FLD Exchange Workshop 28 Sept 2007 Rome, Italy

Contact person

  • Dorine Ruter - ETC Foundation 
    FLD contact person for Prolinnova 
    Email: d.ruter@etcnl.nl
  •  
Meeting facilitators
  • Miranda Verburg - ETC EcoCulture / Prolinnova
  • Clare O'Farrel - FAO/NRRR
 
 
Invitation
 
The invitation contains an introduction to the event as well as a draft agenda. Please click to view the invitation.
 
 
Participants
 
Name Organisation Email
Clare OFarrel FAO clare.ofarrell AT fao.org
Miranda Verburg ETC Ecoculture m.verburg AT etcnl.nl
Takashi Nagatsuka Tsurumi University Japan nagatsuka-t AT tsurumi-u.acjp
Wilma Roem ILEIA w.roem AT ileia.nl
Margherita Sini FAO margherita.sini AT fao.org
Wyn Richards DFID-RIU w.richards AT nrint.co.uk
Sophie Treinen FAO sophie.treinen AT fao.org
Sara Bel CTA bel AT cta.int
Nigel Scott Gamos nigel AT gamos.org
Christian Kreutz GTZ christian.kreutz AT gtz.de
Pam Kilborn-Miller Independent pamkm AT comcast.net
Elaui Torres Freelance Consultant elaulitorres AT hotmail.com
Bwana-Simba Eria Rural Empowerment Network (REN) fld AT isicad.org
Chiara Calvosa IFAD c.calvosa AT ifad.org
Oliver Oliveros FFAR/Duras project oliveros AT agropolis.fr
Pablo Eyzaguirre Bioversity International p.eyzaguirre AT cgiar.org
Alessandra Giuliani Bioversity International giuliani.ale AT gmail.com
Krishan J. Bheenick SADC; ICART project kbheenick AT sadc.int
Barbara Hutchinson University of Arizona barbarah AT ag.arizona.edu
 
People that were unable to join the meeting:
 
1. Jamie Watts, Institutional Learning and Change (ILAC) Initiative, c/o Bioversity International 
2. Joachim Hofer, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) 
3. Alessandro Meschinelli, IFAD - Italy 
4. Prince Deh, GINKS INformation Network for Knowledge Sharing - Ghana 
5. Gauri Salokhe, FAO WAICENT/Knowledge Exchange Facilitation Branch (KCEW) 
6. Joel Sam, CSIR-INSTI 
7. Joost Lieshout, WUR 
8. Sunil Abraham, IDRC 
9. Luigi Guarino, CropTrust 
10. Ednah Karamagi Akiiki, BROSDI (Busoga Rural open Source and Development Initiative)
 
Information about the FLD experience of the participants (as submitted in writing prior to the meeting) can be found further down this page.
 
 
 
Plenary introduction of FLD & Meeting Agenda
By Miranda Verburg, Prolinnova
 
 
 
Case presentations
 
All participants were encouraged to share their FLD experience during this meeting and if possible, to bring material to the meeting to illustrate these experiences. There was room for a plenary presentation and discussion of 6 cases.
 
1. The use of digital cameras in Bolivia (Agrecol Andes) and South Africa (Farmer Support Group), presented by Miranda Verburg from ETC EcoCulture / Prolinnova.
 
In this case, videos, digital cameras, sound tapes and digital slideshows are used by farmers and communities in Bolivia to collect, edit and spread good practices. This method has led to a procedure of self financing for communities to establish video/ sound centres for collection and distributing information. Experiences have shown that it is important that a central core of specialists within a community is given sufficient training in the use of the various tools (video recording, digital cameras etc) to allow effective collection of the communities’ experiences and knowledge.
 
In South Africa, the Farmer Support Group, is helping farmers to use still photography to monitor and evaluate their activities such as land preparation and planting by making use of digital cameras. In the opinion of the farmers, documentation through pictures is good to maintain memories of the past and as encouragement to continue good practices.
 
 
2. The case of the Rural Empowerment Network, presented by Eria Bwana Simba from REN
 
Rural Empowerment Network (REN) provides a Question and Answer Service (QAS) voucher system to farmers. Vouchers are used to turn farmers’ information needs into demand for information. The vouchers are handed out to farmers to entitle them to ask questions of their choice and to get answers from expert farmers among the participating farmer groups. REN is currently working to incorporate Farmer Led Documentation (FLD) in this process by training and involving farmers in formulating, capturing, and documenting their questions and answers.
 
3. The Traditional Knowledge journal and the Community Biodiversity Register, presented by Pablo Eyzaguirre from Bioversity International
 
The Kitui Adult Women’s Group (KWAG) is a community based organization in Kitui, Kenya.  The group promotes self help through women’s agricultural and environmental activities. Key to their interest is the need for income, to keep the community together by providing opportunities for young people to remain in the community and to transmit the cultural knowledge of elders. The group came up with the project on documentation of the bottle gourd which was close to their culture, had multiple uses as food and containers was a potential source of income from tourist markets. They adopted the TK Journal Methodology which was then presented to several Kenyan communities.
 
The Community Biodiversity Register is a register in which farmers keep an inventory of their biodiversity and associated knowledge and through which they can monitor local crop diversity for the community’s benefits and needs. The register is intended to support monitoring, marketing and exchange of crop genetic diversity in the form of seeds and planting material and also to establish a record of community ownership and document collective or community-based innovation in crop improvements and combat biopiracy.
 
