BANGLADESH: December update – making changes happen…
“Through the CDAIS project we will now work together and find the pathway to solve our problems. CDAIS means motivation, CDAIS means ties, CDAIS means mutual cooperation, CDAIS means production, CDAIS means development.” Rithish Pondith, Reliance Aqua Farms, Trishal
‘Understanding the monitoring, evaluation and learning framework for CDAIS’ was a one-day workshop held on 3rd December at the Nascent Gardenia Hotel in Dhaka. It was attended by 9 participants, including the national project coordinator, country project manager, and all the national innovation facilitators. Presentations and interactive sessions helped to improve the national project team’s understanding of the MEL framework and strengthened the skills required to use it at country level. The event was facilitated by Claire Coote, NRI/Agrinatura, and Rozana Wahab, lead national innovation facilitator and CEO of Ascend International for information exchange.
This was followed by the ‘Advanced facilitation training of the niche coaching plan’ on 4-5 December. Facilitated by Juan Cebalos of ICRA/Agrinatura, the training was full of interactive sessions, group work and exercises. Participants included the national CDAIS team, along with niche representatives from the mango, fish and pineapple clusters. Hand drawn pictures prepared by the three clusters each presented their own action plan. Group work included visualizing activities to explain how to facilitate information exchange at cluster level, and how CDAIS is attempting to change behaviour through different processes.
The third event of the month was a two-day kick-off meeting of the Trishal Fish Innovation Platform, held at the Silver Castle hotel in Mymensingh on 6th and 7th December. This brought together hatchery owners, fish farmers, a fish processor, a feed supplier, fish traders, government fisheries officers at district and upazila levels, and a professor from Bangladesh Agricultural University. It was facilitated by Moshiur Rahman of the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute who is also the facilitator of this niche, supported by CDAIS personnel. The objectives of the meeting was to confirm the sector’s vision, and develop a nine month action plan to find ways that that help to solve the identified problems.
Representatives of two other innovation platforms supported by the project – mango and pineapple – were able to take advantage of being in Mymensingh to visit the Food Technology and Rural Industry Department at the Bangladesh Agricultural University and see students who are learning to process pineapples into candy and jelly. Jessi Chakma, a pineapple grower from Bandaban, is keen to see if such activities could form a profitable enterprise for her fellow pineapple growers.
“I am a technical fisheries research office working on fish breeding, but now I am now also a CDAIS national innovation facilitator. In this role I am learning how to encourage actors in the fish value chain to work together to overcome the problems faced in the sector. Through the series of events organized by CDAIS, we have learnt about monitoring, evaluation and learning, how to conduct facilitation session, and we had the opportunity to implement what we have learnt through this two day fish cluster meeting that validated the coaching plan.”
Moshiur Rahman, Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute
These events are activities of the CDAIS – Capacity Development Agricultural Innovation Systems project, which addresses individual, organisation and institutional functional capacities (soft skills) necessary for successful innovation. In Bangladesh, the project is implemented in by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Natural Resources Institute UK and member of Agrinatura, a grouping of European agricultural development-related research institutes and universities, and FAO. CDAIS is funded by the European Union.