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Capitalisation & Enhancement of Experiences of Development Projects and Programmes - Methodological Guide

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Published by the West Africa Rural Foundation (WARF) with IFAD support. The following participated in the preparation of this guide: Ndèye Coumba FALL; Adama Abdoulaye NDIAYE ; Abdou FALL; Ousmane …

Published by the West Africa Rural Foundation (WARF) with IFAD support. The following participated in the preparation of this guide: Ndèye Coumba FALL; Adama Abdoulaye NDIAYE ; Abdou FALL; Ousmane Touré TIMERA; Ngagne MBAO; Thierry F. BARRETO

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  • 1. Capitalization and enhancement of the experiences of IFAD-funded development projects and programmes in West and Central Africa Methodological Guide Published by the West Africa Rural Foundation (WARF) with IFAD support The following participated in the preparation of this guide: Ndèye Coumba FALL Adama Abdoulaye NDIAYE Abdou FALL Ousmane Touré TIMERA Ngagne MBAO Thierry F. BARRETO Many thanks to: - Messrs. Boubacar DIAO - Mouhamed BA associate consultants, - All West and Central African projects funded by IFAD for their contribution to the preparation of this guide.   Illustration: Cheikh BA, Designer   This publication was made possible by Grant 1035 from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of IFAD. © FRAO/WARF - Dakar, 2009   FRAO/WARF – FIDAfrique/IFADAfrica Coordination Fondation Rurale de l’Afrique de l’Ouest/ West Africa Rural Foundation (FRAO/WARF) N° 10075, Sacré- Cœur III- VDN - C.P. 13 DAKAR-Fann, SENEGAL Tel: (221) 33 865 00 60 - Fax: (221) 33 860 66 89 - E-mails: secretary@frao.info; contact@fidafrique.net Web site: www.frao.info; www.fidafrique.net 2   
  • 2. CAPITALIZATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF THE EXPERIENCES OF DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES - METHODOLOGIAL GUIDE Dakar – FRAO/WARF – 2009 3   
  • 3. CONTENTS ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMES ............................................................................. 5 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 6 FOREWORD ............................................................................................................................ 7 - For whom is this guide intended ....................................................................................... 7 - What this guide is not ....................................................................................................... 7 - What does this guide represent ......................................................................................... 8 PART ONE – DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS ..................................................................... 9 DEFINITION .......................................................................................................................... 10 - Experience capitalization, a resource enhancement process .......................................... 10 - Capitalization, a component of knowledge management ............................................... 11 - Capitalization, a formalization process ........................................................................... 11 - Capitalization, a learning process ................................................................................... 12 - Capitalization, an act of sharing, solidarity and generosity ............................................ 13 PART TWO – EXPERIENCE CAPITALIZATION AND ENHANCEMENT APPROACH ........................................................................................................................... 14 2.1 Diagnostics of capitalization and communication practices within projects .................. 16 2.1.1 Self-assessment of organizational variables............................................ 17 2.1.2 Self-assessment of project practices........................................................ 23 2.2 What should we capitalize on? .............................................................................. 27 2.2.1 Identify knowledge within the project .................................................... 27 2.2.2 Identify capitalization themes ................................................................. 32 2.2.2.1 Definition of criteria for the selection of capitalization themes ..................................................................................... 32 2.2.2.2 Choosing capitalization themes .............................................. 34 2.3 How to capitalize? ................................................................................................ 36 2.3.1 Some capitalization tools ........................................................................ 36 2.3.1 Systematic experience analysis ............................................................... 52 PART THREE – KNOWLEDGE SHARING METHODS ................................................ 54 3.1 The sharing levels and tools .................................................................................. 55 3.2 Evaluation of the performance of sharing tools .................................................... 56 3.3 Some sharing tools ................................................................................................ 58 3.3.1 A description of some sharing tools in the villages and area of intervention ............................................................................................ 58 3.3.2 Description of some sharing tools used by projects ................................ 69 3.3.3 Description of some sharing at both national and international levels ... 73 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................. 77 4   
  • 4. ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS ACEP : Alliance de Crédit et d’Epargne pour la Production/ Credit and Savings Alliance for Production ASUFOR : Association des Usagers de Forages /Association of Borehole Users WADB : West African Development Bank CERP : Coopérative d’Exploitation et de Répartition CLEC : Caisse Locale d’Epargne et de Crédit /Local Savings and Credit Fund CMS : Crédit Mutuel du Sénégal RC : Rural Community IDRC : International Development Research Centre CRETEF : Centre Regional d’Enseignement Technique Féminin/Regional Technical Education Centre for Women CTA : Centre Technique de Coopération Agricole ET Rurale /Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation DIDFE : Début ; Introduction ou Information ; Discussion ; Fin ; Evaluation / Commencement, Introduction or Information, Discussion, Conclusion, Evaluation DPH : Dialogue for Human Progress FAO : United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization IFAD : International Fund for Agricultural Development FPH : Foundation for Human Progress WARF : West African Rural Foundation MFI : Microfinancing institution MARP : Méthode d’Analyse Rapide ET de Planification Participative / Rapid Analysis and Participatory Planning Method MER/RMB : Rural Micro-Business NICT : New Information and Communication Technology OCB /GCO : Grassroots Community Organization NGO : Non- Governmental Organization PADV : Project d’Aménagement ET de Development Villageois /Village Planning and Development Project UNDP : United Nations Development Programme PRAAP : Programme de Recherche et d’Appui aux Organizations Paysannes / Research and Farmer Organization Support Programme PROMER : Project de Promotion des Micro-Entreprises Rurales/Rural Micro- Business Promotion Project PTBA/WPAB : Plan de Travail et de Budget Annuel/Work Plan and Annual Budget SEPO : Succès ; Echecs ; Potentialités ; Obstacles /Accomplishments, Failures, Potentials, Obstacles SIC/ICS : Information and Communication System IUCN : International Union for the Conservation of Nature UMEC : Union des Mutuelles d’Epargne et de Crédit /Savings and Credit Union UNESCO : United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture 5   
  • 5. INTRODUCTION Why this guide? The IFADAfrica network was set up in West and Central Africa in 1999 by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with the aim of improving the management of projects through the linkage of persons and networks to facilitate learning, experience and innovation sharing and thus reduce rural poverty in this region. «The issue of rural development and poverty reduction is among the key concerns of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Its strategy is as follows: «To increase the income of the rural poor of West and Central Africa and improve living conditions, IFAD will tackle the critical mass of priority needs (...). To that end, it will prepare and implement projects and programmes based on results and flexible, participatory and equitable learning, which is attentive to gender issues, sustainable both from the environmental and institutional standpoints, and capable of providing elements that are useful for policy analysis and consultation». Knowledge management is an important process in the implementation of this strategy. It entails providing projects and programmes with a conceptual and methodological framework to enable them to build on the lessons of their experiences, in order to step up the efficiency of their interventions relative to development. Such a framework is meant to: « i) - enable the rural poor make the most of the acquired knowledge in order to improve their living conditions; ii) – provide IFAD partners who are in direct contact with the rural poor, with the knowledge they need; and iii) - build on the experience acquired through projects, and ensure their broader flow at national and regional levels, with a view to guiding decisions relative to investments and policies ». In the sustainable development and poverty reduction sector, efficiency lies in the increased capacity to generate and disseminate knowledge, best practices and lessons learnt from projects. This guide has been designed in a bid to satisfy IFADAfrica’s strong demand for such a knowledge management support instrument. For WARF which has, for several years, put a lot into the sustainable development and poverty reduction sector, knowledge management has become a major axis for learning and innovation. For this reason, after proving itself in the area of participatory diagnosis (PD) in the 1990s, it has been engaged, over the past few years, in the methodological research of knowledge management. 6   
  • 6. FOREWORD For whom is this guide intended? This guide is, first and foremost, addressed to personnel of IFAD projects and programmes in West and Central Africa. This document will provide project management units and their partners with an approach that will assist them in the implementation of an internal reflection, experience and knowledge sharing process. It is also intended for project teams in the field whose role in the transmission of information to the management units is essential for the monitoring-evaluation of project indicators. Moreover, this document and some of its participatory media could prove useful to cooperating institutions and IFAD officials when they engage in reflection, during supervision missions and/or those undertaken to prepare the Work Plan and Annual Budget (WPAB). It perfectly fits into the strategy of IFADAfrica’s network consisting in devising an approach for IFAD projects and their partners, in order to help them to develop their own experience capitalization and exchange plans. While we agree that it is inspired by practices that have already been tested in other similar IFAD-supported projects in Latin America and Asia, we observe that it seeks to maintain a certain specificity in relation to sharing habits and practices which are typically cultural or due to poverty (oral character, illiteracy), and imbalanced access to a certain communication environment. Finally, it is addressed to all projects and programmes which share the vision whereby sustainable development is not a set of isolated actions, but a transformation process which takes place because different actors (officers, partners, operators, beneficiaries, providers…) intervene at different times or levels and according to various methods. This means that knowledge has no value unless it is shared; knowledge can be acquired only through experiential learning, regardless of whether the experience is profitable or not. What this guide is not? This guide should not be seen as a catalogue of instruments which, if fervently implemented, provide finished capitalization products. It does not claim to present an approach which provides answers to all project situations and turn all the officers into “champions of capitalization.” ; it is understood that the projects will resort to the services of resource-persons, experts in the fields targeted by project. This guide is not a school manual because: - The content is not structured in teaching units and lessons, with applications, summaries, consolidation, appraisal and evaluation exercises. - The organization of contents does not follow a taxonomical logic based on pacing in the acquisition of knowledge, know-how and inter-personal skills. However, even though the guide is different from a school manual, it serves the latter’s essential functions, namely: 7   
  • 7. - The transmission of knowledge: This guide contains information concerning the key concepts of capitalization and strategic planning - The development of capacities and skills: the application of the methodological approach and the use of several tools proposed here make it possible to acquire practical know-how, capacities and skills in capitalization. What does this guide represent? This guide is meant to complete the procedures and methods already produced by IFAD. More specifically, it seeks to: - concretely take into account the situation of IFAD projects and the mechanisms used to conduct them; - present a conceptual approach built on the basis of the participatory diagnosis of two Senegalese projects, the analysis of questionnaires sent to all projects as well as the contribution of the Ouagadougou1 workshop held in September 2005. Providing the targets with an instrument which satisfies their needs was a recurrent concern. - avoid excessive abstraction and a level of sophistication which only a qualified trainer could use; - start from a conceptual identification of experience capitalization and enhancement which provides project officers with theoretical guidelines to enable them to innovate and adapt the proposed tools and instruments to their own context, if necessary. This guide is meant to be an accessible tool, enabling IFAD project and programme officers to understand and use it critically. For this reason, it is simple, clear and : - Brief: a voluminous document is often discouraging. References will be provided in the bibliography for those wishing, for example, to diversify the media for additional information; - The analysis and comments are illustrative and demonstrative. Significant clarifications are made through extracts of operations undertaken and practices used during the participatory diagnosis with the project teams of Senegal, and questionnaires sent to other projects ; - Participatory: These tools were also tested in other countries of the sub-region like Ghana, Mauritania, the Gambia, and Burkina Faso. The content of this guide is far from being an article of faith. It proposes a methodological approach which should be enriched with experiences and their eventual applications, within the framework of development projects and programmes.                                                              1  Atelier de validation du manuel de capitalisation des expériences à l’intention des projets du FIDA en Afrique de  l’Ouest et du Centre. Ouagadougou (BF) 26‐28/09/2005.  8   
