Saturday, 19 December 2009
Below is an interview with me from the http://blip.tv/search?q=icco website.
Together with consultant Erica Wortel I did an evaluative study of the Programmatic Approach of ICCO, in which we consolidated the experiences with the approach. In October and November we studies a lot of literature on the approach, interviewed staff, management and partners and conducted a survey.
The study showed that a lot of progress has been made by ICCO in developing the Programmatic Approach. The approach is well appreciated by both staff and partners. Obviously, introducing a new approach has not been easy, in particular because ICCO has also gone through other important changes over the same period. On 15 December we presented our findings and conclusions to ICCO in Utrecht, which was well received.
More information about the ICCO Programmatic Approach can be found on https://proglearning.pbworks.com/ and http://www.icco.nl/delivery/westafrica/doc.phtml?p=programmatic-approach .
Monday, 7 December 2009
The Change Alliance is an emerging global network of organisations joining forces to increase the effectiveness of the multi-stakeholder processes with which they engage. Its aim is to help improve the quality of the design, dialogue, learning, and facilitation, on which these processes depend. The logic of the Alliance is that complex problems demand a new dynamic of how governments, citizens, business and civil society organisations work together. The Alliance functions by linking specific multi-stakeholder 'learning sites' with a global learning and knowledge sharing platform.
At Wageningen UR - CDI we have been at the foundation of the Change Alliance, together with the Generative Change Community, ICCO, SNV and IDS. Over the past two years we have invested a lot of time and energy to get the initiative off the ground. The Launch Event was the first reality check to see if there is enough interest to get the initiative going. Below an interview of Hettie Walters, chair of the Change Alliance foundation group about the importance of the Alliance.
The Launch event was very inspirational and has given the Alliance a real boost. We are looking forward to seeing concrete actions from people and organisations to share and learn about multi-actor engagement. More information about the change alliance, where you can also find out how to join the initiative: www.changealliance.org . More information about the Launch Event with more videos, pictures, background documents and reports can be found here.
Sunday, 29 November 2009
More information: http://apf-uganda.ning.com/
Agriculture is one of the key sectors of the Ugandan economy. Yet, evidence suggests that since 1997, the performance of the sector has not at all been optimal. Growth has been mixed while 70 % of Uganda’s population depend on agriculture for income and livelihood. Besides, with current population growth rates, food insecurity regularly hits 12 milion Ugandans.
To boost the sector a focus on farmer entrepreneurship is key. Challenges include: poor access and adoption of new technologies, inadequate marketing capacity, limited access to affordable finance, sub-optimal organisation framework for farmers, and inadequate infrastructure. HIV/AIDS, gender and youth issues, environment and climate change pose challenges to the development of the sector.
Dutch NGOs, finance agencies and knowledge institutes - united under Agri-ProFocus – are now joining hands to stimulate the enhancement of farmer entrepreneurship in Uganda. This initiative is led by SNV Uganda and supported by Wageningen University Centre for Development Innovation, Oxfam Novib, HIVOS, Cordaid, Oikocredit, Solidaridad, the Royal Tropical Institute, PUM, Heifer and Agriterra in addition to their local partners.
Agri-ProFocus stands for:
- Agricultural producer organisations in developing countries are key to economic development and poverty reduction.
- Promoting farmer entrepreneurship through cooperation, exchange and learning is the goal of our partnership.
- Focus is on four themes: value chains, financial services, sustainable food production and gender.
Through their partner networks Agri-ProFocus members have a fair level of presence on the development scene in Uganda. They are involved in areas such as financial services, food production, value chain and market access, knowledge and research, organisational and institutional development.
To develop a joint vision on how work together, Agri-ProFocus held a multi-stakeholder workshop at the Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel in Entebbe. From 18 to 20 November close to 70 representatives from all over Uganda including, business development services, farmers organisations, researchers, NGOs and private sector representatives got together to come up with a clear strategy on:
- how to harmonise existing programmes;
- crucial joint activities to address gaps in the sector;
- ways for more continuous exchange and learning.
