For three days in October 2014, a group of 20 staff from nine Dutch embassies travelled through Ethiopia for a learning event. They reflected on Food & Nutrition Security (FNS) programmes in the countries they work in, shared experiences, and interacted with partners of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Addis Ababa. Wageningen UR, CDI organized the event.
Central question during the trip was “What is needed to ensure that Dutch supported food and nutrition security programmes reach the impact they strive for?”. The question was broken down in four smaller areas of enquiry. The key insights in these four areas have been documented in a collaborative process for internal learning. Three of these four brochures are publically available.
- Approaches to FNS programmes #1 - On Approaches for Food & Nutrition Security Programmes What can we learn from different approaches that Embassies use to achieve food security results?
- Scaling in FNS programmes #2 - On Scaling up of FNS Programmes practice to scale?
- Aid and Trade agenda #3 – On Aid & Trade in FNS Programmes. What are we learning in practice about Aid and Trade agenda?
- Result frameworks and reporting. What are consequences of results reporting? In other words, what changes because of it?[internal publication]
All this came from a three-day “Magical Mystery Tour” in a touring car along visiting good practices in Ethiopia. The 20 participants visited a seed cooperative supported by Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD), that works with a sector-wide inclusive approach that builds seed programmes upon a diversity of seed systems, an strengthens seed sector governance. They also visited CASCAPE, a multidisciplinary programme reaching over 18.000 farmers, focusing on innovating agricultural practices and bringing these new practices to scale. Finally, the embassy staff members visited AQ Roses in Ziway, where they saw how a Dutch floriculture entrepreneur is making a major contribution to economic development by creating over 1200 jobs, and runs a profitable business.
There were discussions with these partners on the type of support they need and expect from the Dutch embassy. Participants tried to understand what is needed to better capture the results and the lessons learned within the Dutch FNS programmes with its partners, and how to communicate these results and lessons to the general public and parliament.
A full version of this blog by Herman Brouwer (Wageningen UR, CDI) and Wijnand van IJssel (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is available at the Food & Business Knowledge Platform.