Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 The FSSP evolution
 The regional effort
 Communicating FSR/E worldwide
 Farming systems symposium
 Postscript: From concept to...
 Project personnel

Group Title: Training, networking and technical assistance : the product and processes of the Farming Systems Support Project 1982-1987
Title: Training, networking and technical assistance
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055280/00001
 Material Information
Title: Training, networking and technical assistance the product and processes of the Farming Systems Support Project 1982-1987
Alternate Title: Final report of the Farming Systems Support Project
Physical Description: 24 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Farming Systems Support Project
University of Florida
United States -- Agency for International Development
Publisher: Farming Systems Support Project
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1988?]
Subject: Agriculture -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- International cooperation   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: "A cooperative agreement between the University of Florida and the United States Agency for International Development ... Cooperative Agreement No. DAN-4099-A-00-2093-00, Project No. 936-4099"--P. 1.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055280
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 18822411

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
    The FSSP evolution
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    The regional effort
        Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
        Latin America
            Page 9
        Asia and the Near East
            Page 10
            Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Communicating FSR/E worldwide
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Farming systems symposium
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Postscript: From concept to practice
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Project personnel
        Page 24
Full Text
/5- /52


A final report of the
Farming Systems
Support Project
A cooperative agreement
between the University of
Florida and the United States
Agency for International

The support entity base of the FSSP
consisted of 21 universities and four
consulting firms.
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
Colorado State University
Cornell University
University of Florida
University of Hawaii
University of Illinois
Iowa State University
Kansas State University
University of Kentucky
Lincoln University
Michigan State University
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri (Columbia)
Tuskegee University
North Carolina State University
Southern Illinois University
Pennsylvania State University
Virginia State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
State University
Washingnton State University
Agriculture Development
Consultants, Inc.
Development Alternatives, Inc.
Research Triangle Institute
Winrock International Institute for
Agricultural Development
Cooperative Agreement No.
Project No.: 936-4099





AFRICA ..............



TRAINING ..............

WORLDWIDE ...........


TO PRACTICE ...........





Systems Support
was put in place by USAID's Bureau for Science and Technology (S&T) between late 1981
and mid-1982 to strengthen the technical and human resource capabilities of the large
number of farming systems research and extension (FSR/E) projects that ISAID was
funding throughout the world at that time.

As such, the FSSP was designed as
a worldwide field support project
which was to respond to bilateral
FSR/E project needs and to provide
leadership in developing methodological
consensus among USAID FSR/E
projects. In its original design, the FSSP
was to strengthen USAID's FSR/E efforts
through technical assistance, training,
networking, and state-of-the-art research
This final report of the Farming Systems
Support Project (FSSP) differs from other
end-of-project reports for USAID contracts.
But then, the FSSP was unlike previous

USAID projects in many ways. It was not a
research project with specified research
objectives to pursue and achieve. Rather,
it was a project conceived to take shape
according to the interests and needs of its
numerous potential clients. It evolved to
meet the conditions of a new approach to
conducting research and extension, one
that became more clearly defined as the
project matured. The FSSP was directly
responsible for a number of activities that
shaped the definition of FSR/E, but it was
also a collaborator and facilitator, a partner
with many other projects, programs,
institutions, and individuals who also

played crucial roles in shaping the
approach. FSSP is perhaps best viewed as
a project of process and people, rather
than specified achievements. To construct
a final report requires telling the story of
the project and people involved. This final
report is just that, a story, written by several
people and consisting of many parts. It is
not meant to be all inclusive, but rather to
give a sense to the interested reader of
what the project was about, what happened
during its life, the problems it faced, and
the general outcome of its efforts.m

By the time the cooperative agreement was
signed between the University of Florida
THE FSSP and USAID in September 1982, initial

E Vcompetiton for leadership of the
project had been replaced by a
E V O L-I1desire for collaboration in what
was to become the FSSP support entity network This support entity network emerged with
a memorandum of agreement, an advisory council, a technical committee and numerous
support functions.

Chris Andrew
Director, FSSP 1982-1987
any people wanted to be involved
in the network. The support
entities expected to be
strengthened programmatically because
of involvements with the project. Each
participating institution identified a
program leader, an administrative
coordinator and program associates to
facilitate institutional affiliation with FSSP
and to coalesce their own respective
programs. Resources through depart-
ments, centers and programs at these
institutions were committed to strengthen-
ing the U.S. domestic capacity to provide
support to AID farming systems activities
through the FSSR Financial gain was not
an anticipated benefit of participation in
FSSP This attitude provided the basis for
establishing a unique network among
U.S. universities for international work,
profoundly different than any previously
Each of the participating institutions
identified within its ranks faculty or staff
dedicated to committing themselves and
some of their time to leading about and
then delivering the technical assistance
and training activities necessary to support
FSR/E efforts in conjunction with and
under the leadership of the FSSR These
individuals or program associates num-
bered over 540 and 90% of them came
from the university community of col-
laborators. The remainder were indepen-
dent consultants from all over the world
with the appropriate experience and
credentials to offer to the support and
development of FSR/E.
While the purpose of the project was to
deliver technical assistance, training, and
network development to the third world,
particularly in Africa, one of the important
results of its organization and collaborative
activity was the development and
strengthening of a support capability of the
FSSP Network as a support system for
USAID. The FSSP Network collectively
developed its own identity, mission and
methodology to support FSR/E. The
network, although now informal, is ready

for more than what was envisaged to
support the FSSP. It has the potential to
alter the way in which U.S. agricultural
research and extension institutions
support the international development of
agriculture. FSSP was merely a starting
Early work in the FSSP was facilitated
by well-qualified management on the part
of the Science and Technology Bureau,
Agriculture, USAID. The attitude was
facilitative and flexible, allowing rapid
emergence of mission-level programming
and diagnostic work to determine project
direction. Since the FSSP began without
the mandated direction of the CRSPs,
bilateral contracts and other technical
support activities, the FSSP's collaborative
management approach was essential in
order to serve the intent of its cooperative
agreement. Given both the diagnostic and
design orientation of early demands on the
project, as well as the need to move
immediately into the field, collaborative
management from the lead entity drew its
advisory support through the support
entities and the Agency.
The FSSP Advisory Council
Following the 1982 FSSP Annual
Meeting an Advisory Council began its role
as an advisory body and sounding board
for policy to the FSSP director on behalf
of the support entity network. It began with
provisional status until specific policies and
procedures could be established for the
Council to function. Policies, procedures
and membership on the Advisory Council
were confirmed at the FSSP Annual
Meeting in 1983.
The Council was composed of three
members representative of the support
entities within the FSSP and mandated to
represent their collective interests. FSSP
was particularly fortunate, and benefited
immeasurably in having individuals on the
Advisory Council throughout the life of the
project who were sincerely committed to
their task. The Council exercised diplo-
macy in fairly and judiciously representing
the interests of the support entity network,
and in providing guidance and direction to
project management. Among several

contributions, the Council assisted in
drawing up the base Memorandum of
Agreement including articles for support
entity participation, took responsibility for
chairing the FSSP annual meeting, met
quarterly with project management and
the director in administrative and program
issues, gave guidance to the technical
committee structure, membership and
mandate and represented FSSP before
various meetings, particularly within
USAID Washington.
The FSSP's three-member advisory
council was sufficiently small to take quick
action and was able to do so readily with
the cooperative direction provided by the
USAID/S&T project manager and the
FSSP director and core staff at the
University of Florida. The functional
agreement was that each of the three
major actors (project manager, director's
office, advisory council) had a specific role
to play and that overlap or turf issues would
be minimized based upon defined
1. The project manager agreed to
manage USAID relations, provide
leadership and training to the core staff
in establishing mission level linkages,
and to oversee contract office interac-
tions to meet USAID mission demands.
The project manager also took
responsibility for developing and
maintaining linkages with regional
bureaus relative to project planning
and general collaboration.
2. The project director and core staff
were responsible primarily for bringing
the program and support dimension
to bear on USAID needs at the mission
level. Particular emphasis was on the
substantive- and content-oriented
issues of FSR/E and the linkage issues
associated with involving varied
university and complementary re-
sources with problem solving needs of
FSR/E projects.
3. The Advisory Council's responsibility
was a sounding board and a source of
information for structuring the support
entity network to provide sustained
collaboration with a mission orientation

to serve USAID needs. The council
advised in the establishment of the
technical committee, working groups,
and various programming aspects that
emerged from those two activities to
provide leadership for the process of
synthesis, consensus and growth in the
area of methodology of FSR/E.
The FSSP Technical Committee
Established as the only standing
committee of the FSSP the Technical
Committees responsibility was to serve as
a technical resource base and to address
technical support needs of the project. Its
role was also to ensure that common goals
were served in the overall FSSP program
and that the integrity of the farming
systems approach to research and
extension was maintained in project
undertakings and activities. Creation and
oversight of various ad hoc committees
and task groups to further the knowledge
base in various methodological and
technical areas was also a function of the
Technical Committee.
The Committee was representative of
both a range of disciplines and broad
support entity representation to ensure a
multidisciplinary capability and inter-in-
stitutional relations.
This set of major organizational ac-
complishments was achieved between
January and October 1983. The structure
was fully functional by October 1984 and
the impact of FSSP on FSR/E consensus
and thought was felt in various parts of the
world. Linkage of the Technical Committee
to regional networks further strengthened
peer associations and agreement about
FSR/E methodologies. The Technical
Committee was strengthened in 1985 and
1986 by the addition of representatives
from the regions of Asia, Africa and Latin
America. From this base, participation by
numerous program associates (or faculty)
within the support entity structure, espe-
cially in the development and review of
training materials, further intensified a
synthesis-to-consensus process. The
consensus building was free and open
bringing wide ranging dimensions into
focus. The process recognized and
accepted varied forms of on-farm research
and extension methodology necessary for
unique biophysical and socioeconomic

Colorado State University was one of the first
to cement its farming systems relationship with
the FSSP with the signing of a Memorandum
of Agreement. Acting on behalf of their
respective Institutions are (1-r): H. L. Popenoe,
Director of International Programs, University
of Florida: C. O. Andrew, Director of Farming
Systems Support Project: and J. Meiman,
Director of International Programs, Colorado
State University.

