Tewodros Abera

MPS '22, Global Development
  • Hometown: Ethiopia
  • Colleges attended and degree earned: Masters - Addis Ababa University, Bachelors - Alemaya University 
What are the big challenges you want to tackle in the world?

In many developing countries, the design, delivery, and management of agricultural extension and advisory service is evolving from a public-led, lower demand orientated modality to a more inclusive and pluralistic institutional setup. Despite the growing interest in advancing pluralists institutional arrangement, still critical gaps remain when engaging non-public actors in challenging times, including developing trust, creating transparency and accountability mechanisms, and measuring and sustaining impacts. I would like to improve the institutional and governance structures to support and create thriving and vibrant private enterprises that can address the pressing challenges of smallholder farming communities in emerging markets.

What were you doing before the MPS program?

Before joining the MPS program, my work focuses on building Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to establish efficient AI delivery channels through technical and material capacity building to AI service providers and Federal and Regional AI centers as well as awareness creation among farmers. Partnering with Federal and Regional bodies, private businesses, and international partners, I help farmers to better access improved dairy genetics and eventually enhance household income and nutrition. 

What does global development mean to you?

Global development necessitates building a supportive, empowering, and inclusive social, economic, and political environment that takes into consideration all differences within the society to facilitate people change their lives, exercise their freedom, and harness their capabilities. Realizing these broader objectives often requires thorough analysis and understanding of local contexts, designing concrete intervention options and policy alternative that are aligned with exogenous and endogenous factors.

What has been the most memorable or impactful experience of your career so far?

I designed and oversaw a holistic capacity building strategy to address service providers’ skill gaps through facilitating and cultivating public-private partnerships. I collaborated with experts to update existing AI service providers’ training curriculum, led a training need and institutional capacity assessment of federal and regional training centers, and co-facilitated a multi-stakeholder consultation workshop to validate the draft curriculum as standard training material nationwide. While partnering with federal and regional bodies, I coordinated training to equip 800 AI service providers with operational skills. This in turn provided 141,250 farmers with access to convenient, quality AI service, and enabled them to own dairy animals that produce six times more milk than local cows. Women service providers and farmers constitute 24% and 41% of beneficiaries trained, respectively, indicating the initiative’s success in narrowing the gender gap in training.

How do you envision your MPS degree contributing to your career?

The hands-on experience, skills, tools, and knowledge acquired through the MPS degree will allow me to critically analyze the institutional environment and governance structure of pluralistic advisory service delivery systems. The new learning from the MPS program will position me effectively to formulate and promote an integrated livestock and dairy development service delivery systems that harmonize innovation, entrepreneurship, market, and environmental solutions to realize broader development outcomes such as rural income growth, food and nutritional security, and environmental sustainability. I also envision expanding my advocacy role to secure public support and influence policy to support the Government of Ethiopia’s Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda.

Do you have any aspirations for what you’d like to focus on in your MPS problem-solving project?

Through my MPS problem-solving project, I aspire to critically analyze the institutional environment and governance structure of pluralistic advisory service delivery systems and attempt to explore alternative private sector engagement arrangements in the context of complex and diverse institutional and policy constraints.

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