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Process and strategies for participatory environment education through agricultural training

Chapter 1

Strategic integration of environment education into agriculture training: institutional partnerships, peer learning and networking

Dr Ronny Adhikarya*
Senior Training Officer
The World Bank
Washington, D.C., USA


1.1 Response to Agenda 21 of the Earth Summit

One of the important resolutions of the UNCED in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 was Agenda 21, which specified the need to increase environmental awareness and undertake specific public education programmes to influence positive attitudes and appropriate behaviour of various segments of the population towards sound and responsible environment and natural resources management as well as sustainable development. Several years have passed since the Rio Earth Summit, where most country leaders had agreed to take action in preserving the environment through communication, education and training programmes. Few such activities have been implemented, especially for the rural population, despite the fact that many environment factors directly and seriously affect agricultural productivity and the well-being of farm families.

Nevertheless, in the last couple of years an increasing number of decision-makers in the agricultural sector are interested in mainstreaming environment conservation and natural resource management issues and concerns into broad-based agricultural policy formulation, programme planning, extension, education and training activities. In response to such a trend and in view of the above-mentioned needs, FAO established a new department in 1995 called Sustainable Development and intensified efforts in promoting environment education and training among its member countries. Through its Extension, Education and Communication Service (SDRE), FAO initiated field-level environment education and training activities in close collaboration with strategic partner institutions in a number of Asian countries.

1.2 Environment education through agricultural extension training

One of the strategic approaches in disseminating and sharing environment issues or concerns with the public is by "piggy-backing" relevant messages through existing communication channels which have large and regular clientele, in an institutionalized and sustainable manner. In most developing countries, the majority of rural families have relied on field agricultural workers for information and advice on agricultural and rural development. However, in many countries, agricultural extension service is often weak and ineffective, extension workers are not well trained and have a narrow scope of expertise mainly limited to agricultural production technologies. As many environment issues are directly related to sustainable agricultural development, there is now a need and a new opportunity to revitalize and strengthen such a service by mainstreaming environment education through agricultural extension training.

1.2.1 FAO's collaborative activities in EET in six Asian countries

The process, strategies and results of incorporating participatory environment education activities into agricultural training programmes in six countries in Asia, supported by FAO, are described and analysed in this chapter. The participatory-approach and peer-learning methods employed in planning, implementing and evaluating EET of agricultural personnel and the institutional and professional networking strategies that have facilitated close collaboration and sharing of know-how and experiences on Environment Education Training Modules (EETM) planning, development, testing and utilization among eight institutions from six Asian countries - China, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia - are explained. Concrete results from these two-year development cooperation activities are demonstrated and evidence for sustainability and institutionalization of EET activities in these countries are discussed. The process and strategies of a similar programme sponsored by FAO and UNFPA, which incorporates population and environment education concerns into agricultural extension training in 12 countries in Africa, the Near East and Latin America, will also be discussed and used as comparison.

In Chapter 13, lessons learned from the experiences in planning, implementing and managing the participatory and collaborative EET activities in the Asian region are drawn and best practices in EET are offered for improving similar programmes and/or replications by other interested institutions or agencies.


2.1 Learning from below: needs-based, demand-driven diagnostic planning

The integration and development of EET through agricultural extension programmes started as early as 1987 in Indonesia through an FAO technical cooperation project requested by the State Minister's Office of Population and Environment, in collaboration with the MOA, to design and test a methodology for involving field agricultural extension workers in assessing and reporting environment problems which negatively affected farm management and productivity in two pilot provinces - Grobogan District, Central Java, and Central Lombok District, Lombok. While the FAO project TCP/INS/4514 on Community Extension and Training in Environment Conservation and Protection was successful in developing a strategy and method for undertaking environment surveillance and designing needs-based, problem-solving, environment activities with active participation of agricultural extension workers, concerned farm families and local leaders, it did not include institution building, staff capacity development or training components. Extension workers served as facilitators in encouraging a two-way flow of information and opening up communication channels between relevant government officials, local leaders and concerned farm families. However, such EET activities were undertaken on an ad hoc, sporadic basis and not integrated into planned or regular agricultural extension and training programmes. Hence they were not sustainable, nor were they institutionalized.

