Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) – Amhara Unit in Ethiopia held a one day workshop to promote institutionalization of Crowd Sourcing (CS) and Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS) approaches in Amhara Region. Following its two years experiences in CS and PVS, the programme activities in 2019 focus on institutionalizing best practices and developing strategies towards sustainability and ownership. Overall the workshop was instrumental and a success to share ISSD two years experiences, provide intensive training on CS, PVS, gender and layout and design practice on ClimMob software, plan together next year’s CS and PVS, reach consensus built on the technical backstopping anticipated from ISSD and sign a memorandum of understanding with relevant stakeholders.
The strategy designed to guide the activities in the coming year was conducted with research center directors, university research and community vice presidents and BoA deputy heads and other relevant stakeholders.
Following presentations on CS and PVS experiences in 2017 and 2018, lessons learned and challenges encountered in the implementation process; an in-depth discussion was held on “how to institutionalization”. Even though there was great reluctance and reservations to continue CS and PVS without the support of ISSD, consensus was reached for ISSD and BoA to build on supporting the stakeholders through small grant and capacity building activities until they are capable to run the activities independently. Universities and research centers took the responsibility of cascading the activities with minimal support from ISSD until the end of this year. BoA also promised to support universities and research centers through uplifting CS activities into more woredas.
A memorandum of understanding between ISSD Amhara unit, research centers and universities was signed on next year’s CS and PVS activities. Training was also provided by ISSD-Amhara unit and the Programmer Management Unit (PMU) on ClimMob software, CS, PVS and gender and how to design trails for university and research center focal persons.
At the end, ISSD assured it commitment to support facilitation and provide consultation while partners fully implement the planned activities. A total of 25 participants representing WoA, universities, research centers, BENEFIT projects attended the institutionalization workshop.