International Development Projects
Dr. Astatkie is currently implementing a project entitled “Statistical knowledge for building the research capacity and productivity of Injibara University, Ethiopia” and supported by Academics Without Boarders. The project continues until the end of 2020.
Dr. Astatkie was Project Director of the Tier 1 eight-year (2008-2016) $3,000,000 Global Affairs Canada (GAC, formerly DFATD and CIDA) funded project entitled “Post-harvest Management to Improve Livelihoods (PHMIL) - Ethiopia”. This project was funded under the University Partnership program to enhance the capacity of Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (JUCAVM) in Ethiopia. The Project was implemented by Dalhousie University, McGill University and JUCAVM.
The PHMIL Project aimed at improving the livelihood and food security of Ethiopians by i) addressing PHMVA challenges of the agricultural sector by focusing on reducing PH losses and increasing food availability and marketability, and ii) creating opportunities by adding value to agricultural products, changing waste products to resources, monitoring quality and improving products to maintain nutritional quality and achieve export-level standards. Since these challenges and opportunities were also recognized by the Government of Ethiopia, the goal of the Project was to contribute to the Ethiopian government’s priority of food security through increased availability of food and the creation of an enabling environment that supports the commercialization of agriculture. To achieve this goal, the purpose of the Project was to increase the capacity of JUCAVM to provide high-quality training, research and service in PHMVA to address the challenges of its stakeholders.
To achieve its goal and purpose, the Project was designed with the following five main outcomes:
1) A newly created PHM Department offers newly developed B.Sc. and M.Sc. programs in PHM.
2) Human resource capacity within the PHM Department is enhanced
3) Laboratory, library and IT capacity of the PHM Department is enhanced.
4) PHMVA Network of university, industry, government, and community groups is established.
5) Gender sensitive, HIV/AIDS responsive, culturally relevant and environmentally sustainable PHMVA technologies developed and disseminated to industry and community stakeholders through demonstration sites and other outlets.
The PHMIL project achieved one, and exceeded four of these outcomes. It exceeded the first outcome by launching a PhD program in PHM in addition to the B.Sc. and M.Sc. programs. In addition to the 26 Short Term Trainings (STT) in Ethiopia and the 20 STT in Canada listed in the Project Implementation Plan (PIP), the project exceeded the second outcome by delivering 29 STT in Ethiopia and 22 STT in Canada. In addition to the basic lab equipment for the PHM Department identified in the PIP, the project exceeded the third outcome by procuring several more equipment that can also be used by other departments. The project also exceeded the fourth outcome by establishing Ethiopian Society of Post-harvest Management (ESPHM). The fifth outcome was met as planned in the PIP.
Dr. Astatkie was also Project Director of the five-year (2005-2010) GAC funded "Agricultural Sustainability - Ethiopia" project that was successfully completed on March 31, 2010. The project aimed to increase the capacity of JUCAVM by training its staff in effective pedagogy, sustainable agriculture systems, community needs assessment, and curriculum development for community-based education; and by upgrading its support services such as the library and the laboratories. The training component of the project was conducted both in Ethiopia and in Canada. Not only that the project achieved all expected results, but also exceeded expectations in many ways.