On the 21st and 22nd of November 2017, participants from all of Ethiopia’s five innovation niche partnerships met to discuss and agree next steps for the CDAIS coaching plan and process.
“All is now clear in my mind. I have seen how the coaching plan and process has been refined and simplified, and how to apply advocacy and communication to effectively get our messages across.”
Tegegne Wakoya, national innovation facilitator, seed production niche
Over two days, a group of 20 national facilitators, niche partners and national and international experts met in a hot rooftop room at the Bechale Hotel, Addis Ababa. They sweated out the issues not well understood, but all left with their roles clear, and ready to take the next, important steps.
The CDAIS coaching process is an essential part of improving the ‘soft skills’ that will enhance agricultural innovation, like the ability to collaborate, and how to navigate complexity. And it builds on almost two years of preparatory work, paving the way for implementation.
Amanuel Assefa, CDAIS Ethiopia project manager opened the event, which was excellently facilitated by the monitoring and evaluation expert Elias Zerfu and the lead national innovation facilitator Kebebe Ergano. The meeting also benefitted from the participation of Agrinatura focal person Hanneke Bouta Vermeulen from ICRA, and CDAIS communications developer Nick Pasiecznik.
The two days were rich in fruitful exchange between the national facilitators and representative of each of the niche partnerships. Results from the coaching plan validation workshops undertaken by each of the five niche partnerships were presented. These were discussed, also in the context of the simplification of the complex coaching process that was proposed at a meeting in early November in Montpellier, France that Elias and Hanneke also attended.
Sessions on advocacy and communications on the second day were also much welcomed, especially as they met an immediate need – preparations for the ‘marketplace’ event planned for 16 January 2018. Spoken presentations were practiced, and participant learned ways of writing in an appealing way, the importance of quotes and interviewing skills, and photography ‘top tips’. The final session included more detail on the marketplace, reviewing the terms of reference for a consultant who well help all the niches in developing policy statement as a preparatory step for the multi-stakeholder dialogue workshops to follow.
The workshop closed with a round-the-room evaluation, with much appreciation of the content of the two days and the sharing of questions. Now to implementation!
“Now I know what to prepare for the marketplace, and how to use quotes and pictures to enrich the messages I want to put forward.”
Taffese Mesfin, dairy niche
“I have fully understood our niche’s future direction and how to carry out our action plan.”
Tolesa Alemu, national innovation facilitator, malt barley niche