The evaluation results from this two-year project by independent researchers from the University of Indonesia and subsequent discussions among FAO/SDRE and MOA and State Ministry of Population and Environment officials concluded that expansion of project activities to other areas would require: (1) wider involvement of agricultural extension workers in an institutionalized manner, (2) integration or incorporation of environment education into regular, ongoing, relevant agricultural extension programmes and (3) systematic and professional quality training of extension workers on relevant environment education issues, strategies and methods by authorized agricultural training institution(s). The Agency for Agricultural Education and Training (AAET), Indonesia, whose staff were involved in the project, felt there was a critical need to include environment education in agricultural training curricula, and concluded that a systematic and institutionalized effort to develop its staff capabilities in undertaking cost-effective EET activities would be given a high priority.

2.2 Partnership with strategic training institutions: a key to sustainability

In view of these conclusions, possibilities for training agricultural extension workers on environment education in Indonesia were studied and explored. Instead of having a conventional approach whereby an FAO project with its world-class experts and foreign consultants trains extension workers on environment education, FAO/SDRE with its limited resources agreed to collaborate with AAET, an agricultural training institution which provides in-service training to all the 33 000 Indonesian extension workers, in developing institutional and staff capabilities to master the process and methods of designing and utilizing well-planned and pre-tested EET curricula, modules and learning materials.

Through a simple Letter of Agreement (LOA) between FAO/SDRE and AAET a collaborative activity in environment education through agricultural extension training was started in 1992. With an initial funding of $10 000 and some technical support from FAO/SDRE, AAET was responsible for designing a participatory process and method involving its master trainers, selected extension workers, environment specialists, local leaders and other relevant stakeholders. The task was to develop, test and produce a 15-17 hour EETM for use by its trainers in training extension workers, which would be incorporated into AAET's inservice training curriculum. Subsequent LOAs were made for follow-up phases of the environment education training process, such as training of master trainers in EETM utilization, pilot trials on EET of field extension workers and packaging and production of prototype EETM materials; FAO also contributed an average of $10 000 - $12 500 for each phase. However, expenditures for scaling up activities such as reproduction of EETM materials and of training large numbers of field extension workers, have now been covered by AAET through their own regular budget.

2.2.1 Compatibility of institutions mandate with EET goals creates synergy

As will be discussed later, the training institutions participating in EET activities in other countries are also those that provide training to most of the agricultural extension and other field outreach workers. Such institutions are the key agricultural training centers in their respective countries or have the official mandate to carry out in-service training for agricultural personnel. Furthermore, these selected institutions perceive that their mandate is compatible with and supportive of environment education goals. The incorporation of environment education into their existing training curriculum and extension programme is expected to generate synergy that will facilitate EET programme sustainability and institutionalization.

2.3 Participatory planning: helping and learning from others

Based on the encouraging results and positive experiences of AAET's EET activities in Indonesia, a participatory environment education programme through agricultural training was designed for interested institutions in the Asia region. AAET's basic (1st level) EETM was translated into English by the Agricultural University of Malaysia (UPM) staff members who had also participated in the pretesting of the EETM.

2.3.1 Development of knowledge partnership network on EET

FAO/SDRE sponsored a regional planning workshop for EET in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June 1994, which was organized by UPM. Twenty-three participants from ten countries (China, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tanzania, the United States, Australia and Italy) attended the workshop. These workshop participants represented public-sector training and extension agencies, NGOs, universities, international organizations and multidisciplinary specializations ranging from environment science and management, agriculture, economics, public policy, education, training, communication and rural extension. They discussed the needs, problems and strategies for incorporating environment education through agricultural extension and training. The methods of EET activities in Indonesia were shared and the English version of the Indonesian EETM was presented as a prototype to determine its appropriateness for possible adaptation, testing and use as a generic model. Workshop participants suggested recommendations for incorporation of environment education into extension and training programmes and several of them submitted proposals for EET activities by their institutions.

Workshop participants discussed and agreed on EET's conceptual framework, strategy and methods, operational processes and implementation procedures. Such EET standard operating procedures or guidelines included participatory mechanisms which will ensure the relevance and client-orientation of EET programmes, and provide horizontal knowledge interchange and experience sharing among institutions and EET planners within a country or region, or globally. Eight institutions from six Asian countries decided to undertake EET activities, initially supported by FAO/SDRE with small grants ranging from $7 000 to $10 000. Several workshop participants who are not undertaking EET activities agreed to join a panel of non-implementing EET resource persons who could provide advisory, review, monitoring and trouble-shooting services. This network of resource persons has proved critical in providing participatory consultations, peer learning and reviews, quality assurance and standards, as will be discussed later. The design of the FAO/SDRE sponsored Participatory Environment Education through Agricultural Training programme are shown in Figure 1. The list of EET participating institutions and network members as of September 1996 is shown in Annex 2.