When USAID programming for farming
systems shifted away from worldwide
support efforts to emphasis on West Africa,
both the FSSP management and the
various support entities had something to
lear about potential networking and
training development in that region. Lack
of training materials and people geared to
presentations in French and varied degrees
of research capability, among other
constraints, were networking challenges.
Adaptive work by excellent people in
collaboration with national entities and
USAID missions, stimulated program
emergence much more rapidly than most
people anticipated. It was not as rapid,
however, as others desired in terms of
establishing commodity networks in the
An important West African regional
network did emerge. Participants in several
regional activities identified the need for
emphasis on mixed crop and livestock
systems. To that end, FSSP resources,
in collaboration with those from interna-
tional donors and the Interational
Livestock Center for Africa (ILCA), estab-
lished a network of interested research and
extension scientists (WestAfrica Integrated
Livestock Network) that can perform
effectively in the future if support is
sustained until the overall program reaches
maturity. Deliberate action and patience
has paid off with careful identification of
African leaders to participate in the
network. Patience is required because
these individuals are busy in their respective
national programs and cannot give
undivided attention to regional networks. It
is recognized that regional participation will

provide valuable input to the collaborating
scientists. Likewise, direction for such an
organization must come from national
participants or a long-term sustained effort
cannot be achieved. To that end steering
committees and leaders were drawn from
nationals, which slowed the process but
made it more secure. While productive
workshops and considerable interest have
emerged, it is now that the process can
begin to bear fruit in terms of long-term
research contributions and cooperation.
This process however, requires continued
support to become fully self-sustained.
Financial support through USAID as well
as from other govemment development
agencies such as those of Germany and
Canada, is greatly appreciated by the
network and may lead to a viable long-term
Numerous other interactions could be
mentioned where collaborative efforts,
direct involvement and backstop by FSSP
support entities have been exemplary.
Collaboration relative to programming for
Asia was outstanding, yet no funding
emerged to support an Asian program.
That collaboration and cooperation
remains as a particularly capable source
for support to USAID should the Agency
decide to use it.
A caution is in order as we consider the
future for the U.S. Farming Systems
Network. A trust has been established
within the support entity system. It is
unique and sometimes delicate. Misuse of
biodata, for example, can injure the trust.
Selection of one support entity over others
to perform a task of pervasive importance
without collaboration and communication

relative to that selection process can injure
the collaborative relationship. With consid-
erable care, a relationship that focuses on
multidisciplinary involvements in FSR/E
has definitely been established which
outlives FSSP regardless of the funding
horizon. This unique resource, if nurtured,
can provide a support base to USAID and
others over a long period of time. To
maintain interest within this support base
only minor financial investments are
necessary. To ignore the base, however, will
send a signal to those who have given
unselfishly of their institutional and
personal resources to the program.
It is impossible to say what the absolute
dollar match by USAID missions, other
donors, support entities, IARCs and
national programs was to FSSP activity.
The project stimulated the mobilization of
many human and information resources at
minimal cost to the project but often at
substantial cost to collaborating entities.
Yet, FSSP was criticized at times because
mission buy-ins were not of a level
competitive with other projects in USAID.
The project was managed so that adminis-
trative and bureaucratic maneuvers were
minimized, including exchange of funds. In
many cases this removed the need for
handling funds through extra contract
offices and agents or eliminated the need
for international money exchanges and
transfers. The goal was to manage the


funds as close to the client activity as
Careful study of the overall record
indicates that mission fund matches come
from bilateral contractors both in the field
and at the home institution. It is impossible
to identify the extent to which these
matches augmented the resource base of
the FSSR Nevertheless, the multiplier
effects were considerable and numerous
hours were "freely" contributed to activities
such as work groups, task forces, training
unit development teams, symposia,
councils and technical committees -
where no federal monies have been
expended. The States, their universities,
their offices of Intemational Agricultural
Programs, their departments and their
faculties viewed FSSP as a worthwhile
investment The attitude in delivering such
support has been positive and conducive
to an active and productive multidiscipli-
nary and multi-institutional core of
program associates. Most of the FSSP
Program Associates did not know each
other in 1982, but now, largely as a result
of the FSSR function intensively as
colleagues across many disciplinary and
institutional boundaries. This may well be
one of the most important and long-lasting
achievements of the FSSP It would be
incorrect to say that the FSSP in-
stitutionalized FSR/E within the 25
cooperating support entities. Yet the

essence of the FSSP goes well beyond
apparent contributions. The FSSP provided
a mechanism for faculty members with
interest in farming systems to collaborate
as well as communicate with practitioners
from around the world. It did not provide
an institutional network per se, but a
network of faculty and professionals
belonging to an important institutional
resource base. FSR/E, it must be remem-
bered, is methodology, not an institutional
construct. The institutional dimensions
enjoyed by FSSP resulted from the strength
of the participating institutions and the
various parent entities affiliated with those
institutions, (such as the Land Grant
Association and AUSUDIAR the profes-
sional societies of agronomy, agricultural
economics, and others), along with a host
of other inter-institutional mechanisms.
Somehow the right ingredients formed
within the FSSP to provide for a unique
congruity of thoughts and practices in the
support network to achieve support for
FSR/E based USAID programs and FSR/E
programs of other donors. The United
States Agency for International Develop-
ment can take considerable credit for
initiating a project that stimulated this
unprecedented collaboration. Future
support efforts in USAID and through the
donor community will surely benefit from
the FSSP experience.

The FSSP coopem-

THE RE IOf1/Lassigned fify per-
F FT cent of project activities to support USAID mission
programs in Africa. Remaining project support was
AF F ORto be divided between Asia and Latin America.
FSSP assigned a core staff person to be responsible for each region. By the end of 1983,
an FSSP regional strategy had evolved that included pro-active support and development
of activities in Africa with direct core staff involvement, a response strategy to Latin America
that drew largely upon Latin American institutions and FSR/E specialists and minimized
FSSP core staff involvement, and a reactive stance toward support for FSR/E in Asia.

Susan Poats
Associate Director, FSSP 1983-1987
Given the relative maturity of Asian
FSR/E activities and the strengths
of the various national, regional,
and international institutions already
providing support for FSR/E in the region
at the time of FSSP initiation, fewer
immediate requests for FSSP involvement
were anticipated and the project was
essentially "on hold" with regard to Asia
for the first year and a half. Core staff
time concentrated on building support
entity capabilities to provide technical
services and support to USAID missions,
and on developing materials for technical
assistance and training.
While this strategy was consistent with
USAID needs as perceived in Washington,
it did not reflect the (then) current demands
for FSR/E support activities from projects
and practitioners in the field. A cable
announcing the types of support services
that could be accessed by USAID missions
from the FSSR sent out shortly after the
project began, generated numerous
requests for activities from Latin America,
and some from Asia, but virtually none
from Africa. The fewAfrican requests came
from projects already established in East
and Southem Africa, but there were none
from West Africa, the region where USAID
Washington wanted FSSP to target 50
percent of its effort. The uneven regional
response probably reflected the longer
historical development of FSR/E in Latin
America and Asia, as well as the simple
fact that requests for support activities were
more likely to come from older existing
projects and programs that knew what
FSR/E was and could articulate an
appropriate request. Apart from Senegal
and Nigeria, and to a lesser extent in Mali,
FSR/E efforts were just being initiated in
the region when the FSSP began. Several
USAID projects were in early planning or
design stages, but it was too early for
requests for support. Existing agricultural

development projects were not designed to
include FSR/E and it would take time for
the participants to leam about the approach
before requests could be generated. From
the FSSP management viewpoint, this was
not necessarily a problem because the
project had the resources to conduct
activities in the Latin American and Asian
regions and draw upon and apply these
experiences while working with newer
projects and programs in Africa. In
essence, the situation offered the opportu-
nity to facilitate inter-regional networking
and collaboration which would result in
better FSR/E work and the generation of
useful training and technical assistance
However, by 1984, USAID programming
for farming systems had shifted away from
worldwide support efforts to an emphasis
on Africa, and in particular, West and
Central Africa. USAID's regional program in
East and Southem Africa decided to
extend and expand the funding of the
CIMMYT on-farm research program in
order to provide sufficient FSR/E support
to USAID FSR/E projects in the region.
FSSP was instructed to curtail activities in
Asia and Latin America while channeling
all pro-active support to West and Central
Africa. The project was also encouraged to
limit direct support and interaction with
East and Southem Africa and instead
collaborate with CIMMYT-directed efforts.
At the same time, indications of
impending budget cuts in the Science and
Technology Bureau were becoming
stronger. Following the 1984 FSSP annual
meeting, project management was
informed a cut in the budget of up to 25%
might be necessary, resulting in drastic
curtailment of regional activities, especially
outside West and Central Africa. Then in
early 1985, the possibility of budget cuts
was dispelled in a session at USAID
reveiwing the 1985 workplan, and regional
planning of delivery activities continued,
though programming for Asia and Latin
America was somewhat limited. FSSP

