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DRAFT TRIP REPORT, DG BOTSWANA MIAC ATIP EVALUATION
July 8-25, 1984
8 July: Arrived NYC/JFK approximately 6:00 pm. Met Chuck Francis,
Rodale Press (Team Leader), Cornelia Flora (KSU) and Boyd Whittle (AID/AFR)
and flew to Johannesburg, RSA with one stop in Monrovia, Liberia.
Subjective: I still feel it will be a very good team.
9 July: Team arrived J'burg approximately 6:00 pm, rented a car and spent the
night in the Jan Smutts Holiday Inn.
Subjective: Sat beside Boyd on flight over. He seems to be a
reasonable, non-hyper AID type who is such an old hand that he is retired and
participating on the evaluation on a RASA. Boyd spent 10 years in Brazil.
10 July: Team drove to Gaborone, Botswana. Upon arrival, met Anita Mackie
(ADO and ATIP Project Officer), Paul Guedet (USAID Mission Director, and
proceeded to housing arrangements. Dinner in evening was a working one at
home of David Norman, KSU COP. The basic logistics of the evaluation were
discussed, travel arrangements to Mahalapye and Francistown were made, and
both Norman and Mackie briefed the team. Francis made-a general statement on
behalf of the team stating that our role was one of supporting the project
however realistically possible.
Subjective: Many mixed emotions. Chuck Francis grew up in Modesto, CA
and attended Modesto High. Chuck swamped peaches during summers. Border
crossing took about one hour. The Boers basically took about as much of what
is now RSA as looks productive. The "homelands' we passed by were not the
highest quality land. I still have a strange feeling traveling through RSA.
In regard to the evaluation, I still feel no adversity, no hidden
agendas. I do not think the evaluation will be particularly difficult, except
that the project will probably not get as much out of the team as they would
like because of the shortened time frame. Regarding the SOWs, I see no
11 July: Visited Mahalapye FSR team and Central region, including a visit to
Shoshong village (one of two recommendation domains in the region). Before
the village visit, we had an excellent briefing by the Mahalapye team. lead by
Doyle Baker (agricultural economist) and Jay Siebert (agronomist). If
anything, I am overly impressed with the progress they have made. Not much
concrete in field trial yields, but the drought has devastated the area.
However, the thought going into the issues involved is first rate and is much
more than "just" David Norman: he has selected an excellent field staff.
12 July: Today the whole operation became much more clear to me. The project
is implementing FSR iteratively here, with definition of goals for each
croping season being determined each year. In addition, the flexibility
exists to (1) drop planned activities or (2) add activities, depending on the
way the cropping season develops.
The two largest problems facing the team, in my opinion, are
1. too much work planned for the size of staff and the given
logistical support and location of the RDs, and
2. lack of support -- a convert, if you will -- for the FSR
approach at the Batswana counterpart levels among the upper hierarch of the
DPS of the MOA.
There is nothing wrong with the planned institutionalization through
the (RAO + DAO) affecting the ADs, but such a process will only work, in the
final analysis, if they are supported by GOB personnel in upper level ag
research positions. It can be debated as to whether this support must occur
before or after the (RAO + DAO) + AD approach, but there is no doubt a start
on this upper-level political group must begin as soon as possible, preferably
during the next year.
Subjective: I have never seen a team with as many good ideas and as
much potential as the one in Mahalapye. Rather than be discouraged by two
successive years of drought, they are still enthusiastic and ready to get on
with their work. Their ability to face having to make hard priority choices
for research is excellent: they may need some help along this line when it
actually comes to dropping studies and trials. It is also very refreshing to
observe the inclusion of Batswana in both economics and agronomics via Chada
and Jonah. This is very commendable and will hopefully continue. However.
without the upper level research administrator support at some point soon.
these young Batswana will no doubt be frustrated as to (I) where to fit into
the system and (2) continuity of training and job.
We visited Makwate during the morning. Makwate is located about 80km
east of Mahalapye, not far from either the Tapi zone of eastern Botswana and
the RSA border. We met and travelled with the local support staff, who
translated our conversations with 3 area (collaborating) farmers. The
experience was extremely interesting: two of the three farmers we spoke with
Subjective feel even more optimistic about this evaluation than before.
