USAID Enabling Environment
for Agriculture Activity
Since early 2014, Common Ground Consulting has been providing a wide range of technical assistance and training support to USAID’s Enabling Environment for Agriculture (EEA) Activity (working through Chemonics) and their many PSO and CSO partners. Our work has included administration of the Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA), the development of capacity building plans, the design and delivery of cohort-wide trainings, the provision of targeted technical assistance, and the piloting of specific initiatives to support the broader agricultural sector.
We have designed curriculum, offered cutting-edge best practice interventions, facilitated conflict resolution efforts, and challenged the status quo within government, among private sector organizations and community service organizations, and within EEA and USAID.
The agricultural sector is essential to the Ugandan economy, employing almost 70% of the population and contributing 26% to the GDP. Half of all exports are agricultural, though crop yields remain much lower than similar countries. Fortunately, the public and private sectors are collaborating to improve agricultural production and make it easier for farmers to do business.
Over the course of five years, our work evolved and deepened in ways we never imagined. We made 19 trips—spanning 331 days in country—in support of EEA’s important work. We built lasting, high-trust relationships that allowed us to offer candid, partner-specific advice at every level of our work. And we worked hard to exceed expectations with each engagement. Monitoring and evaluation of our work has always been extremely positive from our colleagues on the project, our partners in the field, our government liaisons, and EEA’s USAID contracting officers.
During our tenure, we worked with two chiefs of party, the deputy chief of party, many senior EEA staff, and countless USAID and embassy points of contact. We maintained solid relationships with our USAID contracting officers and the larger U.S. Mission in Uganda—including with Ambassador Malac. We provided direct support to more than two dozen partner CEOs and board chairs and trained hundreds of people across Uganda’s agricultural sector through 150+ days of training on a wide range of topics (many of these provided at both introductory and advanced levels).
It is time to change the way we think. Farmers are not the cause of Africa’s poverty; they are a potential solution. They are key to creating the future envisioned by the [United Nations’] Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).