The foundations for this manual were laid during a national training course on landing site development in Guinea, organized by the Programme for the Integrated Development of Artisanal Fisheries in West Africa (IDAF) in the 1990s. In order to make the course available to other countries in the region, the training materials were put into a distance learning course format, focusing on the use of participatory rural appraisal (PRA) techniques in the collection of landing site information. After field-testing in Ghana in 2000, the materials underwent a complete review, resulting in a greatly reduced version with a practical rather than a theoretical focus.
During the second stage of developing the materials, the entire concept was changed. The practical focus was enhanced by establishing specific outputs for each unit, and the document was modified from a guided distance learning course into a step-by-step, stand-alone manual. Existing units were improved and adapted using insights from the sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA) and experiences from the Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods Programme (SFLP) and other West African fieldwork. New units were added to respond to the need for more guidance on information analysis, strategy formulation, project proposals and the search for financial and technical partners. The revised manual follows the entire formulation process for a landing site development strategy from the first introductory meetings up to the moment of implementation in a simple, easy-to-follow style.
While the format and contents of these materials have evolved over time, the basic principle of using participatory approaches and the landing site as the starting point for catalysing development activities to improve the standard of living of artisanal fisher families has remained constant.
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