moved ahead with planning for activities
scheduled in the three regions and began
preparations for the mid-term evaluation
set for June 1985.
Optimism for continuing worldwide
activities was shortlived as it became
apparent that workplan and budget
approval was premature. The FSSP budget
was cut by over 1 million dollars (14% of
the total but about 35% of the funds
scheduled to complete the project) in 1985
before the mid-term evaluation took place.
Despite the cut, USAID called for the
project to make plans to place a core staff
person in the West and Central African
region for the remaining two years of the
project. This idea had been proposed by
FSSP during its first year in order to
enhance the pro-active development of
activities in the region.Atthe time, CSAID
Washington, and the Africa Bureau in
particular, did not support the idea. FSSP
had proposed modeling such an effort on
the successful CIMMYT program in East
and Southern Africa, but recognized that
success of such a venture would require
long-term commitment to the position
and to backstopping by the project team
in Florida.
Though the FSSP had been designed as
a ten-year effort, only the first five were
budgeted. It was the consensus of FSSP
core and outside FSR/E advisors that the
project had insufficient resources and time
to launch an efficient and sustainable
regionally located office, and that project
monies and time would be better placed
in support activities and the development
of FSR/E materials for technical assistance
and training. For USAID to revive the idea
of a regional staff member halfway through
the project, following a substantial budget
cut, and with very little indication that a
second phase of the project would be
forthcoming was not well thought out
The report from the mid-term evaluation,
conducted in June 1985 and received by
FSSP in October, confirmed a focus on
West and Central Africa and stipulated that

activities in other regions should be
conducted on a buy-in basis only. This,
plus other evaluation recommendations,
combined with the substantial budget cut
again for 1986, greatly influenced program-
ming for the remainder of the project The
proposal for a regionally based core staff
person was dropped, all activity in Asia and
Latin America on project funding was
completely eliminated, and activities in
West and Central Africa were confined to
two specific networking activities and the
planning and delivery of two regional
training courses. Core staffing of the FSSP
was shifted to reflect the changes in
regional focus and by mid-1985, two core
staff had left the project and were not
replaced. Beginning in 1987, activity even
in Africa was conducted largely on a buy-in
basis and the project began to wind down
as the year ended. No support for a second
phase was forthcoming. The regional
activities, summarized in the table below,
reflect the overall manner in which regional
efforts built up during the first three years
of the project and decreased significantly
in the last two.
In retrospect, had the regional program
of the FSSP not been cut back in 1985,
activities in Latin America and Asia would
have continued to expand and would have
involved a larger number of the FSSP sup-
port entities with capabilities and experi-
ence in these regions. Nearly all of the work
would have been on a buy-in basis with
some core funding necessary for manage-
ment. The focus on West and Central Africa
did serve to greatly expand FSR/E efforts
in that region. As projects matured or were
designed to include FSSP support
demands, resultant activities improved yet
the move to a buy-in basis did not allow
the FSSP to function properly as a support
project. Buy-ins from missions were for
specific activities, such as a training course,
an evaluation, or a project design effort.
Buy-ins did not and could not cover core
management, development, or synthesis
activity, and did not serve well any of the
regional or inter-regional networking areas
of the project. Without these overall support
mechanisms, the project could only
function much as any other private or
university contractor does on an individual
country level basis.


F SSP activities in West and Central Africa
were organized around the four project
areas of training, networking, technical
assistance, and state-of-the-art or synthesis
of FSR/E experience and were designed to
meet the following seven objectives drawn
from the cooperative agreement for the
1. To develop the proficiency and
capability of West and Central African


Regional Activities Conducted
by the FSSP 1983-1987'




1987 6"" 0 0
'Tabulated from FSSP Annual Reports 1983-
1986 and 1987 trip reports.
* 'Al three activities were funded on a buy-in bass
by USAID missions
*"Only two activities were funded by FSSP. the
rest were mission buy-ins or supported by other
international organizations.

scientists to conduct FSR/E within
their national programs of agricultural
research and development
2. To support ongoing FSR/E programs
and projects with FSR/E technical
assistance, both short-term and
long-term as requested.
3. To facilitate the documentation of
FSR/E results in West and Central
Africa and the exchange of such
information among researchers and
administrators at both the national and
international levels.
4. To create and support media for
face-to-face exchanges of FSR/E
experiences and results among West
African researchers and administrators,
and between West/Central Africans and
the international researcher/adminis-
trator community.
5. To build and support linkages between
and among FSSP and other donor-as-
sisted FSR/E activities in West and
Central Africa.
6. To encourage and support growth in
the synthesis of FSR/E experiences in
West and Central Africa.
7. To facilitate the coordination of FSR/E
activities in the region.
Training and networking were the areas
in the African program where FSSP
achieved its best results, however, the
start-up and initial activities in each area
were difficult Looking first at training,
USAIDWashington sent out a cable in early
1983 to all of the USAID missions in West
and Central Africa inviting them to
nominate participants for an FSSP
orientation workshop to be held later
during that year. The workshop objective
was to provide USAID mission representa-
tives and selected participants from host
countries with an overview of the FSR/E
philosophy, approach, and methods. The
USAID mission in Burkina Faso agreed to
host the workshop.
Burkina Workshop Lessons
Two problems were immediately evident
in trying to set up a training workshop for

WestAfrica. First, since the FSSP had just
gotten underway, proposed training
materials to be developed during the life
of the project were only in the planning
stage. Few other materials were available;
only a couple of institutions were beginning
to systematically conduct training courses
in on-farm research methods, and of the
limited materials available, virtually nothing
had been translated from English to
French. FSSP had conducted its first FSR/E
orientation workshop in June 1983. Itwas
essentially a condensed version of a
semester-long course taught at the
University of Florida. While it met an
immediate need to familiarize faculty and
administrators with the basic concepts of
FSR/E as they were recognized at the time,
it was not a polished training course. As a
way of initially filling the training materials
gap, FSSP put together several slide sets
describing FSR/E methods and a notebook
of selected readings. Rather than waiting
for more polished materials, FSSP decided
to rapidly translate a selection of these to
use in immediate workshops where French
materials were necessary and as better
materials became available, these would
be incorporated into future courses.
The second problem was that all
missions in the West and Central region
had been invited to send participants to the
workshop. By mid-July, sixteen missions
had responded and projected participants
numbered over 50 including both English
and French speakers. In consultation with
outside training advisors, FSSP decided
the number of people was too large and
proposed to split the activity into two or
three orientation workshops, by language
so that translation would not be necessary
and better direct interaction of participants
could be fostered. Since Burkina Faso was
the location of the first workshop, it would
be held in French, and the second would
be in English. If enough participants
responded, a third workshop would be held
in French. French workshops would be
divided between Sahelian country particip-
ants and "humid tropics" participants.
A planning visit to Ouagadougou in
August, which coincided with a coup d'etat
and change in government, set the date for
the workshop in October, immediately
following a conference on FSR/E organized
greatly benefitted from the help of the
conference organizers who allowed the
FSSP workshop to "piggyback" several
activities, in particular a field trip to visit
on-farm trials being conducted as part of
the SAFGRAD Farming Systems Unit
under a Purdue/USAID contract.
A report on the workshop (Pbats 1983)
describes the planning, content, particip-
ants, outcome, and evaluation of the
workshop. The workshop was not a
resounding success, especially in the eyes

of the three workshop coordinators (S.
Fbats, L. Fresco, and S. Franzel). Participants
evaluations on the whole were far more
positive and provided numerous insightful
comments and suggestions for improving
the content and organization of the
workshop for future delivery. From the view
of FSSP the major problems of the
workshop were:
* insufficient planning time (3 months)
especially in light of a first-time event.
lack of control over the selection of
participants: USAID missions selected
the participants who ranged from
extension technicians to Ph.D. resear-
chers. FSSP did not know in advance,
except from Togo, exactly who the
participants were until they arrived.
Additionally, missions sent more people
than agreed upon resulting in 38
participants, too many for an effective
interactive workshop format.
lack of trainer preparation time; the
three trainers had not worked together
before and met in Ouagadougou just
before the workshop. They did not have
sufficient time to plan how they would
operate as a training team.
inadequate materials; FSSP's decision
to use intermediate materials as a
stopgap, though necessary, was
probably unwise and left the impression
of inappropriate content or lack of
quality to the methodology of FSR/E.
Workshop participants noted these
problems but highlighted the fact that, as
one stated, "everyone I spoke to came out
of there with something positive in hand... .
Another paticipant stated "...it is not
possible to rest indifferent to the experience
we acquired during the Ouagadougou
workshop, which was for us more than just
a view of production systems. The lessons
we leased, you can be sure, will take their
place in our various research programs
within the strategy for rural development."
FSSP spent a good deal of time
reviewing the outcome of the Burkina Faso
workshop with the intent of deriving
lessons for the development of future
training activities. In many respects, the
workshop provided an excellent testing and
development experience from which the
FSSP training strategy was derived. Like an
on-farm experiment, the workshop taught
the project that many preconceived
notions were inappropriate and that

Team exercises play an important role in
FSR/E training. At the 1984 FSSP regional
training workshop in the Gambia, teams were
formed to conduct sondeos in the vicinity of
Madina Umfally.

training needed more planning and
hands-on involvement of participants.The
Burkina experience lead to the establish-
ment of several training principles for the
project which became hallmarks of the
training program. These included:
programming training team development;
a four- to six-month planning horizon for
any course; emphasis on training materials
development and professional translation;
leading objectives format; emphasis on
experiential training activities; continuous
evaluation and redesign in response to
participant needs; provision of logistical
support personnel; and, the screening and
selection of participants.