2.4 Franchising and wholesaling of training: an approach to institution building

2.4.1 From "number game" training to developing quality partner training institutions

The predominant strategy of this EET programme is the aim of "franchising" of EET activities to qualified and interested training institutions, instead of having FAO/SDRE or FAO projects conduct EET activities in an ad hoc manner. The preoccupation with the "number game" in terms of quantity of training participants should be shifted to developing partner institutions as high-quality training multiplier agencies. Instead of "retailing" such EET courses by itself, FAO/SDRE's limited resources are used for developing the capacity of training institutions and their staff in planning, designing and implementing cost-effective EET activities on their own. The concept of EET "wholesaling" to training institutions is an approach which focuses on facilitating sustainability and institutionalization rather than initiating a donor-driven external EET programme dependent on funding. Furthermore, through "franchising" of EET methods, operational processes and implementation procedures to interested training institutions, ETT expertise is transferred and quality and standards are assured. More important, it transfers institutional responsibility for advocating further "wholesaling" and/or "retailing" of EET "product lines" based on local needs and problems.

The EET activities, therefore, emphasized two important aspects: (1) providing opportunities for EET knowledge sharing and partnerships among agencies countries through regular workshops, technical consultations and review meetings at institution, country and regional/global levels, and (2) providing technical support for participatory staff training in EET process and methods such as needs assessment, training module development and pretesting, multimedia materials packaging and production, training of trainers and training module utilization for training of extension workers.

2.4.2 Emphasize trainers' mastery of EET process and methodology

In view of the above, EET activities are oriented to ensuring that participating training institutions and agricultural trainers master the process and methodology for integrating environment education into agricultural training and/or extension programmes, rather than on specific technical environment subjects. It is critical that EET activities be carried out by a multidisciplinary team, with environment specialists providing relevant technical inputs. Inter-agency consultations, technical review meetings and contents validation seminars are an integral part of the participatory EET process and methods suggested during the 1994 EET planning workshop in Kuala Lumpur.

Other strategies geared to facilitating the "franchising" of EET activities in training institutions include: (1) initiating EET needs assessment, whose results are used for existing training curriculum reviews and reforms, (2) participatory EET curriculum design and training materials development and testing, (3) training of master trainers in EETM utilization, (4) piloting trials of EET activities for extension workers, and (5) obtaining EETM contents validation and EET legitimization as an integral part of the existing training curriculum or extension programme.

2.4.3 Increase stakeholdership among key trainers and local champions

The EET process and method guidelines were developed with the purpose of increasing stakeholdership among concerned environment education trainers, extension or outreach workers, local leaders and policy advocates. Methods to solicit active participation and involvement of relevant persons and institutions willing to "buy-in" to the EET activities are of critical importance. Participatory training needs assessment and problem identification methods can facilitate strategic planning for designing a demand-driven, problem-solving, environment education programme. Participation of key stakeholders at all stages of EET planning, development, implementation and monitoring is critical for transferring technical and management skills and programme responsibilities.

2.4.4 Encourage local ownership of EET product lines

An important component of the EET process is participatory curriculum development (PCD) activity through of training module writing workshop and materials packaging workshops by local trainers and of multi-disciplinary resource persons. Such an approach emphasizes the importance of having learner-centred, client-focused, needs-based EET modules or materials, instead of expert-driven and top-down training packages which may not be relevant to trainees' needs and the specific learning objectives. While a PCD approach may be more difficult to undertake, time-consuming and perhaps rather expensive, it is more likely to be cost-effective, locally relevant and properly utilized compared to the common but often unsuccessful and unsustainable practice of imposing on local trainers to use imported packages of training materials.

Ownership of EET product lines such as training modules, reports, announcement publicity and marketing materials will need to be explicitly accorded to local participating institutions and staff members who have been responsible for development of such products and should be widely publicized.

2.5 Inducing quality assurance and standards

There is a difference between "wholesaling" and "franchising" of training. In the context of EET activities, the concept of "franchising" is more suitable as it emphasizes the need for training quality assurance. Concern for quality is critical for participatory EET activities to be carried out by institutions in various countries which will determine and prioritize EET contents based on their own training needs. Ensuring high quality of EET is no easy task. However, it can be facilitated by planning and application of educational methodology tools such as training needs assessment, curriculum development, instructional design, learning methods selection, contents packaging, pretesting, training of trainers and evaluation.