There are some signs that AID/W may be somewhat more impatient for results
than I would be (as expressed by Boyd Whittle this evening over dinner), but in
general, Boyd was extremely impressed by the amount of work being done in
Mahalapye and the difficulty of the situaiton.
We left at 4:30 and drove 2-1/2 hours to Francistown (Botswana's second
largest town and fastest-growing metropolitan area).
This is the second evening I've used the PC5000, on the original
battery, and so far so good. I decided to leave all the electrical stuff
behind in Gaborone and carry only batteries, as we are only on a four-day,
three-nite trip. No way would I ever be able to use the machine for 24 hours
as busy as we are and as much travelling as we are doing. By the way. the
machine bounced around over 300 km of dirt roads so far in the bottom of my
suitcase in the back of a Toyota Landcruiser with no problems at all. I keep
that section of the suitcase filled with stuff and the unit surrounded by
clothes (especailly dirty underwear). I think if it can't bounce around too
much it will be OK. The
bigger question may be. will anyone else ever us it once this trip report is
13 July: Today was a very full one as we visited the three villages served by
the Francistown MIAC/KSU FSR team after a brief oriention in the office. The
team consists of Berle Koch, livestock specialist, Wayne Miller. agricultural
economist and Geoff Heinrich. agronomist. Of the three, only Koch has tenure
Twelve of us in two Toyota Landcruisers visited the DAO of Tutume. the
head man of each village and farmers) in each village. We began in the
extreme north of the project territory (Matobo), passed through Marapong and
concluded our village visits at Mathangwane before returning to Francistown.
Our lunch, at the Sunshine Restaurant, featured mealies (corn meal paste) and
meat with fat cakes on the side and a coca cola for less than PI.00 each.
1P=0.7485 U.S.S. It was quite good.
As we drove, I spoke extensively with both Geoff and Wayne. In
general I think they have done a remarkablely good job given the fact they
have been in Botswana less than one year. There-is a very conscious effort to
work together at the 10 farms selected in each village. While the livestock
intervention (mineral supplement) may not lead anywhere and may not be
integrated into FSR, it is an entire into both the livestock area of the
system, and a way to facilitate discussion of the livestock/cropping
Again the basic issues are institutionalization and the future of the
junior Batswana staff. Perhaps David will have to pay more attention to the
former, although being such a microeconomist. he may not be able to. In this
case, I would recommend putting someone in Gaborone to work on this issue with
and for the team.
In regard to the junior GOB staff, there are both short- and long-term
problems. The long-term problems have to do with the credibility of the
project itself in the eyes of the Batswana leadership of the MOA. Once the
project is institutionalized at the upper level, things will improve for their
futures. In the shorter run. they do a large amount of work and do not always
see any benefit of it to themselves. Rewarding them properly for their
activities often is either illegal or impossible.
Subjective: The ability of David N to careful select all of these
individuals and hold off both KSU and MIAC in the process is more and more
evident. Such success means that two processes have to occur:
1. The COP must be very carefully chosen and, for FSR
projects, such an individual should have had extensive and practical FSR
2. The lead contractor must commit sufficient time to the
recruiting process so as to satisfy the needs of the COP regarding staff.
This may require planning for even more lead time than usual in AID contracts.
In general, I have a very good feeling about this team. I think it
would be very difficult to find two others as good. The Francistown team is
likely to encounter more problems in locally institutionalizing the project
because there are fewer ADs in this agricultural region, and because there are
no GOB T-4s assigned to this region for the project.
14 July: The evaluation team met from 8:00 to noon with the Francistown FSR
team for refinement of issues, discussion of the major observations and
suggestions of the team. and for input from the Francistown perspective to the
evaluation. After taking our leave we departed for Gaborone at about 1:00.
The trip back lasted until about 5:45. when we were dropped off at the
Project's guest house by David N and the driver.
