As part of activities in the achievement of its core mandate, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) facilitates coordinates and implements skills enhancement workshops for University faculty, students and other stakeholders in higher education. During the 13th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting that happened from 26-27 October 2017 in Lilongwe, Malawi, RUFORUM and its member universities took the opportunity to train 35 University Faculty from across Africa, to develop community transforming projects and programmes. The training was based on the European Union (EU) Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme Third Call for proposals for 2018.
Specifically, the training aimed at
- Facilitating universities and stakeholders to improve their skills in designing highly competitive projects and use these skills to revise unsuccessful projects and/or develop new projects in response to this Call;
- Enhancing capacity for implementation and tracking of outcomes with a focus on the on-going academic mobility and use experiences to design and articulate future activities in line with this Call.
During the workshop, a total of 11 teams, coming from 11 member universities of RUFORUM located in Northern, Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Africa, developed 11 proposals with the facilitation of Gerard den Ouden, a seasoned consultant proficient in proposal writing. The workshop commenced with a review of the ‘unsuccessful’ proposals that had previously been submitted under the same call by different university teams. In the discussions, it was noted that most unsuccessful proposals had weaknesses such as lack of details, lack of innovation, unclear roles of partners, lack of complementarity among partners, weak diversity (regions), gender imbalance, added value, and weak description of impacts and outcomes.
These weaknesses and others, were used as lessons when developing the 11 proposals, which were based on a range of topics including Information, Communication and Technology (ICTs), Forestry, Journalism, Veterinary Sciences, and Food Systems.
Written by Catherine Mloza-Banda, Onsite Reporter for the RUFORUM AGM 2017