Community-based forest enterprise development
Background of the revision of the Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) training materials
The market analysis and development (MA&D) methodology has been used by forest extension officers, NGO facilitators, community-based organizations and local entrepreneurs around the world to improve income generation based on forest products and services.
The lessons learned from the utilization and amendment of the MA&D training materials during the last ten years in various countries and contexts has revealed both strengths and weaknesses. In response to this, FAO decided to revise the MA&D materials to better suit users’ changing needs. A core revision team was set up to this end, including FAO staff, an MA&D trainer (and author of the training materials), a facilitator from the DELTA Team of International Training Center of the Iinternational Labor Organization (ITC/ILO) and an independent Training Specialist.The MA&D revision was financed by the National Forest Programme Facility and the FAO Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division.
MA&D / Village Tree Enterprise assessment workshop, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 16 - 20 February 2010
This workshop was a starting point in the MA&D revision process. It was organized by Tree Aid, an NGO which had been supporting since 2005, in collaboration with FAO, the development of small rural enterprises in Burkina Faso and Mali, using the MA&D methodology.
The objective of the workshop was to review the impacts of the MA&D approach and to consolidate experiences and lessons learned through its application in the context of Tree Aid’s initiative on Village Tree Enterprise (VTE), which has been running in 145 villages in Burkina Faso, Mali and northern Ghana.
The analysis of the workshop findings allowed several strengths and gaps in the MA&D training materials to be identified. Subsequent to the analysis process, concrete suggestions for improvements to the structure, methods and tools described in the documents were drafted.
A questionnaire was designed by the core revision team to gather useful data from current and past MA&D users in various countries. The questionnaire was launched online through the Survey Monkey instrument. The main findings of the survey were focused on the following: simplification and adaptation of the content, content evolution, a shift towards a more visual approach and inclusion of more practical examples from the field. Data gathered was processed and analyzed, and constituted a basis for discussion during the Turin workshop (see below).
International workshop to review and revise the MA&D manual and field facilitator guidelines, International Training Centre of the ILO, Turin, Italy, 7 - 9 June 2010
The International Workshop for the MA&D Review was a fundamental part of the revision process. It was organized by the FAO-CBED Programme in collaboration with the Delta Team of the ITC/ILO, with funding support provided by the National Forest Programme Facility.
Participants included key local practitioners and trainers of the MA&D approach from governmental agencies and NGOs from around the globe, MA&D experts, FAO officers and training specialists. The workshop was introduced to participants through a screen cast where its scope, objectives and methodology were explained.
Each session of the workshop was productive and conducted in a participatory manner. The heterogeneous participant group brought a diverse set of experiences from a variety of contexts. Additionally, institutions involved in the MA&D projects from both private and public levels were included, further increasing the richness of information and experiences brought out during the workshop.
At the end of the workshop, the MA&D author and the independent Training Specialist processed the workshop results and identified the information in the training material that needs to be eliminated, added or updated. A rewrite of the training documents subsequently commenced.
A key finding from the survey conducted prior to the workshop in Turin was the need to enrich the training materials by including more local and interesting experiences. Therefore, one of the tasks of the participants in the Turin workshop was to collect some inspiring and interesting stories from their local environment which were connected with one or more of the topics described in the MA&D materials.
Circulation of the revised draft for comments
A reading committee composed of the Turin workshop participants and of other MA&D users was established to provide comments on and inputs for the draft MA&D materials.