Learning for improved performance in IFAD projects in Ethiopia

Dr Robson Mutandi opens the workshop
The IFAD Ethiopia Country Office hosted a knowledge management and learning (KM&L) workshop on 10th -12th June 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was an opportunity to gather IFAD supported projects in Ethiopia to take stock of ongoing KM&L activities.

Robson Mutandi, Country director and Regional Representative for Ethiopia, Angola and South Sudan, opened the workshop.  He encouraged the 20 staff of projects gathered at the workshop to use the learning experiences to ‘skyrocket’ people’s lives by successfully investing in agriculture, adopting best practices and lessons learned to empower the rural poor. He urged participants to adopt what they have been learning from exchange visits, and develop a culture of sharing. “We have to come out of the culture of doing things alone, and learned to share. There is nothing that is not shareable,” said Mutandi. 

The Knowledge Management System
During the workshop, the participants identified challenges and opportunities to improve sharing, learning, and exchange for improved project implementation.  The workshop, supported by IFADAfrica, was held as part of the grant’s in-country support towards facilitating knowledge management and learning integration in projects.  Participants, majority of whom had never participated in KM&L workshops, were introduced to the “wheel of knowledge” an integrated framework, which was used to identify opportunities to use knowledge management tools in specific areas - information management, internal and external communication, learning oriented monitoring evaluation and to encourage innovations and experimentation - for improved project implementation.

Miriam Cherogony, the IFADAfrica Knowledge Management Coordinator shared valuable experiences from the East and Southern Africa region to inspire future action on KM&L action plans developed by project teams during the workshop. Importantly, she challenged projects to take initiative and adopt new implementation approaches having participated in learning exchanges nationwide and in the region.

Participants were keen to discuss how they were going to strengthen monitoring and evaluation activities and find innovative ways to capture qualitative impacts of their projects. They further shared on the tools to improve KM&L including tips on photo captioning, designing key messages for communication, writing case studies and future stories, and documenting best practices and lessons learned amongst many other tools.

Robert Ouma facillitates the workshop
As participants made their personal commitment to undertake a future knowledge management activity, they all left the workshop ready to implement activities with a new awareness of ideas, plans and multi-media tools. Participants commented that they enjoyed the method of facilitation and found the training materials useful. With a clear understanding of what knowledge management and learning is about, IFAD projects looked forward to changing implementation approaches for better results.   

Miriam Cherogony awards Habte Mebre with a certificate of participation at the workshop

Workshop participants