4. AET Impact

Objectives:  In order to successfully build capacity in African agriculture and training (AET) institutions, a new generation of activities will need to incorporate lessons learned from past efforts in African AET.  Work under this theme aims to provide this necessary historical background to the overall MAFS team by reviewing and assembling evidence on the impact of past efforts at building capacity in African AET institutions. 

Scoping Studies:  The team will begin by conducting two major scoping studies. 

Task 1 involves a global literature review of AET impact studies.  By reviewing published and grey literature, this work aims to answer the following related questions: 1) Who has invested in African AET?  2) What investments have they made?  3) What impact studies have been conducted?  4) How was impact measured?  5) What impact was achieved?  6) What do these results imply for future efforts at AET capacity building in Africa?  7) What interesting models have emerged?  ( See MAFS Working Paper No.3. An Annotated Bibliography of Agricultural Education and Training Impact Evaluations.

Task 2, the second of the scoping studies, will focus on institutional audits of AET impact in three categories of countries.  The team will begin by stratifying African countries based on the level of commercialization of the food system (food processing value added as a percentage of agricultural GDP).  Then, the team will select illustrative countries from each group, beginning in Eastern and Southern Africa and expanding to West and Central Africa if increased funding becomes available.  Tentative country groupings include: • high level of food system commercialization (South Africa), middle level (Kenya) and low level (Uganda).  After final country selection, the team will conduct an inventory of AET institutions across three strata: • universities offering agriculture, • technical and agricultural colleges and • vocational training institutes.  The team will then contact each institution to seek answers to questions 3) to 7) enumerated above.  (See MAFS Working Paper No. 4. The Evolution of Agricultural Education and Training: Global Insights of Relevance for Africa.   MAFS Working Paper No. 10.)

Field Work: Two related field studies will provide further empirical evidence as well as historical context necessary for designing future AET investments. 

Task 3 will focus on African agricultural role models.  The team will design and release a public call for nominations.  After selecting roughly 50 role models who meet our established criteria, the team will interview them, in person or by phone, to establish: • their career path, • support they received along the way and from whom, • what elements they consider crucial to their success, • mentoring they received and imparted, • what advice they would offer to AET institutions aiming to more effectively prepare their graduates for successful careers in agriculture.  (See MAFS Working Paper No.7. Improving the Relevance and Effectiveness of Agricultural Education and Training in Africa: Insights from Agricultural Role Models.  and  Role Model Directory.)

Task 4 will involve a tracer study of agricultural alumni for the three MAFS partner institutions: MSU, MU and UP.  By sampling graduates from different graduating cohorts, the team will endeavor to trace career trajectories of graduates trained under different systems and ask them to identify best practices they would recommend for future generations of agricultural graduates. (See MAFS Working Paper No. 6. Tracer Study of Agricultural Graduates in Uganda. )