Regional teams set out to revisit the 2023 plans through the lens of gender and social inclusions after the two-days workshop.

SWR Ethiopia-RAISE-FS project organized a Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) start-off workshop for about 35 individuals convened from the three regional RAISE-FS teams, regional team members from partner universities and research institutions, and their respective centers as well as the national research institute. The workshop was organized from December 31, 2022- January 01, 2023.

Haregewoin Yohannes, RAISE-FS project GESI Advisor,
introducing and opening the training workshop

This workshop aims at equipping participants with theoretical knowledge and practical skills on gender equality and social inclusion through linking analysis, action, and outcomes to close the key gender gaps.

Specifically, the workshop targeted to – 

  • Introduce basic concepts and methods to gender and social inclusion
  • Introduce factors of exclusion and intersectionality
  • Equip with gender and problem analysis skills pertinent to the agriculture sector
  • Demonstrate skill of developing GESI-integrated plans into the project plans.

Participants acknowledged that there are limitations in integration  of GESI in the agriculture sector. Some of the major reasons for this according to the workshop participants are the lack of practitioners’ and leadership commitment, limited coordination among stakeholders, and lack of gender budgeting. Participants also reiterated that GESI issues are usually left to donor funded projects.

The training mainly followed participatory approach and the methodology was based on adult learning principles. There were power point presentations followed by a detailed deliberation on questions, group work and plenary. The workshop exercises and activities were designed to  participants the chance to better comprehended and internalize the concepts presented and discussed.

The training participants came from diverse organisational units and role which led to varying levels of knowledge and exposure to GESI issues. To this end, the training was designed in a way that can provide all training participants a holistic understanding of gender equality and social inclusion concepts and skills in relation to the project context.

The two-days workshop went very well, and the participants were grateful that the workshop had been made more energetic and participatory. “The training was a remarkable one; I have learned a lot and promise to myself to do more and work harder…” said Dr. Musa Jarso, representative of Holeta ARC.

Some participants also commented that it would have been better if the training was scheduled prior to the 2023 planning session. For this, the training facilitators agreed and explained that there is still room to make further improvements to this year’s activity plans by looking at them from the perspectives of gender and social inclusion.

Following this, participants revisited their respective 2023 work plans to ensure gender equality and social inclusion issues have been addressed in all project outcomes and further reflected on possible actions and strategies to better integrate GESI in all project phases of the project.

Going forward, training participants suggested cascading this training content to the remaining project team members and other grassroots level practitioners like development agents and extension workers. It will help them integrate the gender and social inclusion lens in their services, thereby contribute towards an inclusive food systems transformation.

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