Experience Improves Program:
Examples from The Gambia
The rest of the training program in Africa
was much more successful from the view
of the trainers, participant evaluations, and
in terms of testing and developing new
training materials. Training activities were
of two types: those fully organized by the
FSSP and those in which FSSP played a
supporting or collaborating role. The
former included training courses in
Gambia, Mali and Niger. The experiences
in each country were quite different and
demonstrated both the flexibility of the
project as well as its maturation over time.
FSSP interaction with Gambian FSR/E
practitioners was facilitated by exceptionally
good working relationships with the local
USAID mission and its agricultural officers
and two sequential USAID contract teams,
the Mixed Farming Project (Colorado State
University/CID) and the Gambia Agricul-
tural Research and Development Project
(University of Wisconsin). Three courses

were held in Gambia: the second regional
orientation workshop (March 1984), a
one-week course on the design and
analysis of on-farm trials (May 1985), and
a three-week regional FSR/E methods
course (April 1986).
The second regional orientation
workshop benefitted greatly from the
experiences gained in Burkina Faso. A
number of factors contributed to the
success of this workshop. Holding it in
English made the task much easier for
FSSP trainers. It was far easier to communi-
cate many of the complex ideas of FSR/E
and to direct and manipulate discussion
while dealing in one's own first language. It
also facilitated the use of improved training
materials, that were not yet translated to
French. Sufficient time was allocated to
planning the workshop and two of the three
trainers conducted the planning visit
in-country. Further planning and trainer
team-building took place before the
workshop. Advance planning and leadtime
allowed for better screening and selection
of participants with more homogeneous
backgrounds and interests in FSR/E and
its application. Advance planning also
facilitated workshop logistics. Adding two
additional days to the workshop allowed
better, more timely coverage of the
workshop objectives. An emphasis on
small group activities and a two-day
informal survey exercise created a practical
"hands-on" atmosphere. Finally, a number
of the presentations during the workshop
were made by participants with specific
experiences relevant to the content of the
workshop. This expanded the experience
base of the trainer team and contributed
to the "ownership" and "investment" in the

workshop on the part of the participants.
The second course, held in Gambia in
May 1985, lasted a week and focused on
the design and analysis of on-farm trials. It
was not regional but designed for Gambian
participants, was co-sponsored with the
USAID mission and the CARD project, and
was organized as a follow-up in content to
the orientation workshop. The workshop
also served to test the newly developed set
of FSSP training materials on the design
of on-farm trials and several of the principle
authors of the materials were there to
conduct the course as co-trainers (J.
Caldwell, D. Gait, and E Poey).
The success of this course led to the
selection of Gambia for a third training
course in April 1986. This three-week
FSR/E methods course represented the
culmination of the training program. The
complete set of training materials was used
and the three areas of diagnosis, design,
and analysis were covered. Participant
evaluations and trainer assessment
revealed that though the materials were
well-received and the course was a
success, there was still room for improve-
ment, especially in the materials on the
analysis of on-farm trials and the design of
training activities on analysis (Caldwell,
Walecka, and Taylor 1986). These topics
became a major part of the focus for the
overall FSSP training program. As a model
for conducting further FSR/E methods
training in the region, the course proved
that the combination of diagnosis and
design in one training activity was an
improvement over conducting them
separately, but that analysis might be better
covered separately, or perhaps only in an
introductory fashion with the other two
areas. Trainers recommended that
analysis skills would likely be better
handled as a session following practical
field experience over a season with
on-farm trials. Such a format would have
the additional benefit of using actual
diagnosis/design from analysis as is used
in CIMMYT-sponsored training courses
held atthe University of Zimbabwe. FSSP,
on the recommendation from many
persons working in West Africa, had
combined the three areas in order to
eliminate the need to bring trainers
together twice during the same year, which
was perceived as both an expensive
undertaking, not only in terms of funding
but also in the limited time of scarce FSR/E
practitioners. A compromise training
recommendation for the future is to cover
the introduction to analysis in regional
training courses, such as those conducted
by FSSP, but to handle the detailed
learning and practice of analytical tools on
a country or project basis in conjunction
with actual on-farm research efforts. Had
the FSSP been continued in a second
phase, this would have been the guiding


Training for Trainers-FSSP held a
training of trainers course at Iowa State
University in June 1984 (Norem and
Abbott, 1984). Though not directed
specifically at the African Program, the
course benefitted the program in two
important ways. First, it produced a
cadre of trainers with a common
training background who could be
called upon by the project to plan and
deliver training activities for the FSSP.
Second. it provided valuable new skills
for the trainers in terms of planning
training events and in specific experien-
tial training tools, both of which served
to improve subsequent training
activities in Africa.

strategy for the training program.
Other highlights from the course were:
1) the use of a case study to provide
experience in using gender analysis in the
design of on-farm experiments, 2) the
involvement of Gambian researchers in the
planning and delivery of the course, 3) the
involvement of a farming systems exten-
sion specialist from the Philippines as a
resource person for one week of the course
(which had the added benefit of inter-reg-
ional networking), 4) the use of an IPM
specialist as a resource person during the
first week of the course focusing on
diagnosis, and 5) ongoing monitoring and
evaluation of the course segments which
facilitated assessment of what was or was
not working well and indicated where
changes in the training agenda could be
made to improve the course.


The FSSP strategy for Latin America
(and the Caribbean) was not a
proactive one, but rather one of organizing
and maintaining capability for responding
to requests from USAID Missions. At the
outset, demand for project technical
services and training in this region was
significant. In practice, FSSP involved as
many Latin American scientists and
researchers as possible with experience in
farming systems to implement training and
technical assistance programs. FSSP core
staff involvement was held to a minimum
in favor of strengthening program activity
in Africa. There was, however, active
participation in the regional effort by
members of the Technical Committee and
through program associates of the support
entity network. The strategy proved to be
an effective one.
Multiple Benefits
Requests for FSSP services were
received for project design, project
evaluations, training, technical assistance,
workshops, rapid reconnaissance surveys,

and program reviews. An important
contribution to the entire FSSP effort
emerged from these activities in the Latin
American region: they served as a base for
program and materials development for
the worldwide project. For example, in April
and May, 1983, FSSP fielded a technical
assistance team composed of Bob Hart
(Winrock International), Bob Waugh
(consultant), W. W. McPherson (University
of Florida), and included several CARDI
staff members representing Eastem
Caribbean territories, to complete a project
design effort. The team report, which
served as the basis of a Project Paper to
address opportunities in research, exten-
sion and institutional areas concerned with
a farming systems approach, was submit-
ted to USAID/Barbados in May. Equally
important, and as a result of this team
effort, Dr. Hart prepared strategy materials
to be used as overall FSSP guidelines for
future technical assistance project design
Other benefits accrued from FSSP's
involvement in Latin America, specifically
through a strong collaboration with
CIMMYT A good example of this collabora-
tion is the cumulative activity in Paraguay,
where an initial review of the USAID Small
Farm Technology Project in 1983 led to the
provision of training and technical assis-
tance over a four-year period, resulting in
the integration of research and extension
in the establishment of an on-farm
research effort geared toward technology
development and testing. This collaborative
effort and sequential provision of technical
services served as a model for potential
activities in other countries of the region.
The sequence of activity in Paraguay
began in June, 1983 when Federico Poey
(AGRIDEC), Juan Carlos Martinez (CIM-
MYT) and Ramiro Ortiz (ICTA) provided
FSSP's review of the USAID Small Farm
Technology Project, which was focused
primarily on extension. Their goal was to
suggest alternatives appropriate for the
final stages of the project. Following this
review, USAID/Paraguay requested a
one-week training course to orient
decision-makers to the FSR/E approach as
part of a broader scheme to integrate
research and extension using the approach.
This course was accomplished in De-
cember, presented in Spanish by Sergio
Ruano (PRECODEPA), Federico Poey
(AGRIDEC), and Edgardo Moscardi
(CIMMYT). A more extensive methods
course was scheduled for practitioners
working with the Small Farm Technology
Project, and delivered over a three-week
period in January and February in 1984.
This course, led by Federico Poey (AG-
RIDEC), Rene Velazquez (AGRIDEC), Mario
Ozaeta (ICTA) and Glen Sappie (University
of Florida), dealt with all stages of the
FSR/E process and involved an actual

FSSP training and technical assistance in Latin America
and the Caribbean, 1983-1986. by country or institution.

