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Section III: Training approaches

Section III: Training approaches

Training in a global management approach to the economic and social development of a rural area1

1FAO/REU working paper, prepared by the author in September 1992, based on her training approach during her employment in the FAO Regional Office for Europe (1990-1993)

A. Gannon

20 Glenbrook Park. Rathfarnham, Dublin 4. Ireland


Training in a Global Management Approach to the Economic and Social Development of a Rural Area introduces an innovative integrated Rural Development approach which has been tested and has resulted in successful levels of development in relation to economic and social change for rural communities.

It is based on the use of a Global Management Approach (GMA) which is a tool for channelling community energy into a progressive self help process thereby enabling people to analyse their own situations, generate solutions to their problems, plan their own developments and evaluate the results.

It places responsibility for Community Economic Development where it belongs, that is within the community itself. The main key to its success is people, working on the principle that it is sometimes necessary to change people in order to change things.

The techniques and 'know how' used ensure commitment and ownership by the community for project development.

The programme is based on the premise that the Overall Objective for the Development of a Rural area is: "The improvement of both the social and economic situations of rural families and rural communities through the development of

Outline of a twelve training and implementation programme for economic rural development through peoples' participation

The programme as outlined for the economic development of a rural area encompasses three major elements i.e.:

The three are interlinked and are developed in an integrated way in this twelve phase training and implementation programme.

The success of the project depends on the interest, ability and capacity of people to bring about desired change. Very often, in order to change things it is first necessary to change people. Therefore the programme sets out to enable the desired change in the selected regions through the training of key people in personal development; in management skills (i.e. decision making, problem analysis and problem solving); in leadership skills; in group and community development; in entrepreneurship and small business enterprises; in rural tourism development; in project management and in institution building. The training ensures peoples' participation. It is proposed that the trained people will act as the leaders/facilitators/trainers and managers in the development of the rural communities and in the development of the project areas.

The programme is based on 'interval' training which is set out in twelve training phases or modules. These run concurrently with the initiation and the implementation of action on the ground. The programme should be tailored to the needs of the people and of the area to be developed, using the appropriate phases or parts of the phases as required. The duration of each phase should also relate to the needs.

The Development Process used in the programme is the GMA which ensures: learning by doing; peoples' participation and ownership by participants for action and development.

The development process

The development process includes:

Training process

The training Workshop methodology of the GMA uses:

Croup workshops process

Central to development for participants is the 'learning by doing' process.

This involves the GMA group problem solving process using as far as possible the GMA joint decision making method for:

The following is critical to the group work process:

Project implementation process

The implementation methodology involves systematic and systemic plans of action. The steps to be developed are:

Evaluation process

To cope with the continuously changing conditions and environment, evaluation must be constant. There must be a constant search for new ideas, new possibilities and new opportunities and new markets. People's problems can provide a possibility for creativity through the servicing, of needs; therefore market research and idea excavation and needs' assessment must be an on-going activity to ensure flexibility and diversity.

Evaluation to take into account:

The outline content of a twelve phase Programme for Economic Rural Development is:

Phase 1 - Understanding rural development.

Phase 2 - Management skills and a global management approach to development.

Phase 3 - Development of individuals and groups and community building.

Phase 4 - Rural development and village renewal.

Phase 5 - Entrepreneurial development.

Phase 6 - Development of agriculture.

Phase 7 - Product development.

Phase 8 - Promotion and marketing of products.

Phase 9 - Project management? project development.

Phase 10 - How to train the local community to participate.

Phase 11 - Structure development and institutions.

Phase 12 - Developing of an evaluation and monitoring instrument.

Entrepreneurial development process; a training approach

T. Petrin

FAO, Regional Office for Europe, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy

Background and justification

The entrepreneurial development process, as presented here, is one of the training approaches to entrepreneurship development in rural areas that has been used in different training programmes carried out by the FAO Regional Office for Europe, either at FAO/REU International Summer Schools or National Workshops on Rural Development from 1990 on1. It aims to develop an understanding of the total process involved in the development of rural entrepreneurship so that an environment conducive to sustainable development of rural areas, based on rural entrepreneurship, will be achieved. The role of trainers/facilitators in the entrepreneurial development process is also defined and viewed as an inherent part of this approach.

1The author presented this training programme at the FAO/REU training workshop on rural development for the first time during the Fourth FAO/REU International Rural Development Summer School "Rural Development Through Entrepreneurship and Village Renewal" held in Mikkeli Finland on 16-20 September 1991.

