Ethiopia planning feb2016

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Africa RISING Ethiopia Review and Planning meeting[edit | edit source]

Date : 10-11 February 2016

Venue : Lalibela Meeting room, ILRI campus

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  1. Reviewing our progress in 2015
  2. Discussing on phases two proposal and
  3. The way forward

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Results and outputs[edit | edit source]

  • See the meeting minutes (below) including group work results
  • See stories about the meting (upcoming)
  • See pictures from the event

Agenda Day 1 (10 February 2016)

  • 08.30 Registration
  • 09.00 Welcome and framing the meeting together
  • 09.30 Marketplace for 2015
  • 10.10 Break
  • 10.30 Marketplace for 2015 (continued)
  • 11.30 Synthesis of important insights and priorities/directions for phase 2
  • 12.00 Concluding remarks: Looking back at 2015
  • 12.30 Lunch
  • 13.30 Introducing the phase 2 proposal
  • 13.55 Check-in: GTP2 planning - see the presentation by Workneh Ayalew (ATA) showing the mapping of GTP2 (ACC) focus areas.
  • 14.00 Identifying viable research for development (R4D) partnerships
  • 15.30 Presenting and championing partnerships
  • 16.45 Closing reflections for the day
  • 17.00 Close

Day 2 (11 February 2016)

  • 08.30 Recap and introducing the agenda
  • 08.45 Group work on research questions, activities, M&E and comms for each R4D partnership - including break 10.30
  • 12.45 Lunch
  • 13.45 Presenting back
  • 15.10 Break
  • 15.30 Continuing (with phase 2) or exiting from our work in the sites (if no phase 2)
  • 17.00 Closing remarks
  • 17.30 Close
  • 17:30 reception

Notes of the meeting

Day 1

Synthesis on what was heard/observed in the morning[edit | edit source]

Group feedback Group 1: - Partnerships - Scalability of technologies. - Scalable technologies?

  • o Tech. outputs selected by stakeholders should be scaled out using different approaches. Linkages
  • o Using knowledge management technologies
  • o Platforms for partner interactions
  • o GTP2 should be aligned with Africa RISING activities

Group 2: Common themes: - Need for scaling up - Market linkages - Working with ongoing partners + Identifying new partners - Link to GTP2 - Nutrition security Scalable technologies: - IT approaches - High value crops (e.g. avocadoes) due to high demand - Feed and forage development from previous practice - Irrigation technology and management - Seed variety selection and management and seed multiplication system

Group 3: Common themes: - Nutrition. - Resource management (soil, water, vegetation etc.) - Market and value chains - Knowledge management - IPs – serious discussions on their sustainability and need for replicability / scalability – issue of linking with other platforms from Gov’t and NGOs etc. Do Action Resaerch on IPs Scalable technologies: - Strategies to scale up linked technologies e.g. SWC, intensifying land for forage/tree crops etc. - Decision support tools for fertility management and landscape management - Home garden intensification

Group 4: Common themes: - Sharing quality germplasms for crops, fodder and food trees. - Market - Integrating gender and nutrition Scalable technologies: - IPs - Seed systems (ongoing) - Feed utilization (ongoing)

Group 5: Common themes: - Scaling up of food and feed technology - Nutrition - Gender-inclusive technologies - Capacity building activities Scalable technologies: - Working with different partners, IPs etc. - High technology demand – potential for scaling - Seed multiplication and input providers - GTP2 etc. focus on food security and nutrition… potential for scaling

Group 6: Common themes: - Gender and nutrition security e.g. High value trees - Strengthen IPs – what about the promise of knowledge centres? - Water use efficiency - Feed development (related to hill size) - Energy technologies – energy consumption etc. home garden trees etc. Scalable technologies: - High value trees and disease management - Market development for seeds - Community-based seed production - Recommended fertilizer application

Group 7: Common themes: - Action research. - Partnership for scaling up - Gender and nutrition - Market issues Scalable technologies: - Fertilizer recommendations aligned with national priorities - Farmer-preferred varieties (high value trees) - Partnership approach

Group 8: Common themes: - Partners are common to many themes SLM, LGP etc. – let’s make sure we harmonize. - Ministry etc. is strong in this country and we want to capitalize on alignment of priorities - Integration comes up a lot, across centres and themes + crop improvement (seed system, management, small scale mechanization etc.) Scalable technologies: We have to be critical on this and on co-investment… - Lots of ideas