  • 8. PART ONE DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS 9   
  • 9. DEFINITION The literature concerning development projects and programmes contains many definitions of the capitalization concept. To understand all the contours, a few of them can be selected and crosschecked before indicating the general trend. The first is that of Guy Le Boterf et al. (1994). For these authors, «Capitalization is transforming into transferable knowledge a set of data and information concerning several experiences to be compared ». Their definition specially lays emphasis on the construction process, the engineering work done on the basis of results obtained from experiences. It also insists on the transferability of the results of this process. The second definition derives from WARF (2005) which considers capitalization as « a process meant to create a capital from information or knowledge available in an organization in order to enhance their value by placing them at the disposal of other institutions or actors. » The third, drawn from IED (2007), considers capitalization as «a process consisting in the acquisition, gathering, organization and analysis of information about a given experience, with a view to drawing lessons from them and sharing these by using adapted media. » This definition particularly describes the capitalization process as: Information gathering, and the organization and analysis of this information to draw lessons from them. However, like the preceding definitions, it also targets the sharing of capitalization results. Thus, in these three definitions, capitalization is presented as: - a resource enrichment process; - a knowledge management process; - a formalization process; - a learning process ; - an act of sharing, solidarity and generosity. Experience capitalization, a resource enrichment process Etymologically, capitalization is the action of building up a set of resources (monetary, intellectual, moral, etc.) which pay off. It is a process consisting in enhancing accomplishments and which, like an economic activity, is profit-seeking. Besides, it is this economic dimension that we again find in the « capitalism » concept, known to be profit-seeking as well. However, when applied to development projects and programmes, experience capitalization does not target tangible or financial property, but knowledge, information deriving from experiences and lessons drawn from the implementation of the activities. 10   
  • 10. Capitalization, a component of knowledge management Knowledge is a precise and restricted set of information, capable of triggering changes or inspiring more efficient actions in a broader context that can promote a new apprenticeship and new knowledge. It stems from experiences and lessons drawn from the implementation of activities. The knowledge of an organization can be divided into explicit knowledge which is already expressed and codified in documentary form, and tacit, implicit or diffuse knowledge comprising unwritten knowledge and know-how transmitted by word of mouth and embedded in the officers’ mind. Knowledge management supposes the creation, sharing and updating of such knowledge. To that end, there is need to establish mechanisms and procedures to gather, organize, present and disseminate information to actors and partners in time, as well as appraise these operations. Knowledge management also entails learning from various institutions-partners, non- governmental organizations and, in particular, the disadvantaged groups who have experiences which can be used by the projects. Knowledge management practices are applied by so-called learning institutions. This means that an institution and its officers need to have a learning culture in order to embark on capitalization. The learning culture supposes open-mindedness, attitudes and behaviours which show that each actor has a certain knowledge which, if shared, will improve the performance of both the group and the institution. Capitalization, a formalization process All experiences generate lessons and our goal is to capitalize these lessons. To draw lessons from actual experiences, there is need to elaborate and formalize them. Therein lies the art of capitalization. Formalization is not report writing. Contrary to the report’s simple description of experiences and practices, formalization calls for an analysis, characterization and conceptualization effort. It is meant to build a «simplified and explanatory representation of the reality under study ». Thus, to formalize the results of a development activity, the actions taken should be identified, by establishing the assumptions and the objectives, describing the implementation process, identifying and characterizing the effects, and finding explanatory factors. 11   
  • 11. Diagram N° 1: The formalization process Formalized and capitalized knowledge (Preparation of Operational Representations)  Formalization Transferability Formalization Formalization Experience B Experience D Experience A Experience C and its context  and its context  and its context  and its context  Source : Le Boterf et al. (1992) Capitalization, a learning process One always learns from a capitalization approach. The process consisting in describing and analyzing experiences which we seek to capitalize, the resulting inductions, the generation of new knowledge, the lessons drawn from the experiences analyzed in terms of accomplishments or failures as well as the models and media used for these activities are very significant sources of enrichment. They therefore constitute moments of learning. Learning requires the capacity to listen to what the other says, does or thinks, showing interest in the experiences lived or accomplished by others, the confrontation of one’s ideas and views with those of other actors or organizations, the capacity to engage in self-criticism, taking ownership of the contribution of others. Capitalization thus seems to be an exercise of humility. Such a conception of capitalization basically leads to paradigm shifts in relations between actors at the grassroots and Technical and Financial Partners (TFP). The latter have become learning institutions, i.e. structures which pay constant attention to the various forms of changes occurring in their environment. They know how to learn from the experiences of their own organization, as well as from those of other actors. 12   
  • 12. Capitalization, an act of sharing, solidarity and generosity Contrary to the individualistic approach of economic capitalization, capitalization in development activities is an act of sharing, since the experiences of some can be of service to others. Diagram N° 2: The capitalization concept   Expression of Knowledge  Identification  Characterization Formulation   Knowledge Enhancement         Access  Dissemination Source: The Authors 13   
  • 13. PART TWO EXPERIENCE CAPITALIZATION AND ENHANCEMENT APPROACH 14   
  • 14. Diagram N° 3: CAPITALIZATION AND SHARING PROCESS Phases Contents Tools  Diagnosis of  Self‐assessment of practices   Self‐assessment grid  capitalization  process  Self‐appraisal of  Self‐assessment grid  organizational variables   Identification of an    SFPO  experience  What to capitalize  on?  Identification of capitalization  Classification in pairs  themes  Classification matrix  Some capitalization tools Experience Sheet    Life story How to capitalize?  Registration of practices Case study …….  Sharing levels and tools  Internal Bulletin     Intranet  Knowledge sharing  Performance evaluation methods   Data Sheets   tools   Radio programmes  Description of some  Audiovisual media  sharing tools   Source: The authors Website   15   
  • 15. 2.1 – Diagnosis of capitalization and communication practices within projects If it is conducted by a facilitator, the first phase of the capitalization process consists in making a diagnosis of experiences. The purpose is to draw up a baseline case of the project with respect to capitalization and communication practices, on the one hand, and grasp the project’s position in relation to an ideal behaviour of a learning institution, on the other. In this process, one is also interested in the conditions in which the projects can mobilize and disseminate acquired knowledge because the ideal behaviour targeted in IFAD-funded projects is that of learning institutions which are effective in the information and communication field. To that end, it is advisable to use a methodology essentially meant to stimulate reflection and analysis among project officers and their key partners. In reality, it entails self-review or self- assessment, since they are requested to take stock of their own experiences. If it is properly done, the exercise should result in the writing of a briefing note presenting the project’s baseline case. This case will be the entire team’s system of reference, and will make it possible, at the end of the exercise, to check whether all the key issues have been taken into account in the action plan and the capitalization projects. To draw up this baseline case, it is necessary to undertake the self- assessment of project practices and organizational variables. 16   
  • 16. 2.1.1 Self-assessment of organizational variables                                                                               Pedagogical sheet of the self-assessment grid  PEDAGOGICAL SHEET N°1 :  It is a self-analysis tool of some organizational variables essential for the production, management and exchange of information and knowledge within a working group. The self-assessment grid enables the project team to: - undertake a self-diagnosis of its information and communication system - evaluate its capacity to innovate within its processes and activities, and; - analyze its partnership strategy. : To help diagnose an aspect of the project, the self-appraisal identifies a certain number of variables which are divided into sub-variables. The latter are broken up into statements or organisational situations. For example, the «Communication» variable has three sub-variables: Information, Exchanges, and Consultation. Each of these sub-variables is composed of 4 situations. The tool takes the form of a grid with three columns. The middle column is a rating scale of 1 to 5. The two columns situated at the two extremes present two organizational situations often opposed (or balanced) within the project. Method With the self-appraisal, the diagnosis is undertaken individually and anonymously. Each team member should participate freely and confidentially so as to be able to freely express his/her opinion about the situation of the team in relation to the variable being considered. The grid is structured in such a way as to give the participant the choice between two contradictory viewpoints from which he/she should choose. Such a choice places the project on a scale of 1 to 5. - If the statement on the left is fully applicable to your project, please tick 1. - However, if the statement on the left is only partially applicable to your project, you should tick 2 - If the statement on the right is fully applicable to your project, please tick 5. - If the statement on the left is only partially applicable to your project, you should tick 4. - And finally, if your project can be classified between these two statements, please tick 3. The choices produce a given result for the score per sub-variable. This score yields a diagnosis which makes it possible to conduct an analysis of situations with which the project is confronted. The score of the variable will result from the combination of the scores of the 3 sub-variables. For each variable and sub- variable, three relative scores are possible: high, average, low. NB: The scores obtained for each variable enable the group to analyze the results and come up with recommendations. To that end, the group needs a facilitator to conduct this reflection in order to communicate the project scores and make suggestions to improve the situation. 17   
  • 17. Self-appraisal grids on practices within projects The proposed self-appraisal grids deal with: - Information flow methods; - Innovations; - Partnership. Information flow methods To determine the information flow methods in the diagnosis of practices, there is need to deal with the: - internal and external aspects of information flow (everything that can be said in the project and in all sectors); - exchange dynamics resulting from information flow; - consultation that facilitates information. Information flow 1 2 3 4 5 In the project, we receive In the project, we receive all sorts information that is useful for our of information work In the project, the information It is difficult to find information produced in the past is accessible produced in the past to all In the project information flow Information does not flow easily facilitates the work In the projecct, information is In the project, useful information received in time is received late 18   
  • 18. Exchange dynamics 1 2 3 4 5 Internal exchanges are free and In the project, internal exchanges regular are done under pressure Coordination meetings facilitate In the project, information information sharing sharing is not encouraged In the project, experience Experience exchanges are sharing is considered as a way of considered as a waste of time strengthening the institution Exchanges with partners are Partners send us several systematized reminders before obtaining a reaction Consultation 1 2 3 4 5 In the project, important In the project, the manager decisions are the fruit of imposes his/her viewpoint during concensus important decisions The project has a mitigation In the project, conflicts are mechanism which significantly common contrains conflicts Collegial management is used a Deision-making is the exclusive lot in the project responsibility of the manager The project is a member of a The project is not a member of consultation framework which any consultation framework, and facilitates sharing with other this restricts sharing with other organzations organizations 19   
  • 19. Innovations The encouragement of innovation and creativeness is a development factor for organizations. Innovation contributes to the promotion of actions likely to generate profitable changes in relation to the objectives set. Learning is one of its methods. Besides, Innovating means introducing something new, unusual and unknown. The role of managers is to try to change and renew. To innovate, one needs to learn and to transmit, which cannot be done without some amount of flexibility. Thus, a flexible organization should be interested in always testing new approaches, encouraging creativeness, innovating continuously and developing a capacity to anticipate on events in order to avoid being affected by them all the time Learning 1 2 3 4 5 The project facilitates the The project does not encourage acquisition of knowledge the re-skilling of officers through the re-skilling of its members Testing new ideas before The project rarely tests new ideas generalizing them is a common before generalizing them practice of the project The organization ensures that The project does not show much knowledge acquired during concern for putting into practice workshops is put to practice knowledge acquired during workshops The project effectively The project has poor process and capitalizes processes and approach capitalization approaches techniques 20   
