AID resources report

Material Information

AID resources report
Series Title:
AID resources report
Place of Publication:
Washington, D. C.
United States Agency for International Development
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 29 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Farming ( LCSH )
Agriculture ( LCSH )
Farm life ( LCSH )
Developing countries -- Agricultural education -- Periodicals ( LCSH )
serial ( sobekcm )


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Resource Identifier:
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Full Text


?/, OOzq
November/December 1981
No. 18






Harnessing animals

for pulling power

"A new emphasis is being placed on an-
imal traction-it results from the increased
cost of machinery, tractors, and parts for
repair. The poorest countries find that costs
of diesel and other fuels for power ma-
chinery are generally beyond the accept-
able costs for agricultural production,"
according to Douglas Butchart of AID's
Office of Agriculture.
The advantages of animal traction are
* It is useful for a variety of pulling power
needs-tillage, threshing, transporta-
tion, and pumping water.
* It lightens human workloads.
* It increases crop yields by expanding
the area of cultivation.
* It is affordable and culturally acceptable
when effectively introduced.
* Animals and equipment can be supplied
* For small farmers, it does not require
radical changes in cropping patterns or
the role of family or hired labor.

A Peace Corps manual, Animal Trac-
tion, is a practical guide to the selection,
care, and training of draft animals and to
the equipment and field techniques used
in animal-powered farming systems.
The manual is also a guide for extension
workers who teach animal traction skills.
It helps familiarize them with farm plan-
ning, financial assistance programs, vet-

Doubletree to wagon hitch. From Animal Traction.

erinary and artisan support systems, mar-
keting systems, and equipment supply and
distribution procedures.
The most common draft animals are cat-
tle, domestic water buffalo, horses, and
mules, but donkeys, camels, yaks, dogs,
reindeer, and elephants are used for trac-
tion in some parts of the world. A chapter
on selection of draft animals gives phys-
ical characteristics, work potential, and
geographic suitability for various animals.
Work expectations from animals are re-
lated to horsepower. A large horse can
pull a 150-pound load on a wheeled ve-
hicle at 2-1/2 miles per hour. Light horses,
bulls, buffalo, mules, and camels all pro-
vide about three-quarters horsepower, and
donkeys one-third horsepower.
At a natural pace and over an extended
period of time, an animal can be expected
to pull a load approximately one-tenth its
body weight.
Animal personalities. There are ani-
mal traits that also affect work potential.
For example, oxen will work longer hours
with a split shift, but donkeys may refuse
to work beyond three or four hours re-
gardless of work distribution or reduction
of load.

Tables in the manual show power re-
quirements for various farm implements
and field operations and list power poten-
tial of donkeys and oxen by weight and
numbers in the hitch (combination of an-
imals used). The choice of hitch is related
to the availability and cost of animals,
daily work potential, cost of harness, and
availability and cost of feed.
An animal traction program involves
more than animal feeding and care, train-
ing, and implements. An advisor should
assess a farmer's habits and needs, discuss
costs and profits, proper equipment,
whether donkeys would be more efficient
than oxen, and how the use of animals
would affect the distribution of labor.
An important factor in deciding to use
animal traction is its effects on the social
structure of a community-the increase in
the amount of labor needed for land prep-
aration, planting, and harvesting, and the
decrease in labor needed for primary til-
lage and weeding.
Extension agents should be aware of
ways to help farmers get financial assis-
tance. Getting credit for the purchase of
animals may require provision of an ani-
mal care plan, acquisition of an animal

Publications discussed in AID Resources Report may be ordered by using the enclosed Response Checklist.


health card, enrollment in an animal in-
surance policy program, and membership
in an animal clinic. Education of farmers
in the controls that credit agencies use for
monitoring (contracts, collateral, defaults,
repossessions) is important in the success
of a new animal traction program.

Care and feeding. The section on proper
care of animals covers feeding, shelter,
corrals, tethering, grooming, and minor
medical problems and first aid. Append-
ices include disease recognition and con-
trol (anthrax, blackleg, pleuropneumonia,
worms, scabies, and ticks) and animal nu-
trition (energy and nutrient needs, feeds
and their composition, and tables for cal-
culating rations).
Catching and controlling animals, with-
out hurting them or oneself, requires skill.
The training section details, with many
illustrations, how to catch and break var-
ious animals and how to teach them to
obey commands, accept harnesses and
yokes, and pull loads. Different.yokes and
harnesses are diagrammed and explained
for construction and use with individual
or teams of animals. Steering systems and
hitches for implements and vehicles are
covered in detail.
A chapter on field operations and im-
plements discusses plows and plowing,
correct lines of traction (vertical and hor-
izontal regulation), harrows and harrow-
ing, weeding, seeding, and ridging.

