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Research on effective South-South technology transfer to achieve sustainable community development : a case study of introducing agro-ecosystem health (AESH) methods and experiences to Zambia from Kenya and Uganda (PDF)


Team leader :

Mutsuyo Kadohira (Nagoya University, Japan)

 

Collaborators:

Erastus Kang'ethe (University of Nairobi, Kenya)

Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo (Makerere University, Uganda)

Kenny Samui (University of Zambia, Zambia)


Table of contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Methods

Results and Discussion

Future plans


Acknawledgments

We are grateful to many people for their help. First of all, we thank participating villagers of Monze East and government officers in Monze District for their cooperation. Without their support, we could not have achieved our objectives. We are also grateful to Dr. Tom Kalinda for the workshop and PRA reports, the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia for the workshop space and Ambassador Ishi, Embassy of Japan in Zambia, for the workshop opening speech.

 

The Toyota Foundation funded the research. Nagoya University and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology of Japan provided funds for Kadohira to travel to Zambia in January and August, 2003, respectively.


Introduction

The agro-ecosystem health (AESH) approach to sustainable community development helps communities to assess in a participatory way the well-being and sustainability of their community using health concepts Communities begin by describing their village in detail, then diagnosing and analyzing their problems as a basis for developing community action plans. Over time these plans are monitored and evaluated by the community and changes made based on community analysis and consensus. This research assesses the effectiveness of transferring AESH methods to Zambia, based on their use in projects in Kenya and Uganda.

The project in Uganda was entitled “Links between sleeping sickness and natural resource endowments and use: what communities can do?“The research involved working with communities to develop a better understanding of their agro ecosystems, focusing on the linkages between natural resource management and social factors associated with human health - sleeping sickness and poverty. The research used several participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools such as historical profiles, social analysis, problem analysis and village maps in village workshop settings in order to generate relevant information for analysis.

 

The Kenyan case study was entitled “An integrated assessment of health and sustainability of a tropical highland agro ecosystem.“The research involved working with communities in Kiambu district to develop a better understanding of their agro ecosystems. A multidisciplinary team of researchers selected AESH indicators while villagers in the six study areas chose community based indicators. Each team (researchers and communities) employed its own list of indicators to measure the health of agro ecosystem and later held a joint analysis of their findings.

 

Both case studies had several valuable lessons to be learnt in the conduct of AESH research. These included;

  • Communities should be committed to and lead the process.
  • PRA techniques are effective and result in community mobilization and action.
  • PRA is an important tool for researchers trying to assess complex issues.
  • PRA is important in developing relevant research questions.
  • Communities have the ability to formulate research questions and analyse constraints.

The research was designed to compare the effectiveness of two methodologies; training workshop and PRA for the transfer of technology. The AESH concepts were applied to a Zambian case study.

The success of the transfer methods, workshop and PRA, was assessed by monitoring.


Methods

Monze East in Southern Province of Zambia approximately 200 km south - west of Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, was selected as the study area because of its low donor/NGO interaction in the past. In this area, four villages, Bukoole, Hamatako, Bulimo and Kayumba were chosen to participate in the study (Figure 1 ). Bukoole, Bulimo and Hamatako are under chief Mwaza, while Kayumba is under chief Chona. Monze has had its economic base centred on livestock (cattle) and agriculture (growing of maize, the staple food). Since the outbreak of corridor disease and the death of many animals, growing of crops, mainly maize, as the major cash crop, has once again increased. Other crops like groundnuts, cowpeas and sweet potatoes are grown for subsistence .

 

Two villagers from each of two selected villages (Bukoole and Hamatako) attended the training workshop. PRA was conducted in two villages (Bulimo and Hamatako). Kayumba was the control village where no intervention was instituted. Table 1 shows the allocation of the two transfer methods among four studied villages.


