PENHA Continues to Work with Emerging Academic Institutions in Ethiopia
PENHA research and networking activities in Ethiopia have increased over the last six months. The following activities and achievements related to the Social Protection for Inclusive Development in Afar of Ethiopia (SPIDA) and related activities can be highlighted:
During February – March Mr. Bereket Tsegay PENHA interim director and SPIDA researcher and grant administrator was able to travel to Ethiopia and closely work with the local consortium member of the Adigrat University. During his visit, a comprehensive Year II planning review session was conducted and also in collaboration with the other researchers played key role in producing the Afar Participatory Rural Appraisal report.
Dr. Zeremariam Fre PENHA senior advisor and SPIDA consortium leader visited Ethiopia during April-May and in collaboration with Ethiopian partners has achieved the following:
SPIDA Household Survey
Completion of the quantitative data collection which involved more than 1,500 interviews in several districts in the Afar Regional State in Eastern Ethiopia. The collected data has now been coded, entered and analysed by SPIDA members at the Adigrat University in Ethiopia with the aim of producing a comprehensive report by the end of July. Three of research papers have been produced by the SPIDA team to date so far have been peer reviewed and will be published before the end of the year.
Members of the SPIDA team also spent two weeks in Samara the administrative capital of the Afar meeting with local government officials, NGOs, UN agencies and Samara University and in cooperation with such partners organized a day partner engagement workshop to create a forum for knowledge sharing and exchanges.
The consultative workshop of the SPIDA Research consortium and regional stakeholders on Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) in the Afar Regional State took place at Samara University, Samara, the capital of Afar regional state, Ethiopia on 3rd May 2017. The workshop was co-organized by the SPIDA research Consortium (consisting of Adigrat University, University College London - UCL and PENHA), Samara University and the Disaster Prevention and Food security program (DPFSP) of Afar Regional State.
· The primary aim of the workshop was to engage with policy makers, academics and NGOs through knowledge exchange and mutual learning, thus increasing the participation of relevant stakeholders and enhancing the validity of the SPIDA study outcomes.
· The second objective was to prepare for the forthcoming national conference in November 2017 by directly engaging with the policy makers, academics and other actors at the Afar State level and nationally in Ethiopia.
· The third objective was for the SPIDA researchers to collect additional (published and unpublished) information on the PSNP from the various stakeholders in order to fill in any knowledge gaps in the present SPIDA study.
The workshop was attended by the SPIDA research team members, government authorities from different sectors of Afar region, Samara University staff and some NGOs. In total 25 representatives attended. The SPIDA team was able to share the preliminary findings of the SPIDA study from the first year and the representative of the DPFSP of Afar Regional State has also presented his reflections on the experiences of the PSNP implementing agencies, the gaps identified during its implementation and the actions taken so far to address such gaps.
Technical Capacity Development for Samara University
In the spirit of building future partnerships between UCL, PENHA and Samara University in the Afar Region in Ethiopia, Dr. Zeremariam Fre at the invitation of Samara University, organized a one lecture under the theme of: Understanding the global funding situation and basic fundraising techniques. The main contents of the training included:
Having a greater understanding of how to mobilize resources for scientific research and the emerging challenges confronting resource mobilization; being familiar with the ongoing transformations and paradigm shifts in the agricultural research development and having a basic understanding of proposal writing. In total 27 senior and middle ranking staff members attended the training. All of them appreciated the training and requested for such training to be conducted in various other fields to strengthening the capacity of the Samara University.
Samara University senior officials also expressed their desire to formalize the partnership between PENHA-Samara University and University College London (UCL). A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is currently discussed between the parties and will be signed in the nearest future.