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Papers, Books, Reports, Newsletters

Pluralism and the extension agent Changing concepts and approaches in rural extension

by Ian Christoplos & Ulrich Nitsch

The study "Pluralism and the extension agent" was commissioned by Sida during 1995 as a review of current literature and concepts relating to rural extension.

The study reviews literature on rural agricultural service provision and considers extension's various structures, task domains and models from three central perspectives: (1) the view from the field: how changing rural development objectives and methods have been absorbed and adapted by the extension agents themselves; (2) costs, capacities and institutional sustainability: how realistic different extension alternatives are, given the crises in local government; and (3) equity: how new approaches may overcome the elite, high-externalinput and gender biases which have affected extension.

It is clear from the literature reviewed that extension means different things to different people. Two central questions which bring together the varied perspectives are: What is intended to be achieved via extension ? and How may the impact of an extension project on the broader goals of agricultural development be measured? These questions are considered in light of the structures within which extension has been organized, and the new target groups and areas of specialization which have been assigned to extension services during the past two decades. These structures have emerged based on implicit communication models which have guided extension planners.

Observations of how rural field staff, such as extension agents' communicate with farmers have led many observers to realize that simple linear structures do not reflect the way farmers obtain information and make technological decisions. New approaches have emerged which imply radical departures from the way ministries and donors have addressed the extension issue. Package models are increasingly acknowledged as being inappropriate. It has been accepted that the diverse variety of institutions which provide extension services must be the basis for agricultural development efforts.

It is not yet clear how this pluralism concept can be operationalized within prevailing development cooperation structures. A first step in finding ways to deal with pluralism must be to shift the overall debate on extension away from planning and administrative models. This focus has resulted in a tendency to forget that extension is based on the meeting between field personnel and farmers. Development planning must instead be grounded in a conscious effort to understand how venous approaches, models, structures and recommendations affect the relationship among farmers, extensionists, input suppliers, and the many other actors in rural development.

· Published by Sida, Department for Natural Resources and the Environment as Publications on Agriculture: No.1, 1996

· ISBN 91 586 7268 0

· Copies are available free of charge and can be ordered from FTP Network, SLU, IRDC, Box 7005, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden (E-mail: [email protected])

Watershed - People's forum on ecology (Burma, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Vietnam)

TERRA is the sister organization of Project for Ecological Recovery (PER), registered together as the Foundation for Ecological Recovery. PER, established in 1986, woks to support local communities within Thailand in protecting rivers, forests, land and livelihoods.

In 1991, TERRA was established to focus on issues concerning the natural environment and local communities within the region. TERRA works to support the network of NGOs and people's organizations in Burma, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam, encouraging exchange and alliance-building, and drawing on the experience with development and environment issues in Thailand.

The latest issue, Vol. 1 No.2 November 1995 to February 1996, has, among other things, several articles on protected areas' including articles based on interviews with top government policy makers in Cambodia, Lao PDR; interviews with community leaders on how local development activities are changing their lives; and an update on the development activities being planned by the Mekong River Commission.

The editor of watershed welcomes contributions from people within the region and internationally. Please send articles, letters or news pieces to the editorial office. Contributions can be handwritten or typed, in the Lao, Khmer, Vietnamese, Thai, French or English language; word-processed contributions can be on 3.5 or 5.25 inch disk, in text file format.

· Watershed is published three times a year by: Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance - TERRA. Price ranges from 510 to 535 depending on geographical location and organizational affiliation. Any NGOs or community groups who would like to request a subsidy for their subscription, please contact TERRA.

· ISSN 0859 1601

· Editorial/Subscriptions/Contributions Office: TERRA, 409 Soi Rohitsuk, Pracharajbampen Road, Huay Khwang, Bangkok, 10320 Thailand (Tel: 66 2 691 0718; Fax: 66 2 691 0714; E-mail: [email protected])

Participatory learning and action - A trainer's guide

by Jules N Pretty, Irene Guijt, John Thompson & Ian Scoones

This guide is designed for both experienced and new trainers who have an interest in training others in the use of participatory methods, whether they are researchers, practitioners, policymakers, villagers or trainers.

The guide: provides a comprehensive background to the principles of adult learning; focuses on the facilitation skills necessary for effective learning; describes group dynamics and how to build interdisciplinary teams; summarises the principles of participatory reaming and action; describes in detail the process of training, both in the workshop and in the field; suggests how to organise workshops, from laying the groundwork to post-training evaluation; and, details 101 interactive training games and exercises.

