A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Special Guest Blogger: Marly van den Boom, MA African Studies
So, my internship is ending at the end of March, which means that I have to start to write the final product for my internship institution. Together with my internship institution, Moyee, we agreed that I would produce a chapter for their business plan for their project in Ethiopia. In this blog I walk you through each segment of the chapter and what type of data I utilized.
Just to refresh your memory about my internship: I research, for Moyee, what the best socio-cultural approaches are in order for them to improve gender equality and youth participation at their new farm in Mizan, which is located about 500 km from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
I started out by describing the socio-cultural, political, and economic context of the farm. Although much is already known about the location and surroundings of the farm, it is always important to contextualize your work. For my eventual thesis, which will be written based upon the basis of the data gathered during my internship, I will highlight the importance of the political context surrounding coffee value chains in Ethiopia and their contribution to the SDG Agenda 2030. Because Ethiopia is divided into regions and enjoys a federal republic, many political decisions are made on a regional governmental basis by the administrative states. Hence, contributions to the SDG Agenda on an administrative state level can be difficult to measure.
The chapter moved on to a risk assessment concerned with the objectives. A risk analysis illustrates the possible hurdles which might occur whilst preforming the objectives. If risks are mapped and illustrated, they are accounted for more easily when they actually occur. The analysis took into account a general risk analysis of the region, which is the target of many ethnic tensions. It also looked at the risk of climate change and the coffee sector, risks when trying to pursue gender equality within value chains, and the possible hurdles with youth participation. The latter two, gender inclusion and youth participation, often illustrate similar risks. These are that participation and inclusion can be achieved. Yet, within private situations the occurrence of youth and female labour in the informal sector can still be frequent and prevalent. Moreover, women are often the target of sexual and physical violence, which is not easy to regulate.
Hereafter, I highlighted the research concerned with the best practices for gender inclusion and youth participation. I chose an approach that highlighted what Ethiopia and Moyee, as a country and institution, are already practicing in order to increase youth participation and gender inclusion. Here, the COVID-19 situation did not come in ideally. This because I am not able to verify the academic findings within the field.
I also included a stakeholder analysis of the key players who would be important in order to improve the two objectives. Moreover, I added the recommendations based upon the research that I did and made a (simple) Monitor and Evaluation strategy framework.
I managed to stick around a little bit longer at Moyee, which is quite exciting. In the next term I will be assisting them several other things, related to academic research in coffee value chains. Alongside this, I will be writing my thesis, which will be concerned with how coffee corporations contribute to the implementation of the SDG Agenda 2030. Oh, shout out to the attentive reader from my last blog who noted that it’s not Tom Hanks but Bill Murray who plays the lead role in Groundhog Day ;). Only comes to show that even remembering the cast of a film is difficult these days. For now, stay safe, happy, and healthy!