2.5.1 Development and use of participatory EET process and method guidelines

During the 1994 EET planning workshop in Kuala Lumpur, the participants developed generic EET process and methodology guidelines which have since been used in planning and implementing EET activities. The guidelines provided step-by-step standard operational procedures for EET, including suggestions for the development of EETM. Such guidelines are continuously revised and improved following results and experiences of participating institutions and the comments of the EET network members shared during the annual EET regional workshops, for example the 1995 Bali workshop, the 1996 Beijing workshop and various national workshops and consultative meetings. The latest revision of the guidelines is included as Annex 1 and a more detailed description of the EETM process and implementation guidelines is provided in Chapter 2.

2.5.2 Encourage participatory peer learning, progress monitoring and results assessment

Institutions participating in the EET programme and agreed on specific EET objectives, measurable outcome indicators, planned activities, an implementation time-frame and resource requirements. FAO/SDRE provides networking opportunities for participating institutions and EET network members, by convening a regional EET workshop at least once a year to facilitate participatory peer learning and review, monitoring of progress and accomplishments and obtain suggestions for improvements at critical stages/phases in the EET process. The 1994 Kuala Lumpur workshop focused on EET programme strategic planning and participatory development of EET process and methods. The 1995 Bali workshop reviewed the progress and accomplishments of EET module development and testing, discussed EETM improvements, and considered plans for the training of master trainers. The 1996 Beijing workshop discussed the results of EETM utilization by trained trainers, considered plans for training of extension or outreach workers, proposed improved strategies for EET institutionalization and replications/expansion for different environment education subjects or advanced topics. Such technical review meetings and consultations at country and institutional levels are encouraged and included in the EET guidelines or standard operating procedures. Through such consultation and assessment among EET network members using firsthand experience, EET quality is constantly scrutinized and improved.

2.5.3 Create constructive competition and consultation mechanisms

Another innovative feature of the EET programme is the utilization of "rewards and recognition" to training institutions which have conducted successful EET activities or outstanding EET network members by inviting them to national and regional conferences and workshops, appointing them as regional consultants or resource persons to assist EET activities in other countries and using their EET methods as a model for sharing best practices. Continuation of a training institution's EET activities and the level of funding and technical support from FAO/SDRE are closely linked to its EET performance, results and quality as assessed by other participating training institutions and EET network members.

These participatory consultations through EET regional and national workshops are an effective means of developing constructive competitive spirit among training institutions to demonstrate their best EET performances and results. Sharing and learning EET results and experiences are powerful motivations which can inspire EET network members to further improve EET quality and standards.

Furthermore, a panel of EET resource persons, highly qualified and experienced in relevant fields such as environment, agriculture extension, education, training and communication, has been established to provide "on-demand" advisory, consultative and trouble-shooting services. They have provided useful ideas and suggestions during EET regional and national workshops and made objective assessments and comments to participating training institutions for improving their EET activities. The list of EET participating institutions and EET key network members as of October 1997 is shown in Annex 2.

2.5.4 Link with other relevant and complementary network activities

The EET programme and its network members are linked to another participatory-oriented programme on Population education through agricultural extension training (PEDAEXTRA) executed by FAO/United Nations, and funded by UNFPA.

Through this PEDAEXTRA project (INT/92/P95), coordinated and managed by this author until October 1996, 12 institutions in 12 countries (Tanzania, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Ecuador and Chile) have collaborated since 1994 in integrating population education into agricultural extension and training programmes. The PEDAEXTRA strategy and activities are similar in design to those of the EET described above. The PEDAEXTRA operational process is attached as Annex 3.

Several key network members of the EET programme have been involved in PEDAEXTRA and a number of PEDAEXTRA network members have participated in the EET activities. The AAET of Indonesia and the Department of Education of the MOA, China, are official participating institutions in both EET and PEDAEXTRA. Cross fertilization of ideas and experiences has been accomplished by inviting EET network members to PEDAEXTRA regional or national workshops and vice-versa.

2.6 Process documentation to facilitate EET replications

While summative evaluation or impact assessment is an important tool to demonstrate the effectiveness of EET activities, it may not be adequate for providing explanations and insights into the process and methodologies employed in undertaking such activities.

