The Agriculture Knowledge, Learning, Documentation and Policy Project: Five Year Final Report January 2014 - December 2018
THE AKLDP PROJECT 2014-2018
The USAID/Ethiopia Agriculture Knowledge, Learning, Documentation and Policy (AKLDP) project was implemented by the Feinstein International Centre (FIC), part of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Using their extensive experience in Ethiopia, the FIC ensured that research knowledge in agriculture and related sectors was presented in a format that could be used by farmers, policymakers and development workers.
Based in Addis Ababa, the AKLDP project was led by a team of people, including specialists in agriculture, livestock, food security, capacity development, marketing and value chains—as well as specialist support staff. Over the timeframe of the Project an additional consultants were contracted for specific tasks.
The AKLDP project provided high quality research, policy advice and training programs for the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the development and humanitarian sectors. During its lifetime the Project worked with or supported over 180 partners including research institutes, UN agencies, international NGOs and the private sector.
As part of the United States Government Feed the Future portfolio in Ethiopia, the Project’s overall objective was increased agricultural growth with resilience through improved famers’ incomes, strengthened markets, greater food security and improvements in household nutrition. The AKLDP Project supported Feed the Future’s Implementing Partners with high-level coordination, technical support and research-based evidence.
Improvements were made to initiatives and programs focused on crop and livestock research, agricultural extension and the use of technology, agricultural production and processing; as well as cross-cutting issues of nutrition, job opportunity creation and gender-equity.
Focusing on the GoE’s strategic priorities within its agriculture development led industrialization strategy, its macro-economic plans such as the Growth and Transformation Plan and its Agricultural Growth Program (AGP), the core activity of the AKLDP project was providing collaborative support within existing government frameworks.
The Project staff were invited onto task forces and committees within the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agriculture Transformation Agency and other key institutions. Throughout the Project they continued to provide rapid and succinct analysis either as verbal briefings or in written formats. The Government has now recently established additional forums for discussing policy, strategy, program and institutional issues.
To share new thinking, lessons learned and emerging good practice, the Project brought together agriculture sector policy makers, researchers, plant/animal breeders, project implementers, extension workers and private sector traders and processors into thematic collaborative working groups. These groups are now largely self-sustaining and scaling up good practice.
The AKLDP specialist team and consultants were asked by USAID and others to undertake comprehensive reviews or evaluations of ongoing or completed projects in the agriculture sector. Government requests included detailed research or help with strategy development, for example on Public-Private-Partnerships, Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture and Gender Equity. The Project also supported the MoA effort to improve its planning, monitoring and evaluation system.
In response to the major El Niño related drought that began in the Project’s second year (2015), considerable effort went into supporting the humanitarian sector in Ethiopia with climate data and forecasts, harvest predictions, grain prices and other food security and livestock sector recovery advice and information. The AKLDP’s work in the disaster risk management activities of the agriculture sector received widespread praise.
The AKLDP project’s capacity building Grant Program supported eight major research projects led by consortiums from Universities/Research institutes/ Partner agencies. Two of the research projects have progressed into the implementation/scaling up phase, leveraging additional funding and engagement with further partners.
The Project attended, funded, facilitated or provided advice to approximately 180 meetings, workshops and conferences during its five years. The Project website represents a valuable resource with its knowledge-based products, including the Policy Briefs, Technical briefs and Field Notes that were widely disseminated to provide information and facilitate changes in practice.
This final report provides an outline of the AKLDP team’s core achievements over its five years of operation. A set of annexes covers additional information including: a summary of achievements against the work plan; the extensive list of development partners that participated in or benefitted from the work of the AKLDP project; its core staff and consultants; and the key documentation produced during the lifetime of the Project.
The policies and improved practice adopted as a result of AKLDP’s research and engagement with the agriculture sector in Ethiopia are set to continue; helping the GoE to realize its productivity targets and USAID to improve food and nutrition security across Ethiopia through more resilient agricultural growth. The GoE recently acknowledged and appreciated the AKLDP Project’s contribution in a letter written to the USAID-Ethiopia Mission.