· Information from the flyer

· Published by IIED, 1995

· ISBN 1 899 825 00 2

· Price £14.95 + p&p (25% UK & Europe, 35% airmail)

· Available from: Marilyn John, The Bookshop, IIED, 3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H 0DD, United Kingdom (Fax: +44 171 388 2826; E-mail: [email protected])

Indigenous organizations and development

by Peter Blunt and D. Michael Warren

Indigenous organizations are local-level institutions with a community base, such as women's groups, ethnic associations, traditional religious groups. and a wide variety of other social groups.

This volume, the latest addition to the IT Studies in Indigenous Knowledge and Development Series, investigates local planning and management systems, local levels of technology use and development, community-based systems of evaluation and capacity building, and distinct social roles of the varied groups which exist worldwide. Some chapters investigate the problems of the imposition of new organizational structures on local communities, other look at the rhetoric of 'empowerment' as against the reality of local decision-making.

There is no other published collection which describes such a wide range of local organizations, and its appeal will be to development workers as well as students and teachers of development studies, and development managers.

· Information from the leaflet

· Published by Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd., January 1996

· ISBN 1 85339 321 5

· Price £ 16.95 + p&p (20% KU, 25% rest of world)

· Available from: IT Publications Ltd. 103-105 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4HH, United Kingdom (Fax: +44 171 436 2013)

Resource management for upland areas in Southeast Asia - An information kit

This technical information is designed for use by agriculture and forestry trainers, extension subject-matter specialists and government agencies and NGOs focusing on agriculture and natural resource management in the uplands of Southeast Asia. The material draws on a range of experiences from institutions and individuals in the region. Each chapter, (covering the topics overview of upland issues and approaches, integrated upland systems management, soil and water conservation approaches, diagnostic methods and tools, extension and linkage strategies, and evaluation strategies) present a 'basket' of programme strategies; they are not intended to represent a 'blueprint approach. Each of the strategies will be more or less appropriate and relevant depending on the local circumstances.

Within the topics a distinction is made between systems and practices, and recognises that several practices can be combined in a variety of ways in different systems. An appropriate strategy is the development and promotion of systems components which allow flexibility to farm households to mix-and-match components most relevant to their particular resource base and needs.

The Appendices includes a glossary of terms; a list of commonly used species in agroforestry systems of Southeast Asia; information about resource institutions; and a list of participants (from Philippines, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea) their profiles and contact addresses.

· Published by FAO and IIRR

· Price: $10.00 + shipping

· Available from: International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Y.C. James Yen Centre, Silang, Cavite 4118, Philippines (Fax: 63 969 9937; E-mail: [email protected])

Changing the boundaries: Women-centered perspectives on population and the environment

by Janice Jiggins

Development workers, reproductive health workers, and policy makers take note: this book is required reading. It is based on the premise that an understanding of the relationships between environment and human behaviour is essential to address both population and environment issues, something often overlooked during policy formation. Past policies that do not take into account this understanding, such as those based on population control, are not only misguided but often counterproductive. The author offers a more holistic approach, one that considers reproductive health instead of population control, decisions about resource management made with full participation of women to address environmental issues.

A fundamental point is that women have unique and valuable knowledge that can ensure appropriate and sustainable development. One example used to illustrate this point is a water system developed to address a water shortage in Kenya. Village men decided to solve the problem by building storage tanks to collect water from tin roofs. Yet women pointed out that only a few houses had tin roofs; this solution would benefit only those few. The women instead decided to pipe clean water from springs above the village. This solution was equitable, involved the entire village in implementation, provided cleaner water over the entire year, and thus addressed water-related issues the men had not considered. Villagers contributed money, labour and materials to the plan, facilitating its rapid implementation.

The author provides new insights into current discussions. For example, it is often cited that women with higher levels of education have fewer and healthier children; this book goes one step further, to address the quality and type of education. The author also shows how women's perspectives are essential to address reproductive health and environmental issues, dealing with a full range of related concerns: from agricultural systems, water, forests, credit and tenure, to participation, self-esteem, contraception and health. It is rich with case studies showing how projects have involved women, are initiated and driven by women, how women's knowledge is valuable and can be valued, and how this knowledge benefits the community as a whole.

Despite the complexity of the issues at hand and the immense challenges that lay ahead, the book ends on a positive not. Based on the evidence produced in the book the author points out that the main lines of an action agenda can be drawn up. There is sufficient knowledge, competence and capacity to do what needs to be done. She goes on to outline such an agenda around which women's health advocates, environmentalists, agricultural and population specialists and educationists could forge a strong alliance. The tenth and last item on the Action Agenda emphasises the message that runs as a continuous thread throughout the book: "Ensure that women are at the table where decisions are made and that their voices, too, are heard in the debate about the world's future."

