USAID Water and Livelihoods Initiative: building capacity

July 15, 2011 at 10:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Students from Egypt and the USA learn new project-evaluation skills

The USAID-funded Middle East Water and Livelihoods Initiative (WLI) includes significant investments in building the capacity of different target groups. One component focuses on young scientists and graduate students from universities in the Middle East and the USA. A workshop held at the American University of Cairo, on 27-30 June, demonstrated a new approach, being introduced this year. Four students, two each from Egypt and the USA, are working in pairs, with mentoring and support from experienced scientists and field staff. The students are conducting a detailed evaluation of two projects to promote efficient irrigation practices in the Damanhour and West Nubaria regions of Egypt. The workshop helped share experiences, and provide lessons on how this approach could be scaled out in the future.

Another WLI training course focused targeted extension staff from Lebanon and Syria. The week-long course (27 June to 1 July) was conducted in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, at a research station of the American University of Beirut. The course used a combination of classroom and field training on production constraints in rainfed agriculture, as well as extension methods to reach small-scale farmers. The training was delivered by experts from the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute, US and Lebanese universities, and ICARDA.

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