1983 CARD

Evaluation, Training'
Review Workshops
1983 Paraguay 1983Paragu

1983 Peru 1983 CL.T 1983Domir
1984Dominican 1984 Honduras 1983HondL


19S4Peru 1983 Hondu

1985 CATIE 1984 Paragt
1986 Haiti 1984 Paragt
1984 Guatei
1984 INSOF
1985 Hondu
1985 HondL

survey, or sondeo, out of which research
hypotheses and a work plan for the year
were developed. The work plan was
subsequently implemented and the
following year, in April and May of 1985, an
FSSP team went to Paraguayto consult for
three-weeks on the computerized interpre-
tation of research and extension data from
the project. In between these two activities,
FSSP conducted a three-week training
workshop on FSR/E methodology in
livestock production for the Paraguayan
Extension Service (SEAG). The workshop
focused on viable research alternatives in
beef, poultry and dairy.
FSSP technical assistance and training
concluded in Paraguay in 1986, with the
expiration of the USAID mission's two-year
buy-in, which had included the fielding of
a technical consultant for nearly that full
time period in addition to the major
initiatives cited above. Collaboration with
CIMMYT was important in these exercises
as CIMMYT had been working with
research in the country and FSSP had
worked initially with extension. At the
conclusion of FSSP's involvement with the
effort in Paraguay, the technology develop-
ment and testing process was established
and well underway within the research and
extension structure.
With CIMMYT's presence in the region
and following FSSP's strategy of employing
personnel from within the region in its

Left: Strengthening of FSSP's support base,
including methodological input into the
development of training materials, was a
significant contribution of activity in Latin
America. Right: FSSP supported the
establishment of linkages between the Asian
Rice Farming Systems Network and the West
African Integrated Livestock Network.

Technical Sondeos'
Assistance Workplans
uay 1983Dominican 1983Honduras
Republic 1984 Dominican
lican 1983 Ecuador
iras 1983Peru
iras 1984 WAND
uay I 1984 Haiti
uay II 1984 Jaimaica
mala 1985Honduras
,NMIL 1985 Dominican
ras I 1985CATIE
iras I1 1985 Paraguay
ca 1986Paraguay
1986 Ecuador

activities, the project contributed to an
evolution of farming systems in the region,
serviced predominantly from within.
Much of the training and technical
assistance has spun-off to the private
sector or to indigenous institutions which
have increased their capacity to provide
support as needed to the methodology
being implemented. Major project activity
that contributed to this process is indicated
in the table above. u


SSSP strategy toward Asia and the Near
East was one of maintaining a reactive
stance toward support for USAID Missions
in these regions. Formal project initiatives
there were minimal until early in 1984,
when an Asia FSR ad hoc Strategy



Advisory Committee agreed to serve in an
advisory capacityto the FSSP core staff on
Asia issues. By mid-July a cable outlining
the FSR capabilities of the FSSP network
in broad terms was sent to all Asian
Missions by Wendell Morse (USAID/S&T)
and Charles Antholt (USAID/Asia Bureau).
The cable included the mechanisms to
initiate requests for FSSP services, and
indicated that the FSSP was prepared to
conduct initial, exploratory visits to
Missions and relevant host-country
institutions in the region, at Mission
request. In response to Mission requests,
FSSP delegates met with Mission staffs in
the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. In
addition, at Mission request, the FSSP
network provided technical assistance to
Sri Lanka by backstopping a FSR workshop
At the 1984 FSSP Annual Meetings the
Asia FSR ad hoc Advisory Committee was
expanded from six to thirteen individuals,
representing ten support entities and
USAID/Washington. The Committee's
status was formally recognized and it
became known as the Near East and Asian
Advisory Committee (NEAAC). Various
recommendations were made by the
Committee for FSSP participation in Asia
and the Near East, but minimally for the
project to: 1) become familiar with FSR in
the region so as to understand some of its
complexities; and 2) be able to help
develop a strategy to allow the use of Asian
FSR experts to backstop both other Asian
FSR field teams and African FSR activities.
But the enthusiasm evident at the FSSP
Annual Meetings received minimal project
support as the focus of FSSP efforts was
directed toward Africa, and technical
service delivery to Asia and the Near East
was substantially curtailed. Project activity

in these regions consisted mainly of
closing out on prior commitments,
primarily in the Philippines. A request for
assistance to the Philippine Ministry of
Agriculture and Food to investigate the
farming systems approach for their
training needs was met with an FSSP
assessment of the local, individual and
institutional training capabilities, and
recommendations were made for develop-
ing a farming systems training model.
Also in the Philippines, FSSP core staff
attended the Second Annual Southeast
Asian Universities Network (SUAN)
meetings, where considerable interest was
generated in the FSSP training units, and
FSSP was invited to participate in a
workshop at Khon Kaen University in
Thailand on Rapid Rural Appraisal. Later in
the year the Asian Farming Systems


Monitoring Tour/Workshop was held at
IRRI, where the training materials developed
by the FSSP were presented. IRRI staff
reviewed the materials and provided
feedback to the FSSR offering constructive
recommendations. FSSP also sent
representatives to participate in the Second
Crop-Livestock Research Systems Tour in
Nepal and Indonesia. The objective of that
participation was to observe relevant
implications for animal traction programs
in West Africa, to build a linkage between
Asian and West African livestock research.
Three other Asian countries were visited
during 1985. The first was an exploratory
visit to the Asian Vegetable Research and
Development Center (AVRDC) in Taiwan.
The second, a follow-up visit to Thailand
to meet with the staff members from the
Farming Systems Research Institute,

CIMMYT Khon Kaen University, the North
Eastern Research and Development
Project (Thailand) and the FSSP Discus-
sion centered around the means to
continue coordination efforts between the
various participating institutions, organiza-
tions and projects. The final Asian visit was
to Mainland China to participate in the
International Multiple Cropping Conference.
No other project activity occurred directly
in the Asia/Near East sphere after 1985.
Regional affiliation remained through a
representative from Khon Kaen University
serving on the FSSPTechnical Committee,
and through the FSSP Near East and Asia
Advisory Committee. NEAAC members
remained an untapped resource, commit-
ted to the value of the Asian and Near East
experiences, both for the FSSP network
and for project activity in West Africa.m

A major orientation of the FSSP was toward
training. Throughout the years of the project a

TRA IN IN G continual assessment of training materials
and delivery of training courses assured the success of training objectives of the FSSR

Training assessment, development
within the FSSP Training Strategy.

and delivery provided an integrated growth process
None of these elements was mutually exclusive.

Lisette Walecka
Farming Systems Associate, FSSP

he FSSP developed a series of
slide/tape Training Modules to
cover all of the methodological
steps of the FSR/E approach. This series,
which initially used Latin American
examples, was available for the first FSSP
Domestic FSR/E Workshops held in
June and July of 1983.
Although the slide modules provided
general information, as anticipated, it was
evident through their use in the domestic
workshops that they would not suffice for
the total training effort and that other
approaches, as well as specific changes to
the slide modules, would be needed. Other
geographical examples were incorporated
and the modules were translated into both
Spanish and French based on experience
in several overseas short-term training
activities. Fifteen slide/tape modules (in
English, French, and Spanish) varying in
length from 12 to 45 minutes, were
produced and are available for use in
training. They are intended for use as
supplementary materials that can provide
the basis for further discussions of specific
topics. More than 600 sets were produced
for distribution involving more than 40,000
The slide/tape modules have been, and
continue to be used in many training
environments. Many have been adapted to
specific areas by the user's substitution of
locational and culturally relevant slides.
The series included:
TMS 101 Technical Overview of FSR/E
TMS 102 Introduction to Farming
Systems Research/
TMS 201 Introduction to Economic
TMS 202 Economic Characteristics of
Small Scale Farms
TMS 203 The Small Scale Family Farm
as a System
TMS 204 Land Tenure in Upper Volta
TMS 301 Defining Recommendation
TMS 302 Initial Characterization:
The Rapid Survey or SONDEO
TMS 401 Designing Alternative
Solutions-Jutiapa, Guatemala
TMS 402 Designing Alternative

Solutions-Zapotitan, El
TMS 403 Designing Alternative
Solutions-North Florida FSR/E
TMS 405 Women and Cassava
Production in Zaire
TMS 406 ILCA Highlands Animal
TMS 501 Design and Analysis of
On-Farm Trials
Int'l Pr. The Land Grant System and
the University of Florida

Applying Lessons Learned
to Develop Training Materials
FSSP's early development and delivery
of shortcourse training in FSR/E proceeded
the existence of adequate training materials
and served to diagnose training material
needs. The experiences gained through
the first workshops led to simultaneous
and complementary efforts to provide
training materials as well as courses. The
initial materials were series of slide-tape
modules and a book of readings in FSR/E
which contained both background and
required readings for the Farming Systems
Research and Extension Methods course
offered at the University of Florida. It
became obvious that an effective
shortcourse training program could
neither depend merely on condensing a
university level degree course into a shorter
period of time nor depend solely on the
slide tape modules or a book of readings
to provide the foundation for the
shortcourses. Short-term training is an
interactive process. Unique materials and
training techniques were needed to help
trainers facilitate active sharing of knowl-
edge and greater experiential learning
through participatory activities. Some
needs were unique to FSR/E training
relative to other subject matter areas where
short courses were the delivery mode.
Enter the concept of the training unit
The FSSP wanted a way to synthesize
available information and to package it in
easy-to-use training materials that provided
for participatory learning. Providing a wide
selection of topics in such a way that
trainers would be able to plan and present
courses tailored to their specific audience
was also a major consideration.
The training unit was conceived as a
flexible resource to help trainers to provide
course participants with basic background

