The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands organized its review and planning meeting in Addis Ababa from 30th October to 1 November 2013. The meeting aimed to review project progress and results, synthesize ongoing diagnostic work and agree outline work plans for 2013-2014 and general responsibilities of partners. Around 45 participants representing government partners from the local to the national levels, CGIAR partners and Africa RISING team in the Ethiopian highlands attended the meeting.

The first day focused on project updates including activities, actions from last planning meeting, actions from learning event, emerging findings, Partnerships, Monitoring and Evaluations and communications in Africa RISING.

Africa RISING Review and Planning Meeting ETH
Participants of the Africa RISING Ethiopia review and planning meeting (31 October– 1 November) participants (Photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu)

Since the aim of the meeting was to plan for the coming years participants also did a SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats) to help them look into the internal and external environment for better planning. Five groups were identified based on the work location of participants which were National, Oromia, Tigray, SNNPR and Amhara. The following were identified as key and  common among the various groups:


  •  International, national and local partners, technologies and experience
  •  Financial and logistics
  •  The combination of research and development in the project
  • The recruitment of  site coordinators
  •  Communication tools


  • Lack of joint field planning among partners
  • Weak M&E
  • The low incorporation of nutrition aspect in the project
  • Small area coverage
  • Less attention for livestock in demonstrations


  • Farmers awareness and participation
  • Existing government structure
  • Trained local partners
  • Diversified farming system


  • limited time availability of partners and high turn over
  • Too great expectations
  • Farmers resistance to adopt labor intensive technology

While reviewing what has been done so far, the focus was given to the diagnostic/characterization tools used in the project. Participants examined the approaches and results of each of the following tools:

  • Rapid market assessment survey tool (RMA) tool
  • Value chain mapping
  • Agro-ecological Knowledge Toolkit
  • Household Methodologies Approach
  • Participatory Community Analysis
  • Sustainable Livelihood Assets Evaluation (SLATE)
  • Rapid Telephone survey

The second day mainly focused on planning. Arising from the diagnostic work already completed or almost final, six broad thematic areas were selected as priorities for research. A detailed activity plan was developed for each. The six research areas are:

  1. Feed and forage development
  2. Land and water management
  3. Knowledge skills and capacity development
  4. Improved varieties and management of field crops
  5. High value crops
  6. Farming system integration

More  information on the review and planning meeting is available at http://africa-rising.wikispaces.com/ethiopia_planning_oct2013

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