Funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented by Alinea International, CDSF supported the implementation of Ethiopia’s second Agricultural Growth Program (AGP2) between 2016 and 2021. The goal of AGP2 was to “increase the agricultural productivity and commercialization of smallholder farmers as well as contributing to dietary diversity and consumption, poverty reduction, and climate change adaptation.”

To support this goal, CDSF worked with partners across the agricultural sector to improve program management competencies, including: leadership, coordination, planning, monitoring and reporting, while ensuring gender, nutrition and environmental considerations were integrated across all program components. The Project developed the capacity of federal, regional, zonal, and woreda level staff to use a four stage approach to train and support others based on experiential adult learning principles and practices.


Project life: 2016-2021

Funder: Global Affairs Canada

Supported: Agricultural Growth Program in 4 regions, 33 zones and 165 woredas (districts)

Direct reach: 4163 (788F) people

Indirect reach: (31, 771 (10,044 F) (job-embedded support)

Covid 19 prevention support and support to Tigray IDPs: 15000 DAs and farmers (received Covid 19 prevention packages) + 220 mothers/810 children in Mekelle

Some of our Outputs

  • 157 agricultural specialists graduated as master facilitators
  • 220 training materials (facilitator’s guides, posters, flip charts, job aids…)
  • 1 Voluntary Land Donation Process video
  • 1 Grievance Redress Mechanism video
  • 100 computer tablets distributed to frontline agricultural extension workers
  • 1 AGP2 Knowledge Share Fair
  • 1 Agricultural Extension Digital Learning Symposium
  • 6 ISpring ELearning licenses handed over to MoA

Some of our Results

  • Increased adoption of agricultural technologies among women and men farmers
  • Institutionalized a systematic approach to developing capacity in public sector institutions and at the community level
  • Improved competencies among regional and woreda agricultural specialists about:
    • Inter-institutional coordination – 200+ regional and woreda AGP technical committees highly functional  
    • Annual program planning, monitoring, and reporting
    • Mainstreaming gender and empowering women farmers at the household level
    • Integrating nutrition and nutrition-sensitive agriculture
    • Implementing World Bank- compliant environmental and social safeguards
  • 125 (1860 women farmers) women-led informal business groups (common interest groups) productive 
  • 89% of women-led common interest groups functioning as “gender model families”.


Agricultural Institutions Working Together – A CDSF Best Practice

The success of the Agricultural Growth Program depends on many institutions working together at all levels. “Technical committees” or TCs are required program coordination mechanisms at the federal, regional and woreda levels. When the Project team started working with them, TCs were functional, but not effective. Chairpersons could not bring people together, and meeting practices were not in place. Through meeting effectiveness training and the Project team’s ongoing presence and support over several years, the regional committees became “high performing teams.” Chairpersons endorsed “effective meeting practices.” Technical specialists shifted from attending meetings out of obligation to actively engaging with other institutions, co-planning, jointly monitoring, and even sharing budget. Please find the multi-modular technical committee effectiveness training here, readily adapted to all coordination mechanisms.


To bridge the perennial research/extension technical gap, the Project team formed Extension technical working groups, whereby regional experts from research institutes, extension directorates, and agricultural projects worked side-by-side to develop eleven extension training packages for farmers. Please find them here. The results of the collaboration are obvious!