in a specific topic relative to FSR/E and
present the material in a participatory
fashion. Early in their development they
were likened to a menu from which one
could choose a complete meal yet
supplement the selection with local
materials and cases in preparation for a
training course. It was not expected that
everything that was included in the menu
would be used at once, but rather that
enough was provided to allow for a variety
of choices to fit a variety of needs.
From conceptualization to implementa-
tion, the development of training units has
been a collaborative effort drawing from a
variety of institutions worldwide and
depending on individual expertise in many
areas of FSR/E and the field of training.
Resource people were drawn from national
programs, international research centers,
and the university community. After
identifying the need, step one in the
development process was to determine the
fundamental topics of FSR/E which should
be included in the project. This was
accomplished through an open discussion
and planning session held in August, 1984.
Next, the writing of the text and develop-
ment of learning activities was ac-
complished by more than twenty individu-
als working in four groups during a
week-long workshop held in February,
1985. The workshop produced three units:
Diagnosis; Agronomic Experimental
Design and Analysis; and Management
and Administration. In the following month
the units were edited for technical sound-
ness and consistency as well as for style
of presentation.
The first versions of the training units,
which were tested in shortcourses held in
Jamaica, The Gambia, and the University
of Florida respectively, consisted of a series
of sub-units, each of which provided
specific learning objectives, definitions,
keypoints, a short text, and suggested
training activities on a specific topic.
Recommendations were made for
revising the initial materials based on
experience in the workshops as well as
other review sessions. Between October,
1985 and February, 1986 specific recom-
mendations were addressed. Revisions
ranged from basic packaging to the focus
of specific content. The "units" became
volumes and the "sub-units" became units.
Volume I, Diagnosis in FSR/E consisted of

nine units, and Volume II, Techniques for
Design and Analysis of On-Farm Ex-
perimentation, consisted of six units
following the revisions. Presentation was
simplified and efforts were made to avoid
use of jargon. The emphasized focus was
on presenting material in such a way that
it would help practitioners to make better
decisions in planning their research.
The two volume set of FSR/E training
units was published in English and French
and distributed to selected national
programs and institutions engaged in
FSR/E. They can also be purchased from:
Media Marketing, P.O. Box 926, Gainesville,
Florida 32602 (904-376-3207).
Both the slide tape modules and the
training units have provided an ongoing
mechanism for further development of
training materials and for synthesis and
consensus in the evolution of the FSR/E
approach. Users and developers are
encouraged to partition, supplement copy
and generally manipulate the materials for
best use. Slides and scripts can be altered
in the modules as continued use over the
four years since inception of the FSSP will
attest. The training units are a "mix and
match" basis for adapting training
techniques and FSR/E methodologies to
the process of technology adaptation and
development where client participation
with the on-farm focus is considered
essential. Feedback from users of the
materials is emphasized as a mode for
further expansion of the training base
through both improvements in
methodological and pedagogical
experiences. Cases and examples are
emphasized as valuable feedback.
The second revision of the training units
was completed in December, 1987. Based
on comments from users and reviewers, a
number of changes were implemented.
A greater focus on simplified presentation
guided the revisions. Sections of planning
for evaluation criteria and a framework for
integrative analysis were included. The
series now includes three volumes: I
Diagnosis in FSR/E, II Design Techniques
for On-Farm Experimentation, and III
Analysis and Interpretation of On-Farm


The FSSP, faced with addressing how
existing knowledge in the identified
priority areas established for training unit
development could be captured, synth-
esized, and presented efficiently and
effectively, planned an intensive workshop.
The goal of the workshop was not only to
produce training units, but to provide a
basic framework for the development of

training materials which would allow for the
continuing development of such materials.
The workshop brought together more than
twenty-five experienced individuals and
qualified FSR/E practitioners from a variety
of disciplines, and geographical regions.
These individuals were faced with the task
of determining the necessary FSR/E
content appropriate for each unit, writing
basic outlines and texts, determining
appropriate training techniques and
describing those techniques in trainer's
notes for a variety of activities.
Pre-workshop planning and preparation
by all participants, as well as the input of
training consultants throughout the
process, were critical to the workshop's
success. Follow-up work in terms of
editing and organization was also required
by designated technical editors and each
training unit coordinator.
The facilitation of the workshop de-
pended on focussing tasks and clearly
defining requirements for the final product.
Beyond the introduction and setting the
stage for the week's activities, which is a
critical part of any workshop, the week was
divided into two phases: 1) Determine
FSR/E Content and 2) Develop Activities
Useful in Teaching the FSR/E Content.
Phase I concentrated on determining the
FSR/E content that would be covered in
each unit. A number of pre-workshop
activities were requested of all workshop
participants in order to minimize the
amount of workshop time needed on this
phase of development. Each participant
was asked to prepare a preliminary outline
and background text on their unit. The
purpose of this was to encourage as much
forethought and intra-group communica-
tion as possible before the workshop. The
first two days of the workshop were
dedicated to group meetings (intra and
inter) to arrive at an outline and detailed
overview of each unit. Because of the
interrelated nature of the material it was
necessary to ensure adequate meeting
time between groups as well as within
Phase II focused on the development
and writing of specific training activities
which would be useful for teaching some
of the content previously determined.
Topical areas addressed included the
FSR/E Concepts
Philosophy, Objectives, Evolution
FSR/E Skills
Agronomic Experimental Design
and Analysis
Animal Production Experiments
Socioeconomic Analysis
Applied Statistics
Management and Administration

FSR/E Implementation
* Organizational Linkages
" Management and Administration
" Field Program Development
and Implementation
" Policy Development
" Project Design
" Evaluation
" Needs Assessment
Besides the overall synthesis and
consensus process underway relative to
FSR/E methodology and the resulting
training units, an important additional
output was the process for developing
training materials. The process included
not only conceptual input from various
disciplines and continuous input from
professional training consultants, but an
extensive review, revision, and testing
effort. The resulting FSR/E training
materials are now being used to contribute
to agricultural development worldwide.
This experience, while itself in continuous
refinement, can be conveyed to national
training programs and adapted to unique
training needs and environments. Some-
times the process itself is also a product.


SSP courses and workshops varied
greatly in length, topic, location and
numbers of participants. FSSP led or made
major contributions to workshops and
shortcourses in 22 countries with a total of
616 participants.
Skills courses were developed to focus
on all aspects of the FSR/E process,
embracing the stages of diagnosis, design,
analysis and institutionalization of FSR/E.
These courses were tailored to each
delivery setting. Specific courses in
Management and Administration were also
"Custom" training was another activity
of the FSSP. In response to demand from
U.S. universities, bilateral contractors and
national research programs, the FSSP
endeavored to hand-tailor training activities
for visitors to the University of Florida.
These training experiences can be
roughly divided into two distinct classes: 1)
Informal presentations and meetings
which serve the purpose of generally
orienting visitors to the concepts and
methodology of the FSR/E approach; and
2) Intensive short-courses, with structured
training activities, which introduce particip-
ants to the philosophy, perspective and
methodology of FSR/E and prepare them
to begin work within an FSR/E framework.

MSTAT (Michigan Statistics)
Through a grant from the FSSP to
Michigan State University, significant
advances were made in making mic-
rocomputers useful in farming systems

Part of the group working with the unit on
Design of On-Farm Trials met with members
of the Socioeconomic group to discuss the
interrelationship of these two areas. (L to R)
Don Osbome (USAID/Washington), Frederico
Poey (AGRIDEC), John Hammerton (CARDI),
Loma Butler (Washington State University),
Dan Gait (FSSP), and Emanuel Acquah
(University of Maryland).

research. MSTAT program developers
adapted their statistical package to
accommodate the design and analysis
requirements for farming systems prac-
titioners, and developed the revised
MSTAT programs and manuals in English,
Spanish and French. In addition, training
materials were developed, and training
courses were offered and delivered, to train
farming systems researchers in the use of
An initial series of five workshops were
held, the first in March, 1984 at Michigan
State. Participants included 11 researchers
from 6 countries, using both IBM and
Apple computers, with instructions in both
English and Spanish. The first in-country
workshop was held at the Chitezde
Agricultural Research Station in Malawi in
May andJune, 1984, in support of a USAID
project there. The second in-country
workshop was held at the Institute du Sahel
in Bamako, Mali in December of that year.
This workshop was conducted primarily in
French, with some additional instruction in
English. The third in-country MSTAT
workshop was held in Senegal at the
Institute Senegalais Agricole in January of
1985. Fifteen researchers attended the
course, delivered in support of a USAID
farming systems project in Senegal. The
fifth workshop was conducted in Sep-
tember, 1985 at the International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI), under partial
funding from the FSSP grant, and involved
30 participants, including researchers
from the People's Republic of China, IRRI,
Kenya, Nigeria, and several Southeast
Asian countries.
Michigan State has continued with its
MSTAT training program worldwide using
the materials developed through the
support of the Farming Systems Support
Project. MSTAT is currently being used by
several thousand agricultural researchers
throughout the world, including a growing
cadre of researchers involved with farming
systems projects. Several of the farming
systems projects which have used MSTAT
include: Senegal, Malawi, Ecuador,
Pakistan, Mali, Swaziland, Botswana,
Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Philippines,
Thailand, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Gambia,
Niger, Dominican Republic, Guatemala,
Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Honduras, Puerto
Rico, Cameroon, Zambia, Sri Lanka, and
Indonesia, just to name a few.

Many of the International Centers are
also using MSTAT in their programs.
These include IRRI, CIMMYT, CIP, CIAT,
ICARDA. Several of the CRSPs' researchers
are also using MSTAT. The positive
multiplier effect initiated through FSSP
support to MSTAT has been far-reaching.