In view of the above objective, the approach presented here differs from those that concentrate predominantly on training inputs aimed at understanding the development of a business plan.

While a business plan is an important prerequisite for starting a new venture successfully, it is only one element of the total process involved in the development of rural entrepreneurship. It should be kept in mind that in most rural areas the first generation of entrepreneurs are usually developed in economically/socially depressed environments. Therefore, the first step necessary is the development of an entrepreneurial culture. Without entrepreneurship, rural areas will remain cut off from the benefits of the structural adjustment, which has been going on already for some time in urban and industrially developed regions. This would cause the regional disparities to increase even further and thus make the solutions to the problems of rural areas more and more difficult.

Developing entrepreneurial culture entails the development of a positive attitude towards new and unforeseen circumstances. However, shifting the attitude towards change does not suffice for rural entrepreneurship to thrive. What is important is seeing and seizing entrepreneurial opportunity. Too often, potential entrepreneurs are hindered by the lack of motivation to take risks, the non-availability of information on what is a good business opportunity and the lack of skills/knowledge on how to set up a new enterprise. Even if these constraints were alleviated, it is still not certain that rural areas would embark on the sustainable path of development due to what is involved in new firm creation. Many new firms may collapse, simply because the community was not able to create an environment enabling startups to grow into viable market entities and stimulate a continuous entry of new firms. What is needed is the development of institutions supporting entrepreneurial restructuring in rural areas.

In order to embrace the complete entrepreneurial development process, the training programme2 on entrepreneurship development in rural areas, targeted at training of trainers and community leaders, is designed to give training inputs on the following inter-related processes:

2This training package was developed by the author based on her own experience in promoting and supporting the development of entrepreneurship in urban/rural areas in her country and internationally. It combines experience gained by studying and implementing entrepreneurship development approaches in the U.S.A., Great Britain (Scotland) Northern Italy, Denmark, Germany and India.

The outline of the training programme

Development of entrepreneurial culture:

Training inputs include themes to enhance participants' understanding of:

· what is entrepreneurship?

· who are entrepreneurs'? and

· mechanisms crucial for the development of positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship on national, regional and local levels.

Encouraging start-ups

Training inputs are geared at helping potential entrepreneurs to overcome the constraints that prevent them from taking action, such as the lack of self-confidence due to the lack of entrepreneurial critical mass in the rural environment and the inability to evaluate whether a business idea is also a business opportunity.. It also helps individuals who would like to be entrepreneurs but who lack the necessary skills to recognise this before they go into business. These include:

Setting up the new venture

Potential entrepreneurs need a comprehensive plan to transform their business ideas into a working operation. A business plan is an instrument for screening the profitability of business alternatives, identifying constraints and opportunities and one's weaknesses and strengths. Therefore, a business plan lowers the risk of going into business. Since the development of a comprehensive business plan is a demanding task, it is advisable to first prepare the feasibility study, which is a less comprehensive version of a complete business plan.

Training inputs concentrate on the techniques for evaluating the feasibility of a business idea and the development of a comprehensive business plan and its evaluation:

Development of a new venture and growth

The operating and managing of a business demand certain skills in finance, organization, production, marketing and distribution of products. The entrepreneurs should acquire these skills and should continuously up-date them in order to ensure/maintain their competitive position based on a well-defined long-term business strategy. Too often small firms suffer from managing their businesses on a day to day basis and not realising their potential for growth. Training inputs therefore concentrate on all aspects of managing the business and on the strategies for future growth:

Institution building

For entrepreneurship to flourish, a supportive environment is needed. Therefore, those who are involved in fostering rural entrepreneurship should not only influence national/regional development policies, but also facilitate the development of national and regional supporting institutions. Training inputs focus on:

The role of trainers/facilitators in the entrepreneurial development process

The above-mentioned five inter-related training inputs embrace the total process whereby the entrepreneurial and managerial capabilities of would be entrepreneurs and an environment conducive to entrepreneurship, are developed. Trainers facilitating the implementation of the training programme on entrepreneurship development as outlined here should therefore possess certain behavioural and managerial skills in order to initiate, organize and monitor this process effectively.

Training thus focuses on:

The best training results are achieved when participants first gain an understanding of the total process involved in entrepreneurship development and afterwards receive in-depth training on each of the five inter-related processes outlined above.

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