Ethiopia Country Platform
Organisation of ProlinnovaInternational Workshop
The Steering Committee of PROFIEET (Promoting Local Innovation and Experimentation in Ethiopia) and the ProlinnovaInternational Support Team organised the first international workshop and launching of Prolinnovain Yirgalem, Southern Ethiopia, in the second week of March. Agri-Service Ethiopia (ASE), the secretariat of the PROFIEET platform, handled all local arrangements, including visits to farmer innovators, and presented a case study on multi-stakeholder partnership to promote farmer innovation.
National Steering Committee (NSC)
The NSC of PROFIEET is made up of the major stakeholders involved in agricultural research and extension activities in Ethiopia, with the exception of farmers. Members are: Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organisation (EARO), Commission for Science and Technology, Mekelle and Alemaya Universities, Institute for Sustainable Development, SOS-Sahel, FARM-Africa, Pastoral Forum Ethiopia and ASE. Although the SC members agree on the objectives of PROFIEET, there are some differences regarding strategic issues. The PROFIEET secretariat prepared several documents – background note on PROFIEET, concept note on PROFIEET, Memorandum of Understanding, draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the PROFIEET platform and a comprehensive country proposal – which were discussed during four meetings of the SC this year. The members have now agreed to adopt the ToR and to serve primarily as an oversight committee, while routine tasks are carried out by the platform coordinator. EARO will continue to chair the platform.
Coordination and management
The position of part-time programme coordinator was advertised. The NSC selected Dr Habtemariam Abate for this work; he will sign a contract with ASE as secretariat of PROFIEET.
International workshop on facilitating PID
Two persons recommended by the PROFIEET SC – one from Mekelle Univerity and one from ASE – attended the two-week training of facilitators in Participatory Innovation Development, held at IIRR in the Philippines. Another staff member of ASE took part in the training; costs were covered by ASE. The gap between expectations of the workshop organisers and expectations of the participants was filled by facilitating a session of experience-sharing by participants about farmer innovation and PID.
Planning regional activities
The SC finalised the planning of introductory workshops on PROFIEET in five regions of Ethiopia. These will start off the multi-stakeholder partnership at regional level by identifying local innovators, who will return with the other regional stakeholders to a second workshop for planning PID experiments.
Communication and information
The PROFIEET secretariat supported the Ethiopian Society for Animal Production (ESAP) in preparing their annual conference, focused this year on “Participatory innovation and research: lessons for livestock development”. Two papers by PROFIEET members and one paper by a member of the ProlinnovaInternational Support Team were presented in the plenary session dedicated to this theme.
The proceedings of the PROFIEET national workshop held in August 2003 were printed in early 2004 and distributed at the international ProlinnovaWorkshop, the ESAP conference and to various NGOs, government offices and donor agencies based in Ethiopia.
National television coverage of the international Prolinnovaworkshop was arranged. In addition, Ethiopian TV made a 20-minute feature on farmer innovation.
Members of the SC were involved in workshops and meetings related to a new CIDA-financed project on market-oriented agricultural innovation, the ISNAR programme on training in research management and institutional change, and the ILRI “Enabling Innovation” research theme. In these meetings, they introduced concepts and experiences in farmer innovation and PID and explored possible linkages with PROFIEET activities.