Coaching Kenya's Cereal Growers Association (CGA)

on NGO organizational development, Team management and MEL framework

Cereal Growers Association (CGA), a member-based farmers’ organization based in Kenya asked Ag-Connectors (Ag-C) to support training and coaching on organizational development, team management, and defining a MEL framework. CGA supports 150,000 primarily small-holder farmers as well as some large-scale farmers. In order to improve farm businesses and livelihoods, CGA offers cereal farmers a platform, operative administrative and communication structures, and business support services. CGA brings cereal farmers together to ensure collective action and sustainability for farming enterprises.

To help CGA management assess performance in achieving its objectives, Ag-C, undertook a desk review of CGA’s recent Strategic Plan. Periodic organization reports and member feedback testimonials were included in the review. Ag-C took a facilitative approach enabling the CGA team (management staff and field officers) to critically review their performance. 

The exercise helped CGA management (i) clarify delivery objectives under its Strategic Plan; (ii) define approaches and adjust strategy delivery; and, (iii) assess required changes and potential challenges in achieving the expected impact. Throughout the exercise, Ag-C acted as coach and mentor. This facilitative approach helped the CGA team reflect on its purpose and how to best fulfill strategic alignment. Equally important, Ag-C, acting as a thought partner and mentor, helped the organization identify its strengths, and weaknesses and develop a strategy delivery matrix and a field-level cross-functional team management plan. 

Ag-C reviewed CGA’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework and worked with management to provide more insight and analysis, beyond data collection, into its MEL framework. This included capturing field stories, farmers’ feedback, and proposed improvements allowing CGA to tell its story from the beneficiary perspective.

At the end of the engagement, the CGA team had enhanced its strategy and designed delivery and MEL frameworks aligned to resonate with its mission. CGA Management remarks on Ag-C assistance:

CGA continuously strives to improve its member services. The technical support of the Agconnectors team has been of great help in aligning the organizational actions with members needs and keeping to the core mandate of CGA.

Anthony Kioko, CEO, Cereal Growers Association

On Organizational Management, (with) Ag-Connectors coaching and technical advice cross-functional actions have become more efficient across the organization through the elimination of duplication of effort and overlap in mandates. This has streamlined reporting and accountability within the management team.

Violet Nyando, Membership Services, Policy and Advocacy, Cereal Growers Association

Through AgConnectors support, the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) team have been able to align CGA’s Theory of Change (ToC) to its MEAL frameworks that allows for generating insights that feedback into improving CGA’s interventions while at the same time allow for documentation of lessons for internal and external use.

Anselm Mwongela, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer , Cereal Growers Association

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