It is useful to conduct a process documentation which points out critical issues and decision-making requirements in undertaking EET activities as well as their background or circumstances. Through chronological description and analyses of successful or less successful decision-making during planning, implementation and management of EET activities, important lessons can be learned, and technical and management improvements can be suggested for future replications and expansion of similar activities.

To facilitate comparative analysis of EET activities in various countries, a standardized set of performance, outcome and impact indicators was developed and has been used to collect the necessary data.

2.6.1 The "last-mile" tasks can make the difference

Finally, it should be noted that it is important to commit adequate resources to complete the "last-mile" tasks in consolidating, summarizing and disseminating the process, methods, results and lessons from EET activities in a user-friendly, attractive and captivating manner, especially aimed at relevant policy and decision-makers, for further improvement, expansion and replications of EET activities world wide.


3.1 Building strategic alliances in environment education for rural population

In EET activities conducted by eight participating institutions in six Asian countries, an analysis of the interplay among sustainable agricultural development (including food security issues), rapid population growth and environment deterioration issues was carried out. Taking into consideration the results of training needs assessment, an inventory-analysis of relevant environment education messages (including population education issues) and agricultural extension and training contents was undertaken. The purpose of such an exercise was to identify suitable entry points for the integration of environment issues into agricultural extension training contents. Mainstreaming environment education into agricultural extension and training programmes requires the active collaboration of concerned institutions and line agencies. An inter-agency and multi-sectoral policy advisory committee and as a technical steering committee were established to coordinate EET activities.

In communicating environment issues to rural populations, six participating institutions are utilizing agricultural training centres which train extension workers or rural outreach workers as the main channel for environment education. The main beneficiaries of these EET activities include master trainers of concerned training institutions, trainers of extension and outreach workers, field workers of public extension service and selected farmers/community leaders. Two other participating institutions have different target beneficiaries. In China, the Centre for Integrated Agricultural Development (CIAD) uses the Central Agricultural Managerial Official College (i.e. Senior Staff Command College) to lobby high-level agricultural policy and decision-makers by advocating the need for, and importance of, environment management policy and education issues for rural populations. The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) in the Philippines is developing and conducting EET activities for rural outreach workers of NGOs in the Philippines.

In undertaking EET activities, strategic alliances have been forged among partner institutions such as public sector agricultural extension and training institutions, environment management agencies, rural development training and adult education institutions, NGOs, community based development agencies and multi-media development and training centers.

3.2 Accomplishments to date

While more detailed information on EET results and experiences are described by the network members themselves in various chapters in this book, the following are the general types of activities or outputs undertaken and completed as of October 1997:

3.2.1 Environment education training modules

All participating institutions had conducted EET needs assessment whose results were used as strategic inputs for designing the EET curriculum and developing EETM ranging from 15-25 instructional hours. These EETMs had been pretested and presented for technical review and contents validation in at least two national workshops and two inter-country/regional workshops.

3.2.2 Training of trainers and extension workers

Training of master trainers in the utilization of EETM had been completed by all participating training institutions where at least two batches of 30-60 master trainers had been trained. Each trained master trainer is in the process of training another 10-12 trainers. It is expected that 500 environment education trainers will be available in the six participating countries. Each of them was supposed to train at least two batches of 20-25 extension workers as part of their regular training programmes by the end of 1997 or at the latest by mid-1998.

3.2.3 EET institutionalization process

EETMs have been reproduced for wide distribution to potential trainers and interested users in all participating institutions. In Indonesia, Bangladesh, China (CIAD and DOE/Ministry of Agriculture), the Philippines (UPLB) and Malaysia, the EETMs have been personally endorsed by the highest policy-makers and officially adopted for in-service training of agricultural extension workers. In Indonesia, the EETM has been adapted and utilized by several NGOs and a local government institution (East Java Province) and the AAET has developed an advanced-level EETM module and trained additional trainers and extension workers, using their own resources. In Malaysia, Bangladesh and China, training of extension workers was carried out without FAO/SDRE support. In the Philippines, additional funding from other donor agencies had been obtained to cost share EET activities of the UPLB consortium and IIRR. In Thailand, the Continuing Education Center (CEC) of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) is applying EET process and methods and utilizing selected parts of the eight EETMs for its own environment-related training course.

