A key activity in the “Scaling Up Local Capacity to Innovate for Food and Nutrition Security” (SULCI-FaNS) project’s calendar for 2020 was a training in Participatory Innovation Development (PID) for partners from francophone and anglophone countries, namely Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana and Kenya. This project is a follow-on to the “Promoting local innovation for Food and Nutrition Security” (Proli-FaNS) project that was implemented in the period 2016–19 in these countries.
The PID training workshop in English for partners from Ghana and Kenya took place in Tamale, Ghana, on 3–8 February 2020. The participants included three (2 women and 1 man) from Kenya and five (1 woman and 4 men) from Ghana. The training was co-facilitated by Chesha Wettasinha of the Prolinnova International Support Team (IST) and Zimi Al Hassan from Prolinnova–Ghana. Zimi, who was a trainee at the PID training held in Kenya in 2017 at the start of the Proli-FaNS project, took on the role of co-facilitator, bringing valuable experience from Proli-FaNS implementation into the training for SULCI-FaNS. In addition, Djibril Thiam from Prolinnova–Senegal joined the workshop especially to get acquainted with the training content related to gender in PID, so that he could use/adapt the material for the francophone PID training later in the month. Djibril was a great asset to the training workshop, as he brought valuable inputs from Prolinnova–Senegal’s experiences.
Participants in the anglophone PID training in Tamale, Ghana (Photo: Joe Nchor)
The participants in the training had different levels of knowledge and skills in the PID approach – some were very new to the concept whilst others had been engaged in the previous project. This called for finding a good balance of “going back to basics” with “diving deeper into the topics”. It was an intensive workshop with a lot of content to be covered within a week. But the participants were very motivated and supported the facilitators in achieving the objectives jointly agreed on.
This was the first time that the trainers introduced the “Guidelines for Gender Analysis for Local Innovation Development”, a tool that was developed with support from FAO in 2018–19. The intention of the guidelines is to enable field practitioners in agricultural research and development to be more gender responsive in facilitating farmer-led innovation development.
A highlight of the training was the field assignment in Bongo Village in the Upper East Region. Participants could interact with the community and get first-hand information on local innovation related to food and nutrition security, discuss gender issues in relation to local innovation and PID, and generate ideas for improving PID processes.
Trainees discussing local innovation and PID with community members in Bongo Village (Photos: Chesha Wettasinha)
At the end of the workshop, the participants worked in two country teams to draw up training plans for field-site staff and farming community members. The PID training workshops at the action-learning field sites was scheduled to take place by the end of March in both Ghana and Kenya