ENSP advisory board meeting

Are we doing the right things and are we doing things right? These are fundamental learning questions for any impact driven organization and ENSP is no exception. On Wednesday February 22nd, ENSP convened its first Advisory Board meeting, bringing representatives of the public and private sectors from Ethiopia and the Netherlands together to help answer these questions. “We value the strategic advice of these policy makers and practitioners for the success of the programme and its alignment with key interests. Identifying opportunities for synergy and benefiting from an enabling environment that these stakeholders can contribute to is part of this” reports Gareth Borman, coordinator of ENSP from Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation. Project manager, Mohammed Hassena, complements, “the tone of our discussions was encouragingly positive; we expect to have a constructive collaboration with these knowledgeable individuals over the coming years.”

Comprising the ENSP Advisory Board are representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopian Agricultural Authority, Ethiopian Seed Association, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ethiopia, Plantum, and of course management of ENSP. SeedNL – a partnership in the Netherlands between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality, Plantum (the seed association), and NAO (potato association) – is the seventh and final member. They will help hold ENSP to account in achieving its goals.

Whilst getting to know each other and ENSP’s objectives was an important purpose for their first meeting, Advisory Board members also discussed their role in the strategic guidance of the project, evaluated current progress and plans for the coming year, and identified structural constraints to achieving ENSP’s outcomes. It was agreed that not all issues are within their scope of influence and control, and therefore members will use their access to strategic networks to raise such concerns with those willing and able to contribute to change. On that hopeful note, the meeting was concluded.