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3. SEC methodology applications

3.1. SEC implementation through FAO projects
3.2. Institutionalization problems: Neglect of SEC training
3.3. Planned replications of SEC: Building cadres of SEC planners & trainers
3.4. Facilitating the multiplier effects
3.5. Strategy of SEC implementation at country level
3.6. Facilitating SEC institutionalization and quality control

In this section, important aspects of the field implementation of a Strategic Extension Campaign (SEC), and the requirements for its replications to support various agricultural development, in different countries will be described. Examples on SEC replications, especially through building up of cadres of SEC planners and trainers, are also provided.

3.1. SEC implementation through FAO projects

3.1.1 Examples of SEC replications and implementation arrangements

The first systematic effort in applying the SEC process and methodology was carried out in Bangladesh by FAO/UNDP project BGD/79/034 "Strengthening Agricultural Extension Service" which provided technical assistance to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE). The work started in early 1982 with experimental campaigns on a small-scale basis covering three topics: (a) Methods of Seeds Storage, (b) Promoting Potato Consumption, and (c) Proper Processing of Khesari (a type of legume). In mid-1982, this project was requested to assist in the planning of a national campaign on Rodent Control by DOAE and the GTZ-funded project "Bangladesh-German Plant Protection Programme" (BGPPP). After more than four months of detailed planning and preparations, the National Campaign on Rodent Control was launched in January 1983, during the winter crop season, with wheat farmers as target beneficiaries. Empirical summative evaluation findings from the Information Recall & Impact Survey (IRIS) and also Field Damage Assessment (FDA) studies indicated that the campaign had accomplished positive results with significant economic benefits (see Section 4.1). The Bangladesh Government thus repeated the National Rodent

Control Campaign in 1984, and expanded its scope to cover all farmers in the country, and the 1984 campaign was as successful as that of 1983.

3.1.1 Examples of SEC replications and implementation arrangements

Initially, the replications of SEC was limited to several Asian countries, and it can be attributed, to a large extent, to the adoption of the SEC method as one of the extension and training strategies of an FAO Inter-Country Programme on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Rice in South and Southeast Asia (projects GCP/RAS/101/NET, GCP/RAS/092/AUL, and GCP/RAS/108/AGF), hereafter referred to as the IPM project. The SEC method was integrated into this IPM project in 1984, towards the end of its first phase, when the remaining project budget was less than US$ 0.5 million.

The introduction of SEC in Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka during 1985-1987, as the project's main IPM extension activities, produced concrete and tangible results. It also helped in creating an awareness of IPM benefits and a demand among farmers for IPM field training, as well as in mobilizing the planners and managers of those countries' national agricultural extension services to provide more specific IPM training and support materials for their field extension workers. Realizing the importance and cost-effectiveness of the extension & training component to support its programme, the IPM project allocated an estimated 55 percent of its Phase II total budget/resources of about US$ 12 million (for 1988-1992) for such a component.

Based on FAO experiences in planning and conducting SEC programmes in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines, SEC was also adopted as the basic method for an FAO inter-regional project funded by UNFPA. The project which started in 1986 was on "Strategic Integration of Population Education into the Agricultural Extension Service", hereafter referred to as the PEDAEX project, with pilot activities in eight countries in Asia, Africa, the Near East and Caribbean/Latin America. As these pilot activities were successfully completed in 1992, nation-wide PEDAEX replications using the SEC method are now being implemented as a national project in Kenya, the Philippines, Uganda, and other national PEDAEX projects are planned for Jamaica, Morocco, Tunisia, Honduras, Rwanda etc.

In Africa and the Near East, SEC replications at the country level in most cases have been implemented within the context of FAO's field projects' extension and training activities. For instance, FAO/UNDP project ZAM/88/021 and TCP/ZAM/2254 project in Zambia utilized a standard SEC method which was evaluated positively by a UNDP evaluation team in 1992, and additional funding was recommended and approved by UNDP for a Phase II of project ZAM/88/021 (new project ZAM/92/022). In Thailand, starting in early 1993 the TCP/THA/2252 project has also utilised a SEC standard method in conducting its extension and training activities to support the Royal Thai programme on temperate-zone fruit crops cultivation. In French-speaking countries, the SEC or also called the Campagne Intensive de Vulgarisation pour ['Introduction d'un Theme (CIVIT) activities have been incorporated into FAO field projects, among others, in Burundi (BDI/85/011), in Guinea (GUI/86/004; GUI/86/012; and GUI/87/015), in Burkina Faso (BKF/89/018), in Rwanda (TCP/RWA/8958; and RWA/89/007), and in Tunisia (TUN/86/020).

Experiences from these countries indicate that the success of such SEC implementation depended on the degree or level of integration between the project activities and the programmes of the national agricultural extension service. In addition, positive results can more likely be obtained, if the complete SEC process is implemented, rather than implementing it partially or some of its operational phases only.