· Reviewed by Sarah Gramlich

· Published by Island Press, 1718 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009 USA, 1994

· ISBN 1-55963-260-7

· Price: £16.95

· Available from: Kogan Page/Earthscan, FREEPOST 1,120 Pentonville Road, London N1 9BR, United Kingdom (Fax: +44 171837 6348)

Adapting indigenous forest management - Prospects for integration of scientific and indigenous management practices in Dir, Pakistan

by Saleem Ullah

The purpose of this study were fourfold: to inventory and systematically describe indigenous forest management ( IFM); to group the villages on the basis of criteria related to the presence of IFM; to investigate the effects of IFM on vegetation; and to explore the prospects of integration of IFM in state managed forestry development activities.

Twelve villages were studied to provide a general overview of forest management practices and organization. In all cases the Nahga (a local term meaning temporary ban) was a dominant feature of IFM and had an overlapping role regarding protection/ management and control/utilization.

Two villages representing two IFM categories were chosen for more in depth study.

Based on this comparison it is concluded that the IFM is more developed in oak forest than the pine forest. The oak forests are characterized by their virtual absence of Forestry Department (FD) intervention and the clarity of ownership and usufruct rights of either villages, clans or families. In contrast to the FD units of forest management the IFM units are smaller and the boundaries coincides with the social boundaries, i.e. the community, family or village holdings. Also, in IFM the control utilization is mostly confined to so-called minor products. In effect, these have a more important role in the livelihood strategies of the people than the commercial timber production to which the FD management practices are directed. An important feature of the IFM is its organizational weakness as most of the organizations are informal. They are relatively strong with respect to control forest use by intruders but find it difficult to organize themselves for the developmental activities in cooperation with outsiders, including the FD.

To cope with these problems and explore prospects for integration with the FD the following recommendations are made:

- the FD should adjust its management unit with village forest units;

- the livelihood strategies of the local people should be positively considered and when stimulating improved forest management the minor products should be given sweeping importance in devising management plans. Furthermore, prospects for proper marketing should be explored;

- the formation of formal organizations should be enhanced so as to open tracks for extensive dialogues with the FD, which is a prerequisite of integration. Besides this the formal organizations can remedy the essential internal weaknesses of the present informal forest management organizations.

· Information from the summary

· M.Sc. Thesis, 1996, published by: Tropical Forestry Department of Forestry, P.O. Box 32, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands (Fax: +31 317 483542)

A guide to grants, fellowships and scholarships in international forestry and natural resources

by Damon A. Job

This is an updated edition of an earlier publication. It provides comprehensive information on available grants, fellowships and scholarships including title, description and purpose of program; eligibility requirements; number, duration, amount and limitations of awards; and application deadlines and requirements.

· Published by USAID Forest Service, December 1995

· Copies are available on request from: USDA Forest Service, USAID Programme Coordinator, International Forestry, P.O. Box 96090, Washington, DC 20090 -6090, USA (Fax: +1 202 273 4695, E-mail: /s=d.requests/[email protected], Internet: http: //www. fs. fed. us/)

List of sustainable agriculture terms

Many organizations have worked together to produce this 4-language (English, Spanish, French and Portuguese) list of sustainable agricultural terms. The categorized listings cover agriculture, economics/socioeconomics/rural sociology resource management/conservation, land use systems, crop production, agriculture mechanization equipment/tools, animal production, forestry, and aquaculture/fisheries.

It is hoped that this list will not only be a useful edition to libraries and documentation centres throughout the world, but that it will help break down language barriers and thus facilitate communication amongst the world's specialists.

· Published by EULEISA, AS-PTA and RAE, 1995

· For more information about where it can be purchased contact: GATE/ISAT, Postfach 5180, 65726 Eschborn, Germany (Fax: +49 6196 79 3185/ 1246)

Reviving links NGO experiences in environmental education and peoples' participation in environmental policies

edited by M. v Hemert, W. Wiertsema, M. v Yperen

Empowering communities to participate in the environmental management of their own surroundings. That is one of the essential results of good environmental education. This book reviews experiences of various non-governmental organisations from all regions of the world who are working in this field. Determinants for success are identified and elaborated into guidelines for environmental education activities. Recognizing that one of these determinants is the need to ground initiatives in local reality, these guidelines are presented only as tips to support the planning and implementation of environmental education programmes. Because such programmes arc not only the responsibility of NGOs but of other sectors of society as well, this publication also addresses the importance of collaboration in developing such activities.

This is a practical and accessible textbook. It is a valuable help for everyone involved in planning and executing environmental education programmes. Catchwords are: enhancing communities' confidence; enabling communities to participate; reinforcing social links; decreasing nature degradation; strategic planning; process approach; two-way communication; sharing successes; ... A checklist is included to draw attention to essential aspects of an environmental education programme in all its stages. The book is concluded with very useful references for further networking as well as reading.

