The SNNP Agricultural Growth Program Capacity Development Support Facility (AGP2-CDSF) Regional Office held a half-day Master Facilitators (MFs) graduation ceremony on October 15, 2019, in Hawassa city, at the Ker – Awud international Hotel.

A total of 43 graduates attended, including 15 women. In attendance were also 13 different bureau directors and coordinators and 32 graduated Master Facilitators.

Jim Hamilton, giving his opening remarks

Opening remarks were provided by Mr. Jim Hamilton (CDSF Project Field Manager) and Ato Debebe Gashwabeza (SNNPR CDSF team leader). In their speeches, they explained that CDSF is focusing on human capacity to deliver high quality capacity development activities in four regions of Ethiopia. They explained that although the Federal and Regional AGP Coordination Units deliver large-scale capacity development programs in terms of total number of participants, it can be difficult to establish a direct link between these training programs and their actual impact, particularly related to learning, knowledge and skills transfer. This can be attributed to training programs being conducted and implemented without fully understanding the training needs, high numbers of training participants in each session, and capacity development activities tend to be shortened due to budget constraints. They also noted that capacity development programs are often not interactive, rarely evaluated, given a lower priority and there is a lack of follow-up and on-the-job-support.

To overcome these challenges CDSF designed the Master Facilitator Development Program (MFDP) based on eight internationally recognized competencies and delivered in four modules.

Following the opening remarks, Mr. Amrit Alemu (AGP2-CDSF, SNNPR regional CD specialist) delivered a short presentation overviewing the MFDP. He presented the rapid institutional capacity needs assessment findings and discussed the challenges of capacity development under AGP.

After the presentation, Ato Kedir Mohammed (SNNPR AGP2-CU) and Mr. Jim Hamilton led a short discussion. Master Facilitators and invited guests shared how they benefitted from the modular training and their own experiences in delivering capacity development activities, including some of the challenges. Following the training, graduates explained that the practice of conducting training needs assessments has become normal procedure, along with applying adult learning principles, creating a collaborative environment and managing the number of training participants to encourage maximum participation.

There was a productive discussion about some challenges faced by the Master Facilitators and ultimately, the directors and coordinators in attendance agreed to roll out the knowledge and skills they had gained in the program to remaining staff. They also promised to look to their Master Facilitator’s for support and to consider them as resource people in their offices.

To close the celebration, Mr. Jim Hamilton and Ato Kedir Mohammed handed over certificates to the proud graduates.