Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

2. Analysis of Sessions

2.1 Review of PRA Techniques covered earlier
2.2 Introduction of Problem Census Technique
2.3 Introduction to S.W.O.T. Analysis
2.4 Introduction to Wealth Grading
2.5 Introduction to Pair-wise Ranking
2.6 Extension Team Field Training
2.7 Field Problem Census
2.8 Field discussion of Findings
2.9 Field S.W.O.T. Analysis
2.10 Field Discussion of Findings and Consensus Building

2.1 Review of PRA Techniques covered earlier

The initial session included a review of the most important tools covered in the April workshop. The working principles of PRA were reviewed including a discussion of the kinds of information that can be gathered, and its accuracy. Tools which were also reviewed included semi-structured interviewing and the importance of communication skills, social, resource and economic mapping, as well as matrix scoring and ranking.

A brainstorming activity was facilitated by one of the participants to discover what areas of training were felt to require further going development. This list was then prioritized by the trainers and the participants using pair-wise ranking. The outcome of the brainstorming exercise ranked in order of priority was as follows:

1. to understand the way the herders feel they can best protect the range
2. how to use PRA for extension work
3. how to have great 'reliability in 'matrix' scoring
4. how to use wealth ranking to set up a Bedouin typology
5. how to identify problems for possible solutions
Other problems identified included how to set up continuous communications with a mobile populations, how to stimulate people to think of ways to increase income, how to solve the problems of education, and how to assess the Bedouin's own feelings about the PRA work the project team is engaged in.

2.2 Introduction of Problem Census Technique

After a short introduction to this tool and the ways that it could be used to identify needs and problems, a brainstorming exercise was set up and, after careful trainer input, was facilitated by one of the workshop participants. The topic for the exercise was to identify the constraints facing the project in field work. Six issues were identified:

1. protection of the rangeland.
2. protection of the wildlife reserve
3. Bedouin lack of awareness of the project
4. difficulty of finding labourers for the project through the cooperatives.
5. ineffectiveness of the trench around the wildlife reserve (Taliila)
6. understaffing of the project
These issues were then used in a pair-wise ranking exercise to reveal the priority which the workshop participants attached to these issues.

CHART: Pair-wise ranking of constraints facing the project in fieldwork

1. Protect Range (replanted area)
2. Protect Reserve (Taliila)
3. Lack of Bedouin awareness
4. Labour shortage
5. Ineffective trench
6. Under-staffed project.
The problem of protecting the range was viewed as the first priority, protecting the reserve the second, lack of target group awareness of the project's activities third, shortage of workers fourth, ineffectiveness of the trench around the wildlife reserve fifth, and last, understaffing of the project.

This session ended with a feedback exercise reviewing and commenting on the performances of the workshop participants who acted as facilitators. The need to carefully define meanings and explain exercises, to maintain open communications and to work as a team was fully discussed in preparation for the final days of the workshop where project staff would act as facilitators, with the support of the PRA trainers.

2.3 Introduction to S.W.O.T. Analysis

This session began with general introduction of this tool as a strategy for finding solutions to problems. Taking a fictional example developed by one of the trainers, the workshop split into small working groups to analyse the potential strategies for solving identified problems. All groups looked at the problem of protecting the Wildlife Reserve. Two groups chose to look at the launching of an awareness campaign about Wildlife in Taliila as a potential solution to the problem. One group chose to look at the possibility of introducing more legislation to protect the reserve. Each group worked out its strategy and analysed potential strengths and weaknesses of the idea using a grid (S.W.O.T.) of internal and external strengths and weaknesses introduced by the trainers. These findings were then presented to the plenary and commented on by the trainers.

2.4 Introduction to Wealth Grading

After a brief theoretical review of the concepts behind wealth ranking or standard of living stratification, the trainers conducted a pre-prepared role playing example using seven people known to the participants but not members of the local community in a wealth ranking exercise. This exercise tried to emphasis the need to identify the criteria being used by the informants - though at times it is necessary to lead with a few suggestions. This activity was then followed by the application of wealth ranking to all the listed members of the three different cooperatives. Using the government supervisors of each of the cooperatives as resource people, the group split into three and conducted this activity. Each team of three was reminded that the exercise required each team member to take on an active role, in this case as a facilitator, a note keeper and a time keeper. The work of the team, as a whole, was shown to be important for the success or failure of the group work. The session ended with an explanation of how to bring the differing number of categories of each group - one had three levels of stratification, another four and one five - into some kind of statistically comparable basis.

