MFDP bears unexpected positive results

In July 2016, the Capacity Development Support Facility (CDSF) carried out a rapid institutional capacity assessment to identify the specific needs and areas of support required for Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program (AGP 2).The assessment identified a number of areas related to capacity development for improvement and strengthening.

The challenges identified include the following, among others: The capacity development programs often convey information through lectures and Power Point presentations and focus mainly on conceptual knowledge, hardly enabling participants to acquire practical skills such as problem solving skills. Moreover, participants often lack the opportunity to experiment and/or practice with new skills and develop specific strategies to transfer these skills in their work. Opportunities for learning and sharing are rare, hindering the dissemination of good practices, etc.

To alleviate this problem, CDSF created the Master Facilitators Development Program (MFDP).The MFDP, among other purposes, aims to enhance the capacity of AGP Program Coordination Units (PCUs) and implementing agencies at federal and regional levels to implement capacity development initiatives by increasing their skills in facilitation and training delivery, including on the job training delivery. The main target groups of the program are experts at national and regional level.

According to the MFDP plan, 190 master facilitators drawn from Federal and four regions will deliver capacity development programs according to adult learning principles and international standards to implementing agencies, woreda experts, Development Agents (DAs), woreda experts and AGP benefices at the end of the four module MFDP.

However, half way into the implementation of the MFDP, implementing agencies are already taking their own initiative to replicate the MFDP. A case in point is the Oromia Livestock and Fishery Resource Development Bureau (OLFRDB) that has been implementing different agricultural activities since 2010.

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The Bureau recognized that the challenges identified by CDSF’s rapid institutional capacity assessment were real and MFDP is already making a difference in the training delivery. OLFRDB, with the support of Oromia Regional CDSF Office, carried out a three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) for 53 experts (13 women) who are expected to cascade the training to woreda level experts. The bureau allocated budget and the necessary resources for the training.

Similarly, using its own budget, the Oromia Rural Land Administration and Use Bureau (ORLAUB), with the support of CDSF Oromia Regional Office, has given a three-day facilitation skills ToT to 21 experts (three) women of its senior staff. The trained staff applied the skills they learned during the training to facilitate their regular training known as Local Level Participatory Land Use training.