  • 20. Flexibility 1 2 3 4 5 One seeks to innovate by The project is stuck in routines developing new approaches The project’s operating rules are The project’s cumbersome simple and flexible bureaucracy inhibits its potentialities Innovations are acepted without The fear of innovations impedes the difficulty and with enthousiasm development of initiatives In the project, the capacity to The capacity to anticipate is not anticipate is a much sought-after encouraged by the project attitude Creativeness 1 2 3 4 5 The project develops original The project is confronted with solutions to environment-related environment-related problems problems The project encourages initiative Initiative is not positively perceived The project staff always The project lacks staff capable of provides solutions to problems devising new solutions that come up There is a research policy The search for alternatives is targeting new products, new minimized in the project ideas and new approaches 21   
  • 21. Partnership The search for new partners is a requirement for the survival of an organisation. Among the instruments established to maintain and fructify partnership, the network factor is extremely useful. Within this network factor, ideas, instructions, information and experiences related to partnership are exchanged. Being effective means creating a convergence potential on what we do. In this search for partners, we should also institute a partnership strategy based on values and principles but, above all, on a shared vision. Network 1 2 3 4 5 The project’s affiliation to a network The project’s non-affiliation to a strengthens the solidarity with other network marginalizes the project in organizations/projects its environment The network that has been established The project’s affiliation to a network assisted the project to better redefine has no significant impact on its its strategy strategic position The advocacy and lobbying activites The advocacy and lobbying activites of our network strengthened our public of our network were not favourable image among our partners to our project The tools put in place by the network The tools put in place by the network have improved the project’s vision are not useful to the project Convergence 1 2 3 4 5 The project seeks to share methods and The project has no requirement principles with its partners relative to sharing with its partners There is an agreed development plan with The project partners are not aware the project partners of the development plan The project’s identification with a The project does not grasp the concensual code of ethics strengthens interest of a consensual code of similarities in viewpoints with its partners ethics 22   
  • 22. The project is highly sensitive to the sharing The project is not concerned about of values and ideals with its partners the sharing of values and ideals 23   
  • 23. 2.1.2 Self-assessment on project practices PEDAGOGICAL SHEET N°2:                                                                           Pedagogical sheet of the self-assessment grid  It is a grid used by the project to grade its performance with respect to its capitalization, production, management and information dissemination practices. It makes it possible to: - grasp the importance given to capitalization in terms of process, technical and human means; - Analyze project’s practices with regard to information, communication and exchanges both within and outside the project.   ` Method First, the working group sets the project scores: - If the criterion is not met by the project, the mark is zero; - If the project meets the criterion, the ideal mark is given; - If the project is on the verge of meeting the criterion, the mark is between zero and 4; - the addition of the project scores represents the total mark obtained by the project; - the project percentage compared to the ideal total is calculated and given. The result is analyzed by the project’s working group with a view to determining the causes, lessons and potential solutions to arrive at the ideal situation This open discussion is a good introduction for the improvement of internal practices.   24   
  • 24.     25   
  • 25.     Self-assessment grid on project practices A knowledge management and production system in 25 points Ideal Project Criteria Score Score 1) Regular and planned capitalization activities on the project’s 4 actions 2) Existence of observatory, surveillance and projection functions in 4 the division of duties 3) Existence of strategic direction documents which describe a past, 4 present and future vision 4) Consideration of unexpected results in the monitoring-evaluation 4 system 5) Regular internal meetings regrouping the various hierarchical 4 levels 6) Set up inter-disciplinary working groups for field activities or 4 intellectual production 7) Formal handing over practices 4 8) Existence of publication incentives 4 9) Frequent evaluation and self-assessment practices 4 10) Using trainees for the capitalization 4 11) Contracting experts or resource persons to support intellectual 4 productions 12) Exchange visits 4 13) Organization of seminars, workshops, forums, etc. 4 14) Publication of guides and manuals 4 15) Production of radio, television programmes 4 16) Edition of bulletins, reviews 4 17) Publication of newspaper articles 4 18) Frequent exchanges with direct and indirect beneficiaries, partners 4 and service providers 26   
  • 26. 19) Use of the Internet and electronic mail 4 20) Existence of an information-communication officer 4 21) Numerous and informal exchanges with colleagues of other 4 organizations 22) Existence of a documentation centre, library 4 23) Organized information classification methods: electronic, classical 4 (files) specialized codification (thematic, nomenclature classification) 24) Existence of a web site 4 25) Existence of a webmaster 4 Total obtained by the project Ideal Total 100 Ratio of project to ideal total   NB: As a general rule, this grid may be filled individually or during the plenary session, and the   scores will be calculated and discussed within the group. The project may seek the support of a facilitator with expertise in the field to assist in the analysis of self-review results. The number of   criteria and the rating scale may be modified depending on the specific needs and context of the project or organization.       27   
  • 27. 2.2 – What should we capitalize on? Every project transmits lessons which are generally implicit, i.e. « drowned » in the project practices and experiences. The first phase of the capitalization approach therefore consists in making these lessons explicit and formalizing them by identifying knowledge within the project and choosing capitalization and knowledge sharing themes. 2.2.1 - Identifying knowledge within the project Objectives At this stage, it’s a matter of identifying knowledge and experiences acquired by officers and their partners in the project’s implementation to encourage investigation and collective reflection about lessons drawn from the experiences of the project. It is a collective reflection session attended by all project officers and their partners’ representatives. The explicit or tacit knowledge of the organization are sought and officers are invited to provide documentary sources, if they exist and, in particular, the views and conclusions reached on the basis of the outcomes of their projects. The collective nature of the knowledge identification exercises facilitates the transfer of individual or tacit knowledge to the group on the one hand and, on the other, their validation by comparing viewpoints and their acceptance by the group. The outcome of this session will take the form of a memorandum presenting a list of success- themes and failure-themes, followed by a summary of the analysis made by the group. The themes are considered as knowledge which the officers consider as important enough to share. The memorandum will be distributed to each participant and will serve as the key medium for the following session. NB: This  stage  is  important  since  its  results  will  impact  on  the  entire  resources  of  the  process. It is recommended that the session be conducted in a learning spirit. An excessively  pronounced  hierarchy  may  constitute  obstacles  and  restrain  the  free  expression  of  some  officers.  This  might  lead  to  the  loss  of  information  and  frustrate  knowledge  development  efforts. Repeat this type of evaluation periodically.  28   
  • 28. Methodological approach The identification begins with a Preparatory phase - Methods • Recall the results of the self-assessment which has been rough exploration of knowledge undertaken to prepare the process concerning the capitalization based on methods such as and enhancement of the project’s experiences; documentary analysis and group • Recall the objectives of the session to refocus the contributions; brainstorming. In the latter case, a • The facilitator explains to participants about the learning reflection tool like the Success- dynamics and the importance of enhancing their knowledge for Failure-Potentialities-Obstacles capitalization and exchanges. He/she presents SFPO as a (SFPO) can help to rapidly tool meant to assist reflection on the Successes, highlight the lessons in terms of Failures, Potentialities and Obstacles for each successes and failures and define capitalization theme to be proposed by participants. a prospective vision which follows from them. By starting with the question what have we learnt, the participants might not know, from the onset, « how to handle the experience». Identifying what worked or did not work helps guide the reflection. The issue Support : Evaluation is not just identifying Successes and failures. One has to justify reports why they are considered as successes and failures and provide Preparatory supervision explanations for these results. The learning spirit should prevail in mission documents this reflection. SFPO is used because of its conviviality. A brainstorming session may enable the group to highlight a lot of Aide-mémoire of supervision lessons. missions The following questions may help to launch and delve deeper into Self-diagnosis results the reflection for each theme: SFPO (Success, Failures, - What do you consider as success or failure in the Potentialities, Obstacles) – experience you have had in the project? Other discussion papers - Why do you consider them as successes or failures? - What, in your opinion, are the factors that explain these results? - What can be considered as potential? What are the obstacles? - What have you learnt? - Can you describe it and share it with others? All successes and failures, potentials and obstacles will be noted as one moves forward, with an explanation that systematizes the analysis made by the group for each point; the theme should not be analyzed by the person who proposed it alone. The facilitator should encourage all participants to answer the questions, and speak freely. SFPO was thus adopted as an example of diagnosis tool. 29   
  • 29. SFPO, an example of a diagnosis tool PEDAGOGICAL SHEET N°3:                                                                           SFPO, an example of a diagnosis tool  SFPO (Success-Failure-Potentialities-Obstacles) is a tool for project analysis, self-assessment, and planning which matches experiences and expectations. It makes it possible: - for the different persons concerned to describe their various experiences; - to carry out a participatory evaluation of experiences and perceptions ; - to exchange on experiences, views and actors ; - to build a common language and find solutions to problems ; to establish a link between the evaluation (the revision) and the adjustment of objectives and the planning Presentation The SFPO window is composed of four parts, as presented below. It is based on our fundamental capacity to recall the past and anticipate on the future. 1. The time axis First of all, the window requests the participant to clarify an experience or a past activity. It locates the experience on the time axis. 2. The judgement axis In addition to the revision of the past and the anticipation of the future, there is a simple evaluation criterion (positive/negative), which divides the SFPO window into four parts. Depending on the individual evaluation, the experiences will be written in one of the four parts of the window. The SFPO utilization approach - Explain to SFPO users how the SFPO window is built ; - Allow the audience to decide the scope, i.e., how far they throw a retrospective and prospective look. - At the beginning, use it for a single activity in which several actors will participate ; - Always begin by looking at the past (on the left of the window), by starting with the successes. This motivates people and draws attention to the development potential; - Every actor should express his/her own experiences and perceptions ; - Ensure that all the experiences are noted in the SFPO, and that they are taken seriously; - Request participants to clarify their contributions by replying to any question that could be asked ; - Register the common aspects first (consensus), the points of agreement, before discussing contradictory views (disagreement).   30   
  • 30. NB : - The SFPO must be dated, in order to have a reference for the next operation - Facilitate the implementation of SFPO by following the planning phases : causes of problems, discussion of alternatives, agreement on the objectives, planning the activities and means - The SFPO procedure is facilitated by the visual media; tables, maps, large sheets, or simply a sandy soil and a few symbols. In most cases, it suffices to explain the well known rules of visualization as the procedure is introduced. Diagram N° 4: Structure of a SFPO Positive or desirable S for Success  P for Potentialities  - Quantitative  and  qualitative  - Possibilities. Ideas, wishes, trends,  successes  achieved,  objectives  unused capacities   reached and visible strengths  - Pleasure, amusement  Past Future F for Failure  O for Obstacles - Difficulties, weaknesses, bottlenecks   - Resistance, opposition, unfavourable  management conditions     Negative or undesirable 31   
