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3. 5. Strategy of SEC implementation at country level

Another strategy which FAO has utilized in the SEC replication process is to work with a national extension service through the activities of an on-going FAO's field project or its Regular Programme which provides technical assistance in a given country. In order to "promote" the SEC approach, its tangible results and concrete benefits must be demonstrated to important national agricultural policy and decision-makers. It is not adequate to discuss only the SEC institutionalization ideas or approach in abstract terms with them. As such, the results of at least a pilot SEC programme conducted in that country must be well-documented. Convincing evidence of its usefulness and benefits, including actual SEC strategies and plans, multi-media materials, trained personnel, and positive evaluation findings, must be shown. In order to demonstrate such a case, the complete SEC process and activities should be initiated with FAO assistance, preferably through an on-going FAO field project. It should be completed in a relatively short time period (12-18 months). Without such initial support from an FAO project, it would be difficult to ensure the necessary follow-up actions for the implementation of initial SEC field activities, as well as the availability of operational funds. The following are the strategy guidelines for SEC implementation in a given country:


It should be integrated as part of a national extension programme


It should be executed initially as part of an FAO project


Government commitment to support field implementation activities of an SEC demonstration programme for a period of at least 18 months should be obtained


The SEC topic should focus on a specific extension problem considered as a high priority by the Ministry of Agriculture


A core-group of at least 25 persons representing extension planners/managers, trainers, subject-matter specialists, communication support staff, etc. should be assigned by the Government to participate in all SEC activities, including training and field implementation


A formative and summative evaluation of an SEC demonstration programme should be conducted, and supplemented with printed, audio and/or visual documentation of its process and results

3. 6. Facilitating SEC institutionalization and quality control

3.6.1 Develop SEC training curricula and materials
3.6.2 Develop and utilize a core group of SEC resource persons

3.6.1 Develop SEC training curricula and materials

One of the challenges in replicating SEC process in different countries for various technology transfer purposes is how to maintain a high degree of quality control in applying the SEC methodology. The SEC experience thus far suggests that training of extension staff (especially the trainers) on the skills and techniques of SEC is of critical importance in applying effectively the SEC methodology, and in institutionalizing SEC as a basic method of an agricultural extension service. The FAO's Agricultural Education and Extension Service (ESHE) has been developing standardized SEC process documentation procedures as well as preparing and testing SEC training modules and materials for use in training of extension trainers activities.

Training curricula and support materials related to specific SEC skills/techniques, such as Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP)/baseline survey, Strategic Extension Planning and Message Design, Multi-media Materials Development and Pretesting, Campaign Management and Monitoring, Summative Evaluation, etc. have been developed and pretested for use to train SEC trainers, potential resource persons and/or consultants. Some SEC training materials have also been adapted, and translated into French, for use in African Francophone countries to conduct the Strategic Extension Campaign activities, or the Campagne Intensive de Vulgarisation pour l'Introduction d'un Theme (CIVIT).

3.6.2 Develop and utilize a core group of SEC resource persons

Training programmes for SEC resource persons and trainers in countries which plan to use the SEC or CIVIT methodology have also been conducted. Two regional workshops on SEC methodology were conducted in 1990 and 1991 in Morocco by FAO and attended by 20 participants from 10 French-speaking countries sponsored by UNDP, World Bank, FED, CCCE, etc. A SEC training module development review meeting was conducted in Malaysia in July 1991 for 12 SEC trainers from 6 English-speaking countries. Another SEC training materials development workshop for 20 SEC trainers from 10 countries was organized in 1993 in Thailand.

As already described in Section 3.4., competent and experienced SEC trainers or planners from a given country should also be mobilized and given the opportunity to widen and share his/her SEC experiences by serving as SEC resource persons in other countries or regions. The wide and rapid spread of the SEC methodology could not have been possible without applying the training of trainers strategy as shown in Fig. 3-1. Such a strategy in developing and utilizing specifically trained human resources is critical to the efforts of capacity and institution building of national extension system and can contribute significantly to ensuring its programme sustainability. These SEC resource persons have also been involved in the development of standardized or generic SEC training curricula and materials as can be seen in Fig. 3-1, so that their practical experiences are reflected and included in the SEC training modules and/or materials.

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