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4. SWOT Analysis of the Preparatory Phase

Upon return from the training of the field teams in Mekelle, the Reporting Officers together with Mr. Mark Wijne, APO, prepared a “SWOT Analysis of the Preparatory Phase”. The analysis served as a starting point for a discussion on a possible re-direction of the preparatory phase so as to allow the project team to achieve the set objectives. For the purpose of the analysis, the objectives of the preparatory phase were defined as follows:

· To carry out a community-based identification and analysis of “opportunities and constraints to improving nutrition in the target communities”;

· To initiate a “participatory planning process” that in first instance should result in a project proposal acceptable to all concerned stakeholders and that as a matter of principle should be continued during the implementation phase;

Unfortunately, the extremely tight timetable of the training and fieldwork did not allow preparing the SWOT Analysis and Recommendations in time before the departure of the Reporting Officers from Mekelle. The Analysis and Recommendations could therefore not be discussed with the Team Leader and the National Expert, although salient points of the SWOT and the key recommendations were briefly discussed with the FAO Representative and later on further discussed and refined. The following table outlines the results of the analysis.


1. To finish within the currently proposed timetable (March 2000) suits the interest of the Ethiopian Government (MoA).

2. The objective of designing a participatory and thematic PRA with a focus on household food security and nutrition was achieved during the Orientation Workshop in Addis Ababa and the PRA Training in Mekelle.

3. The current timetable and agenda reflect the approved budget (although the budget revision is still outstanding) in terms of amount of funds required.

4. Given the development opportunities and innovative approaches offered by the project, the Ethiopian partners are highly motivated to start implementation as soon as possible.


1. The timing for carrying out all the planned activities in a technically satisfactory manner (i.e. Orientation Workshop, Training in Tigray and Northern Shewa, PRA Workshops, Analysis of PRA data, Participatory Planning and final Formulation of Project) is too tight.

2. The analysis of the PRA data is not participatory without the involvement of representatives of the regions and the PRA participants, which is not included in the current plan.

3. The planning and preparation of the project document is not participatory without the involvement of representatives of the regions and the PRA teams, which is not included in the current plan.

4. There is insufficient expertise and prior experience within the project team to ensure that a full integration of the various concerns and considerations from all sectors into a comprehensive and participatory “nutrition and household food security” project is achieved.

5. There is insufficient expertise and prior experience within the project team regarding ways and means of supporting participatory processes that are geared towards achieving improved nutrition and household food security from participatory problem analysis, through participatory planning, to implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

6. The agenda and timetable of the Preparatory Phase are too tight to achieve the set objectives, as activities have been tied to the team leader's limited availability rather than to technical requirements.

7. The agenda of the preparatory phase makes no provision for a substantive and effective HQs contribution to the project planning and formulation phase.


1. A Revision of the current Agenda and Timetable should be considered. This could involve: an extension of the PRA training in Northern Shewa to by one week to a total of two weeks; an extension of the PRA and consecutive Project Planning to a total of four weeks. This has obvious budgetary implications and may require additional funds that are not foreseen in the current budget. The Donor may be requested to advance funds from the existing global budget for the main phase of the project.

2. The active involvement of selected PRA facilitators, regional, zone and woreda staff and external resource persons in the analysis of PRA data and the subsequent planning will increase ownership, quality, trust and sustainability. This has budget implications.

3. The active involvement of PRA facilitators, regional, zone and woreda staff and external resource persons in the analysis of PRA data will strengthen institutional co-operation at this early stage of the project and facilitate the establishment of an adequate institutional frame work for the project. This has budget implications.

4. The Five Year Follow-up Project has already been agreed to among the three parties, BSF, FAO and GOE and overall envelope of funds has been approved by the donor for the implementation of a project in two Regions.

5. There is a common understanding among various team members of the need to change the timetable and agenda of the preparatory phase to achieve best results.

6. There is a keen interest from the FAO regular programme (ESNP, SDAR and SDWW) to contribute actively to the preparatory phase as it will contribute to the development of normative materials, guidelines, etc. based on the experience of the fieldwork. Specifically, it is proposed that a manual on Participatory Nutrition Projects be developed and prepared. Contribution of finance from the regular programme would partially offset additional technical backstopping needs identified.

7. The national nutritionist who participated in the Tigray training and PRA has been trained and could support the project during both PRAs. This has budget implications.

8. Depending on the outcome of the communication consultancy, it could be envisaged that a potential savings accruing from a reduction in work weeks of the communication consultant, could be reallocated to other activities and to fill the gap in the available budget created through above proposed revisions in the work plan.


1. The Regions are not sufficiently involved in PRA analysis and project planning.

2. The project document may not necessarily reflect true community priorities and opportunities if the preparatory phase, and in particular the analytical and planning phases, are to be carried out in the originally scheduled way.

3. Without active involvement of the Regions in the planning phase the Institutional Framework may not reflect the needs and capacities of the Regions.

4. The FAO Regional Office for Africa (Accra) might not agree to fundamental changes in the design of the Preparatory Phase.

5. The BSF might not agree to an increased allocation of funds for the preparatory phase.

6. The limited involvement of HQ Technical Divisions in project planning and formulation might affect the quality of the project document and compromise technical backstopping during the implementation phase.

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