  • 31. Example of a memorandum on Successes and Failures Box N°1 Elements considered as project accomplishments Women and youths expressed themselves in gatherings better than before, thanks to the participatory approach used, inducement to speak and earning their confidence during information and sensitization sessions. Literacy was successful thanks to the approach based on the local demand, the enhancement of accomplishments in daily life and project activities, and the use of local intermediaries. The process for the institution of consultation frameworks was a success since the populations identified with them and used them as the only point of contact for interveners. The success is due to the mobilization techniques used. The creation of Associations of Borehole Users (ASUFOR) was a success since these structures now manage their infrastructure independently. The factors of success lie in the fact that the capacities of members of the steering committees were strengthened. The reactivation of the committees, organized strategies for the opening of fire guards, space networking, training, sensitization and material support resulted in the significant reduction of bush fires. It is essential to consult with administrative and local authorities and involve them within the framework of strategies to increase the chances of success. (3) Box N°2 Elements considered as failures The cumbersomeness of IFAD procedures such as those relative to contract approval, for which the decision may have to go up to the WADB head office, gives rise to slowness in the projects’ dynamics The slow reactions of partners of the administration do not match the rapid response requirements in connection with the WPAB implementation. The fact that the project has no authority to sanction them is considered as one of the factors that explain this slowness. The approach consisting in territorial clustering around core villages and polarized villages used by the administrative authorities was not appropriate. On the other hand, the criteria for the selection of villages were not always properly applied or the application of tools and methods was not sustained. The transfer of technology is not yet an accomplishment because of problems of supervision, approach, and research and results documentation. Donors registered a lot of delay in setting up credit systems. The policy to be implemented and the role of projects do not seem clear to them. The framework of the agreements linking the project to the donor does not allow it to be flexible and proactive to react to unexpected dynamics, anticipate them and efficiently play a supervisory role. The donors take too long to react (notice of no-objection). (3) Cf. (cf Diagnosis of the PADV / Senegal. 32   
  • 32. 2.2.2 - Identification of capitalization themes 2.2.2.1 - Definition of criteria for the selection of the capitalization themes This phase is crucial for the effectiveness and relevance of capitalization themes. It is often observed that if the previous reflection session is well facilitated, it produces many themes that might not have had the same relevance depending on the moments of the project’s life. It can be difficult and even sensitive to choose themes, since it is recommended that it should be done in a participatory manner. In order to avoid that each and everybody tries to give priority to the issue interesting him/her most, and subsequently make subjective proposals, a certain number of criteria can be used to guide the project in its choices. The capitalization theme selection criteria can derive from: - the objectives of the project and its components; - the challenges and stakes of research and rural development in Africa; - questioning on the projects’ intervention strategies; - the project’s unexpected results ... The project’s general and specific objectives according to project components. This is a key variable because capitalization is, first and foremost, an activity expected to contribute to the achievement of the project’s objectives. The knowledge gained in the implementation of the components must be well thought out and shared, whether it results from success or failure. For projects with similarities in terms of intervention scope, knowledge exchange is one of the best learning systems for the officers and their partners. Development challenges and stakes in West and Central Africa. The choice of themes must also be influenced by issues related to poverty, gender, investment sustainability, project appropriation, management of natural resources, rural entrepreneurship etc. The project’s intervention strategies These are the methodological and organisational approaches planned and implemented by projects with a view to attaining programmatic objectives. Following are some of these strategies, often found in project documents: - Information and communication ; 33   
  • 33. - Training; - Definition of intervention scope and zoning - Support to community organizations (structuring); - Contracting partners; - Support to beneficiaries and gradual disengagement; - Decentralized funding; - Planning and monitoring-evaluation; - Support for the construction of infrastructure; - Development and transfer of technologies; - Support for production and marketing. By choosing one or several of these strategies, the Project Team can analyze the experience earned through its approach and modus operandi, its results, the effects and impacts on stakeholders and their environment, the significance of the results as regards the stakes and challenges such as sustainability, appropriation etc… Beyond the theoretical description of the strategies, the project officers facing implementation- related pressures are in a better position to capitalize and create knowledge to be shared. ■ Unexpected project results. A project might, in addition to the targeted results, provide a solution to a problem that had not been identified as such in the pre-evaluation study. The implementation of the project can also lead to or arouse significant changes in behavior, relations and creeds. The capitalization of these cases provides opportunities to review well-entrenched methods or beliefs. For example: a food security project meant to salvage salt-invaded lands near the village in order to step up the production of subsistence crops can, as a positive result not envisaged at the beginning, lead to an increase in the school attendance rate for girls, who are no longer compelled to accompany their mothers to remote paddy fields to take care of the children. 34   
  • 34. Box N°3 Example of a project whose broad objective is to create, within the intervention area, a sustainable development dynamic through the populations’ capacity-building and the effective mobilization of available agro-pastoral resources. Specific objectives: - Contribution to food security; - Increased income, particularly for women, through the upsurge in the marketable quantities of milk and agricultural products ; - Improved living conditions; - Reduction of rural exodus, by creating permanent jobs, for youths in particular. On the basis of these objectives, the team can try to identify the knowledge acquired in terms of contribution to food security, the increase in women’s income, improved living conditions, and reduction of rural exodus for youths? However, these themes are rather broad and it could be more judicious to define more specific subjects within them. For example, by addressing food security, we can: - Target the knowledge on issues concerning the production of safe drinking water, subsistence crops, forestry or animal products; - Or identify the knowledge on the access to food in terms of market, exchanges or marketing circuits. 2.2.2.2 – Choosing capitalization themes Having defined the capitalization themes, there is now needed to: - Choose the capitalization and experience enhancement themes, through a concerted approach - Designate the officials in charge of steering the capitalization process for each theme Method The choice of themes is based on the following approach. - Examine successes and failures listed during the previous session - Explain and discuss the decisive factors in the selection of priority themes - Categorize the themes in order of importance and on the basis of the set criteria to come up with a realistic number of themes. To that end, participatory tools used for classification in order of preference may help in determining the priority themes. 35   
  • 35. Classification tools These tools make it possible to identify the priorities or preferences of a group of actors faced with a choice between several options: innovations to be tested, capitalization themes, etc. Three types of classification tools are generally used: simple hierarchical classification, classification in pairs, matrix classification. These tools are complementary. . Simple hierarchical classification It is a classification in which the different elements (innovations, capitalization themes….) are presented in order of priority or importance. This classification leads to a list in descending order. Classification in pairs The matter here is to compare the capitalization themes per pair, choose the themes and justify them. The criteria are set with the help of these justifications. After comparing the elements two by two, one obtains a list of criteria which can thus be used for a matrix classification. Matrix classification or classification per criteria matrix This classification takes the form of a double entry table which inter-relates the themes to be compared with the selection criteria resulting from the classification in pairs. Theme 1 Theme 2 Theme 3 Theme 4 Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Criterion 3 Criterion 4 Criterion 5 Total Considering that all the criteria have the same weight: - A rating scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 is defined. - Each theme is defined in relation to the different criteria (encourage group discussions to arrive at a consensual mark). The total marks for each theme enables the group to select the themes which earned the best marks. Actors involved Concerning theme officials, priority will be given to voluntary action in the appointment of officers in charge of steering the capitalization process for each theme. Yet, some officers are more qualified to address certain themes in view of their position. They should therefore be appointed to guarantee the richness of knowledge generation and exchange. In a training workshop, it is preferable to involve all the officers who do not hold any responsibility, as resources persons in the development of themes. 36   
  • 36. 2.3 – How to capitalize? 2.3.1 – Some capitalization tools Several tools can be used in a capitalization process: - the experience sheet ; - life story ; - the good practice registration sheet ; - the case study. 37   
  • 37. CAPITALIZATION TOOL N° 1                                                                                            The Experience Sheet  The experience sheet is used to help officers to grasp capitalization topics in order to initiate an exchange within the project with a view to validating its content. It sets in a single page, the title of the capitalization theme, a sub-title as well as the key words. The topic is summarized, followed by comments and notes. Finally, the complete identification of the author should be mentioned at the end of the form. Method The officers designated to steer the experience capitalization and enhancement process on a given theme, discuss the content of the form, in an attempt to determine the issue, and identify and briefly describe what one really intends to capitalize. At this stage, there is no need to write the capitalization document itself but the summary of what its ` content should be – like in the summary of books on the last cover page – to encourage the reader to explore the content. The form is then presented to the group which critiques it in order to enrich it. The suggestions are integrated to improve the document which then becomes the first element in the production of knowledge acquired in the project. The form can be written with comments to document an experience. The DHP (Dialogue for Human Progress) is adapted from the Foundation for Human Progress. NB: - The form should be written in a simple and clear style. The author needs to have hindsight and stick to the text. - The part reserved for comments will provide him/her with the opportunity to express his/her feelings - The key words facilitate the proper identification of aspects dealt with and their classification. 38   
  • 38. Example of experience sheet Access of rural micro-business to credit Title: Inappropriateness of the Micro-Financing institutions’ offer to rural demand Key words: Text: The support strategy for the promotion of rural micro Short-Term Credit, businesses implemented by the ‘Projet de Promotion des Micro Medium-Term Credit Entreprises Rurales’ (PROMER) is based on the training- PROMER, CMS, ACEP, UMEC, CLEC, Rural Micro Enterprise, funding-consultancy triptych. To implement this strategy, the Small and Medium Enterprise, Project has worked closely with Micro-financing Institutions interest rate, poverty reduction active on the ground through protocols with ‘Crédit Mutuel du Sénégal’ (CMS) in the first part of the project’s execution, then with other structures such as the ‘Alliance de Crédit et d’Epargne pour la Production (ACEP), the ‘Union des Mutuelles d’Epargne et de Crédit’ (UMEC) of Sedhiou, and ‘Caisse Locale d’Epargne et de Crédit’ (CLEC) for a more diversified offer and effective networking of the intervention area. In this respect, the Project was supposed to put at their disposal, at their request and on the basis of the Work Plan and Annual Budget, a line of credit to increase their disbursement capacities, a guarantee fund covering 30 percent of the outstanding debts, and provide them with institutional support in terms of human and logistic capacity-building. The partnership with ACEP and UMEC has also led to the reduction of interest rates (to the tune of 2 percent) for loans granted by Microfinance Institutions to Rural Micro Businesses (MER) that have complied with the payment schedules. This partnership facilitated the financing of Rural Micro-Businesses for the implementation of their Processing Cards or Development Plans. The analysis of this portfolio shows that the rate of credit granted on average is low, both in terms of volume and duration. The analysis based on gender and age group also highlights the low amounts allocated to women and youths, who are the project’s priority targets. Despite the establishment of the line of credit (only two of them have withdrawn funds from the line), the Micro-financing Institutions have failed to meet the medium and long-term credit demands, and the debt security required for certain short-term credits were neither available nor accessible. The services offered by micro-financing Institutions in rural areas is still not adapted as it only provides the possibility to finance short-term credits (working capital needs), and puts the Rural Micro Businesses in a position of dependency which, in the long term, will not contribute to breaking the vicious circle of absolute and relative poverty. Comment: These difficulties have made it impossible for the project to achieve all the expected results. For the promotion of Rural Micro-Businesses, the credit system must be reviewed in 39   
  • 39. order to observe certain rules of the regional financial market, but also comply with the real social vocation of Microfinance Institutions. Today, they are more focused on the urban centres in a frantic search for immediate profitability, with low, if any, risk taking. Moreover, some major land reforms must be undertaken to enable the rural populations to present other types of debt security. The implemented partnership system is all a façade and the local funds have lost part of their autonomy for the benefit of the network to which they belong. Notes: Author: Massamba DIOP - Date: 09 August 2005 Organization: PROMER E-mail address: promerdp@sentoo.sn – Web site: www.promer.sn Sources : Bilan des réalisations en financement, ISS avec MER, Project Completion Report. 40   