Collar harness. Illustration by John Homick for Creative Associates.

Beyond the advantages seen in farming,
animal traction encourages livestock pro-
duction, increases meat and milk supplies,
and creates income-generating opportun-
ities for blacksmiths, carpenters, leather
makers, and artisans.
Animal Traction is available free to
overseas readers of Resources Report. U.S.
readers may purchase it for $14.95 from
P.D. Press, 4419 39th Street, NW, Wash-
ington, DC, 20016, U.S.A. (Price in-
cludes postage.) U


Extending services with paraprofessionals

Due to a shortage of trained technicians,
many developing countries are turning to
paraprofessionalss" to extend agricul-
ture, health, and community development
services to rural communities.
Professionally qualified people, even
when available, often resist placement in
rural areas; and when they are placed in
isolated communities they often feel ali-
enated and ill-equipped to work in a re-
source-poor situation, according to Para-
professionals in Rural Development.
Paraprofessionals should not be re-
garded as merely low-cost substitutes for
qualified technicians. They often are more
culturally in tune with rural communities
than are highly trained specialists, and with
appropriate organizational support, they

can offer effective services, says the study
from Cornell University's Center for In-
ternational Studies. The Center is engaged
in a research project to determine strate-
gies of rural development that encourage
participation of rural people in the activ-
ities which affect their economic produc-
tivity and their quality of life.
What are the criteria for selecting para-
professionals? How much and what type
of training do they require? Should they
receive compensation? What are the ele-
ments needed for their supervision and
support? What is the role of community
participation in projects using paraprofes-
These are just some of the many topics
covered by this 149-page study, available

from Resources Report.
"The paraprofessional study was pre-
pared with practitioners in mind," notes
Milton J. Esman, co-director of the proj-
ect, "and while it doesn't pretend to offer
any absolute formulas, we think it will be
most valuable in identifying viable options
that project people can draw on."
Paraprofessional profile. The Cornell
group includes in its investigation front-
line workers in health and agriculture. The
persons referred to as paraprofessionals
usually have limited formal schooling or
preservice training. They originate and have
their roots in the service regions, speak
the local dialect, understand local cus-
toms, and share local conditions and life
styles. They maintain direct contact with
the population, are part of an organized
private or public agency, aid have a semi-
autonomous role in day-to-day operations.
Role. The roles of paraprofessionals are
varied. They include:

* educating communities about improved
practices or techniques;

* helping rural communities to acquire
outside goods and services;

* referring persons whose needs cannot
be met locally to appropriate facilities;

* keeping records, maintaining equip-
ment, collecting and analyzing data;

* demonstrating and testing innovations.

The Cornell research program, which
conducted field studies in Bolivia, Gua-
temala, the Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka,

L_ I

Resources Report

and Upper Volta, confirmed that para-
professionals can and do provide to the
rural poor-at relatively low cost-useful
services that would otherwise be unavail-
able. However, because of defective pro-
gram design, inadequate training, and,
above all, inadequate support, many para-
professional services are producing results
far below potential.
"We see programs operating with very
modest support systems at the periphery
of the main organization," comments Royal
D. Colle, co-director of the study. "But
the emphasis needs to be changed; para-
professionals need to have much stronger
organizational support out in the rural areas
if they are to contribute significantly to
the development of those areas."
The study details recommendations for
program designers and managers based on
the field research and a wide-ranging lit-
erature survey. 0


