From 9-10 December 2010, Researchers in a project carrying out four regional cases studies of 'crop residue trade-offs in crop–livestock systems' met in Addis Ababa to review progress and plans. We recorded the reporting back sessions that discussed lessons and gaps related to the content focus of the project, the process followed so far, and the tools used. Here, Diego Valbueno report on the discussions of the process lessons and gaps. First, such a regional study needs someone to really facilitate coordination, harmonization and information sharing (among the regions and not just between regions and the central project coordination). We needed a common understanding of the tools we are using, and why. Very important - how are we going to disseminate information - to farmers, to policy? Are there some better ways in which we could have developed our framework and instruments? Perhaps we could have had a better picture of our analysis steps before we devised our data collection instruments? The meeting was organized by the CGIAR Systemwide Livestock Programme (SLP).