Regional Workshop on "Catalyzing Change through the Impact Pathway and Theories of Change", WLI Socio-Economic Thematic Group, 15-17 April 2014, Amman – Jordan

The Water and Livelihood Initiative (WLI) under the Regional Socio-Economic Thematic Group organized the workshop in order to establish a clear strategy for impact by creating a forum that brings socio-economic and bio-physical scientists together to identify common goals and strategize ways to achieve them. The workshop included targeted presentations to familiarize participants with important concepts but mostly involved hands-on activities where partnering National Agricultural Research and Extension Services (NARES) were given the opportunity to apply it to their respective research projects. Discussions revolved around setting a common vision, establishing clear pathway to translate outputs to outcomes and outcomes to impacts through a comprehensive theory of change. Practical exercises were tackled by developing a solution tree, constructing impact pathways, identifying current network of partners and potential partnerships that need to be forged or fostered, and selecting appropriate indicators to gauge levels of success.  

Welcoming remarks from left to right: Ms. Beza Dessalegn, WLI M&E Specialist; Dr. Theib Oweis, Director of Integrated Water & Land Management Program, Dr. Sandra Russo – representing University of Florida.

Various methodologies to conduct “willingness to adopt technologies” were also explored. Participants were given opportunities to assess the state of their technologies against a set of adoption criteria in order to determine their readiness to conduct such case studies. Based on the interest generated the Thematic Group expects to conduct 2-3 case studies before the end of the year.

The workshop was attended by 16 researchers representing the bio-physical and socio-economic teams of the partnering National Agricultural Research and Extension Services (NARES) of Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Tunisia, and Jordan. Participants from Syria were not able to attend the meeting due to technical difficulties that delayed their travel plans. Opening statements were made by ICARDA’s Dr. Theib Oweis – Director of the Integrated Water and Land Management Program, Dr. Sandra Russo – representing University of Florida, and Dr. Scott Christiansen – Senior Agricultural Advisor from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Group Photo