2.5 Introduction to Pair-wise Ranking

The final session of the classroom-based training used to respond to the perceived training needs of the workshop participants as under 2.1. The session focused on pair-wise ranking. This technique seemed to best meet the needs identified earlier in the workshops concerning how to use criteria and how to find out the view of the Bedouin about protecting the range. Because time was short, a very brief brainstorming exercise was conducted to develop ideas about past and current Bedouin practices that might be used in a pair-wise ranging exercise. These points included:

traditional hema system (range management system)
open access to the range seasonal mobility of the Bedouin
local mobility of the Bedouin
use of government reserves
buying feed supplements
leasing government protected areas for grazing their herds
These criteria were then exposed to a pair-wise ranking exercise in order to rank them by importance to the Bedouin. The exercise was not successful for a number of reasons. First the participants were unable to 'think' like Bedouin and consistently ranked the criteria by their own standards. Second, many of the criteria were too abstract and the participants could not conceptualize the issue. More time should have been taken to establish criteria that was 'grounded in reality', or one actual range area. And finally, and most important, the criteria were of incompatible levels of generalizations. The first criteria represented a complex system of management activity, while all the others were single strategies. Although the exercise was not successful, the lessons learned from it were very useful to the workshop.

This session ended with a wrap up and review of team work and team contracts. Tasks were divided up between the two field teams made up from the six project participants. The roles of each team member were carefully worked out for the coming three days of field work.

2.6 Extension Team Field Training

After the second day of the workshop, a one day lull was scheduled to allow some of the project participants to complete other tasks. On this day, the consultant and the FAO officer turned their attention to the terms of reference of the national consultant in extension as well as the training needs of the unit itself. This was organized around an on-site field training and backup support session for the extension team of the project. Two of the three members of the extension unit as well as the national extension consultant were taken out into the field to be observed interviewing an informant and practising wealth ranking. This exercise gave the trainers an opportunity not only to observe the extent to which each individual had absorbed the PRA training, but to also see how well the team worked together. A wealth ranking exercise was conducted with an older Bedouin woman. Initially the extension team felt that a woman would be unable to rank or separate out members of her cooperative on the basis of relative wealth. This proved to be an unfounded fear. Not only was she able to rank a majority of members, but she was also able to provide much information on relative herd size, possession of cement housing as well as tents.

The exercise was concluded with a debriefing exercise. Each team member was assessed by the trainers. Their strengths and weaknesses were discussed and each person had a chance to comment and respond. The team was encouraged to carry on with this wealth ranking activity after the workshop closed, as it was obvious that this kind of information would be invaluable for the project to have for all the members of the cooperatives in the project area. For example, knowing those families regarded as poor or not enjoying a good standard of living would allow the project staff to target certain relevant activities such as income generating schemes or potential job creation to this particular group.

2.7 Field Problem Census

The third day of the workshop was conducted in a Bedouin tent on land associated with one of the cooperative areas. Bedouin and livestock owners from the three cooperative areas were invited to take part. The total number of participants were 55. Of this number, 36 were Bedouin participants. Three of this number were women. The remainder were the original workshop participants of the first two days.

After a brief introduction by the trainers and by the CTA encouraging the group to keep in mind that the two aims of the project were to improve the condition of the range and to improve the condition of the people who use the range (sustainability and community participation). The workshop was then turned over to the first extension team to facilitate a discussion of problem identification among the participants, particularly problems that could be related to the project aims and goals. This plenary session was followed by a small working group session, whereby the participants were separated out into three groups to identify 5 potential problems the community felt the project could look into. Many of the initial problems put forward were similar form group to group. One group, for example, listed the following problems:

1. no provision of compensation for land 'lost' after the ban on cultivation
2. forced movement of people by the Ministry of Agriculture
3. inability to join the cooperatives
4. lack of fodder for purchase
5. lack of schooling opportunities
6. shortage of drinking water
7. no electricity
8. no guards hired for the project from the cooperative members
9. period of camel access to Taliila is very short
10. camel range in Taliila is insufficient for the number of camels
11. no land is allocated to the camel cooperative
12. the guard of Abbassiya cooperative is allowed special access to re-seeded areas
13. some areas have 'shnan' that is high in toxicity to sheep
14. no roads in the reserve
15. no active extension unit
Other points from other groups included other aspects such as no access to vocational training for income generating activities, insufficient veterinary services, and access to drinking water for human. Each group then prioritized their long lists and reduced them down to the five most important issues. These were:
Group A
1. no schooling was available in the area
2. insufficient water available in the area
3. no compensation has been for land 'lost' after the ban on cultivation.
4. no guards have been hired for the project
5. no migration routes through the reserve areas.