· Published by Both ENDS/SME MilieuAdviseurs/IUCN, 1995

· ISBN 90 801592 55

· Price US$ 15 (including postage and handling)

· Available from: Both ENDS, Damrak 28-30, 1012 LJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Fax: 31 20 620 8049, E-mail: [email protected])

Changing forest management strategies in Sudan - A challenge for forestry educational systems

By Mahir Salih Sulieman

Based on field research in Tendulti and Sennar-Singa area in Sudan the author put forward as one of his proposals that "Foresters see resource management as an activity to be organized by institutions and organizations, where as villagers see it as a normal every day activity whereby various categories of people try to meet their needs for forest products."

If this is so then "How can forestry education be based on social actors' perceptions and realities, and reflecting the differences between them? And under which conditions can education help in facilitating accommodation of different social actors' interests and needs as a prerequisite for sustainable management of forest/ tree resources in Sudan'?"

The author answers these questions in the chapter 'Towards an experiential forestry curriculum'. Challenging conventional truths about what constitutes a 'forest', about 'teaching', about foresters as experts; the author concludes that the task of forest resource management needs to be seen as a public learning process, in which all the social actors be they villagers, educators, forestry officers, researchers or their organizations, take part. This in turn requires the creation of systems to facilitate this kind of learning process.

In his concluding chapter he writes: "In the circumstances where none of the social actors alone has the required knowledge base, it is logical that the group of interdependent forest resource managers should create a platform and discuss, negotiate, bargain and coordinate their resources (including expertise) to manage the resources in a sustainable way. We believe that forestry educational institutions can help this process, but before being able to do so, they must stop seeing themselves as 'experts' bureaux', and become networking institutions.

More over, in an era of rapid change. social actors should learn more about learning. Facilitation of learning could be through making things visible, helping people to reconstruct realities through experimentation, discourse, observation and meaningful experience. Here, we think that local people's knowledge is a useful and practical resource for use within the formal knowledge systems. However, in order to facilitate such kinds of learning, educators should not only see themselves as ones whose task it is to impart a certain quantity of knowledge, but also as facilitators who create opportunities for continuous and selfregulative learning."

For readers who are working with forestry training institutions and involved in curriculum development work this book will provide a very interesting reference point when thinking about what needs to be done and why. For others involved in development work this book relates a fascinating journey that highlights so much that is obvious, though often forgotten.

· Ph.D. Thesis, Wageningen Agricultural University, 1996

· ISBN 90 5485 495 2

· For more information contact the author at the following address: Forestry Department, Post Code 1113, P.O. Box 6146, Khartoum, Sudan

Natural pest and disease control

by Henry Elwell and Anita Maas

There are tour main reasons for writing this book: insect pests are responsible for 20 - 30% of the crop being destroyed; there are many safe, natural and simple methods of protecting plants; in the long term, modern chemical pesticides increase the pest and disease problem they do not solve it; modern chemical pesticides are poisonous - they are harmful to human health and destroy the on-farm and wider environment.

Farmers and gardeners alike should find this book appropriate and useful because it provides welcome, environmentally safe alternatives to replace agro-chemicals. Also, the information available within its pages offers a way out for those land users who currently have no means of controlling pests and disease which destroy large proportions, if not all, of their crops every year.

Communal or small-scale farmers and their advisors will be particularly interested in the information offered in this book. When communal farmers can afford chemicals/hey, their children and their farms arc at great risk; and when they cannot afford them they must often stand by helplessly and watch their crops being destroyed by pests and diseases. We hope that anyone involved in advising communal farmers will be able to extract the relevant information and present it to their audience in a more accessible form than is possible in a work of this nature.

The information in Part 1 'The Foundation of Pest and Disease Prevention' is of international interest, the principles and methods being universally applicable. The other sections of the book cover: Pests, Diseases and Control Measures; Remedies for Protecting Field Crops, and Remedies for Protecting Stored Seed and Grain The vegetative types selected in certain sections arc particularly relevant to southern and central Africa.

· Published by and available from the Natural Farming Network Zimbabwe, P.O. Box 8515, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe

· Price: $ 5.00

· This book was published with support from the Plant Protection Improvement Programme Other publications from this programme on natural plant pesticides include: 'Using natural pesticides: current and future perspectives' by Amelie Berger; and 'Natural plant products as pesticides' ed. by A. Berger and Charles F. Mugoya. These are available free of charge from: Johan Morner, Department of Plant and Forest Protection, SLU, Box 7044, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden (E-mail: [email protected])

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