Transcript Slide 1

Farmer First Revisited
12 – 14 December 2007
at the Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK
Presentation, Theme 1d, Assessing outcomes: participatory learning and impact assessment
Discussant: Maria Fernandez, University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Assessing outcomes:
participatory learning and impact
Maria Fernandez
Research Institute for the Sustainable Development of the Upper Amazón
(INDES-CES) Universidad Nacional de Amazonas – Chachapoyas
Center for Integration of Research and Action (CIRA)
University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill
Abebe, Dawit, A. Catley, B. Admassu, G. Bekele– Tufts, Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia – Participatory impact assessment of pastoral
development in Ethiopia
Douthwaite, Boru, S. Alvarez, G. Thiele and R. Mackay –
CIP/CIAT – Participatory Impact Analysis Pathways
Douthwaite, Brou and Martin Gummert – International Center
for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and IRRI – Outcomes and
impact pathways in innovation systems.
Guijt, Irene – Learning by Design – Rethinking learning for
collective learning in rural resource management
Sanginga, Pascal – A. Abenakyo, R. Kamugisha, A. M. Martin
and R. Muzira - CIAT/IDRC - Tracking outcomes of
participatory policy change
Martin, Adrienne – NRI - So What Difference does it Make?
Key Questions
How do we know that participatory approaches
deliver results of benefit to the goals of poverty
reduction and economic growth?
 How are such assessments framed?
 How are such appraisals designed?
 What indicators are appropriate?
 How can unlike processes be effectively
Windows on the issue
Participatory methods
& practices for
tracking change
Participatory learning experiences for
management, policy and innovation
lessons &
Monitoring “Farmer-First” development is*:
Concerned with adaptive behavior, collective
learning and interactive decision–making
Value-driven, focusing on equitable and
sustainable resource use, and poverty
Implemented in rural resource management
initiatives with multi-stakeholder negotiated
actions at the centre
* Irene Guijt
“Participatory Impact Pathways
Done in workshops that build commitment,
transparency and accountability
Components of logical model and hypothesis
to be tested are identified by key stakeholders.
These include changes in knowledge, attitudes,
skills and practice that should result from use
of project outputs.
Indicators consist in milestones and progress
markers that all agree upon.
* Brou Douthwaite et. al.
“Learning Selection” Revisited:
25 years later*
Learning is a 4 stage cycle: experience,
making sense, drawing conclusions, action
Key stakeholder ‘learning by using’ and
‘learning by doing’ are important early on
“Plausible promise” and champions are critical
Most successful rice dryers had been modified
by users and manufacturers
R&D teams drive the process & need to work
with users from the onset & over long periods
* Boru Douthwaite & Martin
Using Participatory Impact Assessment
to Inform Policy*
Qualitative and quantitative data together with systematic data
collection generate social-cost benefit insights
Use of conventional methods (E.g. statistical analysis) make
findings more credible to scientists and policy makers
Participatory settings provide opportunities to bring policymakers and “users” together
Including stakeholders (participants) that represent and have
influence increase understanding
Results are more accurate and reliable when group and/or
individual responses are immediately cross-verified, and
triangulated with information from process monitoring.
Multiple policy influences and changes can be identified
* Dawit Abebe
Constraints to impact assessment*
Time-consuming nature and expense of long-term
data collection and the scope for scientific error
Hypothetical nature of monitoring via models
precludes surprise
Stakeholders resistance to providing open access
Difficulty of achieving agreement on what merits
experimentation and needs to be monitored
Naivety about the real challenges and potential of
joint design of monitoring systems and information
* Irene Guijt
Tracking outcomes of participatory
policy learning and action research*
Participatory Learning and Action Research are self-reflective
processes where stakeholders analyze their own actions
PLAR increased women’s confidence and changed perceptions
of their status within the communities.
Most (95.6% M&F) indicated that women’s participation in
decision-making & community leadership improved in 3 years
Horizontal linkages among farmers’ groups across
communities and other villages improved (parallel groups)
The groups become vehicles where farmers pursue wider
concerns, initiate new activities, organize collective action &
extend relations & linkages externally
* Sanginga et. al.
Lessons Learned
Key stakeholder involvement is critical from the onset
to build consensus for concerted action but multistakeholder groups and partnerships are messy
Participatory reflexive processes increase
commitment and create social capital
Since multi-stakeholder groups function on the basis
of consensus they may not be able to deal with power,
politics and inequality in community processes.
Build on existing governance structures, but move
beyond community-level forums to socially
disaggregated processes
Drive the process with a “plausible promise” and
engage champions over the long term
Why has the debate stagnated?
What are the implications of effective feedback loops that link reflection to planning and
action for social and political capital building?
How/when do participatory (co-learning)
processes constrain powerful interests?
Are participatory, reflexive, co-learning, action
processes public or limited-access (private)
goods? How is access controlled/constrained?