Agri-service Ethiopia (ASE) is one of the oldest national NGOs in this country. It has worked in the area of rural development since 1969, primarily with smallholder farmers in remote places of the country. Currently, ASE is implementing development program in six weredas of three Regional States; namely, Enabse Sar Midir and Tehuldere weredas in Amhara regional state; Berek, Goro & Gelana weredas in Oromia Regional State; and Amaro wereda in Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples Regional States. Since its inception ASE‟s main thrust was community training and extension.
In accordance to the recent strategic changes of the organization, Community Empowerment has been officially adopted as the main institutional philosophy of ASE. In principle community empowerment has been the anticipated goal of the organizations ever since its establishment as many of the program components (mostly service delivery oriented) were designed to achieve community empowerment, in a sense that the living conditions of the people are improved as a result of improving access to several services and information. The recent change however is different because community empowerment is not only seen as a far reaching goal but also as a basic institutional function, which envisages programs formed by key activities that ensures community empowerment as an immediate output. In other words, ASE is consciously engaged in community empowerment processes with anticipated goals of bringing cultural and institutional innovation to contribute to sustainable development, poverty reduction and improved governance systems at local level. To achieve these goals, ASE adopted two important strategies. These include the development of Community Based Institutions (CBIs) and running Community Learning and action (CoLA) activities. Theses are indeed the overarching strategies of the organization, while several strategic documents that support the implementation of these core strategies are also developed and used.