This is Our Blog

Latest Posts: Scroll Down

Our takeaways from Market Systems Symposium 2019

Last April, F&S Ethiopia sent one of its team members, Victor van der Linden, to the Market Systems Symposium 2019 in Cape town, South Africa. We are pleased to present his blog post on the symposium.

By Victor van der Linden

The Market Systems Symposium 2019 is unique in the world as it unites practitioners from around the globe, and is focused on peer learning and exploring cutting-edge market systems thought and theory.

Prior to the Symposium, one-day trainings were organized. I participated in the YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYABILITY: Applying the MSD approach to labour market development training provided by Helvetas and focusing on Eastern Europe. Many useful parallels could be drawn with our own work on youth employment in Ethiopia for PerspActive. An interesting takeaway was the shift in mindset that has taken place, now seeing the employment sector as a market system and thus susceptible to market system development approaches. Also, the role TVETs, private sector companies and the media can play was especially inspiring.

The Symposium itself, which took place during 3 days, employed many different formats including plenary sessions, clinics and consultations to work on four main thematic areas: Adaptive Management, Market Systems Resilience, Application of Systems Thinking Beyond Agriculture, and Practical Application of MSD in Difficult Contexts.

The innovative formats and some very thoughtful facilitation allowed the participants to share their knowledge, to network among each other, but also get to know several organizations and their programs in a much more in-depth way than would have been the case in a standard conference. As MSD is very context specific the local reality of a project or program took center stage in the discussions.

F&S Ethiopia is involved as a technical partner in several MSD projects, among others in Ethiopia, on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya, and in the Eastern DRC. Hence, the application in difficult contexts (so-called thin markets with relatively few suitable market actors that can be employed for change) was of special interest and yielded some interesting lessons learned and best practices to take home to Ethiopia.

Another thing that resonated with our experience was the internal mechanics of MSD projects, including issues such as staffing, MEL system organization, and implementing practices. These should ideally be designed to allow for the much sought-after adaptive management that will create the necessary flexibility for successful implementation when working with non-traditional development partners in the private sector. This is an issue F&S Ethiopia encounters often, and which also comes up in the MSD work done by its mother company, F&S Consulting in the Netherlands.

F&S Ethiopia seeks to keep consolidating and broadening its knowledge on the MSD approach, to provide our clients with up-to-date practices and advice, and to realize our mission of assisting people in developing countries to improve their livelihoods.

Training Opportunity on “Gender in Agriculture Value Chains” – for Gender and Agriculture Development Practitioners

  • How inclusive are your development projects?
  • Would you like to equip your project staffs with contemporary practical tools to incorporate gender in all stages of value chain interventions?

Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia and AgriProFocus Ethiopia are pleased to organize an interactive training on “Gender in Agriculture Value Chains” that targets practitioners working on Gender and Agriculture sectors.

Training Course by: Angelica Senders, Gender in Value Chain Expert (Fair & Sustainable, The Netherlands)https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelicasenders/

Co-trainer: Meskerem Ritmeester (AgriProFocus Ethiopia, Country Network Coordinator) https://www.linkedin.com/in/meskerem-niesette-ritmeester-09213097/

The Training “Gender in Agriculture Value Chain” intends to support and encourage practitioners in integrating a gender perspective in agricultural

value chain development by providing practical tools for all stages of the value chain intervention. The training will refer to the Gender in Value Chain Toolkit produced and published by AgriProFocus. The toolkit is closely linked with other publications that resulted from collaboration within the AgriProFocus Gender in Value Chain Network.

Hence, this 5-day interactive training is specifically designed to provide efficient and practical knowledge for participants. Using the latest techniques, the participants will broaden their horizon in Gender in Agricultural Value Chain field and learn how to apply contemporary practical tools.

Registration Information:

Training venue: Bishoftu, Ethiopia
Total training Days: 5
Expected start Date: September 16th 2019
Training Fee: 600 Euro (including training materials, full accommodation, certificates)
Training Dates: 16th to 20th September 2019
Registration Closes on: 30th July 2019

To learn more on the content of the training, methodology and other details, please visit:. https://agriprofocus.com/gender-in-value-chains

To register for the training, use the following online link:

http://tiny.cc/uafe8y

For more information on specific issue: Hibiete Tesfaye, Senior Gender Consultant, Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia, Hibiete.Tesfaye@fs-ethiopia.com

Limited Seats! First come, first served.

 

Vacancy at F&S: Want to be part of our Team of Consultants?