A although the FSSP has conducted
many types of short course training
activities, the history of interactions
between the FSSP and Pennsylvania State
University's Swaziland Cropping Systems
Research and Extension Training Project
makes a good case to show the value of
a continuing short course training program
for those persons who will be field-level
In late 1984, the FSSP was contacted by
PSU regarding the possibility of providing
FSR/E training for a Swazi participant who
was about to return to Swaziland after
completing his U.S. training. Dr. John
Ayers, the Swaziland Project Manager,
stated that "My basic concern is to get him
an introduction to farming systems
methodology so that when he returns to
Swaziland,... he will take a holistic approach
to his research". Additionally, it was
important to provide returnees with the
basics of the FSR/E methodology in order
to better interact with their colleagues who
had attended CIMMYT's FSR training
series in Zimbabwe.
This modest effort, based on the
one-week Domestic FSR/E workshops
and held in February of 1985, was a fruitful
one. The participant stated: "I think what I
gained in that week was worth sitting in
class for one-half of a quarter".

Within four months, another Swazi
participant traveled to the University of
Florida for two weeks; the first week was
spent in an introductory short course to
FSR/E and the second attending an
intensive workshop dealing with "Ag-
ronomic Design and Analysis of On-Farm
Trials". This participant stated: "My
thinking regarding research and extension
has undergone some drastic changes
during this past two weeks".
In September of 1985 another group of
participants arrived in Gainesville. This
group, which consisted of two Swazi
participants and one PSU faculty member,
covered a much wider disciplinary
spectrum than the previous participants.
Included were biological science, training
and communications, and extension
specialists. The inter-disciplinary activities
of the short course allowed much greater
interpersonal learning experiences on the
part of the participants. Additionally,
discussions regarding research, recom-
mendation and diffusion domains
prompted one of the participants to
comment: "The domain theory finally gives
me a framework to not only develop
appropriate technology but to do so in a
manner which will help my extension
colleagues to disseminate it".
Another three-person group of Swazi
participants visited the FSSP, in May of
1986, for a similar short course. This
course elicited the following comments on
the evaluation forms: "The published
results on trials/research conducted in
other areas makes to have confidence(sic)
that the approach is workable. It is not a
theoretical approach... The problem in
question is considered in a wide range of
aspects rather than a one-dimensional
aspect which might overlook very impor-
tant issues... Many thanks for the education

we received there in such a short time. It
is more than a treasure... The Modified
Stability Analysis and the Environmental
Index represent breakthroughs in statistical
analysis techniques and will allow the
development of technologies that are
appropriate to the real needs of farmers".
Most recently, two Swazi participants
attended an FSR/E short course during
January of 1987. This group represented
the last of the participants associated vith
Phase I of the PSU/Swaziland Project.
When asked about the FSR/E approach,
one participant responded: "It is a weapon
to prevent kingdom or 'empire building'
among institutions in a country and
prevents, to some extent, the antagonistic
effects usually prevalent between or
among disciplines in other countries (e.g.
Research vs. Extension)".
While it is very gratifying to have glowing

testimonials from the ten participants, this
series of training activities has had more
important programmatic aspects:
Pennsylvania State University (a Support
Entity in the FSSP) was able to
provide a common basis for FSR/E
training of participants throughout
the project timeframe.
The FSSP responded to provide support
to an ongoing bi-lateral contract, as
mandated in the Cooperative
Agreement with USAID.
The continuity of the short courses
provides a commonality of experi-
ence for the Swazi participants when
they return home to continue their
work within the Ministry of Agricul-
The overall program strategy for the
Swaziland/PSU Project has been
enhanced and strengthened

through the inclusion of FSR/E
training of persons who are now, or
will soon be in a position to influence
the institutions where they work.
(Interestingly, the first Swazi FSR/E
short course participant is Deputy
Director within his division).
The FSSP, through its resources and
experiences, was able to "custom
tailor" training activities in response
to specific requirements.
The FSSP/PSU/Swaziland activities
point out the long-term benefits of
training programs. It should be
reiterated that these benefits may
not be immediately visible, but will
become apparent when a critical
mass of trained personnel is


F S R /E systems related information was a role the FSSP assumed

F S RE served. Various documents generated through FSSPactivities
SRLDE made a consistent contribu-
tion to the evolution of
FSR/E methodology and
served as the project's mechanism for both supporting and reporting various initiatives.

Steve Kearl
Editor FSSP 1983-1987
A Networking Paper series, for
example, provided a means for
field practitioners to recount their
experiences in pertinent areas such as
project implementation problems, rapid
rural appraisal, lessons learned from a
decade of on-farm trial design, draught
animal systems and farmer participation
in FSR/E. Before the series was discon-
tinued, 15 Networking Papers were
issued, and distributed primarily in Africa:
FSSP Networking Papers
No. 1 Comparing Anglophone and
Francophone Approaches to
Farming Systems Research and
by Louise Fresco
No. 2 Synopsis-The Marif Maize
On-Farm Research Programme
1984: Development of an
On-Farm Research Programme
with a Farming Systems
by C. E. Van Santen
No. 3 Some Problems in the Im-
plementation of Agricultural
Research Projects with a
Farming Systems Perspective
by David W Norman
No. 4 Farm Trials with Madura Cattle:
Supplements for Village Diets
by R. J. Petheram, Susento
Prawirodigdo and Hardi
No. 5 Rapid Rural Appraisal, the
Critical First Step in a Farming
Systems Approach to Research
by James Beebe
No. 6 ADecadeofOn-Farm Research
in Lowland Rice-Based Farming
Systems: Some Lessons
by Richard A. Morris
No. 7 Adaptive Research & Pre-Exten-
sion Testing:The Case of Upland
Rice in West Africa
by Pascal T Fotzo, P. S .C.
Spencer and A. S. Sandhu

No. 8 Impact of Cropping Systems
Program at Sukchama
by B. K. Singh and
K. D. Sayre
No. 9 Recognizing Structural Con-
straints on Implementation of a
Farming Systems Approach
within a National Agricultural
Program: Some Views from
by Craig L. Infanger
No. 10 A Methodology for Conducting
Reconnaissance Surveys in
by Timothy R.
and John Lichte
No. 11 Introduction a LApproche
Recherche/Developpement des
Systems de Production et a la
Methode de Recherche en Milieu
by Pascal T Fotzo
No. 12 The Process of On-Farm Trial
Design: The Honduran Experi-
ence of 1978
by Daniel L. Gait
No. 13 Conducting On-Farm Research
in FSR: Making a Good Idea
by Clive Lightfoot
and Randolph Barker
No. 14 DraughtAnimal Power in Africa:
Priorities for Development,
Research and Liaison
by Paul Starkey
No. 15 Farmer Participation in Farming
Systems Research
by Daniel L. Gait and
S. B. Mathema
Network Reports
Other publications, such as task force
reports and a series of Network Reports
provided a synthesis and analysis of
completed project activities. Four Network
Reports, proceedings from major workshop
activities, were published and distributed
primarily in Africa:
No. 1 Animal Traction in a Farming
System Perspective-proceedings

of a FSSP workshop held in Kara,
Togo, March, 1985, complied by
Susan V. Fbats, John Lichte,
James Oxley, Sandra L. Russo,
and Paul H. Starkey.
No. 2 Livestock in a Mixed Farming
Systems: Reserch Methods and
Priorities-proceedings of a
workshop held at the Intemational
Livestock Center for Africa (ILCA),
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June,
1985.A collaborative effort ofthe
FSSP, the University of Florida,
and ILCA, proceedings were
edited and produced by Steve
No. 3 Integrated Livestock Systems in
Nepal and Indonesia: Implica-
tions for Animal Traction in West
Africa-a report of the Second
Crop-Livestock Research Monitor-
ing Tour of Nepal and Indonesia
organized by the Intemational
Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the
Department of Agriculture of
Nepal and the Ministry of
Agriculture of Indonesia, prepared
by Paul H. Starkey and Kossivi V.

No. 4 Rapport Du Stage Regional De
EFSR/E-a report on a regional
FSR/E Methods Training Course
conducted in French and held in
Bamako, Mali in November,
1986.The report was prepared by
Deffing Sissoko, Mimi Gadreau,
and John Lichte.
FSSP Newsletter
Perhaps the most visible of FSSP
publications was its newsletter, published
quarterly in English, Spanish, and French,
with a combined circulation of moe than
5,000 subscribers worldwide. The FSSP
Newsletter became established as an open
forum for communicating innovative ideas
and facilitating communication among
farming systems practitioners in the field.
Practitioner participation in the Newsletter
provided content on the cutting edge of
FSR/E methodology, as well as ongoing

FSSP publications and articles for the
project's Newsletter were generated through
project activities and by participation of field
practitioners generally. Input from
Duncan Boughton (left), Thomas Senghore
(center) and John Caldwell (right) at a
Gambia workshop was published in Network
Reports and in the Newsletter.

discussion of issues related to diagnosis,
design and analysis of on-farm experimen-
tation. At the same time, the Newsletter
supported various project interests and
activities, through announcements of
upcoming training courses, by publishing
information related to the annual sym-
posium, soliciting support for a bibliog-
raphy of readings, and by noting the
availability of other farming systems
publications and materials of interest.
The FSSP Newsletter also canvassed its
readership to ask field practitioners to
identify the most pressing technical
problems encountered by the project with
which each practitioner was affiliated. More
than 1,000 responses were generated
through the newsletter survey, including
987 responses to the "problem" question.
A random sample of 100 surveys was
considered and a list of 14 general problem
categories was developed. A summary of
the 987 responses according to problem
category is given below.
These data, along with survey response
to a question asking practitioners what
types of articles they would like to see pub-
lished in the newsletter, gave general direc-
tion to the content of the FSSP Newsletter,
and, in tum, assured that the Newsletter
was serving its readership. Project manage-
ment aso benefitted from these practitioner
responses, as they confirmed field interest

