On April 4, 2018, the Tufts University Growth through Nutrition Activity team hosted a half-day inaugural meeting at Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa for the newly established Project Research and Learning Working Group. This technical working group was initiated by Tufts under Growth through Nutrition to enhance capacity, collaboration and dissemination for learning and knowledge among muti-sectoral nutrition projects in Ethiopia.
The initiative for the working group came from the research and learning landscape assessment conducted by Tufts during the first year of the project (2017), which indicated the presence of many project and organization level efforts to incorporate learning and knowledge management into their work. Despite this trend, there was a clear lack of a platform for supporting these efforts across projects and sectors. Thus, the establishment of the Technical Working Group presents an opportunity for collaboration among projects to share challenges, best practices, leverage resources, and benefit from collective learning and practices.
The initial meeting brought together several project heads and experts in research, learning, and knowledge management for the nutrition, WASH, health, and agriculture sectors to discuss the proposed operational terms and structure for the group.
Growth through Nutrition’s Chief of Party, Mr. Dan Abbott, offered a welcoming speech, followed by opening remarks from Dr Tigereda Kifle, Deputy Director General for EPHI. Dr. Tsgereda praised the initiative of establishing the Learning Group and expressed the commitment of EPHI to collaboration and support the platform.
Tufts’ Senior Learning Advisor, Rahel Gizaw, presented the terms of reference (TOR) drafted for the group, which was then followed by an interactive discussion and feedback from participants.
The following conclusions and action points were reached from the active discussion session:
- Refine the ToR with clear consensus on the added value of the platform in view of avoiding duplication of efforts and complementing existing platforms. Moreover, the platform should feed into national platforms i.e. FMOH- RAC, EPHI – Monitoring & Evaluation and Research Steering Committee. The core membership will consist of Feed the Future projects, but may also be open to other relevant projects as needed.
- Select Co-Chair, small technical committee members and secretary for R & L Platform
- Tufts will share the revised version of the TOR with participants within two weeks’ time
- Tufts will consult with USAID on whether to include relevant non-USAID funded projects
At the end of the meeting, the Jhpiego team used the gathering as an opportunity to promote internship programs for the new graduating students in nutrition fields. Accordingly, Mesfin Goji, Project Manager at Jhpiego discussed the benefits of internship programs and opportunities for youth and called for participants to participate in the program.
The meeting concluded by scheduling a follow-up meeting for the next quarter.
By Delila Tesfaye and Yared Lemma