Written resources

for development

Whether you are looking for books about
agriculture, beekeeping, water supply and
sanitation, or any other development topic,
there is bound to be a book about it; and
chances are it will be listed in one of the
Appropriate Technology Sourcebook's two
volumes, produced by Volunteers in Asia.
The two volumes serve as a guide to prac-
tical books and plans for village and small
community technology.
The second volume, available from Re-
sources Report, reviews 500 publications
from around the world, covering such top-
ics as renewable energy devices, intensive
gardening, crop preservation, housing, and
health care. Published in January 1981,
Volume II updates Volume I and adds new
subjects such as forestry, aquaculture,
nonformal education, small enterprises,
strategies for self-reliance, and transpor-
tation. (Volume I was reviewed in Re-
sources Report's June 1978 issue.)
The introduction raises some of the main
concerns and issues about the state of ap-
propriate technology in relation to insti-
tutional change, policymaking, research
and development, science teaching, com-
munications, and income distribution.
Written for use by individuals and groups
around the world, the reviews cover basic

technical books and plans. Each entry con-
tains price and availability information.
Most of the materials reviewed describe
tools and techniques that:

emphasize the use of locally available
materials, in order to lower costs and
reduce supply problems;

are relatively labor intensive but more
productive than many traditional tech-

are small enough in scale to be afford-
able to individual families or small

can be adapted, manufactured, and
maintained by villagers whenever pos-
sible, without a high level of special

Tools and techniques should be adapted
to fit local materials, skills, and condi-
tions, and then carefully tested to be sure
that they are genuinely valuable in a new
setting, according to the authors.
The book contains some 300 illustra-
tions and plans for technicians, as well as
strategies for implementing technologies.
The importance of community involve-
ment is reinforced by the inclusion of a
nonformal education section which de-
scribes books such as Paulo Freire's Peda-
gogy of the Oppressed and Lyra Sriniva-
san's Perspectives on Nonformal Adult

A pedal-operated grain mill.
From Appropriate Technology Sourcebook, Volume II.
Volunteers in Asia.


Survival planning:

coping with disasters

Most injuries happen within the first one
or two days of initial impact of earth-
quakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tidal
waves, or destructive winds. As a result,
the immediate first aid, search, and rescue
is provided not by international agencies
but by the survivors themselves.
A country's preparedness determines the
success of the organization and delivery
of transport, first aid, medical care, and
supplies, according to Emergency Health
Management After Natural Disaster. The
manual, by the Pan American Health Or-
ganization (PAHO), summarizes the ef-
fects of disaster on human health and the
most effective ways of providing relief.
The manual, available from Resources
Report, dispels many widespread assump-
tions about post-disaster events. Supris-
ingly, it shows that massive social dis-
ruption, outbreaks of epidemic disease and
need for vaccination campaigns, famine,
and total dependence on outside relief do
not commonly follow disasters.
The information given is for decision
makers and senior administrators in dis-
aster-prone developing countries who are
responsible for providing health services
in the three or four weeks immediately
following a natural disaster.
Predisaster planning. Effective man-
agement of health relief services requires
extensive support from the public works
ministry, the armed forces, and the private
sector. A national emergency committee,
with at least one senior health official,
should be established to prepare disaster
plans and to coordinate or command emer-
gency activities.
A country's predisaster planning does
not consist of one-time preparation of a

A chapter on local self-reliance and ap-
propriate technology lists books about in-
tegrating high-level development policy
with locally based decision making. The
fact that choices made "at the top" cru-
cially affect what is possible "at the bot-
tom" is the focus of this section.
Volume II lists titles from Volume I
with page numbers for annotated refer-
ence. A list of periodicals and the ad-
dresses of development organizations, to-
gether with informative writeups at the
start of each section, make this book much
more than just a bibliography. a

IResources Rlpo

plan but is a continuous process in all es-
sential public sectors such as health, water,
and power. Drawing up operational plans,
stockpiling supplies, and compiling in-
formation is not adequate preparation.
Specific training in first aid, search and
rescue techniques, and public hygiene
should be taught to the population at risk.
After the disaster. Of primary impor-
tance in the immediate situation is envi-
ronmental health management. Most crit-
ical are adequate supplies of safe water,
basic sanitation facilities, disposal of ex-
creta and liquid and solid wastes, and shel-
ter. The next concerns are food hygiene,
vector control, and personal hygiene.
After the first few weeks, priorities
change from casualty treatment to primary
_health care to environmental health to tem-
porary shelters.
Also available from Resources Report
is Transition Housing for Victims of Dis-
asters, a manual focusing on the planning
of contractor-built housingprojects for low-
income families. The housing is designed
and constructed to provide for immediate
shelter needs in a way that prepares for
the orderly transition to permanent com-
Core housing. Instead of a complete
structure, the responsible organization
provides foundation, frame, supports, and
roof structure that are designed and rein-
forced so that the homeowner can fill in
the walls with available local materials and
progressively upgrade the structure after
moving in. Victims can begin moving into
this core housing after as little as two
Produced through AID's Offices of
Housing and U.S. Foreign Disaster As-
sistance (OFDA), the manual gives guide-
lines for localgovernmmnt reconstruction
officials as well as AID technicians. It
addresses land acquisition, site planning,
site development, and housing construc-
tion with specific designs for earthquake
and cyclone resistance.
Each chapter concludes with lessons
learned through experience in programs
using contractor-built, low-income hous-
ing. Among these are:

