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Creating a Strategic Plan for Your Organization

Strategic planning is a systematic process in which organizations create a roadmap for their overarching goals and activities for the next three to five years. Creating a strategic vision helps organizations unite around what they would like to do, based on where they would like to go. The ability to plan strategically is a critically important organizational capacity for any institution involved in agricultural extension. 

This three-part activity sheet series helps organizations develop their strategic plan. Part one provides an introduction to strategic planning; part two gives an overview of SWOT analyses and creating objectives, activities, and outputs; and part three provides steps to creating performance indicators and developing a framework.

 Food Plate Research in Bangladesh
 Food Plate Research in Bangladesh
Empowering Bangladeshi Researchers through Innovative Methods

The INGENAES “food plate” research project in Bangladesh focused on measuring the impact of two different nutrition interventions by testing 1) the SHIKHA project food plate and 2) participatory training on nutrition and the intra-household allocation of food.

1,200 study participants were invited to dine at two lunch buffets, where some participants used the SHIKHA plate, and master’s students from Bangladesh Agricultural University discreetly recorded their food choices.

Shaon, a master’s student who took part in the research project said, “I felt empowered as an enumerator…. I can employ this experience in my own research.”

Read the full story here!

 YouthMappers in Sierra Leone
 YouthMappers in Sierra Leone
Njala University Collaboration with YouthMappers in Sierra Leone

Capitalizing on web-based open geospatial technologies, and a network of universities around the globe, the mission of YouthMappers is to cultivate a generation of young leaders to create resilient communities and  to define their world by mapping it. In Sierra Leone, INGENAES teamed up with the existing Youth Mappers chapter at Fourah Bay college to start a new chapter at Njala University. In October, Njala students from extension, geography, and natural resources were trained on KoBo data collection  and OpenStreetMap tools. This chapter is now formally registered, and the students are eager to start mapping women and men farmer groups' access to markets, value chains, and farm assets in the district and beyond. 

Hawa Abu, extension student, says "By using this I can now understand opportunities for farmers through mapping, how they get information, and how efficient extension coverage is." 
 Students Filming Farmer Training Videos
 Students Filming Farmer Training Videos
Training Videos on Small-scale Fish Farming for Business in Sierra Leone
It was an exciting start to the New Year for INGENAES in Sierra Leone. University of Illinois students teamed up with Njala University students to film farmer-to-farmer training videos about sustainable tilapia farming management and marketing, promoted by the Feed the Future Scaling up Aquaculture Production (WorldFish) project. Access Agriculture led the training of the student teams. Three videos were produced in local languages and English.
WorldFish will begin using these videos to train farmers this year, found below:
 INGENAES and Cuttington University Research Team Meet with Community in Bong County prior Conducting Research on Gendered Access to Extension Services
 INGENAES and Cuttington University Research Team Meet with Community in Bong County prior Conducting Research on Gendered Access to Extension Services
Liberia Gender Responsive Training for Extension Agents

The INGENAES “gendered access to agricultural extension services” research project was developed in partnership with the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture, Cuttington University – Liberia, and the University of California Research and Innovation in Agriculture Fellowship program.

Over the last three months, INGENAES has been working with the support of ministry and university officials to organize and train government extension agents and undergraduate university students in the implementation of community research projects. We have now trained eight students as community researchers and have embarked on community data collection. Once complete, our findings will be used by the Ministry of Agriculture and INGENAES to develop gender responsive and transformative in-service training for Liberian extension agents. 

Read the Liberia Landscape Analysis, to learn more on the status of the country's extension system, including gender and nutrition indicators. 

Spotlight: Yetomiwa Awolola, AgReach Intern
"Last spring, the second semester of my junior year, I spent five months abroad in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I was studying agribusiness and international development which perfectly aligned with my major in Agricultural and Consumer Economics concentrating in Policy, International trade, and Development. It was during this time that I first witnessed the work AgReach is doing, in particular through the USAID-funded INGENAES project. By having the opportunity to sit in on INGENAES workshops, I was able to see the project’s gender-transformative approach in action. Witnessing Sierra Leoneans examine and question societal norms was inspiring.
"I returned to the U.S. with a newfound fervor for a career in development, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to intern with AgReach on my campus. As an intern, I’ve learned so much about operating a multinational project, developed many professional skills, and expanded my network. This experience has been a valuable stepping stone towards my career goals as I figure out the path I feel driven to pursue."