The methodology used for the priority setting exercise draws heavily on the one developed by Fuglie and collaborators for the International Potato Center, with some modifications to better incorporate the impacts on health, gender and the environment. The different steps and major activities are illustrated below. There are various opportunities for participating in the process, and in doing so, help improve the accuracy and relevance of the findings. The main goal of this strategic and participatory assessment of research priorities is to better respond to the needs of poor farmers and other vulnerable groups, and help guide investment decisions in banana research.

Setting priorities is a dynamic, systematic process requiring continued revision and updating of research priorities i.e. repeated loops of the process described here. This initial exercise will provide the basis for future rounds of priority setting as the banana community mobilizes to improve the base of information for such efforts.

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The exercise is led by a task force of economists and scientists from Bioversity, CIAT, CIP and IITA, with the help of the regional R4D banana networks (BAPNET, BARNESA, Innovate Plantain, and MUSALAC). The exercise is expected to run into the second half of 2013.

All the research findings and modeling results are made publicly available on an on-going basis. Stakeholders will be able to use the methodology, tools and findings to prioritize their own research agenda on bananas.