  • 40. Structure of the experience sheet Title: Sub-title: Key words Text: Comment: Notes  Author:                                                                                         Date:  Organ:                         Address:             Email:                         Website:  Sources:  41   
  • 41. Title of the experience:: Give the title of the experiment NB: this may be a working title rather than a definitive one Zones/Place : The zone of intervention of the project, the place and the extent are to be specified Date period/duration: The start and end of the project. Also specify if the experience is ongoing and/or its duration Context : Which elements are addressed? What problems are dealt with? What are the linkages with poverty reduction and good governance policies?  Objectives of change (general and specific): What are the objectives of project in term of change? Have the objectives evolved during the unfolding of project? If so, to give the necessary precisions and details.  Targets: What public is targeted by the project?  Principal actors/roles and responsibilities: Who are the partners (recipients, associations, organizations and others)? Specify their roles and responsibilities Activities carried out: What are the activities undertaken within the framework of the project? Detail how these activities were carried out.  Principal results: What are the principal results obtained? What are the steps and approaches of the project?  Resources mobilized: Financial, material and human resources (working time) NB: For financial resources, specify the amounts and their sources.  Critical factors for success:  Difficulties encountered: Principal difficulties encountered by order of importance  42   
  • 42. CAPITALIZATION TOOL N°2:                                                                             Life Experience (Case study on an individual) In rural African societies where the poor populations are mostly illiterate, the life experience tool enables project agents to learn from the poor, as well as their partners. This tool is essentially narration based and is used mostly in the social sciences. Narration is different from research methodologies whose thrust is the systemization of quantifiable and factual data. When the problem at stake deals with the dynamics of the learning process and knowledge gathering, it is essential to allow those who are most affected, given their personal commitment in the processes, to speak. In such situations, the narration is essentially oral, but it could also be transcribed in written form. In any event, it remains open ended. ` Methodological Approach In order to capture the experiences of an individual, one could conduct interviews which will enable the individual to: ‐ Narrate his/her personal experience with the project, what he/she learnt through the project and how this is shared, or how he/she intends to share this and with whom; ‐ Reflect deeper on the genesis of his/her choices and positions; ‐ Put this experience in the perspective of his/her life experience. The narration thus captured, is written as a text.  43   
  • 43. An Example of Individual Life Experience (It is the story of a rural entrepreneur of PROMER/Senegal) The Itinerary of Salimata, a Restaurant Owner Salimata Camara’s restaurant is located at the main road of Missirah, the headquarters of the rural community bearing the same name, in the Tambacounda Region. After the collapse of my husband’s business, coupled with the fact that the small portion of land he was working on could hardly yield anything substantial, I, Salimata, a simple peasant with neither land nor education, was obliged to work and sustain the family. My first contact with PROMER was in 1998. A meagre savings of 72, 000 CFA enabled me secure an initial loan of 227 700 F CFA from the Credit Union Mutuel, a partner of PROMER’s. I invested in the supply of basic foodstuffs to the outfit, which enabled me to take care of our growing daily needs. The project particularly taught me to save. The series of training I benefited from CRETEF, a partner of the project, enabled me acquire new techniques in cooking and nutrition, but especially in food and quality hygiene. I operate restaurant services at different places on two weekly market days, alongside other commodities which I display in my restaurant. My stall, which was a thatched enclosure, is now in concrete, where customers are now served in a room and enjoy their food on tables with all comfort. I now own a piece of land at the entrance of the village. This restaurant owner cannot hope to expand her activities so long as certain hurdles are yet to be cleared: - The fact that she is illiterate means she manages her accounts mentally, without any written support; - The stall, although she constructed it, does not belong to her; this makes it difficult for her to undertake new investments in order to improve and expand the restaurant in this strategic spot. The land problem remains her major handicap. - She is the head of a poor and landless family; her children and husband help her and as such, she does not pay workers. - The services of the IMF are not adapted to rural enterprises. - She has harrowing working days, and this prevents her from launching the new products she really learned how to make during her CRETEF trainings (jam, fruit juice, etc). With these objective constraints, which still tether her to the status of an emerging rural micro- entrepreneur, Salimata enhances her income through her petty business on the products she buys in the weekly markets and which she resells in her restaurant at the main road. NB: A narration of one’s life history is not a report; it should, as far as possible be an unadulterated presentation of the narrator’s words. It is only this way that it can continue to be a reflection-sharing tool. The mechanism through which this tool is presented could constitute a risk in that the narrator might be ‘forgotten’ in the transcription done by the individual processing the text. 44   
  • 44. 45   
  • 45.                                                                            Record Form on Best Practices CAPITALIZATION TOOL N°3:  Implementing intervention strategies often demand an introduction of new best practice systems by the project. The record form enables the stakeholders concerned to present those practices of theirs that have been success stories, with a view to preparing capitalization and exchange tools. The record form is a detailed description of a piece of innovation recorded by the agents during the implementation of the project.  Best practices are recorded by those directly or indirectly involved in its implementation (in most cases project agents and partners) An open exchange with other stakeholders will make it possible to establish a more precise evaluation of the practice, a closer scrutiny and analysis of results obtained.  NB - An element of best practice is identified by searching for innovative systems that can be transferred or reinforced. - Identifying best practices requires a solid grasp of the subject matter and biography in order to avoid duplicating best practices already known in the locality. - Best practices are strictly tied down to their context and should be analyzed in this respect. 46   
  • 46. Example of a Record Form Structure Title of Practice: Joint Strategy for Prevention of Bush Fires Objective: Preventing Bush Fires Example of a Record Form Structure Place(s): Mbeuleukhé and Mboula rural communities in Sénégal. Period: September, 2003. Authors: PADV, Mbeulekhé Forest Brigade, the local populations. Beneficiaries: The populations within the forestry and pastoral sections of the Mbeuleukhé and Mboula rural communities, Projects, NGOs, local administrative authorities. Practice Description and Results - Meetings were organized at village level, bringing together fire fighting committees and village chiefs belonging to the same geographical area. - A general meeting was organized at the community headquarters. In addition to chairpersons of the firefighting committees, this meeting brought together village chiefs, the head of the CERP, the Sous-Prefets or their Deputies, the Water and Forestry Services and the PADV. - Secondary firewalls created by the people were positioned perpendicularly to bush fires entry points. - The opening of the sections located on the same axis as the firewall is executed from start to finish by the bushfires fighter committees. - These segments, just as firewalls, are connected to each other thus preventing bushfires in the targeted areas. Practice Cost - Costs of organizing meetings and information / sensitization and identification of areas for the construction of firewalls as well as developing plans for openings. - Travel and fuel costs of the forest officer assigned to monitor the programme. Observations Cost for the preparation of support equipment: brochures, posters, films, audio-visual CDs. Duration: 3 months Physical Resources - Office equipment (computer paper, printing, ink, etc. ...) - Audio-visual equipment (cameras, video tapes, audio-visual CDs) 47   
  • 47. Human Resources People involved: Department of Water Resources and Forestry, bushfire fighting committees, the local populations and communities, administrative authority, audio-visual team of the National Directorate of Water Resources and Forestry and printing teams. Financial Resources - Team of film producers + small equipment 550 000 CFA - Posters (200) 450, 000 CFA - Brochures (200) 400 000 CFA - Duplication of Audio-Visual CDs 100, 000 CFA - Total 1, 500, 000 CFA Broadcasting and Sharing Mechanisms ‐ National and local radio ‐ Television ‐ Internet ‐ Audio cassettes and audio-visual CDs ‐ Audio-visual Bus (film shows in villages) ‐ Billboards carrying messages of bush fire prevention in the local language ‐ Posters in the assembly sites (the CDV headquarters, bore holes, luma (weekly markets), Rural Community Headquarters, sub-prefecture) ‐ Village outreach information and sensitization meetings of (plays...) ‐ Training Workshop for members of the bushfires-fighter committee. A Registration form is made up of several parts: ‐ Title ‐ Objective ‐ Place ‐ Period ‐ Authors ‐ Beneficiaries ‐ Description of practice and outcomes ‐ Broadcasting cost ‐ Authors' observations ‐ Broadcast and sharing strategy 48   
  • 48. CAPITALIZATION TOOL N°4:                                                                             Partnership Case Study Form This is a card which traces the historical background, the various stages of evolution and results of any given partnership. The development of this tool is founded on the principle which regards the partner as a customer who needs the services of the project, and has all the latitude to appreciate the results obtained. The partnership case-study form is a kind of mirror for the partnership, in that it reflects all its components in order to elicit useful information, both for the two parts as well as for other projects.  Methodological Approach The partnership case-study form consists of columns in which the identities of the parties concerned, the reciprocal services rendered, the achievements of the project, the recipients and the decisive moments of the partnership are recorded. These columns are numbered from 1 to 10. One simply needs to refer to the definitions provided hereafter when filling them: 1. `The customer is the direct partner, in particular the group or the beneficiary organization of the support provided by the operator; 2. It is about describing in this regard the principal characteristics of the customer at the beginning of this program; 3. The targeted changes can refer to the objectives or the vision of the programme; 4. It is necessary to indicate at this stage when, why, and how the customer could strike a partnership deal with the operator; 5. To be synthetic, the services provided by the operator should be reported three months successively; the target group and service providers are indicated in the two other columns. The major achievements of these services are indicated in the line below; 6. This point indicates whether other agents were commissioned by the operator in the area of customer support, with the type of services provided; 7. This point is in relation to stock-taking of local events which influenced the achievements of the program; 8. This point indicates that, through his own head, the customer has been able to realize the positive actions which, for instance, are an added value to the training received; 9. The customer has also been able to realize positive actions at the expense of other people; 10. This point indicates the situation where the customer finds him/herself at the end of the programme. The form should be signed and dated after filling it. NB: The form must be filled by a member of the project who has a sound knowledge about the partnership in order to provide a written version of its evolution. It can bring information to the doorsteps of the various parties concerned or exploit the protocols, contracts, project documents and reports. 49   
  • 49. Sample Structure of a Partnership Case Study Form 1. Name of Client (group): 2. Brief description of customer (major peculiarities): 3. Targeted changes at the beginning of partnership: 4. Date, motive of first contact with operator and mode of contact: Date Contact 5. Services provided by staff in the last couple of years: (in lump periods of six months) Semester Service Provided Target Group Head From……. To………. Main Achievement: From……. To………. Main Achievement: From……. To………. Main Achievement: From……. To………. Main Achievement: 50   
  • 50. 6. Transfer of other service providers or support staff in the last two years (in semesters): Semester Service Provided From……. To………. From……. To………. 7. Events in the life of the client of the community other than the activities of the programme/agency which have contributed to the achievements or which have had adverse effects: 8. Major achievement by the client in terms of self improvement or enhancing the value of the training: Date Achievements registered by the client 9. Major achievements made by client to the advantage of other clients: Date Achievement Beneficiary(ies) 10. Brief description of client’s current situation: Filled by:………………… Date:……………………… Source : Kibbel, B.1999 51   
  • 51. 52   
