The needs assessment validation process which had begun on September 2016 took place from 20th to 22nd March 2017. Results from previous workshops have been integrated on 22nd, to enable a clear presentation of demands to the potential suppliers on the 23rd, day of the Market Place. Both events took place in Antigua Guatemala, taking advantage of the Agritrade event, the biggest market place of agricultural products for export in Central America, organized on 22nd and 23rd March.
20 to 25 persons participated to the validation workshops, depending on the niche analyzed. Initially, the plan was to analyze 2 niches per day. Participants of the workshop were stakeholders of the cacao, honey, beans and avocado niches.
The Market place was entitled “strengthening associations for an effective capacity development for agricultural innovation”. Around 70 persons participated, amongst which 62 registered while the others participated before the Agritrade market.
Needs assessment has been realized through talks and meetings half directed with individuals, representatives from organizations, networks and institutions part of Innovation Agricultural System of the 4 value chain identified as strategic (cacao, beans, honey and avoado).
The objective was to draw a common understanding of each niches situation, and consequently develop an action plan for specific capacity development adapted to each niche. Through this diagnosis, needs of the main stakeholders of the innovation niches have been identified to reach their objectives. Shared data also used as base line for monitoring and evaluation system. These validation workshops enabled to confirm and strengthen the needs assessed during the process.
The objective of the Market place was to “facilitate the encounter of initiatives for capacity development in agricultural innovation systems (offer/supply of capacity development) with the need for real capacity development of main stakeholders of agricultural innovation (demand of capacity development)”.
In addition, the following specific objectives have been defined:
- To create opportunities for stakeholders of national Agricultural Innovation Systems, some of them with capacity development needs (demand side) and others able to offer or finance capacity development services (supply demand).
- To join and exchange experiences, and discuss over future programs/projects on capacity strengthening for innovation.
- To discuss over obtained results of capacity needs evaluation and action plans for Capacity Development
- To establish partnerships/associations related to innovation capacities
Products of the needs assessment validation workshop
As a result of the needs assessment validation workshop, the following objectives have been defined:
- Appropriation of the “niche” term, among stakeholder of the chain
- Common understanding of the niche concept and value chain covered by the niche
- Approach of the niche objectives, the stakeholders part of it and relationships between them
- Identification and prioritization of niches challenges
- Clarification of niche challenges
- Perspective of value chain for challenges
- Challenges identified cover different agronomic, economic, social, politic, organization and management aspects
- Correspondence and coherence between competencies to be developed and challenges identified
- Understanding of relations between knowledge, abilities and behavior for description of existing competencies y competencies to be developed
- Logic in the sequential order of learning themes
- Prioritization of needed competencies
Products of the Market Place “Strengthening associations for an effective capacity development for agricultural innovation”
Workshops held during the Market place enabled to define the actions to be done before the end of the year and of the project, specifically in organizational needs assessment, action plan derived and learning cycles. The previous agreements have been defined: in these agreements, Agrinatura will be responsible of the action plans derived from needs assessment process and learning cycles and FAO will be dedicated to political discussions. Each structure will coordinate to implement action plans in the learning cycles to be developed in the year 2017.
The exchanges hold during the Market place between different niches’ and chains’ stakeholders will help to develop future relationship between the stakeholders. It also helped the emerging creation of platform in each chain and learning spaces inter and intra niches. The methodology used in validation workshops held during the Market Place lead to exchanges of experiences and knowledge between stakeholders who identified potential of immediate relation.