The event was opened by SNV Uganda and the Dutch Embassy and was supported from the government by Professor Otim, presidential advisor on Prosperity for All. Throughout the three days, a lot of active group work was combined with presentations from UNFFE, Pelum Uganda, Ssemwanga Group and CICS.
Perspectives on Farmer Entrepreneurship: some key quotes from the workshop
Working towards Joint Victories
- An integrated and harmonized market information system accessible for farmers;
- Improved accessibility of financial services to farmer organizations and other value chain actors;
- Identified best practice as regard building economically viable farmer’s organizations;
- Joint policy work to enhance agricultural policy in Uganda;
- Strengthened links between service provision and farming system development based on farmer led research.
Expectedly within these priorities a number of specific value chains will be targeted, such as coffee, dairy and food crops. Over the next months the Agri-ProFocus Uganda network will take off. Responsibilities are with small coalitions to take the lead on the above ‘Victories’ Participation in this network is open to all organizations which feel they have a relevant contribution to make towards the agenda for strengthening farmer entrepreneurship in Uganda.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
From 7-25 September I facilitated the yearly international course on Multi-Stakeholder Processes and Social Learning at Wageningen International. We had a great group of 30 participants from 12 countries and various sectors. They were all practitioners in multi-stakeholder engagement, from government, private sector, NGOs or science fields.
The first week focused mostly on concepts, theories and tools for analysing and facilitating multi-stakeholder processes. The participants used their own cases for extensive analysis, discussion and sharing.
In the second week, we deepened some of the issues and applied learning in different ways. A role play was done about multi-actor conflict in natural resource management and we also organised a seminar about the interface between research and policy within the context of multi-actor processes.
The last week included a field research about multi-stakeholder visioning and planning in rural Friesland, the north of the Netherlands. The participants studies a process of village visioning around issues of spatial planning in which local villages, municipalities and provincial government all worked together.
At the end of the course each participant went on to make a personal action plan to implement the learning in their own organisations or multi-stakeholder processes.
Again, it has been a worthwhile experience with dedicated participants and a great course faculty. Below an animoto video with our experiences of the three weeks. Enjoy!
Saturday, 19 September 2009
We started using it at Wageningen International to make a video for the new website of the Change Alliance (see below), and I soon got the hang of it. It is so easy you won't believe it. You can make short (30 sec) clips for free (see example on the YPARD post) and at a low subscription fee clips up to 10 minutes.
An exciting tool! Try it: (https://animoto.com/sign_up and use referral code "islkvcbg") .
Saturday, 1 August 2009
YPARD is an interesting and exciting network with an important cause. It has some 1400 members from all over the world (mainly in developing countries). This week I facilitated the development of a new strategic plan that will focus the operations of the organisation over the coming years. It was a vibrant meeting in Rome (hosted by FAO) in which we tried to balance the needs of young professionals in developing countries and the goal of lobby and advocacy. The draft strategic plan that we produced will now further be development and is to be used as a business plan for fundraising and management.
I have quickly become a member of YPARD myself - a great cause (and it's free!), just go to their website .
Some impressions from the planning workshop:
Thursday, 2 July 2009
At the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) Wageningen UR has initiated a support programme for climate change adaptation in Eastern Africa in 2008. In partnership with ASARECA, IUCN – EARO and RUFORUM we held a scoping workshop and follow-ups in to see how to respond to capacity building needs. The focus was on capacities needed to better integrated climate change adaptation responses into agricultural, rural development and natural resources policy processes. The initiative led, among others, to the development of a new training course in 2009, implemented by the partnership, in collaboration with HoA-REC at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
For me this was a completely new territory, and a very exciting one. Together with my colleague Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga we developed a very comprehensive course that tried to bridge the gap between science and policy on climate change adapation in East Africa.