  • 52. 2.3.2. - Systematic Analysis of Experience CAPITALIZATION TOOL N°5:                                                                             Systematic Analysis of Experience The systematic analysis of a given experience is a method which makes it possible to collect, analyze and record the experiences of institutions and project teams, with a view to deriving benefit from it. It aims to: - benefit from the experience by comparing the successes and failures of objectives, assumptions and the usual modus operandi of the project or institution; - stimulate reflection within the ranks of project teams and institutions. - improve the modalities of project reports thus making them more interesting for the project personnel, financing bodies and for managers of institutions or related projects; - allow for a more constructive knowledge exchange based on the experience amongst heads of institutions and the projects.  Method of Analysis The systematic analysis of any given experience is done as follows: - Narration: A member of the personnel is invited to narrate the experience of the project or of the institution whilst the coordinator takes down notes on a flip chart. The participants are invited to add, specify, dispute or subtract facts. The process usually provokes very lively discussions and makes it possible to kick-start the experience-sharing process. At the end of this stage, the flip chart board should help participants arrive at a consensus on facts, as well as establish missing information and points of divergence. - Highlighting Decisive Moments. During fact analysis, decisive moments should be highlighted. Very often, these decisive moments are times when activities are undertaken or given up, methods modified, members of staff changed, etc -Defining the phases of Experience. The period spanning between two decisive turning points can be called “phase”. It is sometimes useful to name each phase in accordance with its principal characteristic. - Analyzing Phases in Isolation. An analysis of the principal aspects of each phase is then made. The choice of issues analyzed depends on the project or the institution. However, one can start the analysis with the objectives, assumptions, activities, methods, tools and drawbacks. Among the aspects of issues likely to be analyzed, are the protagonists, the participation, type and frequency in use of methods and tools, successes and failures.  53   
  • 53. - Analyzing the whole story: This stage begins with a comparison of phases that determines the changes and the causes and consequences of changes, followed by an examination of trends which allows us to highlight those that characterize the evolution of ideas and assumptions. -Drawing Lessons From this analysis it is easy to synthesize lessons learned from the experience in relation to what should be done and what should be avoided. -Organizing communication: Detailed information on the approach, analysis and lessons learned should be documented without any bias and be distributed to the project staff or the institution, donors, partners and heads of other agencies / projects to whom such information shall be beneficial. NB: - The systematic analysis of an experience is a group activity which involves project staff or the institution and other relevant stakeholders. The duration of the process depends on the institution or project and the experience being analyzed. - Experience shows that it usually takes a week to systematize the achievements of a project that lasted five or six years. - When possible, provide for periodic meetings rather than organize intensive sporadic activities.  54   
  • 54. PART THREE MODES OF KNOWLEDGE-SHARING 55   
  • 55. 3.1. Levels and Tools of Sharing The projects can choose between different tools to share the knowledge they have. The relative efficiency of each tool depends on the level at which the analysis is done, be it at project, village, area of intervention, within national or international levels.  List of some knowledge-sharing tools: This table shows the different knowledge-sharing tools based on their scale of use. Level Targets Knowledge-Sharing Tool Village and area of CBOs, Exchange Visits, Meetings intervention Family engagements NGOs and Farmers’ Workshops and partner services Datasheets, Seminars and workshops, Local radio broadcasts Audio-Visual Project Project Agents Meetings, Retreats, Newsletter Internet. National Other FIDA Projects Seminars and Workshops Other projects, NGOs and Publications, articles, Trade other national organizations fairs and Exhibitions National radio broadcasts Television broadcasts, Internet, Audio-visual, documents Research and Rural Website Development Organizations. Publications, Articles International International Co-operation Trade Fairs, Exhibitions Institutions. Audio-Visuals 56   
  • 56. 3. 2 - Evaluation of Performance of Sharing Tools Evaluation of performance of sharing tools enables one to assess their worth based on the following parameters: the audience, accessibility, interactivity and efficiency of treatment, time and resource costs, sustainability of transmitted messages. In this optic, it is possible to use a double entry table format with: ‐ In the first line, the list of the various parameters mentioned above ‐ In the first column on the left, all tools used according to the sharing level in the intervention area, within projects, both nationally and internationally. Evaluation of Sharing Tools in the Area of Intervention Tool Audience Accessibility Interactivity Efficiency of Sustainability or Feasibility treatment of transmitted Technique messages Exchange visits Farmers’ Workshops Datasheets Radio broadcasts Evaluation of Sharing Tools within the Project Tool Audience Accessibility or Interactivity Efficiency Sustainability of Feasibility of treatment transmitted Technique messages. Periodic meetings retreats newsletters Intranet Evaluation of Sharing Tools both at National and International Levels Tool Audience Accessibility Interactivity Efficiency Time and Sustainability or feasibility of resource of technique treatment costs transmitted message Internet Audio- visual CDs 57   
  • 57. Publications, articles Trade fairs, exhibitions Television broadcasts Website Method of Evaluating Sharing Tools First and foremost, it is necessary to agree on each of the parameters relating to the rating system: high, medium, low, and the number of stars for each rating: - High: ***; Average: **; Low: * • The floor is open to every person during discussion sessions • Only consensus is noted at the intersection between a tool and a parameter. • The points of disagreement are not stricken out but are to be discussed. NB: - Based on a given situation, tools and/or settings can be added or be removed. - This exercise is more interesting when done in work groups. - It is always advisable to note down the date. 58   
  • 58. 3. 3 – Some Sharing Tools 3. 3.1 – A description of some sharing tools in the villages and area of intervention The relationship between the project and the farmers does not limit itself to a mere unilateral transfer of skills, from technicians and researchers to the farmer. This relationship should rather be anchored on a collaborative base where there will be a balanced sharing of responsibilities between these different sectors, and in so doing; each party will be able to contribute to the building and dissemination of knowledge. This is what gives full import to the concept of knowledge sharing. In the villages and areas covered by the project, this collaboration is a fundamental stake in knowledge management, and in the enhancement of local skills. But to enhance local skills, project agents and their partners should have a firm grasp of the participatory methods of diagnosis and planning for them to be able to understand the information needs of the rural population and actively involve them in the capitalization and enhancement of their experiences. Several tools of Participatory Diagnosis (PD) facilitate work with the rural population in the description, analysis and sharing of experiences, among which are: ‐ the Venn diagram; ‐ farmer workshops; ‐ participatory cards. 59   
  • 59. ‐ SHARING TOOL N°1:                                                                          The Venn Diagram ‐  The participatory diagnosis (PD) method helps in identifying realities, constraints and information and communication needs of the village people (Ndiaye, 2000). The Venn diagram is one of the tools of this method. It can be used to illustrate the communication relationship between local organizations and the external world.  It enables team members of the project to visualize and analyze with the partners and the beneficiaries, the relationships that exist between the people and the institutions which take part in decision-making in any given issue or activity. More precisely, the Venn diagram is used for the following purposes: to collect information on people and institutions concerned in decision-making in a given area, as well as on their activities; to understand how the villagers/partners perceive them and where to place them in the decision-making process; to materialize and visualize the relationships existing between institutions and people through a diagram; to analyze the relationships. In the capitalization context, the Venn diagram enables project teams to analyze the impact of their intervention on: ‐ the quality of concentration at community level; ‐ the participation of marginalized groups (women, the youth..) in decision-making mechanisms and in steering rural development; ‐ the partnership network of the community. Methods of elaborating the Venn diagram 1. With the help of well-informed partners, identify the key people and institutions taking part in deciding a topic or an activity and discuss their role. 2. The name of each individual and institution is written in the circle (the latter could be bigger or smaller depending on the importance of the person or the institution) and put in such a way that: the separate circles mean that there is no relationship; adjacent circles mean that the relationship exists but in a very unpronounced way overlapping circles show that the relationship is either more strong or less strong depending on the importance of the intersection. NB: The diagram can be drawn right on the ground, and the exercise can be more participatory if the names or the symbols represent people or institutions concerned are written on pieces of paper which the partners can easily move around at will. Throughout the exercise, questions can be asked to specify information indicated on the diagram  60   
  • 60. Example of a Venn Diagram Institutional relationships in Sinthiou Mahem village in Senegal   Adenauer  Foundation  Community  Centre    Rural Council    Village chiefs Remarks Other PD tools can be used to understand and analyze the information and communication systems of a community (ICS) in a rural set-up with a view to developing and implementing, within this community, an information and communication development plan. It is in connection with: ‐ the historical background of the means of communication; ‐ the infrastructure and communication map; ‐ the household communication environment. The ICS concept describes the mode of organization of the information and communication relationships within a rural community and between the community and the outside. Communication covers the totality of social relations existing among members of the community. By analyzing it as a single system, one assumes a holistic vision that takes into account a diversity of parameters, thus bringing into play the various categories of actors, types of information, support channels, moments, socio-cultural references, etc. The description and use of these three tools are presented by A. Ndiaye (2000), in “Diagnosis of communication and information needs in a rural set-up”. NB: Julien Rakotoarimana (FAO, 2001) also gives methodological research orientations in the rural media sector where he treats themes such as the study of the listener, data collection within the milieu, developing questionnaires, inquiry on the terrain, a qualitative study and inquiry on rural households. 61   
  • 61. SHARING TOOL N°2:                                                                          The Rural Radio ‐ ‐  The radio is an excellent communication tool, especially in Africa. It is one of the most accessible means of mass communication to all, the first contact point for the communities with the global knowledge network. It facilitates the dissemination of personal messages, birth and death announcements, ceremony invitations, meeting announcements, emergency calls, etc.  This media has proven its strength in promoting development. A serious, interesting and interactive radio enables hitherto marginalized communities to make their voices heard and to participate in the democratization process and also to give their opinions that will help bring about improvement in their lives. Advantages of the rural radio A solid understanding of the concerns and priorities of the rural population will help radio animators develop more appropriate information. Programmes designed specially to address the worries of specific groups are very likely going to be listened to with keen interest by them. Associations of farmers, fishermen, denominational groups and women associations are found everywhere in the rural areas. If these entities are encouraged to come together, to listen to and deliberate on radio programmes specially designed for them, and to send in their comments to the studios, the results will surely be positive. Limitations of the rural radio The inadequacy of human resources is one of the first limitations of the radio stations. Mr. Keita (FAO, 2001) reveals, in the Mali scenario, the evident dearth of professional broadcasters that made it unavoidable to recruit broadcasters “on the heap”, for, up to the 1990s, Mali had neither a university, nor any communication training institute. The dilapidated and obsolete state of the technical equipment is a second obstacle for a good number of rural radios which do not have the financial means to replace them. They even constitute a threat to their survival. In addition to the above, profitability is a serious problem faced in radio management, thus compromising their sustainability. The concentration of the market of announcers, the lack of professionalism in the radio animators and the mediocrity in broadcasting are the principal causes of the precarious economic situation in which most of the rural radios in Mali, for example, find themselves. The insufficient training and limited knowledge of radio presenters on agriculture and on other issues of interest to the rural farmer are a serious obstacle. It is indispensable for rural radio producers to have prior training on the activities of their targeted listeners, in order for them to be able to prepare adequate broadcasts and important messages.  62   
  • 62. 63   
