Inception Meeting for CCRP’s Eastern Africa Manor House AE Hub


The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) gave a planning grant to IDEMS to support the process of establishing an Eastern Africa Agroecology Hub at Manor House Agricultural Centre (MHAC) in Kenya. Representatives of various stakeholder groups, including PELUM, CCRP’s Eastern Africa established FRN projects, MHAC and MHAC alumnae, AMI and IDEMS, were invited to a week-long meeting to discuss AE hub-related ideas and co-create the project vision and plan. David Stern facilitated the meeting and Beth Medvecky presented key concepts. This report provides a detailed presentation—for future reference- of what transpired at the meeting.

Day 1- Monday / Focus on MF, CCRP, hubs and ToC

Participants present: AMI- Mike Mumbo, Yvonne Achieng, John Maina; IDEMS: David Stern, Danny Parsons and Beth Medvecky; Manor House: David Mwangi, Charles Gitonga, James Nambala, Polly Noyce; PELUM – Zackary Makanya, Rosinah Mbenya

1. The flow for the first day of the meeting was given as follows

  • Participants welcomed by David Mwangi, MHAC Director
  • Meeting objectives shared
  • Individual participant introductions and expectations
  • Project contextualization (MF, CCRP and CCRP’s AE hubs initiative)
  • Begin conceptualizing and co-creating the project (planning phase…and beyond)

2. The stated workshop objectives

  • Get to know one another (individuals and the organizations/projects represented).
  • Develop a shared understanding of the new project (background, proposed mandate and functions) and make necessary adjustments to project design to better address partners’ priorities and strengths.
  • Explicitly articulate the outputs and outcomes we agree to work towards; consider the pathways and conditions necessary to achieve these (processes, activities, resources, roles and responsibilities).
  • Discuss how we will assess the value the hub provides to CoP members at various stages of the learning cycles ; make plans to capture member’s stories to assess how/ if our joint efforts are creating value across learning cycles.
  • Use the above inputs to produce specific workshop outputs: a project Theory of Change, M&E plan and work plan that spells out the timeline for specific activities, responsible parties and costings.

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