Mecanismo para Bosques y Fincas
@FAO/Andry Rakoto Harivony

Demand-driven FFF training materials

During seven years of Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) activity there has been a strong focus on demand-driven knowledge generation. Participatory demand surveys with forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) have helped to identify what knowledge, training materials and approaches best strengthen those FFPOs. FFF sees FFPOs as key change agents for delivering climate resilient landscapes and improved livelihoods. Particular approaches have proved effective in strengthening FFPOs to play that role – especially (but not exclusively) by improving their capacity to generate income through sustainable businesses.

Following successful reviews of FFF activity, there have been increasing calls to make available some established training materials and approaches that are used. The listing and links below highlight training materials that have already been designed, tested and used over several years to the benefit of FFPOs by FFF. For some, their origins precede but have been mainstreamed by FFF. Further materials are under development. For example, FFPO work packages on access to finance, gender empowerment, youth engagement and climate resilience are already designed and being tested and will be made available when they are regarded as complete. 

Each of these training materials represent one small part of a broader FFF approach that focuses on listening and responding to the needs of FFPOs. FFF partner country teams and headquarter staff in the four co-management organisations (FAO, IUCN, IID and Agricord) are linked in an annual monitoring and learning cycle. This cycle feeds demands from FFPOs into operational planning through a management retreat that results in direct small grant agreements, national and regional training, and peer-to-peer exchanges and learning events. We encourage you to use these approaches in that spirit.

List of training material available online

Introductory framework – for designing enterprise support processes

This toolkit is aimed at 'facilitators' of support for locally controlled forest and farm enterprises. It is arranged in a series of self-explanatory modules for different elements of SMFE support divided into three components: (i) International considerations for setting up capacity building programmes for SMFE support (primarily aimed at donors); (ii) National level considerations for planning and capacity building; (iii) Local hands-on advice for direct facilitation activities. The idea is that practitioners at any level can dip into sections that catch their eye, and those unfamiliar with enterprise support can read through the toolkit in a logical way.

Market analysis and development – for entrepreneurship and start-ups

This toolkit is aimed at ‘facilitators’ of support for locally controlled forest and farm businesses from within producer organisations or support NGOs. The goal of the Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) approach is to assist producers living in rural communities to develop enterprises to generate and improve their incomes while ensuring the sustainable management of forest and farm resources. The MA&D process develops entrepreneurship by encouraging participants to seek out their own solutions to technological, commercial and financial aspects of a business as well as social and environmental concerns – leading to full ownership of emerging enterprise development plans.

Securing business – for business risk assessment and management

This toolkit is aimed at ‘facilitators’ of support for locally controlled forest and farm businesses from within producer organisations or support NGOs. It addresses an identified gap in these businesses: a lack of know-how on how systematically to assess, and then manage or take, risks. What is presented here is a step-by-step guide for locally controlled forest business managers and their staff. These steps involve risk self-assessment and analysis followed by assigning responsibility and actions to manage or take those risks. The process of risk management helps the business to improve and adapt. 

Business incubation – for mainstreaming business support processes

This toolkit is aimed at staff within second-tier umbrella organisations of forest and farm producers, who aspire to offer business incubation services for their members. It draws on findings from 11 case studies of different forest business incubation models and is laid out in a logical sequence of 5 modules with practical tips and guidance throughout. It shows how to install business incubation services within an existing producer organization. It takes the process of business support out of the hands of external agents and into the hands of self-financed producer organisations.