Catherine Pfeiffer facilitating the N3 partner meeting, April 2012 (Credits: ILRI/Catherine Pfeiffer)The Nile BDC project on targeting and scaling out rainwater management innovations (N3) recently held a partner meeting in Ambo.

Partners, including the Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), the Oromia Agricultural Research Institute (OARI) and the Ethiopia Rainwater Harvesting Association (ERHA) joined.

They discussed preliminary feasibility maps showing where each rainwater management practice is likely to be feasible and planned data collection, namely a farm household survey and focus group discussions to validate the maps.

In a first stage, participants selected four sites next to the existing three NBDC sites (Diga, Fogera and Jeldu) to help validate the new maps. The four new sites are: Shambu and Ambo district in Oromia region as well as the Gummera (Maksenit) watershed and Zefie (Debre Tabor) watershed in the Amhara region.

In a second stage, participants discussed data collection and used the happy strategies game.

Discovering the 'happy strategies' game at the N3 partners meeting, April 2012 (Credits: ILRI/Catherine Pfeiffer)

The participants decided to adjust the game to the particularities of the communities concerned, simplifying it and only focus on practices the community has knowledge of.

Participants also reviewed and shortened the relatively long farm household questionnaire that had been developed.

The N3 partners will be mainly responsible for data collection. Data analysis will be done in close collaboration between the partners and N3 team in order to allow some capacity building on statistical tools.

The N3 team is  looking forward to getting this important data and learn more from the study sites.

(By Mulugeta Habtemichael and Catherine Pfeifer).