F&S wishes to recruit a self-motivated, energetic and result-oriented consultant who will join and work together with a team of experienced national and international consultants.

Required Profile:

Qualification, competence in one of the following disciplines: Value chain development, agribusiness, investment (business) plan, market systems, livelihood systems, sustainable development, inclusive economic development.

Familiarity with themes: on agri. sectors – livestock, food crops, cash crops, horticulture; natural resource management, pastoralism, access to finance, labour market, youth employment, gender in value chains, entrepreneurship, etc.

Education: at least a master’s level in economics, agronomy, business management, rural development, or any related field.

Work experience: at least 10 years relevant experience, preferably in international organizations; with practical engagement in consultancy works.

Additional skills: IT, analytical/research, facilitation/training skills, presentation, excellent report writing

Attitude:  highly flexible, versatile, multi-tasked, client satisfaction, attention to quality, time consciousness.

Language: A very good command of English as working language; as well as Amharic. Proficiency in one the regional languages is a plus.

Women are highly encouraged to apply!

  • Deadline – 21 April 2019
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  • Motivation letter with a CV can be sent directly to assegid.gedamu@fs-ethiopia.com, with a copy to meskerem.bedilu@fs-ethiopia.com

Please find the full call advert HERE.

Gender in Coffee Value chain

Gender in Value Chains is one the products F&S has been devoted for years. Using customized and framed gender tools, F&S provides training, coaching, capacity building, and institutionalizing services in relation to gender aspects. Our root company in the Netherlands, Fair & Sustainable Consulting, has developed a number of gender mainstreaming and women empowerment tools in collaboration with various international organizations. And as a social enterprise and development aid firm, F&S has contributed a lot to the topic.

Earlier this year F&S Ethiopia was on Gender in Coffee Value Chain assignment in Jimma. Rain-Forest Alliance UTZ, with AgriProFocus Ethiopia, assigned us to provide a gender training on coffee value chain to introduce relevant gender tools in the sensitization workshop targeting selected coffee farms.

Management team members and representatives from the two coffee farms, representatives of Woreda level Women and Children Affairs bureaus of Oromia and SNNP regions, and relevant stakeholders attended the workshop. The objective of our assignment was to equip participants with effective gender approaches for further collaboration at farm level and to sensitize the level of awareness towards gender to the coffee farms and stakeholders.

UTZ sees gender equality as human right that has to be protected and promoted. Thus with gender equality UTZ understands that “men and women experience equal rights and opportunities and are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles or prejudices.”

Our gender experts Hibiete Tesfaye and Ayalew Abebe involved in this assignment.

On this Friday, the world will celebrate the International Women’s Day 2019, campaigning with a theme of #BalanceforBetter. It is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. F&S would like to express its commitment to continue working with all stakeholders to empower women and attain gender equality.

 


In the picture: is the gender tool originally developed by AgriProFocus and Fair & Sustainable Consulting, then translated in Amharic and adopted by Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia, AgriProFocus, and UTS. The tools depicts Women’s Economic Empowerment Framework.

Why a gender approach is good for workers, business and the sector: case from the Ethiopian Flower sector

Originally published at Fair & Sustainable Consulting

Conducted by Fair & Sustainable Consulting and Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia, funded by IDH and ICCO, and supported by FSI, BSR and EHPEA

At global level there is ample and increasing evidence that investing in the female workforce aligns well with business priorities, such as meeting productivity targets, maintaining a strong and stable workforce, increasing labor productivity, compliance with health and safety requirements, and improved worker engagement.

The question was whether such evidence could also be found in the Ethiopian floriculture sector, where gender interventions took place since 2014 by the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association (EHPEA) and the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), supported by IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative and the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI).

Therefore IDH decided to commission a study in the Ethiopian flower sector, co-funded by ICCO,  to test the hypothesis that Gender interventions (e.g. inclusive policies and practices) increase workers’ satisfaction and engagement (for women and men) and lead to changes in employee attitudes, behavior and work motivation, which leads to improved business performance of flower farms. 

Jochem Schneemann (teamleader) : “Based on our strong track record in Gender and value chains, IDH selected Fair & Sustainable Consulting (Netherlands) and Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia to conduct the study. We started preparations in February, and visited five farms in Ethiopia in May 2018. Our mixed team consisted of: Hibiete Tesfaye, Ayalew Abebe, Jingwei Ling and myself”.

Photo: Greenhouse, by F&S May 2018

Data collection was done in four ways: Interviews, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), exploring farm records through HR staff, and a desk review of available project documents and other relevant literature.

