Too Big To Ignore is a research network and knowledge mobilization partnership established to elevate the profile of small-scale fisheries (SSF), to argue against their marginalization in national and international policies, and to develop research and governance capacity to address global fisheries challenges.
The partnership has the following main objectives:
- promote recognition and understanding of the importance of SSF to livelihoods, wellbeing, poverty alleviation and food security;
- explore SSF potential contributions to economic growth and development, environmental sustainability, stewardship, and community resilience;
- assess SSF vulnerability to anthropogenic global change processes such as the growth of large-scale fishing operations, climate change, aquaculture development, tourism, marine protected areas, the private enclosure of coastal spaces, urbanization and migration;
- encourage policy discussions and contribute information for improving decision-making about SSF;
- advance knowledge and build local and global capacity in research and governance for the future of SSF.
For a quick overview of the project structure and activities, check TBTI_ Project overview.
TBTI comprises 15 partners, 62 researchers from 27 countries, conducting activities around the world.
The partnership is organized into seven working groups around three components – Global Analysis, Big Questions, and Knowledge Integration – operating in five regions of the world: Africa, Asia and Oceania, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, and North America.
Each working group (WG) has a leader, while each region has two coordinators. The WG leaders guide research to address the ‘big’ questions in small- scale fisheries. Issues and in-depth case studies are identified and selected through a regional consultation process organized by the regional coordinators. Together with the project director, the WG leaders and the regional coordinators form the ‘Project Steering Committee’ (PSC). The roles of this 18-member PSC are to provide intellectual leadership, coordinate activities, connect and motivate members to work collaboratively in pursuing the partnership goals, integrate and mobilize knowledge, and create synergy between researchers and partners.
Partner organizations will be represented in the PSC by the regional coordinators and the WG leaders. Partner organizations will also play a prominent role in another part of the partnership governance structure; the ‘Participatory, Monitoring and Evaluation’ (PM&E) process. In this role, they will provide guidance in project development and work planning, as well as in monitoring progress and evaluating the outcomes of the partnership. Their involvement means that research conducted in this partnership is relevant and responsive to stakeholders, and that the outputs from the partnership will create the desired impacts.