Figure 1. Location of four villages studied in Monze East, Southem Province, Zambia

 

Table 1. Types of transfer method allocated to four villages in Monze East Southern Province, Zambia

Bukoole
Hamatako

Bulimo

kayumba

Workshop
×
×
PRA
×
×

 

The workshop was conducted in January 2003 attended by civil servants, NGO staff and university lecturers in addition to the above mentioned villagers (see Part 1: Workshop). PRA was carried out in April 2003 (see Part 2: PRA). Monitoring was done in May, July and

August 2003 (see Part 3: Monitoring) and a number of attributes on capacity domains were assessed in order to gain insight into the village workings which could affect the progress of the agenda for community development.

 

The selection of the following attributes was based on the understanding that within the time period of the project, the expected outputs would be setting up of community structures/village institutions that would form the basis for sustained development. The selected attributes were i ) shared vision, ii) community cohesiveness; iii) community participation, iv) community communication and v) community organization. The evaluation of the monitoring process was conducted through focused group discussions in the four villages.


Results and Discussion

Observations made at the 1st〜 3rd monitoring were described in each monitoring report (see Part 3: Monitoring) Figure 2 summarizes the time line between January and August, 2003, showing when interventions and actual activities concerning dip tank construction were taken place during three monitoring phases in three villages.

 

All the three villages where one farm or another of intervention was instituted, action plans based on a villages prioritized problems were created and activities started. The planned activities were in league with their shared vision. Construction of dip tanks was intended to result in increased livestock numbers and therefore, increased household incomes which become a gateway to the better village which is envisioned.

 

The villages improved on all the assessed attributes as they started working together on the village projects. Cohesiveness improved as working together (participation) offered opportunities for members to know one another better and therefore develop trust. Participation equally improved as forums were created by Increased organization within the village (formation of clubs and groups) for members of the community to interact together. This improved their communication and organization.

 

Participants In the workshop were provided with opportunities to practice the principles taught under the guidance of the facilitators.

This helped to imprint the learned concepts. Of equal importance is the workshop language, which should take into account the education level of the participants. Efforts were deliberately made to accommodate all the participants' needs in terms of understanding the concepts taught.


Figure 2. Time line showing interventions and monitoring results in three villages, Monze East, Southern Province, Zambia, January - August 2003

 

Bukoole village sent two mature adults who mobilized the community to undertake dip tank construction. This process of mobilization occurred earlier than in Hamatako (both workshop training and PRA had been conducted). This clearly demonstrates the pivotal role of participants and the effect they can wield in implementation of community development projects.

 

It was envisaged that Hamatako, having had the workshop and PRA experiences, would forge ahead of the other villages in the implementation of community goals. However, this advantage did not translate into an upsurge of community collective action better than that of Bulimo (PRA only) or Bukoole (Workshop only).

 

Therefore, in conclusion, a comparison of how the two methodologies/ interventions instituted (workshop and PRA) affected the village performance, showed that whatever the intervention(s), the results were the same, although there were contributing factors to consider.

 

Firstly, the planning and delivery of the workshop materials is crucial to the success of participants mobilizing their communities for collective good. Equally, the participants need to be properly selected in order to have maximum impact in the villages. This requires knowledge about the participants, their social standing, and ability to communicate and mobilize the community. In this study, however, no such selection

criteria were used.

 

Secondly, the conducting of PRA in the two villages empowered the communities to undertake projects of common good. Whereas PRA is an important tool for community empowerment, Bukoole without PRA went ahead with community planning for a dip tank construction.

Community response to PRA is dependent on community dynamics of cohesiveness, organization and participation.

 

Thirdly, monitoring of the village activities by the research team was supposed not to have any influence on the communities activities However, we observed that Kayumba, the control village, initiated construction of a school as a result of the vision mapping exercise done in May.


Future plans

Since the research leader has some funds to travel to Southern Province of Zambia for the next few years, she would like to continue to monitor and sustain the community activities initiated. In addition, plans are being developed with other research and development partners to effectively extend this approach to different areas by utilizing the research results.

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 Copyrighted by Kadohira's laboratory, All rights reserved, 2005