Group 9: Common themes: - Many addressed before - High value crops - Small ruminants and poultry – let’s incorporate this in phase 2 in nutritional elements - Human nutrition and livestock nutrition to improve livestock productivity Scalable technologies: - Nutritional issues (human and livestock) - ?? on degraded areas? - Training of different stakeholders through IPs (from national to local level) - Water management and small ruminant production - Feeding and nutritional aspects – we need to focus on the feeding preferences of the communities – work on feeding the culture of local communities

[edit | edit source]

Looking back at 2015[edit | edit source]

(In a fishbowl conversation, Peter Thorne (PT) the program leader, Kindu Mekonnen (KM, principal scientist) and Simret Yasabu (SY, communication specialist) shared their views on how 2015 unfolded and what it brought about. The fishbowl was opened to any participant).

  • PT: What registers with me most strongly is starting from the quick wins. Many of you were involved in this, and we made sure AR had a presence on the ground. When the funding was released, the project plans were submitted. All 3 projects were trying to address SI through action research. The quick wins were quite useful as they helped us form our partnerships + helped us form the program later on and let us try to integrate and have these embracing and inclusive partnerships etc. We managed to focus around 3 main strands: research, advanced learning with universities and working with the government. The big contribution you make in the diagnostic phase was the opportunity we had to assimilate your concerns etc. I think seeing you enjoying these meetings still is a promising sign that we can continue with this in phase 2. We now see a snapshot of the research – some of it has potential for scaling etc. but we’ll have to see what’s realistic. I’m very pleased about going around the room and seeing this partnership work. For this type of projects, partnerships are very joined-up, we have our issues sometimes and we need to work on them as best we can and try to nail them for this exciting new phase. We’ll have to flesh out the D in the ‘R4D’ approach.
  • SY: I think the most important thing in this project is the partnership and we have partners from government, universities, CGIAR etc. It doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges, we passed through many of them but we are filling that gap and we are working on a trust and collaborative basis. We should take this to the next level. I think our partners were always very active in meetings, field days etc. they were very proactive. We have been successful in terms of documentation, dissemination, organizing our knowledge online and offline etc. Sthg to take forward in the next phase.
  • KM: I want to reflect on the on-farm research activities and I always see progress, new varieties, farmers generating income and useful nutritional qualities, land management. It’s impressive. Recently we had 4 field days and I visited them and it was really very useful and the diversification aspect was real and it impressed me. Another thing was the attitude of farmers. As most of you know, very few farmers have land for forage crops and when we started they tested forage crops but now there are farmers who produce forage crops on half a hectare of land and there is big demand for seeds. The feed situation is very serious in Ethiopia and this is very good progress. The informal scaling has been very encouraging also e.g. Endamehoni site where we have partners who try to take the success stories to other woredas/kebeles, at regional level and their engagement is very strong. There is very serious follow up. They are making the AR Endamehoni site a high impact site. Sinana etc. is also working closely with us and they are allocating resources and are helping farmers access improved seeds. This is very good progress. There are a lot of cases and it’s very encouraging. The high value trees – we initially tried to buy seedlings from e.g. Butajira nursery and next season farmers were very interested in accessing seedlings e.g. in Lemo they arranged transport and went there with extension people. This is becoming sustainable and these people are trying to establish nurseries in Bale, Sinana. Farmers then will be able to access seedlings. We need to see this kind of progress. The commitment of our CG and local partners is really good. Landscape management is also very encouraging. We focused initially on farm level but extension requested interventions at watershed level and we discovered a lot of research issues at landscape level. Farmers need to see benefits and this kind of arrangements with NGOs, farmers, research etc. is very helpful and can speed up land management. The impact of the project: there are lots of cases with benefits… This should all be strengthened in the future.
  • SY: I have worked for the last 8 years on R4D initiatives and I’m very happy to work for Africa RISING and it’s difficult for development partners to show that research is effective on the ground. In AR we do research and we have some demonstration on the ground and that creates trust and development partners see this. We are doing multi-dimensional research. We have achieved integrated solutions for the future.
  • Irmgard: Thinking of phase 2, I would suggest that we look more at how the different regional projects can benefit from each other. Observing this I don’t know the details of the work but I’ve been impressed by the posters and the broad range of research you are doing. We are addressing a lot of common issues. Agro-ecologies are very different but the issues are common (feed availability, landscape, seed production etc.). We have good potential to learn more from each other. We have tried 3 years ago to focus in our program learning event on one theme. Closer collaboration between scientists in the different countries comes at a cost but if you want to achieve (faster) impact we have to take more opportunities to learn from each other. Let’s not try more trials and tap into the wealth of experience. We have to strategically make advantage of that.
  • Barbara: I’ve always been amazed by how AR started with not much and no work plan and it was a very interesting process of getting people together into a very concrete work plan that benefits the farmers on household and watershed level. It was the first project that helped us shape the research agenda, yes with high transaction costs but also with much more freedom to put the knowledge together. This was starting before the CRPs and I always use AR as one example of how CG centres are putting their heads together and this has been very valid. The other thing I wanted to say is that what still needs to be done is to take stock of integrated packages that take the farmers forward. We have to look at what ensures the best farmer adoption and what is ready to scale and where we still have doubts.
  • Tilahun: Having site coordinators on the ground, integrated with the local system etc. with communities is really helpful. These are connecting us CG centres and we are getting insights from them which we wouldn’t get if it was through direct farmer contact. It also creates special demand and targeting. What I also really like is how we targeted the farmers. We call meetings and invite farmers “who wants to participate” ie based on good will. Those farmers were ready to take risks and we have to capitalize on this. The other thing I like is the space we have gone through across CG centres with the good will of the AR coordinating team. That space has created a strong partnership of good will. Not every cost is covered but the amount of good will is really good. What should be done, going forward: Time is short but we need to filter the knowledge – there’s a lot going on. We need to generate quality data. Technology A works in this area etc. we are not yet at that level and we need to be there. That will squeeze all of us to focus on the most relevant issues to be promoted. That should be more demand-driven. For now we are more supply-driven but checking with farmers. The 2nd thing that should be taken into consideration is creating intensification scenarios. Bale Highlands are more mechanized, highly input-oriented etc. How to intensify these different systems in the next phase?