  • 63.                                                                          Farmer Workshops SHARING TOOL N°3:  The farmer workshop is a tool for exploiting local knowledge. It can be undertaken in several forms:   ‐ Farmer workshop on reflection and identification of topics for capitalization or exchange  ‐ Workshop on the design and planning of innovation.  • Farmer workshop on reflection and identification of topics for capitalization or exchange It is a meeting where project agents convoke a group of farmers to make an in-depth analysis of a specific topic. The method of animation alternates between plenary session activities and activities within the commissions. The duration of the workshop can vary from just some hours, to one or two days, or even more. Many objectives can be aimed at in a workshop; this could be: - reflection on a local development problem; - analyzing causes and consequences of a particular problem and finding solutions to them; - selection research and action activities; - strategic reflection on the action of an organization, etc. In the area of capitalization of rural farmer experiences and/or carried out with the rural people, the workshop facilitates the: - identification of experiences to capitalize; - selection of topics of capitalization; - development of a participatory plan of capitalization; - defining roles and responsibilities of both community and project team actors in the implementation of the capitalization plan; - analyzing experiences in order to draw from them lessons relating to the success, failures as well as factors to explain these trends. Method of Implementation To guide reflection during the workshop, the facilitator should use a simple template with simple and straightforward questions which the farmers can understand easily. The farmers can be divided into small groups (commissions) to answer these questions. During group work (commissions), participatory tools such as the SWOT, the ranking criteria matrix and the problem tree can be interesting materials to help the farmers reflect on the identification of experiments, choice of topics and analysis of the impact of success on the community. Example: To identify and choose capitalization topics, the following questions can be asked: - Among the interventions made by the project, which would you like to learn and share your experience in? Why? - What aspects of project intervention appear to you most interesting for both current and future development of the community? - What, according to you, are the successes and failures and the factors responsible?  - What have you learnt that will help improve the partnership and that you would like to share with other people?  64   
  • 64. SFPO is the criteria ranking matrix that enables one to identify and choose capitalization topics. The problem tree, modified in its original structure (the roots representing causes, the trunk representing the central problem, and the branches representing the consequences of the problem), enables one to analyze the failures and to proceed to the effects and lessons learnt. In this case: - the trunk symbolizes failure - the roots represent the factors or causes and - the branches illustrate the effects or incidences. The exact variation of the problem tree is the objectives tree whose trunk symbolizes success. To analyze a problem using the problem tree, one should: - map out very well the success in clear and unequivocal terms, and to represent them with the trunk; - discuss all the consequences of these failure by representing each one of them with a branch; - identify the causes of these failures by representing each primary (or direct) cause with a main root. The secondary (or indirect) causes can be illustrated in the form of ramifications of the main roots. After this exercise, a discussion could be on possible solutions. The commissions can be made up of: - social associations (women, youth, village elders, married men, etc); - the neighbourhood; - or any other criterion. The farmers discuss in commissions, and a member of the project team works with them to note their remarks and conclusions. Each commission should have a head to note down and present their results during a plenary session. If the rapporteurs know how to read, a grid will be of immense use to them to be able to present results in an organized manner. For instance, this grid may have three sections: - points raised during the discussions; - answers to questions; - recommendations Strengths and limitations of Farmer Workshops These meetings usually enable project agents proceed to a fruitful exchange and to an in-depth analysis alongside the farmers, this will in return enhance progress in the processing of information. Difficulties may arise in the effective management of the farmers’ group given the size and composition of the audience, but also the intellectual capacities of the facilitators. These are the possible limitations of this tool.  65   
  • 65. ‐ SHARING TOOL N°4:                                                                          Workshop on Designing and Planning of Innovations ‐  Workshops on designing and planning of innovations aim to develop local skills emanating from experience, logic and diversified rationalities. Indeed, rural producers often experience new technologies in their production units (fields, cattle, fishing teams), unknown in the research and vulgarization processes. The projects should therefore be able to strengthen these practices by exploiting the possibilities the research and agro-advisory institutions have to offer to them, with a view to improving the impact and the quality of the results of these experiments.  This type of workshop: - Brings farmers together with researchers and technicians in order to harmonize their knowledge and be able to define and plan out an innovation process. - Aims to spur the farmers to bring out their knowledge and challenge that of the researchers and technicians, with the latter’s role consisting in ensuring the rigour of the experiment methodology. Implementation Methodology The designing and innovation planning workshop proceeds in these stages: - Evaluation of farmer experiences: how do they go about experimenting new technologies, (example: a new variety)? - Critical analysis: what are the weaknesses and strengths of their methods? - Objective formulation: why are they carrying out this experiment? - Identifying parameters: upon what criteria do they base their choice of technology to be tested? - Definition of methods: how are the tests carried out, and who is going to do so? - Clarification of roles and responsibilities: who is going to do what in the experiment? - Planning monitoring-evaluation calendars: what is each person’s role at a particular moment of the monitoring-evaluation exercise? This segmentation shows that the workshops need animators who can efficiently spur the farmer to participate in the reflection and exchange activity through an open question and flexible pedagogical approach, and with the aid of illustrative tools such as cards, symbols and objects in order to avoid too much abstraction. The animators should also be able to bring the researchers around to participate in a fruitful manner in the workshop through appropriate technical advice, thus adding more rigour in the definition of experiment methods. Strengths and weaknesses of the designing and innovation planning process This type of workshop, if it is well planned, enhances the building of an efficient base of collaboration between technicians and farmers by fostering a feeling of responsibility to the latter. the fact that the innovation was designed based on the criteria set by the farmer is proof of ownership of the project. The researcher or technician, for their part, is reassured of the appropriateness and adoption of the innovation on which they work. The interaction with the partners constitutes a precious and fruitful moment of exchange of skills which have a tendency to bring individuals closer to one another.  66   
  • 66. The limitations of this kind of workshop reside in the delicate and sometimes difficult business of animating it. The farmers may be inhibited by the jargon the researchers or technician uses, which may make them adopt a waiting and passive attitude towards these ‘specialists’, who are the custodians of the knowledge pertaining to this domain. The researcher, on their side, may find it difficult to translate the technical concepts and technical references in the local languages for the farmer to understand. It is also possible that he may be highly imbued with his know-how, and lacking in the necessary listening ability to admit to the strength of the farmer’s arguments. It then comes back to the facilitator to deploy his talents as animator, to make sure that each and every actor plays their expected role in an exchange situation where the power to decide should be shared and not monopolized by any one party. 67   
  • 67. Example of an Agenda of a Designing and Innovation Planning Workshop (Experiment) Day One Objective Activity Duration Procedure Negotiation of objectives: 14h – 14: 15 Introductory presentation, questions - Why the tests on varieties? and exchanges - What is the objective of this workshop? Sharing objective Definition of how the workshop shall be 14h – 14: 30 Proposals and tests conducted: exchanges - how is this workshop going to be conducted? Defining test criteria Characterization of rice fields at Kolonding: 14h :30 – 15: 15 Question cards - Types of rice fields - Constraints Study of criteria of choice of varieties: 15h:15 – 16: 30 Hierarchical structure and classification -what criteria should be put forward? matrix - What varieties to choose? Defining test Choice of experiment supervisors: 16 – 16: 30 Interrogation conditions -Who should carry out the test? - According to what criteria? Lunch and End of Day One Day Two Defining Test Definition of test mechanism: 13: 00 – 15: 00 Questions and Conditions exchanges - What experience do women have in testing varieties? - How is the land apportioned? - What treatment should be applied? - What precautions to take. Distribution of roles and responsibilities: 15: 00 – 15 45 Questions and exchanges - Who should do what? Defining monitoring mechanism 15:45 – 16:15 Questions and exchanges Conclusion of Synthesizing results and implementation 16: 15 – 17: 15. Presentation and Workshop recommendations Exchanges Source: FRAO, 1996 68   
  • 68.                                                                          Exchange Visits SHARING TOOL N°5:  The exchange visit is a learning tool, a mode of knowledge sharing by way of direct interface with project partners during on-the-spot meetings. It enhances a lateral transfer of knowledge between peers, which develops local skills and authorizes endogenous innovations.  The exchange visits aim to strengthen the knowledge the organized farmer groups through in situ information and training strategies which make room for direct contact, demonstration and learning practice.   Strengths and Limitations of Exchange Visits The strength of these exchange visits is the active learning and effective acquisition knowledge emanating from the demonstrations and the practicals. Project experiments reveal that a lot of adoption and innovation decisions spring from this type of visits where the farmers learn from their peers. The limitations can be associated with the demands of good planning and organization of these visits, in relation to their cost and the limited number of the beneficiaries of this sharing. NB: An optimal use of exchange visits presupposes that: - groups must not be too large so that that they can be managed effectively by the supervisors, trainers and facilitators; - objectives and expected results of the visits be clearly defined from the onset; - questions to be asked and the method of data collection and information processing be formulated and understood by the participants; - the roles and responsibilities of each participant be well defined. 69   
  • 69. 3.3.2 – Description of some sharing tools used by projects ‐ SHARING TOOL N°6:                                                                          Periodic Exchange Meetings ‐  They aim, in real time, at sharing information, and create an opportunity for direct confrontation of ideas. They facilitate the clarification of one another’s view points and may help the group to make valid decisions.  Different exchange procedures can be adopted during the meeting and could be: - a brain-storming session where the participants reflect on a given topic and proffer their ideas either orally or in writing; - someone making a presentation followed by group exchanges. The materials could be a text, a PowerPoint presentation, a film, etc. - a case study where the animator prepares and narrates the story or a case to the participants who will discuss it with respect to a specific template; - etc. the periodical meetings can be weekly, monthly, or any other time frame depending on the number of participants, their proximity to the meeting venue and their mobility. One of the methods of preparation for the meetings is the DIDFE model which stands for Beginning, Introduction, or Information, Discussion, End, Evaluation. (Grieshaber, 2000). - The Beginning is the meeting phase, the establishment of contact and personal introductions. - The introduction phase is where the participants are informed about the topic. - The discussion is the time for exchange of ideas and analysis of issues raised. - The end is the moment when the results are compiled and their use specified. - The evaluation gives the participants the opportunity to appreciate the event and express their personal opinion on the way the event is conducted. Strengths and limitations of the periodical exchange meetings The advantage of these meetings resides on their direct and interactive nature. On the other hand, the information treated in these meetings is often in raw form, since analysis is not often done exhaustively. It is not always easy, during these frequent meetings, to have the necessary background knowledge to be able to analyze facts with the degree of quality they should.    70   
  • 70. Presentation of the DIDFE model Objective of Session .......................................................................................................... Session Topic ...................................................................................................................... Place and Duration ............................................................................................................ Participants ........................................................................................................................ What should be Who should do it? What is the estimated done? (themes, duration? methods, means) (Introduce and moderate…) D – Beginning I – Introduction, Information D – Discussions F – End E - Evaluation 71   
  • 71. SHARING TOOL N°7:                                                                          Retreat or Reflection Break ‐  It is the period when a group or individuals organize themselves, outside the framework of usual working procedures, to fully invest themselves into an activity which most often requires intellectual exertion (reflection, study, writing, etc…). Methodological and organizational conditions are combined to bring about the right environment for the production of the desired results, which obliges those engaged in it to withdraw from the confines of the office and from the professional constraints and obligations in force.  The framework for the retreat is chosen based on the favourable working conditions: accessibility, quality of environment and infrastructure. The working tools are the documents required for the retreat as well as the equipment required for the data entry (computers, papers, markers, etc…) The moment is usually considered as the most auspicious time for the exercise (during the off-peak season, end of financial year, etc.). Thus, 63% of the FIDA projects confirm undertaking capitalization activities at a fixed time in the year. The projects prioritize group capitalization activities since 84% confirm applying regularly this modality in their capitalization exercises. Group work should be understood here as combining the project team and partners for that is what often obtains (89%). Working Methods vary based on the mechanisms and availability of team members. The following are discernible: - The alternation between group exchanges and individual work, where the group define a working template, distribute tasks among individuals or between sub-groups and so on; - Work is done essentially in small committees or individually without alternating between plenary and sub groups; - Work can be made easy by one or several experts. The outcome of these retreats can be in the form of write-ups, or in more or less finalized books, innovations in terms of ideas, methods or other intellectual productions. Strengths and limitations of retreats The strength of the retreats lies on the material and organizational synergy observed during work; this often leads to an appreciable progress in harnessing of knowledge. On the other hand, they demand sufficient time and resources, two conditions which projects can hardly manage satisfactorily.    72   
