On 21 May, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) convened a sharefair to share lessons, identify promising solutions and ultimately improve the impact of investments in water in the Ethiopia country program.

Participants arrived at the following conclusions:

  1. Partnerships:
    • Projects should ensure better integration between research institutions/researchers, tertiary institutions, and development practitioners
    • Projects can give voice to end-users; through activities and exposing their audiences at the regional and global level to the end-users
  2. Scaling up and out:
    • Engage the right actors from the beginning so scaling is part of the full process
    • Trust and effective communications between stakeholders and partners helps ensure research is used beyond the project cycle
  3. Challenges:
    • Limited local institutional and university capacity
    • Technical challenges in up-scaling; in some cases, the smallholdings are too small
  4. Innovations:
    • Combining traditional, new technologies; integrating new into existing systems
    • Engaging young professional workers into networks/projects

The NBDC team also helped organise this special event.

Read the final report of the Water Grants Share Fair as well as other materials presented

The January 2010 workshop was used to kick-off the CPWF Nile BDC research program. Thirty participants from the four NBDC projects joined the workshop. During the workshop, participants worked further on their output logic models and shared their thoughts on the main practice changes and corresponding knowledge, attitudes and skills changes and strategies that their projects aim to address.

Cross-project interactions and topics were identified and discussed, and project groups began work on their Milestones, modifying their Gantt charts as needed. Some of the main implementation cross-basin topics and possible ways to address these were discussed.  Throughout the workshop, participants got a sense of what the CPWF core values are, how the CPWF is implementing this new phase, and how it is different from the first phase concept.

The four NBDC projects have also developed matrices of cross-project overlaps, synergies, areas of sequencing and areas to work together. The teams also developed criteria for site selection within the sub-basin, namely Socio-economic status, RWM challenges, Agro-ecologies, Production systems, Market access, and Diversity of actors (type, numbers, etc.). Based on these criteria, three sites – Jeldu and Diga Woredas (Oromia regional state) and Fogera (Amhara regional state) were selected for landscape level detailed studies.

We also made inventories of other Nile Basin RWM related on-going initiatives, mapping them to our activities. Participants also shared their expectations from the learning ‘Nile 1’ project led by Doug Merry as most proposals designed their work plan with the assumption that there will be an inventory and synthesis of past lessons at the early stage of this phase.

Prior to the Inception workshop, the NBDC team conducted a pre-inception workshop to create a common understanding of the different Nile BDC projects and how they interact with each other and with similar external initiatives. It was also about creating strong linkages to produce the expected outputs and outcomes while efficiently using the available staff and budget.