The major substantive issues discussed included:
1. What are the ways in which drought should be considered?
Is it abnormal? How abnormal? Are they cyclical? (Within each specific
year, data show it is impossible to predict what type of a rainfall year it
will be until after January of the given cropping year: by then it is too
late for the farmers.) Unfortunately, stand establishment depends more on
rainfall after planting than on any other factor: however, this is precisely
what is impossible to predict in advance. Moisture conservation may be
another key to tnis: how to conserve is the difficult point at which to
2. Institutionalization issues: at some point, this has to
occur at some high level within the MOA. One entire is someone at Gaborone part
time to work on these issues. A possibility is providing administrative
backup for DN so that he can pick this up. A second is another person
strictly for this. All alternatives have their cost. For the first, who
would be the administrator? For the second, who would be the liason person
Finally, seven issues were discussed with the Francistown team. These
1. Integration of agronomy and livstock research.
2. Use of agronomic technical recommendations from Sebele research
3. Regarding diagnosis, there is a need for good answers to relevant
questions, which implies a need for (a) good enumerators and (b) more rapport
with farmers and households.
4. There is a need to lessen the emphasis on obtaining data on several
of the non-agricultural items in the MVRU survey and move to more emphasis on
one-time, focused surveys over a larger selection of households. In addition,
more time can be spent examining some of the more important exogenous
(institutional) issues influencing regional farmers.
5. There are statistical problems associated with the loss of such a
large # of agronomic trials to droughts and then attempting to extrapolate
from the small sample results. If the number of trials is kept constant at
the "normal" ;, this implies that next year will have 'normal" rainfall. Is
this assumption justified?
6. In concentrating efforts in the Francistown region, it may be best
to drop those farm households from the surveys or from monitoring who have the
largest investment in off-farm work/employment and are therefore assumed to be
more part-time farmers with too dilute a decision-making framework to give
enough management consideration to farming.
7. While everyone understands the importance of the livestock/crop
interaction in the system, w/n the MOA, the Department of Animal Health and
the DAR are completely separate. It is difficult to join crop research w/
animal research at the field level for this reason.
Following our return to Gaborone, we had dinner with the Norman's and
the Hobbs' (ass't to DN). Following dinner, Anita Mackie and DN again briefed
the team on next week's schedule and provided the evaluation team w4th some
good background information on some of those with whom we are to meet.
Subjective: After meeting those in Francistown on the MIAC project, I
would have to say i've never encountered better personnel on any FSR project
anywhere. I really think DB, JS, WM, GH and BK are top-notch, dedicated
researchers committed to doing their best for Botswana through the FSR
approach. DN's propensity to let each team have its head and develop its own
implementation style of FSR is probably the best possible strategy, because
there is just too much risk involved with forcing- them all to use an identical
strategy given the small buffer between sub-subsistence and starvation these
farmers face and the very severely limited on-shelf technological possibilities
for crop production improvements.
15 July: A very interesting and productive day. We began by meeting over
breakfast with Art Hobbs and Howard Sigwele. Art reviewed his 2 years here:
what he was doing as RELO (Research-extension liason officer), some of his
functions, hopes and exasperations. He and Howard are both pretty worried,
with reason, about training.
After breakfast we went outside with Howard and chatted. He feels
Mishak Makone will move into the PS position. maybe this year but certainly
quite soon. The present PS, who is an expat, retires very soon and the GOB
almost assuredly won't replace him with another expat.
All of this is quite important, since Mishak is both Howard's boss and
one of the main "uncommitted" individuals on the future of the MIAC FSR
project. As DtPS (Deputy PS), he also is directly over BAC, DAR and DAFS.
This all has implications for institutionalization and policy.
After breakfast, we met, redivided the workload on the SOWs (Scopes of
Work), and worked the rest of the day at USAID. They have made two Wangs
available to us, as well as secretarial support. Why can't other missions be
I Finished approximately one-half of my sections today, but still have
the bulk of reading to do. Neal and Chuck both were able to get considerably
more done on their assignments. Boyd spent most of the day reading documents.
We all returned to the guest house and I began to print out stuff for
the first time. Print-outs included references, contacts, acronyms and two
substantive sections. Both of the sections are too long.
