National level pilot study

The UNDP Ethiopia Country Office and UNDP GEF Africa office used RAPTA (version 1)in the design of a project for co-funding by the GEF as part of its Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP) program on ‘Fostering Resilience and Sustainability for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa’. The end product of project design is a ‘project document’ providing a detailed plan of activities to implement in the project. A simple reflection of the workshop process can be found here.

The national pilot primarily involved workshops with project design team and national-level stakeholders of the Food Security – IAP in Ethiopia. These workshops, conducted from 7 to 11 March 2016, focused on introducing RAPTA, and on project design. All RAPTA components were covered, but some of them required only a ‘light touch’ because these steps had already been addressed by the project design team. Time and data limitations prevented a more thorough application of RAPTA.

Within the national-level Ethiopia pilot, the process of using RAPTA (even in a limited way in the short time available) had valuable outcomes:

  • provided a system perspective that was not evident in earlier versions of the project design
  • led to proposing a set of interventions that originally appeared to be out of scope to the stakeholders, because it was based on the usual narrower sector-specific framing. Through the combination of an integrated goal about food security as specified by the GEF, and the application of RAPTA in the project design phase, the project proposal included a different set of new interventions as potentially valuable for supporting a transition to a more food secure system.
  • supported a different set of discussions, narratives and understanding about what interventions and other stakeholders might be needed in order to reach a more food-secure state. There are many examples reflecting the broader narrative that emerged when stakeholders pointed to ways in which NRM objectives could be met more effectively by reducing demand on natural resources for food production, rather than working only on direct NRM activities. It opened up the discussion to include a wider range of drivers of land degradation, including health, education, household energy sources, population and family planning.
  • provided some of the participants with a more clear understanding of where and how to start with sequencing a complex set of options and decisions

These outcomes were apparent in the participant feedback as well as in the revised project document.