3.2.4 Regional EET workshops

Three regional EET workshops had been convened by 1996. The 1994 Kuala Lumpur workshop focused on strategic programme planning and participatory development of EET processes and methods. The 1995 Bali workshop reviewed the progress and accomplishments of EET module development and testing, discussed EETM improvements and considered plans for training of master trainers. The 1996 Beijing workshop discussed the results of EETM utilization by trained trainers, considered plans for training of extension or outreach workers, proposed improved strategies for EET institutionalization and replications for different environment education subjects or advanced-level topics. During these workshops, new EET network members were invited to join, including participants and resource persons from Nepal, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.

3.2.5 Sharing EET results and experience in the Global Knowledge `97 conference

The results, lessons and experiences of the EET activities were presented and shared during a World Bank international Conference Global Knowledge `97: Knowledge for Development in the Information Age, which was held in Toronto, Canada, from 22 to 26 June, 1997. During this conference, FAO and the World Bank co-sponsored a special workshop on Mainstreaming Environment into Development Programmes through Education, Training and Communication, and ten EET network members made presentations on their activities. The workshop session worked very well and were attended by about 75-80 conference participants, including 32 core workshop participants and resource persons. These core workshop participants and resource persons consisted of high-level policy or decision-makers from the environment, health, agriculture and education sectors of government and non-government organizations from 20 countries, as well as representatives from international/multilateral development agencies, such as IUCN/World Conservation Union, FAO, UNEP, the World Bank, GTZ and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). The Toronto workshop provided excellent opportunities for disseminating EET experiences and obtaining suggestions for improving strategies and expanding EET networking activities.

3.2.6 Creation of a virtual/electronic EET knowledge partnership network

One of the recommendations of the Beijing/Toronto workshops was the creation of an on-line EET knowledge database and in electronic network to facilitate interchange of ideas and sharing of EET know-how among members of the rapidly expanding EET network. As an interim measure, EET network members can use the World Bank's post-Toronto workshop website which posts information and news on EET follow-up activities.

The website address is:

A more permanent web site for the FAO-sponsored EET network activities is being planned.

3.2.7 Successful replications of EET activities in four countries in the Near East

Gaaya* (1999) reported a similar effort in integrating environment education into the training programmes of agricultural extension workers, using the model and approaches tried in the six Asian countries, which was successfully replicated and implemented in four countries in the Near

East: Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Jordan. During the period June 1997 to May 1998, with the assistance and sponsorship of SDRE, EETM had been developed, pretested and utilized by agricultural extension training institutions in these four countries.

During the EETM development process, three international workshops were held: (1) to plan the EETM development activities (Cairo, 10-12 June 1997), (2) to review the training needs assessment results and the draft training modules and to suggest revisions and improvements of such modules (Amman, 14-16 December 1997), and (3) to share the results and experiences in developing, testing and utilizing such EET modules (Damascus, 24-26 May 1998). In addition to these multi-country workshops, national-level training of trainers activities were conducted during which a total of 85 extension trainers in those countries were trained in 1998 in the use of the specially developed EET modules.

3.2.8 Preparation of a book on the EET programme: results and experiences

This book was prepared with contributions from EET task managers of the eight participating institutions, selected EET network members and the author of this chapter, who was the coordinator of the EET programme until October 1996.

Annex 1
Suggested guidelines for EETM development

Based on Task Group 1 recommendations during the international workshop on development and utilization of EETM for agricultural extension workers: results demonstration and experience sharing Beijing, China, 26-30 August 1996

Task Group 1:


Prof Dr Abdul Halim



Ms Mariam Rikhana


Resource Person:

Dr Ronny Adhikarya



Dr Nicanor Austriaco

Dr Joseph Mbindyo


Mr B.P. Bimoli

Dr Chye-Hean Teoh


Mr Huang Chongping

Ms Wang Yihuan


The lessons learned from FAO-sponsored EETM development process and activities in eight institutions in six countries, and also from FAO-sponsored Population education training module (PETM) development undertaken in 12 countries provided the basis for the group to identify many of the best practices of EETM development processes and activities. The group was thus able to recognize several important key elements in the process and methods that should be addressed and included in order to improve EETM development.

Suggested procedural activities for EETM development

The procedural steps and activities should include:

1. Selection of the strategic lead institution

Suggested criteria for the strategic lead institution:

2. Selection of country activities coordinator (CAC) and task manager (TM)

Suggested criteria of CAC

Suggested criteria of a TM

The TM should have the following skills:

3. Establishment of steering/advisory committee

The committee should comprise of decision-makers and technical experts and have the capability to mobilize support/resource.

