Capacity Development for Disseminating/Scaling up Agricultural Best Practice Technologies
In EFY 2009, CDSF began supporting the complex process of collaborating with key stakeholders to select and scale-up existing agricultural best practices. Capacity building for scaling up of evidence-based best practices in agricultural production in Ethiopia (CASCAPE) identified best-fit technologies as one technical output related to improved Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) performance. The agricultural extension sub-sector requires ongoing support to disseminate knowledge to community-level beneficiaries, and CDSF is working with CASCAPE and agricultural extension to develop innovative learning and training packages to be used by extension subject matter specialists and Development Agents (DAs) to support farmers.
To ensure collaborative and participatory extension training materials design and development process, CDSF developed a term of reference for the establishment of agricultural extension technical working group and these technical working groups have been established in Amhara, Tigray, Oromia regions and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) with members from regional Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BoANR) extension units, AGP Program Coordination Units (PCUs), CASCAPE, Agricultural Research Institutes, Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and Digital Green.
The components of extension training materials to be developed include technical manuals and facilitator guides for subject matter specialists , simplified technical manuals and facilitator guides for DAs, posters for teaching farmers, laminated charts as learning materials for farmers, and sample Tablet computers for DAs to provide ICT-led extension training and advisory services to women and men farmers. CDSF is working with Technical Working Groups on the following main activities to ensure effective design and development of extension training materials and delivery of training to extension master facilitator cohorts to effectively cascade training up to farmers’ level:
- Selecting/prioritizing CASCAPE best-fit practices to be adapted to extension training materials;
- Organizing awareness creation workshop to expert Technical Working Groups on how to design and develop the competency framework for specific best fit practices, extension training materials for SMS, DAs & farmers:
- Developing draft competency framework & extension training materials;
- Peer-reviewing of Extension training materials from national CASCAPE and CDSF as well as from regional partners (BoANR, Regional Agricultural Research Institutes,etc.) and incorporating national and regional feedback on draft extension training materials;
- Pre-testing draft Extension training materials and sample Tablet computers with specific target groups (SMS, DAs & farmers) and incorporating feedback from pre-testing/piloting;
- Developing facilitator’s guide for subject matter specialist and DAs;
- Organizing regional review and validation workshop on draft Extension training materials and sample Tablet computers and finalizing Extension training materials;
- Producing enough copies of quality Extension training materials for training;
- Organizing regional level ToTs for regional and zonal extension experts;
- Technically Supporting the woreda, DA, and farmer- level training in AGP/CASCAPE woredas;
- Monitoring and supporting the scaling of the best-fit practices.