Food Security Capacity Building

Training of Trainers Workshop on Seed Security Assessment in the Sahel

A training of trainers regional workshop on Seed Security Assessment (SSA) was held in Niamey from 15 to 18 October 2014, to strengthen the capacity of the region in assessing seed security. Twenty-three practitioners working in the seed security sector gathered to interact with trainers and improve their theoretical and practical skills.

From March to September 2014, the project "Food Security Capacity Building" financed by ECHO supported basic training in seed security assessment. These trainings were organized in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad in preparation for country studies. In March, the Mopti region of Mali was the object of a seed security assessment, and similar exercises will be organized in the coming weeks in Chad, Niger and Burkina Faso.

This SSA training is the preliminary stage in creating a core of experts able to carry out SSA in the region, but despite being an important step, it could not fully meet the growing demand for expertise in the area. For this reason, the regional Training of Trainers was organized, to help build capacities and to build a critical mass of practitioners able to conduct high quality assessments.

From the 98 participants trained in the project’s four Sahelian countries, 23 were selected for the regional workshop to train trainers, which was held in Niamey, Niger, from 15 to 18 October, 2014. The same training was organized in the Horn of Africa two weeks earlier. A team of experienced trainers from FAO – composed by David Hampson (global advisor for accountability to affected populations), Lucio Olivero (expert of the FAO-AGP Seeds Group), the project manager, Roger Shongo Diowo (seed security expert) and Matthias Mollet (specialist in monitoring and evaluation) - facilitated this regional workshop.

The educational activities of the workshop were based on the methodology of adult learning, instructional demonstration and participatory training, with theoretical and practical sessions based on SSA training held in the countries.

This allowed participants to prepare for and conduct facilitation sessions, before receiving feedback on their performance from their peers and from facilitators in small groups. To enhance learning during these exercises, efficient planning and the use of appropriate tools was key. Special attention was given to group work because it generates the active participation of learners. Participants unanimously judged that their  performance in facilitation improved from one session to another; 0% said they had made ‘no progress’, 65% ‘satisfactory progress’ and 35% ‘excellent progress’.

Salif Fulani Sissoko, from FAO-Mali, summed up the challenges ahead: "To my fellow participants, I would just recall the commitment to make this training tool the lever for food security,  because I am convinced that food security can only be achieved through  quality seed".