Published on February 19, 2014
WORLD CONGRESS ON AGROFORESTRY 2014 10-14 FEBRUARY 2014, DELHI, INDIA Trees for Life: Accelerating the Impact of Agroforestry Session 6.3: The science of scaling up and the trajectory beyond subsistence A framework for assessing the effectiveness of rural advisory service (RAS) approaches Steven Franzel World Agroforestry Centre
Outline • Agroforestry and rural advisory services (RAS) • Conceptual framework for RAS • Framework for assessing RAS approaches • Assessment criteria 27th April- 3rd May 2012. Nairobi, KENYA 2
Agroforestry and rural advisory services (RAS) Innovative and low-cost RAS approaches are especially important for agroforestry because • Agroforestry RAS is complex, that is it – Involves more than one component (trees/crops/livestock) – Is knowledge-intensive, involves new skills (e.g., nurseries, pruning, harvesting) – long-term, periodic training • Agroforestry extension is neglected, neither agricultural nor forestry policy and extension pay it much attention 27th April- 3rd May 2012. Nairobi, KENYA 3
Conceptual Framework for Rural Advisory Services Improved livelihoods Improved productivity How can RAS approaches such as volunteer farmer trainers facilitate this process? Farmers and farming systems Germplasm and other inputs Skill development Knowledge and information Adapted from Degrande and Birner
Framework for Assessing Rural Advisory Service Approaches Not a question of best practice but Best Fit Research question: Which RAS approach fits best for which target group, under which circumstances and for which AF practice? Which RAS approach to use will vary according to – Which farmers you are targeting, eg some more appropriate for women than others – Which circumstances (agro-ecological zone) you are in, e.g, some more suited to higher population density areas than for low density areas – Which AF practice you are promoting, eg, some more suited to knowledge intensive practices and others to simpler practices – The objective of the approach: to sensitize? To train? Both? 27th April- 3rd May 2012. Nairobi, KENYA 5
Framework for Assessing an Extension Approach Four dimensions Clients, eg - Poor - Women Circumstances - Biophysical - Socioeconomic AF practices Degree of complexity f (period, skills required, components)) Extension objectives - to sensitize - to train
Framework for Assessing Extension Approaches Four dimensions Women trainers as effective as men (reaching 20 farmers/mo) Clients, eg - Poor - Women Circumstances - Biophysical - Socioeconomic Trainers more effective in high population density areas AF practices Degree of complexity f (period, skills required, components)) Trainers most effective on simpler practices Extension approaches - to sensitize - to train
Criteria for Assessing Effectiveness of RAS Approaches The degree to which they 1. facilitate the flow of information, innovation and materials (e.g., seed) among farmers leading to improved livelihoods 2. benefit marginalized groups: women, youth and the poor 3. are cost-effective; high benefits relative to costs 4. are sustainable, can be managed by communities 5. Are compatable with other RAS approaches 6. strengthen local capacities to access information and solve problems 7. are accountable to their clients
1. Does approach facilitate the flow of information, innovation and materials (e.g., seed) leading to improved livelihoods? • There is a long chain to monitor from farmer trainer to improved livelihoods: Farmer Trainer Trained farmer Farmer tests Farmer adopts Incomes increase Impr. livelihoods • Surveys at particular stages, eg did farmer trainers train? Did Trainees plant? Did they adopt? • Randomized controlled trial to assess impact of volunteer farmer trainers 27th April- 3rd May 2012. Nairobi, KENYA 9
2. Does approach benefit marginalized groups: women, youth and the poor? • Note that women can benefit in two ways from farmer to farmer extension – Women are empowered as farmer trainers – Approach reaches more women • In the East African Dairy Development Project, Kenya, – <10% of extension staff are women while – 38% of 1,400 farmer trainers are women. 27th April- 3rd May 2012. Nairobi, KENYA 10
4. Is it sustainable, can approach be managed by communities after end of a project? • In western Kenya, Volunteer farmer trainers were actively training farmers even several years after project support ended, (Lukuyu et al, 2012). • The main factor here: Community based organization (local village councils) to manage the approach 27th April- 3rd May 2012. Nairobi, KENYA 11
7. Is approach accountable to its clients? • Community members have role in – Selecting the farmer trainer – Deciding on the content of the extension program – Monitoring and evaluation 27th April- 3rd May 2012. Nairobi, KENYA 12
The next step in assessing RAS approaches…. • Instead of starting with an RAS approach and assessing its effectiveness, start with a particular target group, agro-ecological zone and potential innovations and ask: • Which RAS approaches will be most appropriate? 27th April- 3rd May 2012. Nairobi, KENYA 13
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