First training of trainers workshop in Ethiopia

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Thirty-one senior staff from government ministries, departments, and agencies, plus universities, NGOs, think tanks, and United Nations agencies in Ethiopia recently completed a new training of trainers (ToT) program on food systems developed by the CGIAR Research Initiative on Sustainable Healthy Diets through Food Systems Transformation (SHiFT) and the Ministry of Agriculture in Ethiopia.

The ToT program in Ethiopia builds on a new Food Systems Manual, an initiative led by the Ministry of Agriculture to provide a single, coherent resource for everyone working on food systems in the country. While the Manual focuses on helping stakeholders understand ‘what is a food system,’ the ToT program focuses on building stakeholder awareness on how to steer food systems transformation towards sustainable healthy diets. The program is designed to build skills in three areas:

  • How to conduct a food systems analysis to local food system challenges in Ethiopia;
  • How to build and maintain effective multi-stakeholder collaborations to implement Ethiopia’s food systems transformation roadmap; and
  • How to facilitate institutional or organizational changes that support the envisioned outcomes of Ethiopia’s food systems transformation roadmap.

The workshop was only one step for participants in the ToT program. Before the workshop, some participants completed an e-course on Food Systems Governance, which was developed by WCDI as part of SHiFT, and all participants attended a webinar. Both the e-course and webinar introduced key concepts of food systems transformation and the tools to conduct food systems and multi-stakeholder analysis. At the workshop, participants applied what they had learned to locally contextualized case studies and engaged in participatory exercises and discussions to learn from each other.

Like any ToT program, the ambition is for the participants to replicate what they have learned and teach other food systems actors in other locations across Ethiopia with the same curriculum and materials used in the workshop. Before they start cascading the ToT program, the Ministry of Agriculture is using the expert trainers to lead awareness creation training courses. One course for the private sector was offered on June 22, 2024, and a second course for youth organizations was conducted on June 29, 2024.

The training workshop was held April 17-19, 2024, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Members of SHiFT, Krista Kruft, Sr. Advisor Multi-Stakeholder Collaborations, and Katherine Pittore, Advisor Food and Nutrition from Wageningen University and Research facilitated the workshop with support from Belay Terefe Mengesha, SHiFT Country Coordinator, from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT. The training workshop followed a design workshop, which was held in October 2023 also in Addis Ababa.

The International Food Policy Research Institute and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT lead SHiFT in close collaboration with Wageningen University and Research and with contributions from the International Potato Center. SHiFT combines high-quality nutritional and social science research capacity with development partnerships to generate innovative, robust solutions that contribute to healthier, more sustainable dietary choices and consumption of sustainable healthy diets. It builds on CGIAR’s unparalleled track record of agricultural research for development, including ten years of work on food systems and nutrition under the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health

Header image: Participants in the first training of trainers (ToT) workshop apply food systems and multi-stakeholder analytical tools to a food systems case study in the April workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo by Belay Terefe Mengesha/the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.

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