Final reflections from Jonathan Odhong for day 1[edit | edit source]

(One of the three guests from other regions or the wider program - Jonathan Odhong, communication specialist for ESA and WA - shared his views about the first day of the workshop). It’s been great observing what the Ethiopian group has been doing. For both of us (Irmgard and I) this has been an interesting exercise and to walk around the groups, hear some discussions and about some issues. Some of them are quite interesting to hear how different the system here works and our systems in ESA and WA. Some of the things that came up e.g. accessibility, which development partners you work with are things that – looking at what you proposed here – we also discussed how to go about. It’s been a very interesting session so far. I was asking the facilitators about going through this exercise and I was curious to know how this translates into well-integrated system proposals. It’s been concluded as ‘still work in progress’ and I look forward to more discussions tomorrow.

Day 2

Presentations by the working groups[edit | edit source]

Here are the 9 presentations:

Two more working groups were identified for further work:

  • Post harvest and value addition
  • Animal health

Enset group presentation[edit | edit source]

Q&A (missed by documenter but mostly mentioning that some of this is about continuing research and we may have to re-think the balance with scaling up and getting this type of work into development).

Decision support tools group presentation[edit | edit source]

  • Q: Are you aware of other initiatives on DST in Kenya etc.
  • A: Yes I am working with them
  • Q: You will come up with a globally customised DST but who will be testing the soils?
  • A: We are not starting from scratch, we've been starting with various woredas etc. onfarm trials etc. We have about 500 datasets that have tested the response.
  • Q: One of the strengths of this is how the plot scale action is mapped onto political initiatives. When you talk about million of households you raise eyebrows. This is an opportunity to influence policy. Like for the last presentation, what research fits under this initiative and what is more generic.
  • A: The issue is that if we influence the major players in the system (e.g. BoA, ATA etc.) all the agricultural research institutes are very keen on taking up this work. So 100.000 of people we can likely reach but the potential is higher.
  • Q: If you look at the potential for fertilizers, there is an issue of huge investment and the opportunity is the additional contribution.
  • A: Fertilizers are not the solution but once there's enough organic mass you can start bringing other items. In the enset system (an important integrator of soil fertility management), farmers start using organic farming, mulching etc. and rent it for the week to get manure etc. If we plant enset on field the nutrients follow and so enset goes beyond disease management.

