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1. The Orientation and Training Process

1.1. Orientation with National Consultants in Addis Ababa
1.2. Training of the Field Teams in Mekelle

1.1. Orientation with National Consultants in Addis Ababa

The purpose of the first workshop in Addis Ababa was to work with the National Consultants to:

· Review the available secondary data on the project sites by sector;
· Discuss key concepts and approaches;
· Design the field appraisal.
Much of the preparation for the PRA training and the planning for the PRA itself was done during the Orientation in Addis. Through group work with the National Consultants, it was decided what tools to use, how to adapt them to the project's focus and how to make them gender sensitive, how to explore the key nutrition and food security issues during the PRA and what questions to ask. During the orientation, a design was developed for the thematic PRA to assess community perceptions of the causes of malnutrition and food insecurity and how people from different socio-economic groups deal with the problems related to these issues. The PRA will use the following methods:
· A range of different PRA tools (to be used with both separate focus groups of men and women within the community as well as mixed groups).

· Key informant interviews with key people in the community.

· Household case studies (semi-structured interviews) with households from different socio-economic groups to have a more in-depth understanding of perceptions of causes and coping strategies.

A tool package for the PRA was also developed. This includes:
· Information sheets for the various adapted PRA tools outlining a brief description of the tool, it's objective, key questions to be answered and guidelines for the facilitators. (Annex B, 2)

· A detailed documentation sheet for each PRA tool; (Annex B, 3)

· Checklists of questions to ask in key informant interviews; (Annex A, 8)

· A checklist of questions for the household case studies; (Annex B, 2.10)

· Evaluation and analysis sheets

The exercise has resulted in a basic training manual/package. One of the tasks for the HQ team (Ms. S. Sontheimer, Mr. K. Callens and Mr. B. Seiffert) is to pull this package together as soon as possible so that it can be translated and used for the PRA training and field work in Northern Shewa. The training package is attached as Annex A and B.

The HQ team also discussed the possibility of using this training manual as a basis for further development of a manual on participatory approaches to nutrition and household food security appraisal. Such a manual could be used not only in Ethiopia but also in other projects, especially if the broader experience from Zambia and other places is incorporated. This would ideally be a joint initiative of ESNP, SDAR and SDWW.

The HQ team provided the National Consultants with the following training material:

· IIRR Manual on How to Document and Record Indigenous Knowledge
· SEAGA field handbook
· Participatory Nutrition Guidelines
· Social Communication in Nutrition
· Training Manual Prepared by Karlyn Eckman for FAO
· Case study on Vitamin A deficiency by ICRW
· various other documents

1.2. Training of the Field Teams in Mekelle

The National PRA Consultant, Mr. Mekonnen Teferra carried out the training of the field teams with co-facilitation by Ms. Hirut Yibabe, Gender Consultant and the HQ team. During the training course, the International Team also worked on the preparation and planning for the PRA including all the work described above regarding the preparation of the materials. Each of the Reporting Officers also facilitated/lead at least one session of the PRA training.

The purpose of the course was to introduce the field teams to participatory methodology, and the specific use of the tools and methods that they would be using during the field appraisal. The agenda for the workshop and the list of participants is attached in Annex A 1. The trainees came from woreda, zonal and other field level positions in the project area and included health workers, agricultural extensionists, home agents, representatives of the women's association, etc. A few of the trainees had some PRA experience. They all had different levels of understanding of English, although all of them wanted materials in English that they could refer to. The training was conducted in Amharic. English was used when international team members facilitated. The National Consultants provided translation.

Only nine out of the 33 trainees were women. None of the women had previous PRA experience. It was generally agreed that they would play a very special role in the PRA since it was confirmed during the training that it is necessary to meet with women separately in order to create a space in which they can speak their views.

Although the facilitation of the field team training was very good, there was a general consensus that the duration (6 days) was far too short for a thematic PRA. This was especially true for a group with little experience in group-facilitation, the use of the PRA tools and the expectation that they should arrive at a good understanding of local perceptions of malnutrition and food insecurity.

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