A press conference was held in relation to the 25th anniversary of ActionAid Ethiopia, 21 November 2014. The discussions revolved around the structural causes of poverty, AAE’s partnership and other strategies to address the root causes. Its unique education strategies and achievements as well as focus and strategies in climate change and resilient agriculture were highlighted.
Following Jemal’s briefings the journalists from government and private print and radio posed questions related to AAE’s strategic focus over the years, efficiency, sustainability and scalability of development interventions. Yilma Muluken, Program Officer - Resilience, IHART(Int. Humanitarian Action and Resilience Team), Education coordinator Hailu Sime and Women Development Coordinator Eleni Tekalign participated as panelists responding to questions by journalists.
Questions led to detailed explanation of the ACCESS model of education which benefited over half a million children in remote villages in Ethiopia. The fact that the model was adopted by both governments and nongovernment organizations and widely scaled up in the country was explained in depth.
A question on ActionAid’s understanding and responses to climate change led to a comprehensive explanation relating to AAE’s approaches of intervention in partnership with national, regional and global networks against the problem. AAE’s study based presence at local levels, adaptation strategy and community awareness and mobilization strategies were dwelt in depth.
Questions like, “What made you win the 2013 good practice day award”, “What was the profit and lose of AAE?” and more gave the panelists the opportunity to reflect on ActionAid’s gratification over changes in lives of millions of women, children, men, living in poverty. Empowerment of communities and organizations of peoples living in poverty against poverty and related Changes in lives of peoples over the years was singled out as the organization’s living profit.
Responding to this question, Jemal Said, “I would rephrase the word debit as a challenge and summarize our challenges over the years under three points including the imbalance of our response to the huge poverty need both in the areas we intervene and in the country as a whole. The financial crises especially since 2008 further contributed to the limitations of our response to poverty. Finally, AAE chose to intervene in the distant and most very poorly facilitated remote villages of the country. This resulted in high staff turnover affecting the development works”