(C) Agris Mundus Alumni 06/07/2011 info(a)agrismundusalumni.org
to everybody! I’m Myriam from
finished my last training period for the AgrisMundus on October 2008. Soon
after, I got involved on the support to the new AgrisMundus students
In May 2009 after getting married (see pictures on the bottom of this page) I was engaged for the preparation of a cooperation project between a French institution and a Colombian institution based on environmental services. It was a 5 months mission that I could do working together with my husband. Back in Montpellier in October I had the great opportunity of joining again the AgrisMundus this time with a wider role on the pedagogical aspects. During this period I could carry out the first AgrisMundus Tracer study for which you may have been questioned or that I imagine you have had the chance to consult.
this opportunity to work in
are executing a Food Security project that began on 2008 in Phalombe
activities are divided into 2 different objectives: improving farmers’
production and increasing families’ annual income. Concerning the production
improvement we give farmers the access to improved seeds and planting
materials. Each group creates a “Seed Bank” from where a farmer gets his
seeds as a loan and at the end of the harvest he reimburses his loan two
times. This double reimbursement allows each group to enlarge each year or
to renew the seeds if needed. For raising the family’s income we propose
irrigation activities based on a revolving found, we have launched a goats
“pass-on” programme and we do a vaccination campaign against the
Before starting and for the good establishment of each activity the necessary trainings are delivered by our Field Officers. We work with a team of 6 of them that covers all our area; each field officer works with 6 up to 12 farmers groups. And this is the most difficult part of our work: the human resources management. We are responsible for the good functioning of the team, we have to be severe with misconduct faults, encourage the good dynamics, solve internal conflicts, pay the salaries, give leave days… no one told me about this when I was studying!
Another crucial component of the work is the budget management and
accounting. We have made the annual budget for the project but each month we
have to send the accounting to our head office in
And on the top of this is the so well known acronym M&E! Monitoring and evaluation. -“This yes!”- I thought when I saw the component on the project’s document, but again, M&E tools can not be applied as such to each and every project, they have to be adapted. It is a hard task to find appropriate, pertinent and measurable indicators that can help for the reorientation of the project. Indeed what is difficult is to find the ones that don’t take a field officer’s full month of work to be collected; the ones that have a quite comprehensible analysis. It is difficult to select those that show the same thing for every kind of public. It is a full time job that is not well taken into account when making the budget. But what astonished me the most was to realise that evaluation can show the need to polish the project’s approach but in no way it shows you how to do so, that is your task as an engineer!
is one year since I arrive to
Tuesday the 5th of April
In March 2010, the graduates of batch 1 (2006-2008) and batch 2 (2007-2009) were asked to fill in a questionnaire about their achievements before and after studying in Agris Mundus. Around 60% of the alumni responded to the questionnaire, below you can find a summary of the most interesting outcomes of this study (read the full version here).
In March 2010, only 9,1% of the graduates was still searching for a job, which is not a lot considering that batch 2 students graduated in August-November 2009.
2 graduates were self-employed at that moment.
More than 45% of respondents found a job within 2 months after graduation.
17% of respondents that now hold a PhD position, found this through, or in the Agris Mundus network
Respondents mostly miss agricultural entrepreneurship and fieldwork skills in the AM curriculum
65% of respondents said that the AM course met their expectationsSaturday the 23rd of October
12th of September
Alumni present during AM orientation week in Sète, France
This year the AM orientation week took place in Sète, France, between the 30th of August and the 4th of September. The batch 4 students presented their thesis topics and participated in the research methodology workshop, and the new batch 5 students got to know eachother and the Agris Mundus program.
For the first time, 3 alumni of the program also joined this week, to share their experiences and give presentations about 'life after Agris Mundus' and the thesis research. These alumni were: Ernest Acheampong (Batch 1, Ghana), Elena Mihailescu (Batch 2, Romania) and Berdi Doornebosch (Batch 2, The Netherlands).
Ernest and Berdi also presented something about 'life after Agris Mundus'. Ernest talked about working in an international organization, you can see his presentation here. Berdi told something about networking, you can see her presentation here.
Ernest, as the EMA representative, also presented about the function of the Erasmus Mundus Association, you can find his presentation here. Andrea Berta, as the global representative 2009/2010, and Berdi presented about the Agris Mundus Students and Alumni Association, you can find this presentation here.
the 25th of August
First AMA President candidate
Berdi Doornebosch (Batch 2, The Netherlands) is the first AMA president candidate. Other interested candidates (alumni only) can still apply for this position by sending an e-mail to the current global representative, Andrea Berta (blue.lunar.ska(a)gmail.com) before Monday the 30th of August.
26th of July
AM orientation week in Sète, France
This year the Agris Mundus orientation week will be held in Sète, France, between the 30th of August and the 3rd of September 2010. The new batch 5 students and the batch 4 students will meet there to prepare themselves for the coming study year and to meet eachother.
As you know, we are preparing to officially register the Agris Mundus Association around the same time in Montpellier. For this we need your input, and we made an agenda with some important dates:
- 9th of August: candidates who want to
become the AMA president: send your presentation to the global
representative (Andrea Berta, blue.lunar.ska(a)gmail.com) and the webmaster
(Berdi Doornebosch, firstname.lastname@example.org) before the 9th of August
- 9th of August: start of the online elections for the AMA president.
- 16th of August: Send your comments on the AMA statutes to statutes(a)agrismundusalumni.org before the 16th of August!
