In March 2022, the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) partnered with IIRR in an effort to institutionalize Field Schools in the Eastern Africa region. IIRR was engaged to provide technical support to the Eastern Africa Field School (EAFS) Support Hub in their production of two knowledge management products, namely a booklet of documented case stories and Field School activities by investment programs in Eastern Africa, and a catalog of FS applications in Eastern Africa.
The IIRR team led Master Trainer (MT) experts and Field School (FS) Practitioners through virtual write shop clinics to equip them with documentation skills. This enabled participants to identify and write success and case stories and produce profiles for the catalog of FS Applications. Through collaboration and team effort, the MTs and FS practitioners executed their roles exceptionally well, hence making it possible for the IIRR team to produce the deliverables by the closure of the project that ended on December 31, 2022.
Subsequently, in January 2023, the EAFS Hub held a two-day write shop in Nairobi where the major project implementing partners and personnel were represented to compile, review, and edit data for the final narrative report that was to be submitted to the FAO. IIRR submitted their input for this final report, and presented and submitted the final deliverables that were meticulously done as per the LoA:
- The booklet of the case and success stories is titled “Learning through Farmer Field Schools: Cases and success stories from eastern Africa”. The booklet is intended to serve as a useful tool for stakeholders to learn the best practices in field schools applications and the potential of field schools in strengthening community livelihoods.
- The catalog of compiled profiles of field school applications titled, “Learning through field schools: A catalog of field school applications in eastern Africa”. This catalog maps potential sites for learning visits for farmers and others interested in implementing the FS methodology. It will showcase the diversity of FS applications in the region and enhance the visibility of FS implementing agencies to their stakeholders and potential donors.
It has been a privilege to be a part of such an exciting project that helps small-holder farmers manage the effects of climate change, increase previously-declining yields and improve their incomes. IIRR’s work on this project will allow for the wider dissemination of the valuable knowledge and skills acquired by those who took part in the initiative, helping more farmers currently experiencing food insecurity.