The longer land acquisition takes, the
greater its cost and the more likely that
victims will relocate elsewhere.
Redevelopment of demolished housing
areas is unsuccessful due to clearance
time and land ownership problems.
Adequate sanitation is the most impor-
tant utility to be provided and a key to
project success. E

PAHO's Disaster Preparedness Office, in
cooperation with AID's Office of Foreign
Disaster Assistance, provides books, films,
slide shows, and assistance with disaster
preparedness courses. PAHO also pub-
lishes Disaster Preparedness in the Amer-
icas, a quarterly newsletter in English and
Spanish distributed around the world. Write:
Editor, Disaster Preparedness in the
Americas, Pan American Health Organi-
zation, 525 23rd Street, NW, Washington,
DC, 20037, U.S.A. U



of health systems

Some of the highest costs in operating a
health service are for materials and sup-
plies, replacing and servicing equipment,
and maintaining capital assets such as
buildings. It is all the more expensive in
countries dependent on imported goods.
A well-planned and operated materials and
facilities management system is cost ef-
fective and can serve more people.
Materials and Facilities Management,
a manual from AID's Office of Rural De-
velopment and Development Administra-
tion, presents an innovative approach to
management improvement based on self-
analysis. It is one of a series of Manage-
ment Problem Solving (MAPS) manuals
for assessment and planning meant for
specialists involved in the improvement of
health programs; the improvement of man-
agement systems; and particularly, the im-
provement of health management systems
in developing countries.
A well organized materials manage-
ment system delivers the right item to the
place where it is needed, at the time it is
needed, and at the lowest cost. The system
consists of various functions: planning and
budgeting for materials; purchasing, re-
ceiving and inspecting; storage and ware-
housing; inventory control; requisition-
ing and distributing materials; maintenance
and repair; and environmental manage-
The manual helps a management unit
assess each of these functions. It is written
in a question and answer format. When
completed, it can serve as an organization
handbook with the names, job descrip-
tions, inventory, and budget figures for
the organization assessing itself. The
questions are not a checklist of good or

necessary practices; instead they help
identify what is being done now and what
might be appropriate.
The manual helps the book's user assess
such management concerns as standard-
ization of supplies and equipment, use of
centralized purchasing, personnel respon-
sibilities by job description, inspection and
recording of receivables, knowledge of
storage space security and utilization, and
how well employees understand the var-
ious systems.
The manual's management approach
focuses on task groups rather than on an
individual manager. Participants in the
process should represent all levels of the
organization, thus making it their own
process with their own standards-not
something imposed on them from the out-
Materials and Facilities Management,
available from Resources Report, is not
intended as a master plan for restructuring
an entire organization. The manual helps
the management unit gather the appropri-
ate information for problem assessment
and decision making. The questions should
be selected or modified to fit the purpose
of the assessment and the character of the
For more information on the series of
MAPS manuals: Personnel and Human
Resources Management, Patient Services,
Financial Management, Organizational
Design, Community and External Rela-
tions, and Options Analysis and Imple-
mentation, write Jeanne North, S&T/RAD,
Room 506, SA-18, AID, Washington, DC,
20523, U.S.A.

The goal of Resources Report is to identify
approaches to development which have worked
or seem promising, to describe new projects,
and to provide a useful medium for exchange of
information. Comments and suggestions are

AID Resources Report
Room 509, SA-14
Office of Development Information
and Utilization
Bureau for Science and Technology
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, DC 20523, U.S.A.

Produced by Creative Associates, Inc.
Project Director: Perry Ketchum
Editor, Issue No. 18: Diana E. Talbert
Associate Editor: Stephen M. Goldstein
Production Editor: Marcia Roman