Food Security Capacity Building

Horn of Africa Training of Trainers Workshop on Seed Security Assessment

National Seed Security Assessment training courses have been conducted in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan in preparation for conducting Seed Security Assessments (SSAs) at national level. A SSA was conducted in South Sudan earlier this year and an Assessment is currently on-going in Somalia. Further SSAs are planned for November in Kenya and Ethiopia.  

These activities are necessary but not sufficient to create sustainable capacity in SSA in the Horn of Africa region.  Effective training skills and experience are required in order to conduct training and lead assessments, and in recognition of this 25 participants from national SSA trainings were selected for a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop in Nairobi from 29 Sep. to 2 Oct. 2014. The design and facilitation of the workshop was a collaborative effort involving several project staff. The result was a highly successful 3 day workshop which incorporated principles of adult education, demonstration of participatory training and practical sessions for participants to practice their training skills using SSA training modules.

In the workshop, participants were able to enhance their training skills through presenting and reviewing various technical SSA training sessions. Each participant worked hard to prepare and present several training sessions, after which there were structured feedback sessions from other participants and ToT facilitators in working groups and plenary sessions. In order for real learning to happen, training sessions require planning, clear objectives, the right balance between lecturing and participation and effective time management.

The level of improvement in trainee performance during practice sessions and evaluations indicated a substantial learning and appreciation for the workshop. "Through the skills we gained, we now feel confident to pass on our knowledge to others" said Koiti Betty, a participant who works at UNKEA-South Sudan. Developing a cadre of SSA trainers and leaders in the Horn of Africa is a significant step in the capacity development needed to mainstream SSA. A similar workshop is being conducted in French in West Africa from 14-17 October 2014 in Niamey.