The annual N2Africa planning meeting took place in Harare from 14-18 February. This meeting focused on exchanging information on progress in the different countries, on bottlenecks encountered during the first year and on planning for the rapid scaling up of activities that is now taking place in the second year of the project. The meeting was facilitated by Alastair Simmons of Taskscape Ltd, and focused on moving the project from working around objectives to focusing on work-streams and tasks. A clear structure of these work-streams and their inter-relationships enabled a common understanding to be developed across the eight partner countries. This will ensure that the work conducted in the different countries will be comparable and allow us to learn the maximum from what works well under different circumstances across the project. The focus on forward planning and signalling and avoiding risks that may be encountered will increased the effectiveness of the project. The Steering Committee endorsed the new plans made during this week and agreed to take on responsibilities to ensure that the new plans were implemented under the leadership of Kenton Dashiell. The major focus for the next months is on getting Development and Dissemination (D&D) and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) working optimally for all countries.
Part of the workshop was a field visit to farmers in the Goromonzi area, where small groups visited fields with groundnut, soyabean and sugar beans. The farmers were questioned about their activities using M&E tools developed by N2Africa. It was interesting to see how the different participants in the project did this and the strong interaction with the farmers. This field visit ended with a convening in the Goromonzi Primary School (photo).