Emerging evidence show that interventions that can fully integrate multiple disciplines have greater potential to transform rural communities. However, in practice, issues related to youth, nutrition, gender and climate are often addressed separately. This affects the capability of our projects to fully meet their objectives and generate the desired outcomes.
Participant from Malian delegation at seed producer cooperative in Lemo Bilbilo District.
Photo credit: S. Samuel, CCAFS
Representatives from farmer’s organisations from southern African countries, from the Government of Mali and Ethiopia, IFAD project staff and donors recently participated in a one-week learning journey in Ethiopia, focused on transformative approaches to mainstream climate, gender, nutrition and youth. The purpose of the journey, organised by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and IFAD, was to learn and exchange on challenges and best practices to promote transformation approaches on mainstreaming climate change, gender, youth and nutrition into programming, as well as witness examples of rural transformation in Ethiopia.
Exploring pathways for transformative approaches in Ethiopia
At the Kulumsa Agricultural of Research Center, one of the many field visits, participants explored how private and public sectors could leverage climate services to bolster the resilience of food systems and agricultural livelihoods. ‘’It is great to see how they brought together young people into the promotion of improved technologies for smallholder farmers’’ said a participant from Madagascar’s farmers’ organizations.
At the fertile farm of Bekelech Belachew, a model female farmer, participants observed impressive water management and high biodiversity small-scale farming. ‘’Climate change does not affect both genders equitably. Here, she managed impressive results, always having something to harvest, while saving cash for herself and family,’’ said Judith Ruko from the Project for Restoration of Livelihoods in the Northern Region (PRELNOR) in Uganda, before questioning how the level of empowerment at household level can be replicated at the community level.
After the learning journey, participants came back to Addis Ababa to explore more in depth different approaches to achieve transformative outcomes. It was recognized that because there are many types of farmers, there are also differentiated pathways for transformation to happen. However, the most important is to have a common understanding and be able measure it.
In the words of Alex De Pinto from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), ‘’the concept of resilience for development can be key to connect these various components as it naturally combines the relations among human and natural systems. We shouldn’t change the nature of our interventions, but focus more on co-benefits and enhance capacities for better risk management”.