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Improving people’s resilience through documentation and sharing of good practices in Burkina Faso


Populations are increasingly exposed to natural hazards, socio-economic shocks, conflicts or protracted crises. Men and women who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods are often the most affected by these events. It is therefore essential to strengthen their resilience – their “ability to withstand damage and recover rapidly when confronted by disasters or crises”.

Recognizing the importance of good practices to strengthen resilience in West Africa, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have recently recommended addressing the shortage of “human resources capacity for identifying, documenting and sharing best practices as well as capitalization of experiences”.

As a direct response to these recommendations, FAO organized a workshop in August 2017 in Burkina Faso, which brought together more than thirty participants from government, NGOs, UN agencies and several unions of farmers and herders. This workshop aimed to strengthen capacities at country level to capture and share good practices that increase resilience through a “learning by doing” approach.

The participants worked on four topics of importance to resilience in Burkina Faso: 1) adaptation to climate change; 2) protection of natural resources; 3) small-scale livestock and pastoralism; and 4) food security and nutrition. They identified good practices in these different topics, such as supporting vulnerable households with small-scale livestock; the agro-pastoral field school approach; selective wood cutting; restoring degraded land with direct seeding; and others.

The participants analysed why and how their practices are successful, identifying key factors of success and constraint. This included reflecting upon the sustainability of their practices at different levels (economic, environmental, social and institutional), as well as on the risks of replicating these in different contexts. For example, one participant working on “protection of natural resources” highlighted that “restoring and protecting river banks” in his geographical area may have a negative impact on some specific animal species. By discussing these different issues, the participants ensured that the identification and sharing of their practices can contribute to strengthen the resilience of more vulnerable households or communities.

Throughout this process, the participants strengthened their own capacities to document good practices. In particular, they discovered the ‘Experience capitalization cycle’ and went through the different steps of how to capture and share good practices, using FAO methodology. As a result, the documentation process that was initiated during this workshop can now be carried on by the participants. After looking at the positive results of experience capitalization, participants also expressed willingness to mainstream this process in their own institution, further expanding opportunities for more good practices to be documented, shared and replicated in Burkina Faso.

For more information

Practical tool “How to capture and share good practices in order to generate change”: www.fao.org/capacity-development/resources/practical-tools/good-practice-tool/en/

E-learning Course on Experience capitalization for continuous learning: www.fao.org/elearning/#/elc/en/course/EXCAP 

KORE Knowledge Sharing Platform on Resilience:   www.fao.org/in-action/kore/background/en/


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