The committee may be established on a case-by-case basis.

4. Identification of immediate and ultimate target beneficiaries

Identify and prioritize the immediate and ultimate target beneficiaries for EETM modules (i.e. extension workers and farmers). EETM development should take into account the types, location and number of target beneficiaries as the basis for determining training contents and methodologies.

5. Determine the training needs of target beneficiaries

Undertake a participatory training needs assessment (TNA) using appropriate methodologies

which will capture:

6. Setting training strategies and goals

To be prepared by the CAC, TM and steering committee members based on TNA results.

The training strategies will provide guidelines for module writers to formulate the objectives of training.

7. Selection of module writers

Module writers are to be selected from potential trainers and other qualified and experienced SMS and training specialists, preferably those who have been involved in the planning of programmes relevant to the main topics/subject and with the following qualifications:

MUST requirements:

B ackground on the subject matter and/or training methodology;

E xperience in participatory training and extension work;

A bility to relate effectively to target beneficiaries;

T ime available for writing module, pretesting and training of trainers;

T eam player.

WANT requirements:

E xperience in writing and development of modules;

S ubject matter specialization;

P rimary computer literacy.

Involve as many potential trainers who will conduct EET courses in the planning, design and development of the module.

8. Conduct curriculum development workshop

Involve a multi-disciplinary team of participants including relevant researchers, SMS, training curriculum development specialists, trainers, module writers, etc.

Conduct a basic curriculum development workshop to orient the module writers so that they will be able to produce outputs that are consistent.

Develop and agree on the format, structure, writing style and contents outline for the training module (see Figure 1: Structure of a training module and Table 1: checklist of essential components of a training module).

Formulate learning objectives of the training modules based on the TNA results.

Identify, select and determine appropriate and relevant contents and teaching-learning methodologies, evaluation procedures.

Agree on workplan, task delegation and schedule for the training module development.

9. Further research and consultation on technical contents

Review the technical contents and methodologies by involving a task force representing trainers, SMSs, technical experts and intended target groups.

10. Prepare draft module

Conduct one or more training module development (TMD) writing workshops whereby module writers in participatory manner prepare at least one instructional unit/activity as a model/sample.

The TM should supervise and monitor progress of the module writers as per schedule.

TM to ensure that the training module is based on the agreed structure, contents, presentation format, etc.

Pre-test the draft of the module through simulation training by involving module writers, trainers and SMSs

Revise the draft.

11. Module trials

Conduct trials of entire prototype training modules with selected sample of target beneficiaries. The trainers are the module writers assisted by prospective trainers.

Assess the module by trainers on timing, appropriateness, user-friendliness, procedures, methodologies, etc.

Solicit/obtain feedback from trainees regarding the appropriateness of methodologies, and relevance as well as comprehension of module contents (using pre-test and post-test in-course

evaluation procedures and instruments).

12. Technical review meeting

Make available the module to the relevant panel, including experts, authorities, researchers to review the technical contents.

Conduct technical review meeting to obtain comments, suggestions and technical clearance from the panel of experts.

Revise training module based on the above comments and suggestions.

13. Legitimization

Convene a half-day module validation seminar to:

brief senior officials regarding the needs, purposes, process, methodology and results of the module development;

obtain endorsement and/or official mandate from highest official(s) of relevant agency(ies)/ institutions for the wide use of the training module.

14. Formatting and packaging

The formatting and packaging should contain the following features and characteristics:

15. Editing and production

The entire module should be proofread by an independent and experienced proofreader.

Finalize and ensure timely production of the required number of training modules.

16. Training of master trainers

Train a core of master trainers in the use of the training module in order to have them master both the technical contents as well as the training methodology and platform/delivery skills.


Annex 2 :
Participatory Environment Education Training Knowledge Network (PEETRAKNET) Membership List: Oct-97

Annex 3:

* Prior to joining the World Bank in 1996, Dr Adhikarya was a senior-level officer at the SDRE in Rome, Italy. One of his many responsibilities at FAO was the implementation of the EET programme which is reported in this book. While he was the planner, manager and coordinator of this EET programme, the opinions expressed in this chapter are entirely of the author and should not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank or FAO.

* Abdallah GAAYA, Environment education training module (EETM) development in the Middle East, a report prepared for SDRE, April 1999.

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