One trouble with the PC5000 is that the print ribbons don't last very
long. I only brought one exrta and the original is gone. The 5 sections took
about 3/4 of the new one. I broke the old one apart and rewound it. It may
not work a second time, but it is worth a try. Rewinding one ribbon consumes
about an hour of time (I was also printing: thus changing paper). My advice
is to take a whole 5-pack at least of ribbons on any of these trips. (Update:
rewound ribbons work)
(Editorial: This evaluation team is, without a doubt, is the most
congenial I've been on. We'll see how congenial we remain when push comes to
shove a.d all of the rewrite starts.)
Subjective: I wish I could figure out why DN seems so pessimistic.
He has had a hard time with the Mission director. but that isn't all of it. I
beleive this drought has really gotten to him.
1I July: This is the first of two national holidays. We spent the entire day
working on the evaluation report. The speed with which a team can assemble
any given report is very much increased by having access to word processors at
USAID Missions. This Mission made two Wangs available, so CF and NF have been
using them while I use the PC5000.
Yesterday I had to delete (erase) some documents on the B bubble to allow more
storage space. The funny thing is that about one-half of the documents cannot
be edited. The message reads. 'Documents of this type CANNOT be edited." At
first I thought they were "internal" to the bubble, but several of the
documents I put on the bubble before leaving G'ville cannot be edited. The
problem with erasing them is I don't know whether or not they are important.
Then again, even if they are, they cannot be used for anything so might as
well be erased. I'!l wait until returning to G'ville an call NJ. because I
cannot locate this error message in the manual. (Update: many of the
documents were backup documents and unneccesary. It would be best to have
more than one working bubble, though).
Subjective: DN didn't seem quite so pessimistic tonight at dinner.
In fact, he cheered up a little when I told him about the great timing of the
ATIP project. His first response was, "what do you mean, great timing?" My
point is that a project which begins during a severe drought -- collecting
baseline yield data -- can only look better in five years: no drought cycle
has lasted that long!
17 July: This was the second of two national holidays. This fact alone has
made it so much easier to work at the USAID building and interact without
having to be careful of what we say or to whom we say it. In addition, it has
been great for CF and NF to have access to Wangs: the report is coming along
We have addressed the evaluation by redividing everyone's SOWs. I've
done some of the general agronomist, the sociologist and the agronomist.
Fortunately I've gotten rid of many of my sections as well.
18 July. Today was filled with meetings, especially those with MOA personnel
in the morning. Those met in the MOA included:
(1) Mr. O. Masolotate. Chief Crop Production Officer. DAFS
(2) Mr. Mishak Makone. Deputy Permanent Secretary of Agriculture
(3) Mr. Justice Mathake, Principal Agricultural Officer. DAFS
(4) Dr. R. Minor. Deputy Director, Veterinary Services
S(5) r. John Larsen, Agricultural Economist, USDA/DPS (Division of
Planning and Statistics, MOA)
(6) Mr. David Findlay, Permanent Secretary of agriculture
(7) Mr. David Gollifer, Director. Agricultural Research, DAR
(8) Ms. Yvonne Merafe, Director, Rural Sociology Unit. MOA.
In general, everyone we met was quite pleased with the project. The
PS views the project as a long-run program: he fully expects
institutionalization of FSR through the ATIP project to occur. So does
Mishak, but he is more guarded as to his support for the pr.oject.
The philosophical support for ATIP FSR is very high among DAFS
personnel. Interesting how FSR is more intuitively obvious to extension
personnel sometimes than it is to researchers.
The PS also views the eventual location of ATIP as being within the
DAFS, not the DAR. This would make f9r an interesting organogram. It would
simplify the problems of having the RELO in DAFS while the rest of ATIP is in
DAR, but there may be a problem of guaranteeing a real commitment by research
if ATIP leaves DAR for relocation in DAFS.
19 July: Met today with representatives of the IFPP and the EFSAIP projects.
These are both FSR-type projects. funded with British monies. IFPP is
scheduled to end fairly soon with no institutionalization having taken place
within the MOA. EFSAIP has been going on for 8-10 years and has produced some
intermediate technology farm implements -- namely an animal or tractor drawn
planting bar and planter -- which was developed on the Sebele station and not
really tested under farmer conditions. Unfortunately the soils of Sebele are
not too representative of the rest of the country, especially those of the
most limited-resource farmers. Thus, the tool doesn't work too well on-farm.
