In July 2016, the Capacity Development Support Facility (CDSF) carried out a rapid institutional capacity assessment to identify the specific needs and areas of support required for Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program (AGP 2).The assessment identified a number of areas related to capacity development for improvement and strengthening.
The challenges identified include the following, among others: The capacity development programs often convey information through lectures and Power Point presentations and focus mainly on conceptual knowledge, hardly enabling participants to acquire practical skills such as problem solving skills. Moreover, participants often lack the opportunity to experiment and/or practice with new skills and develop specific strategies to transfer these skills in their work. Opportunities for learning and sharing are rare, hindering the dissemination of good practices, etc.
To alleviate this problem, CDSF created the Master Facilitators Development Program (MFDP).The MFDP, among other purposes, aims to enhance the capacity of AGP Program Coordination Units (PCUs) and implementing agencies at federal and regional levels to implement capacity development initiatives by increasing their skills in facilitation and training delivery, including on the job training delivery. The main target groups of the program are experts at national and regional level.
According to the MFDP plan, 190 master facilitators drawn from Federal and four regions will deliver capacity development programs according to adult learning principles and international standards to implementing agencies, woreda experts, Development Agents (DAs), woreda experts and AGP benefices at the end of the four module MFDP.
However, half way into the implementation of the MFDP, implementing agencies are already taking their own initiative to replicate the MFDP. A case in point is the Oromia Livestock and Fishery Resource Development Bureau (OLFRDB) that has been implementing different agricultural activities since 2010.
The Bureau recognized that the challenges identified by CDSF’s rapid institutional capacity assessment were real and MFDP is already making a difference in the training delivery. OLFRDB, with the support of Oromia Regional CDSF Office, carried out a three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) for 53 experts (13 women) who are expected to cascade the training to woreda level experts. The bureau allocated budget and the necessary resources for the training.
Similarly, using its own budget, the Oromia Rural Land Administration and Use Bureau (ORLAUB), with the support of CDSF Oromia Regional Office, has given a three-day facilitation skills ToT to 21 experts (three) women of its senior staff. The trained staff applied the skills they learned during the training to facilitate their regular training known as Local Level Participatory Land Use training.
Dr Getachew Teka is a focal person for Oromia Livestock and Fishery Development Bureau. He had the following to say about the MFDP and how the Bureau decided to reconsider the way it delivers trainings:
“In 2018, four of our senior staff participated in MFDP Module 1 and Module 2 trainings that were conducted for four days each in Adama City. Back in our office, we began to question the way our Bureau conducts its own trainings. As a matter of fact, the Bureau did not carry out needs assessment before conducting a training and participants were not selected carefully. What is more, top down methodologies such as long lectures were used in halls often packed with up to 120 participants. As we reflected back on our own trainings, it became clear to us – including the MFDP trained staff as well as senior management- why our trainings did not bring the expected results.
To try and solve the problem, the Bureau organized a three-day training for 53 (13 women) staff with technical support from CDSF Oromia Regional Office. We have now set as standard practice to see to it that all our trainings courses including those on artificial insemination, poultry, queen bee rearing, etc., that will be conducted as of 2011 EFY are up to the standard and follow adult learning principles. We are sure our trainings will start showing good results in the future.
We are very grateful for all the support CDSF has provided us. We couldn’t have achieved this without the support of CDSF.”