  • 72. SHARING TOOL N°8:                                                                          Intranet Network ‐  The intranet is a whole set of internal internet services (for instance a server) in a local network, accessible only through computers found within the network, or a set of networks.  The intranet within the project enables agents has easy access to a variety of documents: it facilitates a coherent and central access to the enterprise’s memory, which perfectly addresses the issue of knowledge capitalization. Advantages of the intranet The intranet facilitates the establishment of a low-cost system of communication. In concrete terms, the intranet is just the cost of the equipment, its maintenance and update, with user computers and servers operating on free software. However, given the universal nature of the means brought into play, any type of machine can be connected to the local network, and then to the intranet. The PROMER example in Senegal shows that projects, with the information technology equipment it has, know how to use the numerous advantages offered by the intranet, for instance, the use of a free telephone software which cuts down telephone cost; but it also shows that they do not make full use of opportunities offered by the system in terms of intensifying and optimizing data exchange between agent, and in enhancing the productivity of the work. Limitations of the intranet The most recent weaknesses detected in the use of the intranet are due to the lack of a qualified staff to maintenance and manage the services, to the lack of information on the possibilities of NTICs and to the deficiency in infrastructure and services in the interior regions of certain countries.            73   
  • 73. 3.3.3 – Description of some sharing at both national and international levels ‐ SHARING TOOL N°9:                                                               The Internet Network and Challenges of its utilization ‐  The use of the internet is a daily reality for the majority of projects which use this tool for documentation. The use of the internet is in the hub of strategies used by IFADAfrica projects whose challenge consist in translating individualized strategies in the use of this tool into a coherent whole, geared towards developing exchange of knowledge currents amongst projects, and between these projects and other rural development actors in Africa.  The implementation of such a project should take several factors into consideration: - the enormous weakness in telecommunication infrastructures in the rural zones, thus restricting to a greater extent connection possibilities; - the uncertainty of power supply due to the generally poor voltage in rural electricity: - the weak capacities in the maintenance available equipment in the rural set-ups. Where projects installed in cities and small towns may not be handicapped by these factors, their partners in the rural zones, however, risk being left out in these dynamics. The effect is that, the use of the internet shall be privileged in communications between projects whilst for the partners stationed in the villages; the contribution of intermediary channels should be solicited. These are the intermediary agents that Bruce Girard (FAO, 2001) call community intermediaries, after Richard Heeks had already called them so. The success of the intermediation is measured according to the satisfaction of the information and communication needs of the rural population. But then, the project and their partners do not always have a perfect knowledge of these needs, often, not being able to master the relevant procedures and methods that will facilitate understanding of these needs. This justifies the need to equip the rural population with sound diagnostic and communication methods. Community Intermediaries are “the institutes and individuals who access the internet and who can play a bridging role between the network and the communities”. The characteristics of a good community intermediary are “proximity, confidence and knowledge as well as the aptitude to combine cyber-knowledge and the contextual knowledge of the environment where it is exploited”. It is perhaps permissible here to think that basic community organizations and the radio can play this intermediary role within the NTIC, which can only enrich their interface function between projects and the rural population.  74   
  • 74. 75   
  • 75. SHARING TOOL N°10:                                                                           Written Publications ‐  Written publications include classical dissemination of materials which rural development institutions often resort to. The IFAD projects in Africa do not fully exploit this medium, going by the results obtained from project inquiries where only 31% acknowledge publishing works and 52% articles, whilst online publications are the weakest (15%). However, 84% of the projects indicate that they look forward to publishing. Some key concerns relating to written publications - The issue of market and commercial interest of a certain publication for professional editors arises, for “the weak purchasing power and distribution problem are noticed”. Library networks are absent or little developed. Books are not evenly distributed in towns and much less in the rural areas (Marsaud, 2004). - One of the causative factors is that a large portion of Africa is illiterate and publishing is done mostly in international languages, English, French, Portuguese… Therefore, the public cannot access them. - One of the opportunities would be publishing in national languages. - One should indeed underling the lack of adequate competences in the editing area in Africa. “Young editors throw themselves into this business without prior technical preparation for it since there is no training school. Today they feel the need for professional training, especially as software on image cropping and digital editing is growing at a very rapid pace”. (Marsaud op.cit.). Besides, there are scant simple practical guides to help editors and publishers resolve the problems they commonly face in editing any work or review on rural agricultural development, and to enable them produce a highly valid and qualitative publication. Some opportunities in the written publication area Opportunities to support projects in publication consist in: - training in scientific writing or works and the methodological support materials delivered by an institution such as CTA; - help in accessing agricultural information which organizations like the FAO, UNESCO and CTA can provide;  - online publication of works and reviews by exploiting internet resources.     76   
  • 76. Editing in national languages, a solution to the exchange and capitalization sharing tool It is common knowledge that newspapers in national languages contribute to the production of literate environments in farming communities and to the promotion of national languages. They are highly appreciated by farmer organizations and solicited by producers who through their columns have used them as spring boards to promote not only their activities, but also to make themselves be recognized and be able to communicate amongst themselves. Thanks to the rural newspapers, farmers can now express themselves. Besides, the majority of newspapers in national languages are written by them. For example, 62.3% of the articles in the SPORE newspaper in Burkina Faso, are written by the readers (although these articles are concentrated on just one page and essentially focus on health problems and advice) as against 31.7% by editors (Ministry of Communication, Burkina Faso, FAO, 2002). But the weak professionalism, problems of finance and efficient distribution continue to penalize publishing in national languages.  77   
  • 77. BIBLIOGRAPHY Clavreul, Y. & Ilboudo, J.P. (1998): Comment concevoir et réaliser les supports de communication de proximité, manuel à l'usage des responsables de communication, de l'animation, de la formation et de la vulgarisation des projets de développement, Rome. Dudley, E. & Imbach, A. (1997): Organismes pensants. Huit caractéristiques des organismes qui encouragent l'apprentissage par la pratique et y sont réceptives en Méthodes d'Evaluation des Progrès vers la durabilité. UICN. Ellsworth, & al. (1992): Comment animer un atelier de formation au diagnostic participatif ? PRAAP FAO (2001): Atelier international sur la radio rurale, Rome, 19-22 fevrier 2001. Les nouvelles technologies de l'information et de la communication au service de la radio rurale: nouveaux contenus, nouveaux partenariats. FAO, Rome (Italy). Div. de la Recherche, de la Vulgarisation et de la Formation FAO (2002): Guide méthodologique d'élaboration d'une stratégie de communication multimédia. La communication pour le développement - Etudes de cas - Manuel 1. Département du Développement Durable. FAO. Rome FIDA (2002): Managing for impact in Rural Development: A guide for project M&E FIDA (2002): FIDAfrique Phase II : Création d'un réseau régional d'information en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre. FIDA: Stratégie de gestion des savoirs FIDA: Stratégie en matière d’innovation F3E (1999) Guide méthodologique : l'évaluation de l'impact. CIEDL FPH: Fiche d’expérimentation FRAO (2003): Le diagnostic institutionnel des organisations rurales en Afrique. Guide Pratique. Dakar FRAO (2005): Méthodologie de capitalisation et de valorisation des expériences des projets et programmes du FIDA en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre. (Document de travail) Dakar Grieshaber, C. (2000): Pas à pas. Développement des groupes. Manuel de formation. DES. IED Afrique, (2007): Manuel pour la capitalisation des expériences. Dakar. 78   
  • 78. Kibbel B. (1999): Success Stories as Hard Data. An introduction to Result Mapping. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. Le Boterf, G., Barzucchetti, S., Vincent, F. (1992): Comment manager la qualité de la formation. Les Editions d'Organisation - Paris. Marsaud, O. (2004): L'édition africaine, entre déboires et espoirs. Le secteur peine encore à s'organiser. L'@raignée Lundi 19 Janvier 2004. Michiels and Van Crowder (2001): Discovering the "Magic Box": Local appropriation of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Sddimensions. FAO. Ministère de la communication Burkina Faso, FAO (2000): La situation de la communication pour le développement au Burkina Faso. Atelier national “Définition d'une politique nationale de communication pour le développement rural”. Ndiaye, A. (2000): Le diagnostic du système d'information et de communication. FRAO Ndiaye, A. & Fall, C. (2005): Diagnostic participatif sur la capitalisation et la valorisation des expériences. PADV de Louga. FIDAfrique. Ndiaye, A. & Fall, C. (2005): Diagnostic participatif sur la capitalisation et la valorisation des expériences. PROMER de Tambacounda. FIDAfrique. NOVIB (1997-2000): Projet de développement d’un outil informatique d’auto-audit organisationnel. PNUD (2002): Guide du suivi et de l’évaluation axés sur les résultats, Bureau de l’évaluation. PNUD New York. Richaudeau, F. (1979): Conception et production des manuels scolaires, guide pratique, UNESCO. Paris. Roegiers, X. & Gérard, F.M. (1993): Concevoir et évaluer des manuels scolaires, De Boeck. Wesmael. Bruxelles. Senge, Peter & al. (1994): The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, New York, Doubleday. Senge, P. & Gautier, A. (1997): « La cinquième discipline : l'art et la manière des organisations qui apprennent ». Tounessi, M. (2001): Le rôle de la radio rurale dans le développement rural - Diffusion des informations commerciales - Expérience du Projet de Microfinance et de Commercialisation. Atelier international sur la radio rurale. 79   
  • 79. Villeval, P. (2004): Handicap International & Philippe Lavigne Delville (Gret) : capitalisation d'expériences…expérience de capitalisation. Comment passer de la volonté à l'action. Ziegler, C. 2004: Typologie des capitalisations : où vous situez-vous ? Coordination sud. Zutter, P. de (1994): Des histoires, des savoirs, des hommes «l'expérience est un capital, de l'expérience à la connaissance». FIDAfrique-IFADAfrica FIDAfrique-IFADAfrica is a network and at the same time a programme. Its objective is to create a link between people, organizations and networks that will enhance learning, sharing of experiences and innovations with a view to reducing rural poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its intention is therefore to increase efficiency in developing projects and programmes financed by the IFAD and to improve consultation on policies, thanks to a better identification of innovation, learning and sharing processes, through the creation of a unified network of knowledge for Sub- Saharan Africa between projects and programmes financed by IFAD and other development actors. WARF is responsible for the animation and financial management of the Sub-Saharan network. It equally coordinates the activities of West and Central Africa. Besides it has concluded an agreement for a subsidiary grant with the African Association for Agriculture and Rural Credit (AFRACA) for the coordination of the East and Southern African zone.  FIDAfrique-IFADAfrica Who is this handbook meant for? This handbook is essentially meant for IFAD program agents in West and Central Africa and their project partners. The program management units and their partners will find it useful as an approach which will help them put in place an internal process of reflection as well as experience and knowledge-sharing. It is also meant for field project teams who play an important role in bringing information to the management units for the monitoring and evaluation of the indicators. Furthermore, this handbook and some of its participatory oriented components could be useful tools of reflection for cooperative institutions and IFAD agents during missions for the supervision and/or preparation of their Annual Work plans and Budgets. Finally, this handbook responds to the need for IFADAfrica to conceive an approach which will enable IFAD projects and their partners develop their own plans for capitalization and exchanges. It is inspired from already tested practices in similar IFAD supported projects in Latin America 80  and Asia.