Resilience Design Training-of-Trainers Certification Course in Regenerative Agriculture

Why is this Training so Important?

Regenerative Agriculture Training

Tree Management

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Model Farm

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To be more resilient, smallholder farmers and their agro-ecosystems must be highly responsive to fluctuating and unpredictable environmental conditions and disasters, increasing land degradation, and to changing political and economic influences all of which can lead to displacement. This requires a deeper understanding of home and farm growing sites and their surrounding landscapes and the development of gardening and farming systems as whole agro-ecosystems that maximize the use of local resources and that enhance the environmental services that support them. This process of ecological revitalization restores the productive potential of landscapes and addresses food, water, energy and soil security for long term resilience and livelihoods as well as disaster recognition and preparedness. 

This two-week Resilience Design (RD) training developed under a USAID award over the past eight years, is based on the permaculture design system and agroecological principles, is designed as a Training-of-Trainers (ToT) certification program. Practical and field-based, it supports the participants in learning the theory, the science and then practically applying Regenerative Agriculture approaches into community and refugee contexts. Participants will experience a mix of classroom time, peer-to-peer sharing, curriculum reinforcing activities, design exercises, field practicum, community facilitation and reflection. 

Participants will learn to use the Resilience Design Toolkit to strengthen their existing programming by integrating agroecological methodologies, this process can assist management and technical field staff to design and implement more resilient and productive growing systems as part of their programming. A particular emphasis will be on designing for refugee and IDP contexts. 

The target audience for this course is program management and staff working in public and private programs who are promoting Agriculture, Nutrition, Food Security, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Natural Resource Management (NRM), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Market System Development (MSD), or developing infrastructure in both humanitarian or development settings. This can include local program staff with technical skills in agriculture and for local government extension agents. We also highly encourage agency management to attend the training to reinforce their understanding and integration of Resilience Design into their program framework.
ToT Learning Objectives
  • Understand why building living soils, hydrological stability and creating systems of beneficial biodiversity are critical in building resilience in household gardens and smallholder farming systems
  • Identify how a Permagarden and RD farming systems can be used to help improve food security appropriately and contribute to household income in both development and humanitarian settings
  • Increase knowledge on how programs and farmers can identify specific environmental characteristics that influence farming systems and their productivity
  • Describe and apply key components of the Permagarden method in specific local contexts according to the Permagarden Technical Manual
  • Greater understanding of how to build farmer capacity to mitigate land degradation
  • Understand how the RD approach in practice can increase resilience to environmental shocks and stresses
  • Gain hands-on experience on how to create more stable and regenerative production
  • Gain practical knowledge on asset creation for livelihoods in the form of passive water harvesting earthworks for long term hydration and moisture security, slope stabilization and soil erosion control
  • Experience the process of working with a farmer and their community to develop demonstration site(s) to support further training, research, and the cascading processes

Regenerative Agriculture Training

Tree Management

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Model Farm

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Lok Neno Research, Training and Demonstration Farm

In 2022, the Ugandan government awarded AWR the opportunity to develop a 12.5-acre model farm at the heart of the Palabek Refugee Settlement next to the UN headquarters and the Office of the Prime Minister. Although the land was previously abandoned as barren and used as a quarry and brick-burning site, AWR is transforming it into a site for large-scale program demonstrations, training and research in regenerative solutions. This RegenAg training will be based out of the Lok Neno farm site.

Lok Neno

Defined as "Let's change our mindset" in the Acholi language

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RegenAg Humanitarian Training

Specific skills learned during the training include:
  • Ecological farm design
  • Designing and building a Permagarden
  • Hydrological stabilization strategies
  • Groundwater/borehole recharge
  • Planting the rain
  • Banking rainwater
  • Turning flooding into food
  • Building living soils
  • Developing biologically stable soils for long-term production
  • Increasing beneficial biodiversity
  • Designing for perennial stability
  • Food forestry
  • Drought-proofing the landscape
  • Buffering climate extremes
  • Creating resilient microclimates
  • Biological fertilization and natural pest management
  • Regenerative systems monitoring, evaluating and management
  • Community facilitation and engagement
  • Asset creation for livelihoods in the form of passive water harvesting earthworks for long term hydration and moisture security, slope stabilization and soil erosion control

Dates: 2 week courses:

  • February 26 - March 8, 2024

  • October 7 – October 18, 2024

Week 1: Resilience Design basic training and Permagarden home garden design and installation.
Week 2: Resilience Design for field crop programs, biofertilizers, natural pest strategies, and program cascading.
See Agenda
Training instruction, training materials, certification, accommodation, full board (including the day off), travel from accommodation to training site. Limited scholarships available for local participation.
To Register: Email amber@africanwomenrising.org by September 15, 2023 for the October session, or January 15, 2024 for the February session. Space is limited, we encourage early registration to guarantee space.

Regenerative Agriculture Training

Tree Management

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Model Farm

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Facilitator Team

The facilitation team includes two of the developers of the Resilience Design approach who work on the USAID TOPS/SCALE team, Thomas Cole and Warren Brush.

Warren Brush

Agroecologist, RegenAg Designer and Trainer

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Thomas Cole

Agroecologist, RegenAg Designer and Trainer

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Evelyne Lalwedo

Permagarden Manager

Paula Achayo

Field Crop Manager

Patrick Olanya

Agriculture Supervisor

Regenerative Agriculture Training

Tree Management

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Model Farm

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Warren Brush
Warren Brush, Agroecologist, RegenAg Designer and Trainer, is a co-developer and lead trainer in the Resilience Design approach established through USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs.
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Thomas Cole, Agroecologist, RegenAg Designer and Trainer,  is a co-developer and lead trainer in the Resilience Design approach established through USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs.
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Olanya Patrick, AWR Agriculture Coordinator, is a pioneer of the permagarden approach and a co-designer of the Lok Neno site and a lead trainer with African Women Rising.
Lalwedo Evelyn, Program Officer Permagarden, is a pioneer of the permagarden approach and a co-designer of the Lok Neno site and a lead trainer with African Women Rising.
Acayo Paula, Program Officer Organic Field Crop Production, is a pioneer of the permagarden approach and a co-designer of the Lok Neno site and a lead trainer with African Women Rising.
Thomas Cole

Background on Resilience Design

Developed under USAID since 2014 as a practical framework to integrate Regenerative Agriculture into the Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs food security programming.
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