 
4. The use of Participatory Video from ACDEP (Association of Church Development Projects), presented by Miranda Verburg from ETC EcoCulture / Prolinnova
 
In Ghana farmers are involved in filming their experiences and practices. They determine what is to be filmed, where the activities are to be filmed and who will conduct the interviews. These processes are however, facilitated by the extension staff, while a professional video crew carry out the shooting. The video documentation has successfully been carried out in 15 communities in Northern Ghana.
 
 
5. The Isangati Agricultural Development Organisation (IADO), presented by Wilma Roem from ILEIA
 
A good example of the documentation process and the analysis of the process is the case of the Isangati Agricultural Development Organisation (IADO), a local NCO in the Mbeya district in south-west Tanzania. In2006 IADO took part in the documentation workshop organized by VECO Tanzania and ILEIA. The result of this exercise was an article published in LEISA Magazine Vol 23 no 2 pg 12-13, June 2007. Farmers were involved in the documentation of their experiences with cloning resistant coffee plants, though the documentation was led by IADO, Tanzania.
 
View other related information.
 
 
 
 
FLD experience of participants’ organisations
Information submitted prior to the meeting
 
  • ILEIA
ILEIA, the Centre for Information on Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture, has over the past 23 years contributed to the exchange of field based information about the experiences of small scale farmers trying to improve their production in an environmentally sound manner. One of the major difficulties related to this aim has been, and remains, the lack of documentation of practical field activities taking place at community level. If achievements, difficulties overcome and lessons learned are not documented in some form, it is very difficult to share them. It is probable therefore that a lot of interesting information that could contribute to the further development of knowledge on ecologically sound agriculture has been lost, is in a format or language that is not accessible to all, or has not been fully reflected upon and presented.
 
ILEIA has started a new documentation programme with two objectives. In the first place we want to facilitate the documentation of experiences. For this purpose we have developed and distributed a documentation manual. In the second place we are interested in analyzing different documentation processes to be able to draw lessons from them. We hope to encourage readers to describe and analyse their experiences, and thus benefit from the process. We will benefit from analyzing these documentation processes and we will publish the lessons learned.
 
This approach has already results: Many different efforts are currently being carried out to document LEISA experiences based on the methodology available through the website or/and the printed manual, complementing other documentation attemps.
 
A good example of the documentation process and the analysis of the process is the case of the Isangati Agricultural Development Organisation (IADO), a local NGO in the Mbeya district in south-west Tanzania.In 2006 IADO took part in the documentation workshop organized by VECO Tanzania and ILEIA. The result of this exercise was an article published in LEISA Magazine Vol 23 no 2 pg 12-13, June 2007. Farmers were involved in the documentation of their experiences with cloning resistant coffee plants, though the documentation was led by IADO.
 
ILEIA has started this specific programme for increasing the documentation of LEISA experiences and analysing the documentation processes in 2007. We plan to work through our partners to see where there are possibilities for collaboration with various organisations. We will consider documentation processes which are based on different methodologies, carried out in different countries and within different contexts. We expect farmers to be the key actors in each process, in the same way as in the analysis of each process. As more activities are carried out, validation and dissemination will increase. This will be done via the website, and published in the magazine.
 
  • Prolinnova
Prolinnova (an NGO-facilitated international programme in several countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific - (www.prolinnova.net) aims to promote local innovation in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management (NRM). Its focus is on recognizing the dynamics of indigenous knowledge and learning how development agents can strengthen the capacities of farmers to adjust to changing conditions.
 
As part of these efforts, Prolinnova partners (in each country including government, research, education, and extension organizations) aim to explore Farmer led documentation (FLD) and support the implementation of good documentation practices.
 
First experiences being very promising (a/o using ICT such as digital video) a need was identified to take stock of innovative experiences elsewhere and assess their potential in strengthening Prolinnova’s efforts. A workshop was therefore organized in November 2006 together with Pelum Uganda and Oxfam Novib to review those experiences and build the capacities of participants to use these in their programmes.
 
Examples - Two examples of FLD projects from Prolinnova partners are:
 
  • Using still photography: Farmer support Group (South Africa): In this method, farmers are using still photography and weather instruments to record weather conditions (rainfall and temperature), different growth stages and harvesting and to monitor and evaluate their activities such as land preparation and planting. In the opinion of the farmers, documentation through pictures is good to maintain memories of the past and as encouragement to continue good practices. It helps illiterate people, since it is easy to make and watch pictures. Through the photographs, farmers can easily recognize if a plant has a problem and how they should act upon that. The pictures can be used as a learning tool in farmer-to-farmer extension.
  • Participatory Video (PV): Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP), Ghana: In Ghana farmers are involved in filming their experiences and practices. They determine what is to be filmed, where the activities are to be filmed and who will conduct the interviews. These processes are however, facilitated by the extension staff who took part in a Participatory Video Training (Prolinnova, 2004), while a professional video crew carry out the shooting. The video documentation has successfully been carried out in 15 communities in Northern Ghana. The communities were enthusiastic about using participatory video as a means to enhance their learning and share their experiences. Some challenges were the illiteracy and difficulty to learn camera manipulation, editing limitations by farmers and seasonality of farmers’ other activities.
Future plans - In the overall Prolinnova budget for 2007-2009, an amount has been reserved for integration of FLD into Prolinnova activities. These funds will be distributed among Prolinnova country programmes to implement FLD pilot activities within the national programmes. At this moment Prolinnova is preparing guidelines for submitting country proposals to start with these FLD pilots. Partners will be encouraged to look at feasibility of FLD, e.g. through focusing on more traditional documentation methods already in use or through finding innovative ways to make ICT-enabled documentation methods sustainable.