Scaling up and innovation platforms group presentation[edit | edit source]

  • Comment (Peter Thorne): You've done a really good job, it hangs together very nicely. One additional aspect is about horizontal networking as there are many IPs around - some functioning well and others not - so if you work with the national platform you can expand this scope. It's a big ask but I have this picture of all kinds of innovation platforms which sometimes do a good job at learning etc. Really nice result. It makes a lot of sense.
  • Q (David Kahan): Very nice. You also mentioned the training aspects. 2 things to add: a) other mechanisms for scaling up e.g. through ICTs and b) what have been experiences with local innovation platforms and with mass media... What are particularly effective mechanisms for scaling out?
  • A: I accept both suggestions, especially mass media. We sometimes invite Oromiya TV etc. and they really document the works well.
  • Q (Amare): Well organised. IPs became a prominent area for scaling and if you take our irrigation work IPs are a mechanism - ditto with landscapes, nutrition etc. Are we going to keep all kinds of issues separate or use one IP to address them all.
  • A: In West Africa they focus on commodities (e.g. Wheat IP, Maize IP) but in AR we are trying to create IPs that try to address the system as one. We have members at woreda level who focus on women, livestock, wheat etc. We have been working for the past 2-3 years in that way and now we want to link up with the regional and national level.
  • Q: What are the requirements of IPs to get sustainable IPs to scale up? What is the innovative part? What are arrangements with IPs at other levels? We should consider this to filter out... What is the set up of IPs in social research?
  • A: You are right, we are creating evidence about how IPs work. Some studies exist about other African countries. IPs don't need to be sustainable and we are not working hard to make them sustainable and exist forever but we are trying to create an environment where researchers, development partners etc. come to address a common issue and to avoid duplication of efforts. For specific purposes, what kinds of IPs really work and what needs to be facilitated + what kinds of events need to be integrated? Here, when we organise farmer field days they're already there. In AR we are considering IPs for evaluation, learning and sharing etc. every CG centre that has been working at community level comes and they see how farmers are learning from each other. That's a new thing we are trying to create.

Transitioning into phase 2 - Presentations from site groups about what remains to be done[edit | edit source]

Basona woreda

  • Q:
  • A:

Endamehoni woreda

  • s

Sinana woreda

  • d

Lemo woreda (did a SWOT analysis)

Comments on this:

  • There is no right or wrong answer with this, we just want all the site teams to think proactively about that final phase.
  • Scaling through IPs is mentioned by most groups but once again

Next steps[edit | edit source]

We need to write the proposal - and then take care of two issues:

a) the 10 proposals you've come up with: they're well crafted. They can't necessarily be all supported but the ball is in your court to develop this further. See these on this wiki page. We'll go through them and we'll add a few bits or shake the order but won't majorly edit them. You may want to have stakeholder meetings to finish these proposals and if you're not sure about ways forward you can ask the AR team to work on this. We'll need these proposals by the end of March anyway. All the proposals that we think meet the requirements will be annexed to the main proposal to show the donor that we're thinking seriously about this. Some of them may not be ready to be funded straight away but they could come up some months later. We may need a peer reviewing mechanism, sharing these with e.g. Tracy Powell, Development actors, EIAR, Ministry folks etc. We want to strengthen them and we want a nice population of these proposals. We don't want 20 pages. We need to have a tight way of describing what we want to do. Don't just go away and drop these things because if they drop the proposal won't go forward.

b) the transition towards phase II: There will be an Ethiopia project proposal in the umbrella document. Feel free to give your feedback and we may incorporate some of the work you've just presented on this. There will be further consultation but anyhow by the end of March we'll have to have a pretty solid country proposal for Ethiopia. I'll share the draft country outline tomorrow and we can develop it based on that outline.

Hopefully we'll have our first phase 2 review and planning meeting this time next year! Meanwhile we'll also come back on the science meeting and the idea of presenting results from phase 1 then.