Jochem Schneemann: “It was great to hear from both women and men in the flower farms how the awareness raising and training on gender issues and role of gender committees have made a difference on the work floor, and also in their personal lives. Female workers feel more respected by colleagues and management, and are more confident to discuss sensitive topics also with their husbands and community members”.

The gender interventions by the EHPEA projects were found relevant and effective, as shown by the outcomes of the Most Significant Change method used by the F&S consultant team (see the quotes at the bottom). The good practices of the five farms leading to improved business performance were documented and serve for learning and sharing in the sector and even beyond. Those are summarized in the figure below.

The relationship between good practices and business benefits

Most farm owners and managers stated that the (gender) investments pay off, and most see gender interventions as rational and necessary for them to stay in business, not in the last place because the majority (up to 80%) of their workers is female.

We are grateful to IDH for the opportunity offered to us, and we are glad that IDH has published the results of the study in multiple ways: in an infographic (1 pager), a slide deck as well as the full report – for those interested in the details.

For more information please contact Jochem Schneemann: jochem.schneemann@fairandsustainable.nl

Cross-border MSD – Kenya/Ethiopia

Since October 2018, F&S has been undertaking an assignment on cross-border market system development project of CST at Kenya and Ethiopia border areas.

CST is alliance of UK based International NGOS, namely CAFOD, Trocaire and SCIAF. Its project aims to improve the livelihood of people in Borena and Marsabit. F&S is hired to conduct value chain and livelihoods assessments. Moreover, capacity building of field staff on Market System Development (MSD) is also our important task.

Currently, we have submitted our draft report after conducting a two and half day workshop introducing MSD in Nairobi and a field assessment at Marsabit. With regard to Borana, our activity is postpond to Febraury due to conflicts in the area.

 

Our consultants Assegid Gedamu and Victor van der Linden are involving in this assignment.

Contract Farming, concept and practices in Ethiopia

This publication from 2017 will provide you with insight on the Concept and Practice of Contract Farming in Ethiopia.

The objective of the publication is bring forward eight contract farming case studies made in Ethiopia on different agricultural value chains malt barely, chickpea, seed potatoes, sesame, bamboo, green beans, passion fruit, and sugar cane.

F&S Ethiopia contributed four cases on malt barley, bamboo, passion fruit and sugarcane. In collaboration with organizations and programs, such as LANDac, Change (C4C), SNV, Agriterra, and Ethiopia Netherlands Trade for Agricultural Growth programme of Wageningen UR (ENTAG), F&S produced a publication entitled “Contract Farming in Ethiopia: Concept and Practice”. Beside case contribution, F&S has engaged in fund mobilization and stakeholder’s involvement. The publication of the book was followed by a public event – panel discussion – participating relevant government officials and experts.

As a result of this assignment, F&S and its partners has contributed a significant input to policies relating to contract farming and rural development, particularly in providing applicable frameworks of contract farming and challenges in existing trends.

On behalf of all the partners, please find the online version of the book, which was printed in limitted copies, HERE.

Agricultural Innovators in Ethiopia – a publication from 2016

This is a publication done in 2016 entitled “Agricultural Innovators in Ethiopia: Lessons from the Food Security and Rural Entrepreneirship Innovation Fund”

As a secretariate of AgriProFocus Ethiopia, F&S has been involving in the FSRE Fund program, financed by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Addis and managed by ICCO Cooperation. Our involvement was mainly in the linking and learning component of the program which focuses in building the capacity of agricultural innovators and creating linkages among topics and value chains.

At the end of the program, by the end of 2016, we published the book mentioned above, depicting the main narratives of the program as well as informative stories of innovators.

The book can be downloaded HERE.

Action Research on Cooperatives’ practices at Ardaita College

F&S has been involved in the Nuffic’s Niche project supporting Ardaita College in different areas, including curriculum development and gender mainstreaming.

As part of the project, teachers of Ardaita College are conducting three Action Researches on existing trends of cooperatives. The focus area of their researches are gender, accountancy, and marketing practices of cooperatives. A scholar of applied science from Aeres University of the Netherlands, Professor Frank de Jong, in collaboration with F&S staffs in Addis, has been supporting the teachers on their researches since 2017. Our role in this particular action was helping the teacher-researchers with data collection, providing them digital data collection tools and related techniques.

Last week, we were in Ardaita with Professor Frank working with the teachers on data analysis and documentations.