- 16th of August: Send your suggestions for the agenda of the general assembly during the orientation week in Sète to the global representative (Andrea Berta, blue.lunar.ska(a)gmail.com)
- 16th of August: Send your proposed changes to the working groups topics and structure to be discussed during the orientation week in Sète to the global representative (Andrea Berta, blue.lunar.ska(a)gmail.com)
- 23rd of August: publication of proposed amendments to the statutes (and working groups), to be discussed during the general assembly.
- 23rd of August: candidates for the position of global representative can send their (powerpoint) presentations to the current global representative (Andrea Berta, blue.lunar.ska(a)gmail.com) and the webmaster (Berdi Doornebosch, berdi.doornebosch(a)gmail.com before the 23rd of August.
- 30th of August – 3rd of September: AM orientation week and AMA general assembly in Sète, France
This agenda was made according to the deadlines outlined in the statutes, you can also find more information about the different positions here.
Please consider to become more active in the association, it will help you develop yourself and is mostly a lot of fun!!
Thursday, the 22nd of July
19th issue of the EMA newsletter now available
The latest issue of the EMA newsletter is now available on their website. In order to receive the newsletter in your mailbox, sign up on the EMA homepage, www.em-a.eu
the 21st of July
Ernest's report of the EMA General Assembly in Madrid, Spain
Ernest ACHEAMPONG (Ghana, batch 1) attended the Erasmus Mundus Association General Assembly in Madrid, Spain in June.
You can now read his interesting report here.
27th of June
Agris Mundus Association Statutes and logo!
With a group of volunteers from all 4 batches, we have been working on writing the first official statutes for our Agris Mundus Association. We want to officially register the assocation this summer in Montpellier during the orientation week. For this, we need your help!! Read the statutes and let us know what you think about it on statutes(a)agrismundusalumni.org
We will summarize all comments and discuss what to do with it. Please let us know before the 1st of August what you think of the statutes!
We translated the statutes in English, French and Spanish so that everybody can understand.
Greg, Khalid, Ernest, Julie, Berdi, Linda and Andrea spend a lot of their time on discussing and writing the statutes, so now it is your turn to work on it!!
Of course, now that we will be an officially registered association, we also need our own logo! So time to become creative! Any suggestions for a logo are welcome, please also send them to statutes(a)agrismundusalumni.org
25th of June
Life after Agris Mundus - Part 1
Ernest Acheampong (Ghana, Batch 1) started to collect the stories of our alumni, about what they are doing now after graduating from Agris Mundus.
You can read part 1 of this newsletter here. The stories are definitely worth reading!!
7th of June
Watch Ineke's thesis defense LIVE on the internet!
Ineke KLEEMANS (The Netherlands, Batch 2) will defend her thesis research tomorrow (the 8th of June 2010), at 15:00 (GMT+1:00) in room C326 in the Forum building in Wageningen.
Her defense will also be live broadcasted on the internet, through the website of WUR: http://wurtv.wur.nl/Presentations/Roadkit6
So visit the website around this time if you are interested in finding out what kind of thesis researches people do within Agris Mundus!
Good luck Ineke!!
25th of May
Statutes of the AMA almost finished
As you might know, a group of volunteers from the 4 different batches have been working together during the past months to draft the statutes of the Agris Mundus alumni and students Association. With these statutes we will be able to officially register our association in France and to open a bank account (we will get some money from Agris Mundus to run the association).
We are still finalizing the statutes in English, French and Spanish so that everybody can equally understand it contents.
For a sneak preview of the English version, click here.
Tuesday the 25th of May
Join our Facebook groups and receive regular AMA updates
If you are a Facebook member, search under groups for 'Agris Mundus' (this is a group) and
'Agris Mundus Alumni' (this is a page). Joining these groups will make it easier for us to
interact and communicate news about AMA, the Agris Mundus students and alumni Association!
16th of May
18th EMA Newsletter
You can now read the 18th EMA (Erasmus Mundus Association) Newsletter online here. To receive the newsletter in your mail inbox, just register yourself on the EMA website (www.em-a.eu)
Sunday the 16th of May
Article about Haiti on the World Policy Institute blog
Gregory VAUGHAN (USA, batch 1) is currently living and working in Colombia. He wrote an article about Haiti for the World Policy Institute blog. You can read his article here.
He also has his own blog on the internet, read it here.
Wednesday the 28th of April
First selection round results for batch 5
The first results of the candidate selection for AM batch 5 are available on the Agris Mundus website: http://www.agrismundus.eu/agris-mundus/news.php
Wednesday the 28th of April
Miryam and Ronan to Malawi
Miryam (Batch 1, Spain) and her husband Ronan are going to work in Malawi for InterAide, a french NGO working in agricultural development. They will coordinate a team of field officers, who work on a project with different components: improving soil quality, diversifying crops production and improving livestock production.
This means Miryam will quit her job with Agris Mundus in Montpellier, where one of her tasks was helping the new AM students to understand the french courses.
Good luck Myriam and Ronan and we hope to keep on receiving news from you!!
Wednesday the 28th of April
Beware of VDM publishing house
Several AM alumni have been receiving e-mails from VDM publishing house, asking if the alumnus is willing to have his/her thesis report published.
There are indications that this company is not to be trusted, more info can be found on this blog: http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/09/victoria-strauss-vdm-verlag-dr-mueller.html