To achieve its mandate to position agriculture as a catalyst for growth, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) needed to assemble a team of employees who are data-driven, strategic, and deeply knowledgeable of the agriculture sector across Ethiopia. When the ATA first received its mandate, its team included only 7 people — a mix of international and local staff.
The ATA engaged Dalberg to develop its first organizational strategy, with a focus on internal structure, talent development and retention, and a transition plan to move to a fully Ethiopian team within five years as part of the organization’s ambitious growth plan.
Our team first identified ATA’s goals based on the agency’s mandate and unique culture. We applied our understanding of global development challenges to identify what the organization needed internally to achieve its goal externally. Through detailed analyses based on management and organizational science, we designed an organizational structure and staffing model for the next 5 years, including a step-by-step implementation roadmap.
The roadmap pinpointed the talent needs for the new structure and a transition plan to move to a fully Ethiopian team. We also built flexibility into the structure to keep the ATA open to change in anticipation of shifting stakeholder needs and possible changes to ATA’s mandate in the future. Finally, we designed key interventions including an assessment center for analysts to ensure talent development, onboarding materials for new hires, and the recruitment and reviewing of profiles for a senior director position to oversee the new internal structure.
The ATA adopted the new organizational structure and they are implementing the roadmap. Analyst training sessions designed by Dalberg have been executed and are helping to support ATA’s work with data-driven analysis. Over the past four years, ATA has grown to over 300 employees who have worked across 84 projects, involving collaboration with over 200 public and private-sector partners and the training of 67,671 stakeholder experts and roughly 9.7 million smallholder farmers. Today, the agency advises Ethiopian policymakers and other high-level decision makers on how to achieve ambitious growth and poverty alleviation targets for the country.