we are looking to complete the first stage, by gathering a broad array of questions. These questions can span any topic relating to food and nutrition security, reducing inequality, and ecosystem health in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, to ensure that the questions address the call, and make their way to the final stage, they:

  • Must address a knowledge gap (or gaps) that can be filled within a reasonable time frame (e.g. <5 years), using a realistic research design.
  • Cannot depend on the outcome of another question.
  • Should not be able to be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.
  • Should define a subject, an intervention, and a measurable outcome, if related to an impact and intervention.

How can I get involved?

Whether you are a consumer or producer of research, we are interested in hearing your views. We are currently recruiting participants and/or organisations that are involved and/or work in sub-Saharan Africa to contribute their questions to our horizon scanning activity. Please note that you do not need to have an in-depth knowledge to participate. Rather we are keen to hear from anyone involved in the region, especially those organisations or individuals who are actively engaged with the agricultural sector. All submissions can be lodged here.

Finally, alongside the questions, we would also like to request permission to collect additional information such as your email address and job position, to enable us to ensure that this study incorporates the views of stakeholders from a variety of sectors, institutions and job roles. Any data you provide will be used and analysed exclusively in an anonymised form.

Please feel free to share this page with interested colleagues and others in your network, to maximise the number of responses we receive. For further details please direct your questions to Adam Devenish at