Global Farmer Field School Platform

Sub-regional workshop on the Farmer Field Schools Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Framework

19/11/2019 21/11/2019

Background

Farmer Field Schools (FFS) continue to be used across the globe as an educational methodology in rural development. As FFS grow, stakeholders and donors have raised concerns regarding the applicability, targeting, cost-effectiveness, monitoring and evaluation and quality assurance of the programmes. Considering that FFS are yet to be mainstreamed in development initiatives and that discrepancies may occur in the quality and consistency across FFS projects and programmes, there is a need to ensure that core principles of programme design, local ownership, and ecological learning are maintained through monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), quality assurance, and feedback measures.

 

The quality of FFS implementation may not be known due to the lack of useable, targeted monitoring and evaluation reports. An FAO commissioned review (2018) evaluated the continued relevance of FFS and its impact, and revealed an unbalanced distribution across four specific impact domains, with a bias toward the natural domain and low coverage across the human, social and financial arenas. The balance between indicators in the human, social, natural and financial capital domains should be improved in the evaluation of outcomes and impacts of the FFS, and monitoring observations from the causal chain (design, implementation) leading to the impacts should be included in evaluations. Key recommendations from the review and the subsequently developed MEL framework were to improve data collection, analysis and utilization of information across the four specified domains, and re-orient FFS programmes to ensure MEL uptake and quality assurance. Acting upon these recommendations could lead to an enhanced understanding of the current global status of FFS in terms of implementation, quality, and MEL; and provide evidence to strengthen the FFS Guidance Document.

 

FAO headquarters has developed a monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) framework and toolkit to improve data collection, analysis and utilization across the four specified domains. FAO aims to field the MEL toolkit to governments and partners so that they can put it into practice.

 

The FAO Subregional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE) seeks to continue the initiative that builds on previous efforts to improve the quality of FFS in the subregion. FAO-SFE, along with government and organization partners in Eastern Africa, wants to develop and put into practice a contextualized, mainstreamed toolkit based on the MEL framework. Activities are aimed at providing and instilling a sense of sharing and collection of best practices as development partners sometimes modify and innovate the approach. The promotion of best practices would assist in improving the quality of FFS that may not use core principles or said monitoring tools.

Objectives

  • Raise awareness and current situation of FFS Guidance Document and MEL framework
  • Improved/Best practices shared
  • Prepared toolkit ready for deployment in the field

Expected outcomes

  • FFS M&E practitioners’ capacities enhanced through sensitization of the FFS Guidance Document and MEL framework
  • One contextualized MEL toolkit for Eastern Africa

 

For more information please contact: orry.pratt@fao.org