Friday, January 23, 2009

Session Report: Role of KM in Rural Development Projects

Session on Role of KM in Rural Development Projects, 23 January, 2009, 10.45 to noon at facilitation room
Comments by Cristina Sette

Session had four presenters, Emerson Ndovisai Zhou (IFAD - PAMA), Danilo Saavedra (FUNICA), Adrian Marbaniang (NERCORMP), and Kevin Gallagher (FAO).

Emerson (IFAD) presented a work he is involved in Africa, with market chain and support to farmers. The KS activities his project is currently carrying out are:
  • Disseminate what they were doing
  • Bring stakeholders together
  • Document lessons
  • Record what goes inside the project
  • Use consultants
  • Workshop
  • Printed documents (e.g. policy briefs)
  • Reflection
  • Disseminate what is working
  • Media (radio, video/tv) to bring awareness; publish stories (newspaper) at national and IFAD level
  • Training
  • Local workshops
  • Forums
  • Reach farmers
  • Platforms (national level) for discussions
Lesson: when to introduce the instruments of KM?
  • There isn't a KM department or a focus person for KM
  • Right KM tools
  • Involve stakeholders (local stakeholders)
  • Web as repository
  • Project implementation team (consultants)
  • One department taking the leadership
  • KM is important to improve project; feeding into M&E cycle

Danilo from FUNICA in Nicaragua presented a project related to food security in Nicaragua. He emphisized that the project had the incentives they had for KM were the following:
  • Resources/investments
  • Technological assistance
  • Improve the organization
The methodologies for KM were:
  • Farmer field school
  • Farmer to farmer (lead by National farmers organizations. They have their own methodologies)
Some of the lessons were:
  • Involve other institutions to support the project
  • Each institution look at KM to reduce poverty
  • Work with farmers

Adrian from NERCORMP in India presented a project they call "Systematization" which is a participatory tool for evaluate projects, which builda pool of knowledge and documents lessons learned. Website:
The project phases are:
  • Preparatory
  • Grounding
  • Documentation (achieved through field visits, reporting, and post documentation)
The project activities are:
  • Identify areas/topics
  • Facilitators for each topic
  • Team assigned to an area
  • Team plan activities and present for feedback
  • Field visits by the team where they interact with the community
  • Reporting/documenting (it is a challenge)
  • Look at all resources (other types of reports)
  • Present
  • Pos documentation
  • Policy briefs

Some of the lessons were:
  • Participatory tool. Community evaluate themselves
  • Disseminate to other project areas
  • Identify topic must be done carefully
  • Sometimes we sounded too vague and we were not sure what to do
  • Make people write is difficult
  • Timing must be planed carefully
  • Having a KM specialist is good
  • Communication must be linked with M&E
  • The topics are chosen at district level
  • We asked ourselves if after the project if has been any changes
  • Doing this exercise requires time and funds

Kevin from FAO presented his work with farmer field schools in Sierra Leone.
The project consisted of introducing different methods with the FFS approach, build confidence/groups, and transfer knowledge.
Kevin's expereince with KM were as following:
  • Farmers own the knowledge
  • Farmers build business schools (agricultural business center)
  • Takes time to develop the processes and to build confidence
  • Focus on integrated pest management
  • FFS is a group of people who meet in the field
  • Farmers facilitate the procecss
  • Experts can present
  • Self organized
  • Cost
  • Radio
  • Up taking low in some countries (no promotion at international level, e.g. FAO and World Bank)
  • Info available but documentation expensive

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