The regional training on Climate Change Adaptation in agriculture and NRM took place from 15 to 26 June 2009 in Addis Ababa. It was attended by 26 participants from Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Participants were drawn from universities, agricultural research institutes, non-governmental organisations and government departments. I facilitated the course with Catharien, and Dr Mekuria Argaw from Addis Ababa university, complemented by presenters and lecturers from various universities and institutes.
The course covered a variety of topics related to climate change adaptation. As always, we used very interactive training methods. Experiences of participants were the entry point for interaction – and participants brought in their own examples of climate change hotspots that were used for joint analysis. The course included field work to practice vulnerability assessment and an interactive seminar with policy makers to discuss and refine strategies for policy development and programming on Climate Change.
It was a great experience to be in Ethiopia, working on this topic. The curriculum we developed for this course is a great mix between 'content' topics on climate change adaptation, vulnerability and sustainable development, and 'process' topics such as stakeholder analysis and policy development. We will deliver the same course again in East Africa in March 2010 and plans are underway to extend the capacity building programs to other continents. Exciting! More information: course report.
Friday, 10 April 2009
In May 2008 a 4-day course was facilitated with senior advisors and portfolio
coordinators. In August 2008 a 4-day follow-up was conducted focused on a
value chain approach to MSPs. This course in 2009 is the last one in the
series and included another group of SNV advisors from 3 sectors and 4
This training introduced the concepts and practice of how to facilitate change
processes through a MSP approach as understood and practiced by
This last MSP course as part of the learning programme for SNV Uganda that
started in 2008 was mainly focused at consolidating the capacity on MSPs in
SNV Uganda. It involved a group of advisors that has been working on MSPs
before, but did not take part in previous courses. It allowed for the
development of a common language and approach to Multi-stakeholder
It has been a rewarding programme to work with SNV and I hope the relationship will continue to grow.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
From 9-20 February I co-ordinated the 'local governance for rural development' course in Wageningen. This was a 2-week course, which Wageningen International has organised with the Royal Tropical Institute in French for several years. This year we organised the course in English for the first time, with an audience of 27 participants from 11 countries.
Focus of the course is governance as multi-stakeholder processes for institutional strengthening. The past decade has seen a growing interest in the role of governance in stimulating development and poverty reduction. Private sector organisations are increasingly addressing issues of governance internally and in their relations with other actors. Within the public administration it results in institutional reforms, such as decentralisation, and the outsourcing of public services.
This has led to the understanding that local governance for rural development should be addressed as a multi-stakeholder process with interactions taking place at different levels amongst actors with different ambitions or perceptions. Particularly, the role of local governments is growing with their success being measured in terms of responsiveness and accountability to citizens; improved service delivery; its leadership in promoting pro-poor economic development; and its capacity to negotiate with the private sector, NGOs, local authorities and central government. These changes challenge the actors involved to develop new “institutions” – formal and informal norms, procedures and practices, accountability relations – in order to adjust to new functions and challenges in society.The course included sessions on defining good local governance; exploring institutional trends such as new public management, decentralisation and the implications for local governance; multi-stakeholder and institutional analysis and change processes; local governance planning; the role of civil society; performance measurement and accountability; participatory budgeting; negotiation, power and conflict. The course also included a mini-seminar on pro-poor local economic development. It very much focused on actual situation participants worked in: their countries and the institutional context of governance, challenges of governance they face etc. Participants also developed action plans to apply the learning in their organisations. The course was very well received and participants have started an active yahoo-group to keep each other informed about the different things happening after the course.
Another course on local governance and rural development is scheduled in February 2010.
Friday, 30 January 2009
From 19-30 January I facilitated a two-week training on Multi-stakeholder Processes for SNV advisors in Albania. This was the third MSP training for SNV in the Balkans, after Bosnia-Herzegovina (December 2007) and Montenegro (November 2008). The training was attended by 13 participants from SNV in Albinia, coming from three different portfolio teams and three sectors (Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry).
The training covered the usual content of concepts, frameworks and tools for MSP facilitation. But on top of this, the training included 'fieldwork' of the participants: actual facilitation of multi-stakeholder meetings with SNV clients.