Final words from external colleagues[edit | edit source]

Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon (coordinator ESA / WA) Thank you for inviting me to this first review and planning meeting in Ethiopia. I came here for several program level meetings. This one is specifically about the Ethiopia project. I didn't have so much of a clue about what you were doing here and I still don't but I was really impressed by the posters and the wealth of research that is going on here and I saw some really very good things and I got some ideas that we can use in the other 2 regions. I was particularly impressed by the level of engagement of the different national system research institutes. At the end of the day this program has to align with the public sector in these countries. I also saw some excellent examples of research integration. We have that but not as prominently as here (in the other 2 regions). IPs (we call them R4D platforms): What I see here is that they play a much stronger role than in other regions. You started much earlier than we did, we pushed them away a bit and when we had the internal review team last year we were concerned about showing anything. We have district and community platforms but the role they play is much stronger here. What I also take home from here is that you have already, based on the exercise of yesterday and today, a pretty good idea of what phase 2 looks like. We are not yet there but we are starting. We have a writeshop next week for writing the phase 2 proposal. Our approach is different due to other commitments. We have a small group next week and we want to write a proposal in 3 days and then we'll present it to a larger group like you with all stakeholders in the region, for further refinement and alignment. Some of the exercises we did here we can also use them in West Africa. You are well prepared to transition from phase 1 to phase 2, you know what you want to continue and stop etc. This is all ahead of us. You are always getting ahead of us on Yammer also etc. Something that I mentioned yesterday morning: we should really look for some more harmonisation across the regions. Can we identify some activities etc. to approach a research problem that we could do throughout the 3 regions, regardless of the different context. Maybe this is something to mention at PCT meetings. Another thing that came to my mind: we have the external evaluation team and later in Malawi and Tanzania. We already had them over in Mali/Ghana. They will come up with short-term recommendations and for the potential phase 2. Having a clear picture of what we want to do is important. This has been a very productive meeting. I was wondering if this was a good use of my time but you've seen me working on the agenda of next week's meeting and it was a very good use of my time with what I learned here that we can do very well next week. That's all I have to say.

Carlo Azzarri (M&E coordinator) First of all thanks a lot for the invitation. It's difficult to speak last as Irmgard covered everything. I have pros and cons out of this meeting:

  • The cons:

I thought I would have seen an answer to the first question here (what do we need to do to tidy up phase 1) but we still have to answer this question as we need to convince the donor about the work we're doing. We need to come up with good communication pieces and qualitative/quantitative evidence of what worked or not. I'm very impressed with the partners and we need to develop targets. Up to now we worked consistently with some partners, trying to have a good relation with them and have an integrated approach with a limited amount of households but we have to think about it because that's the question you will be asked by your donor. We need to be realistic in the targeting with our partnership. There's an impressive level of engagement and that's very good. All teams worked very hard and I hope you're all very happy and site coordinators will take up these messages. Commandable efforts on the variety of topics addressed in this time, as witnessed by the posters. This project is more intuitive and works more in sequence. I think for phase 1 we need to prioritize our efforts for phase 2 and take into account what was done in phase 1 because we need to think that phase 2 won't be identifying and exploring anymore but about scaling and impact. We need to look at development. The importance of monitoring becomes even more important in phase 2 - we need to document and report as we'll be evaluated. If phase 2 is approved our team will plan for the mid-line survey and it won't be a 50-page questionnaire but it will still be a bit of an effort and it won't be the only effort as it will require the collaboration of the research teams around periodic surveys around e.g. nutrition and gender. We need a consistent system and an overall framework for M&E, which will be different from the M&E system done in the past. We recognise we didn't have a good M&E system in phase 1 and we are determined to change this in phase 2. We will hire an M&E coordinator based in Addis who will help collect the data and get monitoring on the right rails. I think it was great work because you are the guinea pigs, the first ones in the program who have done this and we'll piggy back on this, especially on the process and outcomes. If you have any clarification question on M&E, feel free.

Closing words by Kindu[edit | edit source]

I think the past 2 days were very engaging, participatory, interactive, it was really very useful and we have generated plenty of outputs that will help us for phase 2. As far as I'm concerned we achieved the 3 objectives of the workshop. After saying this I would like to thank our local partners who came from far distance and actively participated and contributed, CG partners as usual very supportive, our visitors Carlo/Irmgard/Jonathan - it was a good opportunity for us to have them here -, Ewen and Tsehay from ILRI CKM for the excellent facilitation, Simret Yemane who is our admin assistant who tried to communicate with all of you, Simret Yasabu our comms expert and I would like to thank our donor USAID and finally I wish you a safe journey to your respective destination. There is a get-together as a reception - please don't miss it. Thank you very much and the workshop is officially closed.