FAO Capacity Development

Strengthening capacities of youths in agriculture and their organizations in Africa in good capacity development practices


Youths, especially young farmers and their organizations, are vital to transforming agrifood systems and making them MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable. Young farmers organizations are well-positioned to mobilize and harness the passion and creative energy that youth can bring to the fight against hunger and achieve food security and nutrition goals, including the broader 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Young farmers organizations are natural partners in capacity development (CD) initiatives that target their members, networks, and communities. They, therefore, need to be empowered to be actively involved in the design, delivery, and tracking of capacity development interventions and results.

In this context, FAO and the Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) have developed and delivered a course on Capacity Development Approach for Strengthening Interventions at Country Level targeting youth and their organizations in agriculture and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa. The course was delivered via the Moodle platform in September and October 2022.

The course, adapted from the FAO Capacity Development Learning Module 1 (Capacity Development - Basic Principles) and Module 2 (Capacity Development - Programming) is delivered in 4 sessions -  Session 1: Capacity Development and Assessing the Situation introduces the concept of capacity development and carrying out a capacity assessment to inform the design of the CD interventions; Session 2: CD design: focuses on using the results/outputs of the capacity assessment to design the CD interventions to address the capacity gaps; Session 3: Tracking CD looks at monitoring CD interventions to see whether they are achieving results; and Session 4: CD cases gives participants and  opportunity to share their experiences on capacity development activities, initiatives or projects. 

A total of 117 participants successfully completed the course, and these included 62 (21 females and 41 males) participants from 11 countries in East and Southern Africa and 55 (25 females and 30 males) from 9 countries in West Africa.

The participants provided positive feedback on the course, and these include the following:

“Courses like that can change a lot of narratives and open the eyes on many aspects that we should take into account, no matter how big the initiative we are dealing with is”, Benedict Olawumi (Ghana).

 “…one key thing that helped me was to know further about capacity assessment, allowing me to understand what is needed and be able to know what kind of interventions I need to carry out”, Wilfred Byaruhanga (Uganda).

“This has been a completely different experience for me. I have been working on capacity issues before, but with this course I realized that I didn’t realize the importance of carrying out a Capacity Assessment. With this course, I feel I am a better project manager/implementer”, Waheed Oni (Nigeria).

“I know that when I come across any project that requires me to apply the skills I learned with this course, I will be able to do it properly”, Adowarim Lugu-zuri (Ghana).

 “…one of the main aspects that I learned was the importance of involving the community so that at the end of the programme it can proceed without external support”, Asuman Kyabise (Uganda).

FAO and ITOCA are planning a follow-up in the form of coaching a selected number of participants on the course to consolidate their skills in supporting and delivering impactful capacity development interventions at the country level.

Capacity Development, FAO, Youth, Youths, Africa, West Africa, East Africa

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