Ilri40nairobi after action review

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ILRI@40 Nairobi After-action review meeting Venue: Info Centre Date: 09 'October' 2014 Time: 1000-1215 hours

Present: Joyce, Muthoni, Robert, Patrick, Jackie, Tezira, Angie, Dorine, Kate, Ethel, Nadine (briefly), Loyce On work travel: Jo In attendance: Jane Gitau (to update on ILRI@40 AACAA)

Agenda Reflection on the event and providing feedback on what went well, what didn’t go so well and lessons for similar events in future

Summary of points raised


  • Was a successful event
  • Muthoni will write a summary report for the management and take stock on the number of people who registered vis-à-vis numbers in attendance
  • Nadine is not to be assigned any action points re: ILRI@40 Nairobi
  • There was lack of clarity on the TORs of the consultant vis-à-vis what was expected of the task force. This resulted in some aspects of the event planning not being handled on time resulting in fire-fighting towards the final weeks leading up to the event [registration, name tags and speaker bios]. Follow-up communication with the invitees was poor and information notes to participants were not sent out in time. The Protocol Officer was called in too late to assist. In future, there’s need for all to be clear on the TOR’s of the contractor and the task force members.

Guest feedback

  • Congratulations received by Jimmy from many invited guests and VIPs; they were happy with the event
  • Management is happy with the efforts of the team; we are likely to be involved in leading the planning of similar events, high-profile visits etc. in future
  • Jimmy has already sent ‘Thank You’ emails to the panellists and VIPs
  • Need to send ‘Thank You’ messages to the wider invitee list (via Mailchimp – Tsehay to assist)


  • Quality of signage was sub-standard (typos – ‘refresments’; ‘BecA-ILRI House’); need to give feedback to James Thuku about this


  • Bags not enough for all staff; we may have under-estimated the numbers
  • Some staff were not interested in attending the event so came early to register, picked bags and went back to their offices. In future, give out bags during the tea break not at registration so that the event participants don’t miss out on getting bags
  • Registration for staff: There were a few hitches at the start because only two people were assigned initially
  • Key holders to staff will be given during the end-year party


  • ILRI@40 cake: better advance planning would have been good
  • Coordination of VIP seating at lunch was a challenge; for future events, need to have someone assigned to wait on the VIP tables and replenish items as needed
  • Catering was good; enough food stations meant that the queues moved fast. For future, need to have signage to indicate closed food stations so that people don’t think the food is over
  • Total 640 pax for lunch


  • Some felt that the Maasai dancers should have stayed longer, possibly until the tea break
  • Need to organize a visit to the Maasai group and Sarova Panafric to present them with conference bags/giveaways as a token of gratitude

Campus tours

  • Campus tours went well and they were a good experience despite a few hitches. Liz Waithanji ‘created’ an impromptu station in the InfoCentre and the extra time she took to explain her poster led to long waits in the lab. Some people also joined the tours mid-way but didn’t sign up.
  • Need to plan for a more ‘relaxed’ tour for future events.
  • Those presenting during the tours need to be prepared to answer one key question that kept recurring: ‘What are you doing for the community?’ We need to be able to articulate the relevance of our research and capacity development activities for the farmers/community. This relates to corporate social responsibility at the institutional level; management needs to be aware of this

Evening reception and alumni engagement

  • Good turnout at the evening reception though bitings were not enough
  • The team is grateful to Peter Ballantyne for supporting ILRI@40 Nairobi through sponsoring the evening reception
  • Need to organize similar alumni meetings in future
  • In addition to the newly created ILRI LinkedIn Group, there is need to have an alumni database (Salesforce?) and strengthen alumni connections through platforms that allow for more participation.


  • Security deployment during the day and at the evening reception went according to plan
  • Access vetting at the gate went well; 60 confirmed guests as per final list plus about 10 who were not on the list but vetted and added. In some cases, there was more than one guest per vehicle so need to cross-check with registration forms to verify actual attendance numbers
  • Labs were closed at the usual time but were re-opened for the last tour group that was delayed by the unforeseen hitch at the InfoCentre hub
  • Reception went well; only one ‘heckler’ incident that was dealt with accordingly.
  • Management to tell campus residents not to bring their children for evening receptions (re: Karen Marshall’s toddlers who were running around the dais while the CS was speaking)
  • For future events, there should be no extra protocols for CS and PS (VIP ‘holding’ tent). Once allowed access, they should proceed to the registration tent and be received there. The only special considerations should be if it is the President or an Ambassador visiting ILRI as they normally have their protocol/advance teams.


  • All payments have been made

AOB Jane gave an update on the 6th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture (AACAA) taking place at KICC Nairobi on 27-30 October. Okeyo Mwai is the chairman of the technical sub-committee of the conference. ILRI has a side event on the afternoon of Tuesday 28 October. This will be followed by an ILRI-sponsored dinner for about 500 pax.

Okeyo would like the ILRI@40 Nairobi task force to provide support for the AACAA side event and also for campus tours for 50 conference participants on the morning of 29 October. We may also need to support registration and ushering for the main conference.

Okeyo would like to meet with the task force on Friday 10 October, 2:30-4:00p.m. to discuss further and clarify expectations with respect to our contribution to the success of the AACAA event.

Joyce asked to be excused since she and the rest of the CapDev team are already involved in the main AACAA conference program and she will be involved in preparing the plenary presentation to be made by Iddo.

There being no further business to discuss, the ILRI@40 Nairobi task force disbanded at 12:15pm