As the imGoats project enters its final six months, the whole team gathered in Udaipur, India from 2-6 July 2012 to participate in a learning and reflection workshop on the activities completed so far and the work still remaining.
At the close of the workshop, I asked Birgit Boogaard, a postdoctoral scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) working with the imGoats team in Vilanculos, Mozambique, to share some of her reflections on the workshop and the project activities in Mozambique.
TL: Briefly, what is your role in the imGoats project and what are some of the activities you have been involved in?
BB: My role in the project is a postdoc based in Mozambique and I started exactly a year ago in June. The imGoats team in Mozambique set up the innovation platform there and a year ago we had a workshop in Vilanculos on Outcome Mapping where we developed the tools and started working together.
TL: What are some of your reflections on the just ended learning and reflection workshop?
BB: I look back to a very fruitful workshop on several dimensions. First of all, technically on Outcome Mapping we ran into some challenges and we didn’t know how to continue. We managed to solve those issues during the workshop. So when I go back to Mozambique I know what we can do with the CARE team to improve our Outcome Mapping more. Also, to show the significance of Outcome Mapping; we all realize that it’s a very valuable way of monitoring activities and changes in behaviour.
In addition, it’s just great to be together with the whole team. I work with a great CARE team in Mozambique and Vilanculos is also a beautiful place to live. But it’s so wonderful to feel that I’m also part of the ILRI family and to work with ILRI colleagues and to discuss research questions. It’s really easy when you’re in the field to get completely drawn into the field. I see the value of being based in Vilanculos and also CARE recognizes the value of having an ILRI person based in Vilanculos to work daily. At the same time to keep track of research, that’s sometimes a bit challenging, so therefore it was wonderful to be together with my ILRI colleagues.
The third part is to get a better understanding of India. It’s an amazing country and I think that our counterparts here in India are doing a wonderful job. It’s unbelievable how they are trying to implement everything here as well. And especially combined with the field visit… it’s very interesting to compare the two countries. We have many differences, we are completely different countries but at the same time running into many similar issues within the innovation platform process.
TL: What are the activities that you and the CARE team will be involved in as the project moves into its final six months?
BB: That is a good question: many research as well as development activities! In addition to on-going activities with paravets, producer groups and the innovation platform meetings, we will support the project participants with two topics that have been identified by the innovation platform to improve goat production and marketing: the organization of communal grazing areas and goat fairs.
The imGoats project seeks to investigate how best goat value chains can be used to increase food security and reduce poverty among smallholders in India and Mozambique. Funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Research (IFAD), the project is led by researchers from ILRI in collaboration with the BAIF Development Research Foundation in India and CARE International in Mozambique.