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Annex II

Process of making the manual

The training kit was an outcome of the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme Project (TCP/THA/0165) "Capacity Building for Promotion of Cooperative Small Farmer and Women Group Activities" implemented in Thailand between April 2001 and May 2003.

The first phase: training needs assessment

The process of data collection involved multiple stakeholders at the central, provincial and village levels.

Fourteen groups spread over three provinces were visited to obtain a field-level understanding. The groups included those with a good business, those with inadequate production and sales, and those that were no longer economically viable and active.

RTCs that participated in all project activities

RTCs that participated in some project activities

Chon Buri (RTC 2)

Prathumthani (RTC 1)

Nakhorn Ratchasima (RTC 3)

Khon Kaen (RTC 4)

Chiang Mai (RTC 5)

Chainat (RTC 7)

Phitsanulok (RTC 6)

Petchburi (RTC 8)

Songkla (RTC 9)

Surathani (RTC 10)

The second phase: preparation, TOT and pilot testing

Two TCDC consultants on rural enterprise development worked with the Rural Development Officer in the FAO Regional Office, a national consultant and the CPD project director.

Review of enterprise training material

The authors reviewed, in consultation with the project team members, the enterprise training material that was available and concluded that none of the documents was suited to the context of women's group business development promotion in the cooperative sector in Thailand. Trainers on rural enterprise development in other Asian countries will also need to adapt the modules in this training kit to their own local situation.

Using success case replication methodology

This involves identifying a successful, small-scale business at village level and assessing the scope for its replication. The successful entrepreneur is then invited to train others to follow his or her success. (Success case replication: a manual for increasing farmer household income. FAO/ESCAP, 2000).

Nine steps for success case replication

1. Locate success cases
2. Assess replicability of these businesses
3. Assess farmer willingness to become trainers
4. Establish a practical training programme
5. Carefully select trainees
6. Supervise the training
7. Arrange follow up support service for training
8. Achieve secondary multiplication after first level success
9. Monitoring cost effectiveness of the methodology

Several women's groups trained by the CPD have achieved outstanding business success. The Department will be able to apply the success case replication methodology in collaboration with local governments and NGOs.

Association with other organizations

The FAO TCP project collaborated not only with the CPD, but also with the Cooperative League of Thailand (CLT, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and agricultural cooperatives

Two CLT trainers attended the TOT programme in October 2002 as well as the project evaluation workshop and found each module of the training kit useful.

Officers of BAAC were invited for the project evaluation workshop and indicated that they wanted to train intermediary groups in micro-finance, and could link with CPD for this.

Agricultural cooperative managers consulted during the project felt sure that the rural women's groups could learn and apply the training modules. The modules were very clear, easy to follow and gave them useful insights into how to manage and improve their businesses. Follow-up networking by CPD with organizations will provide a basis for wider use and applicability of this training kit.

Process of TOT and pilot-testing

The process involved assessment of what and how to communicate to each of the following clients:

The facilitators are major players as they often influence local policies and support services.

During the project, staff members of the participating RTCs were trained to use the training kits. The process of producing the training material was itself a capacity-building activity. Regional and provincial level trainers were trained on:

The training kit was tested with 140 members of women's groups representing each of the four rural enterprise sectors.

The learning process

The training needs analysis was refined through several discussions with CPD staff and women's group leaders and members. The learning process is conceptualised as a spiral including four stages:

1. Reflection: review of practice, and analysis.
2. Learning of new concepts.
3. Practice of new concepts: action.
4. Reflection on practical learning and practice, and continuation of the learning process.

Such a learning spiral may begin at any of the stages. A concept may be introduced, practiced by participants who then internalise it. Or, the discussion may start with a review of prevailing practice. New concepts may then be introduced, practiced and reflected on.

These stages are part of every training module and need to be followed by the trainers. There may be a need for refresher training on some modules so that the learning is taken to higher levels during subsequent training programmes. Once a positive spiral is established, women in group businesses can articulate their business needs better and will be able to meet these needs through their own efforts and linkages.

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