Group B
1. no access to Arak well for drinking water
2. no open access to Abassiya well
3. no access to Taliila well
4. expansion of reseeding/replanting areas in Arak
5. no schools in the Arak and Abbasiya area

Group C
1. not enough guards have been hired by the project to control access
2. no compensation after the ban on cultivation such as loans to buy sheep
3. no schooling in the area
4. no access to water supply in Taliila
5. no land allocated for the camel cooperative

2.8 Field discussion of Findings

These short lists were then discussed in a plenary session. The longer lists were also consulted, as some issues that had not made the final selection among the group were clearly of continued interest to the participants. The CTA was then asked to work through the group lists and identify those items which would not be considered further during this workshop because they were outside of the frame of reference of the project, but which might be reconsidered under different circumstances or might be brought to the attention of the appropriate local institution (e.g. schooling, allocating land to the camel cooperative). The CTA continued to identify those issues that were in line with the project objectives or already being considered by the project (e.g. providing access to the Taliila well, guarding the reserves more efficiently, identifying migration routes through the reserve). At the end of this discussion, the workshop was left with five issues or problems that could be considered by the project for immediate action/collaboration with the Bedouin. These were:

access to water from the Taliila well
provision of more guards for the reserves
access to the well in Abassiya cooperative
reseeding areas in Arak
migration routes in the reserves
eco-tourism in the wildlife reserve
The workshop agreed to consider the other issues/problems raised within the working groups but not ranked with the highest scores at a later time.

2.9 Field S.W.O.T. Analysis

The six issues identified as being of shared interest between the project and the workshop participants were further reduced. Those issues that the project was already in the process of implementing (meaning that it had already identified the most suitable solutions) and those points of interest to only a very few of the participants were excluded from an in-depth analysis at the workshop. These were access to the well in Abassiya cooperative (limited interest group), migration routes in the reserves (under project implementation already), and reseeding of areas in Arak (already agreed upon between the project and the cooperatives on a contract basis). The project committed itself to finalising/following-up on the solution of the three above mentioned areas which were not tackled further during the workshop. This left three topics for in-depth analysis (S.W.O.T.) by the workshop:

provision of more guards to the project and possible reseeding income generating
access to water in Taliila
eco-tourism in Taliila reserve
The group divided into three working units to discuss these topics in depth and to try to find solutions. After each group carried out an in-depth analysis, the findings were put forward to a plenary session. The group working on guarding and reseeding came to the conclusions that providing guards should be possible through the cooperatives, but they did not go into great enough depth to identify what are the current constraints on present hiring efforts. This same group also considered the possibility of seed collection as an income generating project. The group considering the issue of access to the Taliila well went into greater detail in its analysis and recommended that access to the Taliila well be from outside the reserve (by setting up a system of pipes). The group considering the question of eco-tourism at Taliila also made a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of this possibility. They found that the difficulties that might exist could be easily overcome and recommended that this possibility be considered further.

2.10 Field Discussion of Findings and Consensus Building

The participants reassembled into a plenary group and each small group facilitator was asked to present their group's findings, analysis and recommendations. The workshop participants then engaged in lively and at times heated discussions about these topics. All three topics were discussed further, at times very useful points were raised that had not come up in the small group discussion (e.g. the problem of limiting tanker access to the Taliila well). This plenary discussion revealed significant interest in eco tourism as a potential for income generation not only among the Bedouin but also among the village based sheep merchants who have vehicles available for hire. The discussion concerning the well at Taliila exposed some anxious thoughts among the village based participants who expressed an unwillingness to consider water rationing of any kind. The discussion concerning guards again reiterated the position that there are men prepared to take on these jobs, only they haven't been located. The possibility of collecting seeds ended with a consensus that as long as the project offered a good price, there would be people prepared to sell to it. Following these presentations the trainers - as neutral parties - then facilitated a directed discussion and a vote by a show of hands to establish which topics had a majority of the participants interested in further collaboration with the project. It was established that all three topics were of interest to the participants to work towards solving with the project as a partner. Although it proved to be unsuitable to establish working groups on an ad hoc basis from among the participants, it was agreed that those in the workshop who wished to come forward at a later date to work with the project on these issues would be most welcome.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page