dDuring the Partnership and Communication meeting 2012, one of the key activities to work on that was highlighted was 'internal communication'. A task force was set up to organise this. The task force held a virtual meeting, leading to a list of priorities - to be worked out in more detail.

This page looks at the details of 'improving coffee mornings'


  • Coffee mornings take place at the Nairobi campus (weekly) and at the Addis campus (bi-weekly). In this sense, improving them is not difficult as they already exist
  • But they could be made more lively and useful, while preserving the easy going nature of just enjoying a cup of coffee and a chat with campus colleagues;
  • This was seen as a lower priority by the internal communication task force. It does not bear much potential for impact but is easy to tweak in a positive way so it would be a missed opportunity not to improve this - all the more so as Ewen has been working on this over Christmas holiday to rethink the structure (the related concept note he prepared is attached at the bottom of this page - the thinking has changed a bit in the meantime, to go for more modest adjustments).

What steps to follow

  • This proposal applies primarily to the Addis campus but if there is potential for it, there could be a parallel reflection for the Nairobi campus (and perhaps for other campuses on which ILRI is hosted although this is much harder to operationalise);
  • At the upcoming coffee morning in Addis (8 March), Ewen will experiment with the first 'new formula' coffee morning. This will entail:
    • A brief introduction about why kickstart a slightly new coffee morning process;
    • The regular list of updates and announcements from hosted institutes;
    • An invitation for whoever is interested to have a short reflection about the Women's day and what it means for life on the campus (preempting on the Town Hall taking place later on that day);
  • In the next coffee morning, Ewen will introduce a special space for whoever wants to start mapping special issues they might want to unpack during coffee mornings - always on the basis of an aside and of a voluntary activity - so whoever feels like just having some coffee and a chat will be able to do so.
  • At some point a small committee should also sit down and sort out what is coming out of this new formula and where adjustments might be needed.

Who does what when

  • Ewen will run the next 2 coffee mornings;
  • Ewen, Peter and whoever else volunteering (ideally someone from Nairobi too) could help review the coffee mornings and brainstorm applicability to the NBO campus.

What might we need

  • Replacement for Ewen when he is away;
  • Rapid documentation after each Coffee morning;
  • A small team (2-3) to reflect every now and then on upcoming coffee mornings and prepare them - this should take as little time as possible as it is really not a priority.

Concept note Ewen: