Our Approach

The Global Change Learning Lab in Sub-Saharan Africa is an integrative website that facilitates agroecology research and information sharing by MSU Global Change Science researchers and partners collaborating on action research in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Learning Lab is designed to both inform and engage research partners and the public. The website highlights challenges facing smallholder farmers in Sub Saharan Africa and interdisciplinary, participatory action research and agroecological approaches to support farmers as they face global change forces such as resource degradation, globalization, and climate change.

This learning lab is an opportunity to join a group of people engaged in support of science without borders, with a focus on agroecology in sub-Saharan Africa. The challenges are tremendous, including resource degradation, inequitable access to resources, population pressure and changes in effective demand for food. We are committed to a “community of practice” approach, interacting and learning from each other to build capacity for adaptation to global change. Climate, globalization and civil society are all undergoing rapid transformation, providing new opportunities and severe challenges. 

Through partnerships with smallholder farmers, community members, educators, and researchers we are working to shed new light on challenges to sustainable development. Through participatory action research approaches we are involved in iterative cycles of planning, action, co-learning, and reflection. Innovations in applied agroecology have emerged through decadeslong partnerships in Malawi, which we share on our Applied Agroecology and Innovations sections. There are many researchable questions emerging, from phosphorus sustainability to the role of crop diversity.

Where We Work:

The majority of our research takes place in Malawi.  Additional research is starting up in Tanzania, supported by SIIL, and is also on-going in Ghana, Mali, and Zambia.  Use the arrow below to open the legend to view locations of Africa RISING Mother Trials, weather stations, and LUANAR (Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources).  

Why a Learning Lab?  Learn more