Nairobi, Kenya (20 February 2018)
Africa Lead facilitated the Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth (PREG) Lessons Learned Event (LLE) on 20 February 2018, at the Trademark center in Nairobi. Ninety-one participants comprising PREG members, implementing partners, donor agencies from the ASAL donor group, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) staff from Washington D.C, Kenya and East Africa Missions, and Africa Lead staff from Bethesda, West, and East Africa offices attended the one-day learning event. Representatives from the Bureau of Food Security, Chris Shepherd-Pratt, Division Chief for Policy, and Courtney Buck, Policy Analyst, also attended.
The overall objective of the PREG LLE was to strengthen institutional coordination, learning, and collaboration. The event focused on Kenya’s resilience program in the Northern Kenya development context, including findings from a case study on the PREG model. It also provided PREG members and stakeholders a platform to share experiences, insights, and lessons learned that will inform future resilience programming in the region.
Additionally, the learning workshop involved three “fishbowl” discussions by which participants discussed the rationale and evolution of PREG as well as partners’ experiences. The small groups provided a platform for rich discussions based on firsthand experiences within the partnership and lessons learned in implementation of resilience programs. Participants also identified the comparative advantage PREG has offered them, in addition to opportunities to leverage with other PREG partners. “As a market systems expert, I never saw the relationship between market systems and nutrition issues beyond messaging until I joined PREG’s nutrition technical working group and appreciated how the nutrition lens fits within market systems programming,” said Bonface Kaberia, Chief of Party of REGAL-AG.
Fatmata Seiwoh of ECOWAS speaking during a panel discussion on partnership and coordination. Photo credit: Joanne Kihagi/Africa Lead
The learning workshop also included a panel discussion with representatives from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), USAID Somalia and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), who shared their experiences of partnership and coordination from different collaboration contexts. The panelists emphasized the importance of having a common results framework and continuous communication and engagement with partners at all levels to avoid conflict. “To avoid duplication of efforts, we [ECOWAS] developed a donor matrix to ensure that each donor partner has a clear role. We’ve also learned over the years that harmonized regulations and results frameworks are key to check if the partnership is working,” said Fatmata Seiwoh of ECOWAS, Regional Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP).
Findings from a case study on PREG, “Learning from PREG,” identified key successes of the partnership, as well as recommendations for improvement. Some key successes included strong buy-in and commitment from implementing partners, investments in continuous learning and adaptation, and flexibility in roles and responsibilities. However, study recommendations encompassed enhancing government and community ownership in PREG, building collaboration from the beginning of the design phase, and incentivizing innovation for outstanding partner activities.
By the end of the event, partners determined key lessons and areas for improvement which include better engagement with the national government, building trust and creating more impact at the community level, continuously engaging with stakeholders for better coordination and partnerships, and developing a structured mechanism or tools for sharing information among the partners and stakeholders. “PREG is real. The essence of a partnership is working together to improve our outcomes. And our outcomes are collaboration, learning and adaptation, to inform better and improve outcomes,” said Vicky Liyai of USAID Kenya.