Cordaid is an internationally operating value-based emergency relief and development organization, working in and on fragility for more than a century. We stand with those who are hit hardest by poverty and conflict. We support them in their struggle to move beyond survival and to fully participate in equitable and resilient societies. We believe a world where everyone can live life in dignity is possible. Where people can break through barriers of poverty and exclusion, and influence decisions that affect them. A world with an economy not driven by greed and growth, but by inclusivity, social justice, and gender equality. That world is our goal. We work towards it in everything we do.
We operate in fragile settings. Where communities and governments alike struggle to absorb and mitigate economic, political, and environmental shocks and risks. And where citizens do not have access to even basic services or food security. This can be due to poverty, armed conflict, power imbalances, or, as is often the case, a combination of root causes.
Cordaid was established in 2000 when several Dutch aid organizations joined forces. But our history goes back more than a century. We are present in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and our head office is based in the Netherlands.
Cordaid started operating in Ethiopia in 2006, focusing on community-managed disaster risk reduction. Cordaid has since expanded its intervention and expertise to community-based disaster risk reduction, health system strengthening, employment and entrepreneurship, inclusive peace and reconciliation, localization, financial mechanisms, food systems and livelihoods, and innovative technologies which are being implemented in Addis Ababa, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Sidama, Somali, SNNPR, and Tigray regions of Ethiopia.
Background of the project
Cordaid in cooperation with Fair and Sustainable has been implementing the RESET Plus Innovation Fund initiative funded by the European Union. RESET Plus Innovation is a four-year (2019 – 2022) initiative beginning with one year as an inception phase and then extending up to December 2023. It covers 22 woredas in five regions of Ethiopia: Amhara, Oromia, Afar, SNNPR, and Somali. It has 13 innovation projects implemented by 12 consortiums and one sole implementer. The 12 consortium-based projects are led by 12 implementing prime partners and 17 co-implementer partner organizations. The lead implementing partners are Action Against Hunger, Caritas Switzerland, CIFA, COOPI, CST/ Trocaire, HEKS, HELVETAS, ICRISAT, Oromia Coffee Farmers Union, Oxfam, SOS Sahel, TDA, and VSF Suisse.
The 13 innovative projects are focused on: technology transfer, climate-smart agriculture and social transformation, sustainable production, value addition and marketing of main food crops; livestock insurance; conservation through compensation for eco-system services; sustainable clean energy access; etc.
The overall objective of the project is to contribute towards improved sustainable livelihoods and strengthened resilience of vulnerable communities through innovative actions that have the potential to influence existing systems. The innovation fund helps social entrepreneurs in realizing innovations that improve the livelihoods and resilience of 20,000 vulnerable people (50% women). The projects’ actions are expected to influence existing systems by introducing and adopting new and appropriate methodologies, approaches, technologies, and practices, in partnership with public and private stakeholders.
The importance of innovation for development is widely recognized in both the developed and developing countries all over the world. Innovation has always been the key driver of development processes in economic and social spheres. With the need for humanitarian aid growing rapidly, and finance in short supply, innovation is also required in the humanitarian sector in order to make the delivery of aid more efficient and effective.
The Growth and Transformation Plan 2015/16-2019/20 (GTPII) of the Ethiopian government requires innovation across a range of social, economic, and technical spheres. Innovation is integral to all the GTPII’s pillars: modernizing the economy; finance and infrastructure; channeling the rapid rate of urbanization into a force for sustained, rapid growth and structural transformation of the economy; investments in the capacity of people, and women and youth.
The Innovation Fund is also desired to foster social innovation that enhances resilience-building in Ethiopia. The Innovations are expected to influence existing systems by introducing and adopting new and appropriate methodologies, approaches, technologies and practices. The RESET program seeks for sustainable changes that improve the performance and impact of private and public sector systems with special focus on building resilience capacity of vulnerable people and communities in drought prone areas. To make such changes, RESET recognizes the important role of innovation that must be driven from within those system.
The research component of the program has five themes which are conducted by four universities: Addis Ababa University, Wolayita Sodo university, Wello University and Hawassa university. The research themes are:
- Best Practices on Adoption of new technologies and Systems by Beneficiary Communities and Local Stakeholders, by Addis Ababa University.
- Approaches to the Enhancement of Ownership of Community Assets to Reduce Inefficiencies in the Use of Assets, by Hawasssa University.
- Promotion of inclusive practices and the benefits of doing so, for building resilient and sustainable market systems, by Wolayita Sodo University.
- Women and Youth Empowerment Initiatives and their contribution to resilience-building, by Hawassa University.
- The benefits of using value addition innovations for household income improvement and its contribution to livelihoods upstream the value chain, by Wello University.
The universities conduct research to prove the tested innovations work. The research will support decision on the scale up of sound innovation practices for resilience building.
Objectives of the Project
Contributing towards improved sustainable livelihoods and strengthened resilience of vulnerable communities through innovative actions that have the potential to influence existing systems.
Promote social innovation in the resilience-building sector in Ethiopia through the Innovation Fund.