Part of the hope of ATIP is to work with EFSAIP to screen these types of items
before they reach farmer's fields.
20 July: Handed draft copies of evaluation summary points to those at USAID
(Guedet, Mackie and Butler) and the MOA (via Howard Sigwele) in the morning.
Met for a short period of time in the afternoon to discuss their reactions to
the recommendations. Everything was seen as OK (after a good deal of
discussion on participant training), but in need of more justification. We
all took notes and will do more justification.
Took David and Linda Norman out to dinner. This became the third in a
continuing series of working dinners. David is somewhat relieved that those
of us on the evaluation team have not come up with several 'unique" solutions
to the problems of the limited-resource Batswana farmers. He was beginning to
wonder if they were all overlooking something.
(Editorial: Frankly, if Botswana could resolve the competition
between the livestock sector and the wild game sector, stressing commercial
tourism would go a long way toward providing more foreign exchange. But then.
the immediate problem is not one of more foreign exchange, but the triple
issues of food grain self-sufficiency, rural employment creation and equity.
These are hard nuts to crack all at once.)
21 July: Finished the final first draft copy of the evaluation report by
about 2:30pm. Anita Mackie picked up the copies to be distributed to Guedet,
Butler, Taylor and herself. Chuck F went off to be with his former students
for the evening, while Neal, Boyd and myself went to the annual Botswanacraft
basket auction at the- National Museum.
22 July: Spent the entire day reading the report and editing it.
23 July: Met with the GOB MOA and representatives from the Ministry of
Finance concerning our recommendations.- There was little discussion and
pretty much universal acceptance for them. Of course. there was little
controversial and the big issues -- more training, continuity and
institutionalization, and the inclusion of social science into the field teams
-- had been discussed frequently and often with most of the persons at the
Those in attendance numbered 18 and included David Findlay, Permanent
Secretary, E. J. Kemsley, Principle, Botswana Agricultural College. Lucretia
Taylor, Evaluation Officer. USAID/B, Anita Mackie, Project Manager,
USAID/B-ATIP, Ed Butler, Deputy Director, USAID/B, K.S.W. Tibi, outgoing
Principle, Botswana Agricultural College, Howard Sigwele, DPS/MOA, Stewart
Jones, DAR (for David Gollifer), Art Hobbs, RELO/ATIP, David Norman. COP/ATIP,
H. 0. Masolotate, DAFS/MOA, Kenn Ellison, Ministry of Finance, R. G. Morgan,
Ministry of Finance, John Larson. DPS/MOA (for Mishak Makone, Deputy PS), and
the four evaluators: DG, Neal Flora, Chuck Francis and Boyd Whittle.
Met with Anita Mackie and David Norman following the MOA meeting. We
incorporated several of their suggestions into the draft report.
The evaluation team leader, Chuck F, left Gaborone for Tanzania this
afternoon. The rest of the team met with USAID reps (Guedet, Taylor, Butler
and Mackie) From 2:00 until 5:00pm. They gave us page-by-page feedback on the
completed draft text report. We spent the rest of the day and evening
incorporating their suggestions into the final hard copy version left behind.
24 July: Made final corrections on the evaluation report, leaving a hard copy
in Gaborone with USAID and bringing back a photocopy (Neal Flora has it). We
will receive a copy of the report when the corrections are put into the report
via the Wang. We took our leaves of people and returned to Johannesburg by
car, driving the 500km from Gaborone to J'burg in about six and a half hours.
1. I left two memos behind in Gaborone. One attempted to explain FSSP
policy in anticipation of a request for FSR orientation training for
field-level extension workers (you should have seen a copy of this by the time
this report reaches you). The second was to David N and summarized some of
the conversations we had had over the course of the evaluation. It attempted
to tie up some loose ends before I forgot them. (Again, you should have seen
this as well.)
2. The Sharp PC5000 worked well in general. However, it is heavy: I
estimate with the printer, bubbles, extra batteries, extra ribbons, xerox
paper, adaptor, convertors, extra cord, etc., all weigh about 20 pounds.
There is no danger of loss of documents from the bubble memories in passing
through airport scanners (I checked with Sharp in New Jersey before leaving).
The printer platen needs adjusting on the left side.