3. 2. Institutionalization problems: Neglect of SEC training

While the 1983 and 1984 Rodent Control Campaigns in Bangladesh by themselves were quite successful, the institutionalization of SEC process and methodology in Bangladesh was less successful. In retrospect, one of the weaknesses of the SEC on Rodent Control in Bangladesh was that the staff of DOAE had not been specifically trained on SEC, although they were involved in campaign planning and implementation. The campaign activity was essentially a result of a "fire-brigade action" in response to an unplanned programme requested by high-level management of the Ministry of Agriculture. There was no time to provide structured and comprehensive training on SEC process and methodology to a core-group of extension planners/managers, subject-matter specialists, trainers, and communication support personnel. The campaign strategy and plan, its messages and multi-media materials, and management plan were developed mainly by a staff member of FAO project BGD/79/034, Dr. Ronny Adhikarya, assisted by Mr. Heimo Posamentier, a Rodent Biologist of the BGPPP, both international experts, and a few (about five) of their national counterparts. Such an ad-hoc and informal "on-the-job" training for a small group of national counterparts proved to be insufficient to enable them to conduct SEC replications without further assistance from the FAO and BGPPP projects.

It was regrettable that no SEC training, even for extension trainers and planners of DOAE, was conducted. One of the resource persons, Dr. Adhikarya, took up an FAO assignment in Rome, Italy after the completion of the 1983 Campaign and Mr. Posamentier left Bangladesh soon after the 1984 Campaign. Hence, they did not have the opportunity to organise SEC training for a care-group of extension planners and trainers to enable them to replicate SEC.

3. 3. Planned replications of SEC: Building cadres of SEC planners & trainers

Having learned from the lessons and experiences of SEC activities in Bangladesh, a more systematic and well-planned approach was adopted in introducing SEC process and methodology in Malaysia. In collaboration with the FAO's Inter-Country Programme on Integrated Pest Management in Rice in South and Southeast Asia (projects GCP/RAS/101/NET, GCP/RAS/092/AUL, and GCP/RAS/108/AGF), the FAO's Agricultural Education and Extension Service (ESHE) provided technical assistance to Malaysia's Department of Agriculture (DOA) in applying the SEC method. ESHE's staff member, Dr. R. Adhikarya, in 1985 developed the SEC training strategies, plans and materials, and organized five SEC skills-oriented workshops in Malaysia for 34 DOA staff and five staff members from two Malaysian universities. In addition, two persons from the Extension Division of the Department of Agriculture in Sri Lanka participated in these workshops.

The trainees from the DOA were extension officers, subject-matter specialists, trainers, and communication support officers who had seldom worked together, and had never been trained together on the same subject. Many of the 34 trainees participated in all of the five workshops. Due to some unavoidable problems, such as maternity/sick leave, duty transfer, etc., not all of them could not participate in all five workshops. The topics of the five workshops were the same as those shown in Fig. 2-2 (with the exception of Step 12).

In order to increase learning experience and ensure practicality of SEC training, the workshops were designed as a structured "on-the-job" training programme dealing with actual data, information, problems and solutions in planning, implementing and managing SEC activities. In 1985, Malaysia's Department of Agriculture had given a high priority to rat control, especially in Penang State. It requested FAO to focus its strategic extension campaign on rat control. Thus, a KAP survey on rat control in Penang State was carried out, and whose results were used as inputs for the SEC workshops. Based on the KAP survey results, workshop participants identified the rat control problems, formulated the rat control campaign objectives, developed the campaign strategy and management plans, and designed, developed, pretested and packaged the campaign messages and multi-media materials.

The above mentioned "learning-by-doing" SEC training method is a "killing two birds with one stone" activity which is pragmatic and result-oriented. Such an approach resulted not only in having well-trained personnel, but also actual campaign strategy and management plans, and pretested multimedia materials. In addition, it produced a group of SEC planners, managers and trainers who are highly motivated and dedicated in implementing real campaign activities whose strategies, plans and materials had been conceived and developed by themselves, and not produced and imposed by others. Unlike the Bangladesh experience, the success of Malaysia's Rat Control Campaign was not limited to achieving its stated objectives. More importantly, the SEC process and methodology has been replicated for other agricultural technologies, and by other institutions. As described in Section 4.2, there is considerable evidence to indicate that since 1987, the SEC method has been adopted as an integral part of Malaysia's agricultural extension service's programme and activities.

3. 4. Facilitating the multiplier effects

3.4.1 Training of SEC "master trainers"
3.4.2 Spreading the "SEC fever" beyond Asia

As will be explained in greater detail in Section 4, in addition to Bangladesh and Malaysia (Dept. of Agriculture), in Asia, FAO has assisted Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, China, and Malaysia (the Muda Agricultural Development Authority) in replicating the SEC process. In other regions, the SEC process has also been replicated in its entirety or partially, such as in Jamaica, Honduras, Zambia, Uganda, Liberia, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Morocco, Tunisia, etc.

3.4.1 Training of SEC "master trainers"

One of the most effective strategies which resulted in the "snow-balling" of SEC activities in many countries is the use of SEC trained personnel as "master trainers" or resource persons for replication of SEC process in their own country (for other agricultural agencies or technologies) and/or in other countries. The use of such persons as SEC multiplier agents has been effectively demonstrated in Asia. In addition to replicating the SEC process within their own local institutions, many participants who attended the first series of SEC workshops during 1985-87 in Asia have served as SEC trainers or resource persons in replicating the SEC process, among others, in Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, the Philippines, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, and Jamaica. A list of selected SEC training participants who later have served as SEC resource persons to assist FAO extension and training projects around the world is shown in Figure 3-1.

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