Most Pressing
Problems Responses
1. Technical 194
2. On-farm 161
(methodology) and
Statistical Analysis
3. Infrastructure 113
4. Personneland 110
5. Institutions 88
6. Farm 58
7. Regional Support 50
8. Livestock 45
9. Interdisciplinary 41
10. Project 35
11. Technology 34
12. Natural 29
Resources (Forestry)
13. Planning and 23
14. Women in 6




i4 :-

U- --

in various project initiatives, such as the
need for FSR/E training, or the need to
further address on-farm research
methodology and statistical analysis. A
more detailed breakdown of the major
categories fo pressing technical problems

Major Categories for Most Pressing
Technical Problems
1. Technical (Bio-physical):
new varieties/germplasm
pest control
low yields
soil fertility
post-harvest considerations
2. On-Farm Research (Methodology) and
Statistical Analysis, lack of:
standardized methodology
for FSR
on-farm trial analysis
economic and institutional
statistical techniques
3. Infrastructure
supply problems
fuel and maintenance
financial support/disbursement
institutional linkages
rewards for interdisciplinary
4. Personnel and Training:
appropriate language skills
site-specific knowledge
trained in FSR/E methodology
awareness of small farmers and
their problems
availability of FSR/E materials
in the field
lack of reference materials and
background information

5. Institutions (Research/Extension):
educational level of
extension agents
research/extension linkages
technology transfer and
dissemination techniques
sustainability of efforts/personnel
6. Farm Management
land constraints
7. Regional Support:
local level
counterpart availability
and/or expertise
8. Livestock:
integration of animal traction into
the on-farm trial sequence
9. Interdisciplinary Collaboration:
10. Project Management:
interface with counterparts
short- verus long-term goals
interface with donors/host
11. Technology:
appropriate technology
access to information regarding
new technology
preservation of local technology
12. Natural Resources (Forestry):
water and rainfall variability
13. Evaluation:
measuring success
risk evaluation/analysis

FSSP's Newsletter Survey identified technical
(bio-physical) constraints as one of the most
pressing problems facing farmers and for
FSR/E practitioners in their on-farm trials.

14. Women in Agriculture:
gender issues/division of labor
integration of entire farm families
into FSR activities
Many of these constraints were addres-
sed by the FSSP through its newsletter, in
other project publications, through
appointed task work groups, in networking
and training activities, and through various
other channels, such as the FSSP Advisory
Council and Technical Committee. Not the
least of these channels was through a
documentation effort that included
publication and distribution of a series of
bibliographies of readings.
Bibliography of Readings
Two major efforts went forward in
documentation.The first was a bibliographi-
cal listing published by Kansas State
University including more than 2,000
entries, accompanied by an Africa-specific
bibliography of 485 items selected from
the main volume. Efforts on the biblog-
raphy continue today with the addition of
another major collection of works.
All of the above bibliographic listings are
available in the Kansas State University
FSR/E documentation center. From that
holding 1550 articles are in microfiche for
"at cost" purchase by individuals or libraries
desiring to establish an FSRIE reference
facility of both published and ephermeral
The second effort was coordinated
through the Technical Committee of the
FSSP encompassing review and selection
of items for inclusion in FSSP's Bibliog-
raphy of Readings in Farming Systems.

Three volumes were issued in Spanish and
French and four volumes were issued in
English to the entire FSSP mailing list of
more than 5,000. More than 850 docu-
ments were reviewed in this process
including hundreds contributed by farming
systems practitioners worldwide and the
balance selected from the Kansas State
Bibliography. In the four resulting English
volumes 419 documents were selected for
annotation. The AID Document Informa-
tion and Handling Facility (DIHF) will
continue to handle requests for the FSSP
Bibliographies and their contents beyond
FSSP and into the future.
Documents contained in the Bibliog-
raphy of Readings in Farming Systems
remain free to USAID employees, USAID
contractors overseas, and USAID-spon-
sored organizations overseas, either in
microfiche or in paper copy. Universities,
research centers, govemment offices, and
other institutions located in developing
countries are eligible to receive free
microfiche copies of up to five titles per
bibliography (paper copies may be
purchased at the stated price). All other
institutions and individuals may purchase
microfiche and/or paper copies of the
documents. Complete sets of the bibliog-
raphies (Volume 1, 2, 3, and 4 in English
or Volume 1, 2, and 3 in either French or
Spanish), are also available in microfiche.
For more information (cost, shipping, and
handling) contact:
7222 47th Street
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

SAn Annual Farming Systems
Symposium has been held since
SYM POSI1981, when it was conceived ofand
initiated by Kansas State University, supported primarily through the University's Title XII
Strengtening Grant. Hosted by the University ofKansas through 1986, the Symposium has
provided a mechanism to bring together between 250 and 350 farming systems practitioners
and other interested researchers on a regular basis.

Recognizing the complementarity
of the Symposium with its
mandate and purpose, FSSP
provided additional support to the
Symposium in the ensuing years. The
overall focus of the Symposium has
been on FSR/E as a process of small
farm development, with annual themes
of emphasis on various aspects of the
Themes of the Farming Systems
Symposium held at Kansas State University
1981 Small Farms in a Changing
Prospects for the Eighties
1982 Farming Systems in the Field
1983 Animals in the Farming System
1984 Farming Systems Research and
Extension: Implementation and
1985 Farming Systems Research and
Extension: Management and
1986 Farming Systems Research and
Extension: Food and Feed
Beginning in 1987, and for a three-year
term, hosting of the Symposium shifted to
the University of Arkansas, with the
collaborative support of Winrock Interna-
tional. Under this leadership the thematic
approach has been retained in providing
direction to an overall focus on farming
systems research and extension. Organiz-
ers at the University of Arkansas outlined
a progressive sequence for the Symposium
that would explore the state of knowledge
about farming systems, information and
communications systems, and the impact
of FSR/E:
1987 How Systems Work
1988 Contributions of FSR/E Towards
Sustainable Agricultural Systems
1989 State of Knowledge about the
Impact of FSR/E
The Symposium has been particularly
successful in providing opportunities for
researchers, field practitioners and others
involved in farming systems work to share
their interests and concerns. It has created

an opportunity for an exchange of
methodological views, and given FSR/E
methodology recognition as an important
agricultural development strategy.
A keynote address, panel discussions,
plenary and concurrent sessions on
various sub-themes, and published
proceedings have been an integral part of
each Symposium. In addition, pre- and
post-symposium working group sessions,
special meetings, and related training have
been an attendant part of the annual event.
Not the least of these has been the FSSP
Annual Meetings.

FSSP Annual Meetings
Although the first FSSP Annual Meetings
(1982) were not held in conjunction with
the Farming Systems Symposium, their
character and operational structure was set
by precedent for post-symposium activity
in the coming years. Those first meetings
could be characterized as being or-
ganizatioal and formative. They dealt with
a spectrum of needs and capabilities
surrounding the newly awarded coopera-
tive agreement, exploring the potential for
the FSSP and attempting a distillation of
resources and interests of the 18 univer-
sities, 4 private institutions, and USAID
interests in attendance.
Work groups were organized to address
three priority areas: administrative; training
and networking; and technical assistance
and state-of-the-arts. Work groups were
also formed to address project priorities
for 1983 and beyond, to develop an
implementation plan for 1983, to identify
task group needs, and to examine program
interface and integration. Each group
reported their considerations and finding
in plenary sessions. This format, of
including working sessions as an integral
part of the FSSP Annual Meetings, is one
that became firmly established.
In conjunction with the Farming Systems
Symposium, the FSSP Annual Meetings
followed the Symposium program for the
next five years. These meetings were open
to all Symposium participants, but were
generally attended by the Administrative

Coordinators and Program Leaders
of the support entities, along with the
members of the Advisory Council,
Technical Committee, USAID representa-
tives, and the core staff of the FSSP. By
linking the project's Annual Meetings with
the Symposium there was a built-in
opportunity for various task and work
groups of the FSSP to meet during the
week, including meetings of the Advisory
Council and the Technical Committee.
Meeting agendas included brief reports
from the FSSP core staff on training,
technical assistance, networking and
communication initiatives of the project,
support entity reports on their various
activities, and reports from the Technical
Committee and Advisory Council. Beyond
those reports the Annual Meetings quickly
shifted into committees, working groups,
and task force meetings to address priority
issues. These were actually mini-work-
shops to provide an opportunity for
dialogue on points identified for emphasis
by the FSSP core and support entity
representatives. Summary comments and
recommendations generated through
these sessions were used in policy,
planning and implementation discussions
by the Advisory Council, the Technical
Committee, and the FSSP core. As
appropriate, recommendations often led
to program development and program
delivery guidelines.
In 1983 Annual Meeting work areas
included: training; animal systems;
research/extension; technical assistance;
family systems; management, administra-
tion and policy; and state-of-the-arts. In
1984 working sessions were divided into:
FSSP interactions; project design and
evaluation; campus training; management,
administration and institutionalization;
faculty development; learning/training;
FSR/E bilateral contracts; and on-farm
research. In 1985 agronomic and livestock
work groups met concurrently, and
working sessions were held to address
evaluation, network linkages, technical
issues, and to explore the pros and cons
of an FSR Association. The last of the

working sessions of the FSSP Annual
Meetings took place in 1986. Four specific
areas were identified where input could
feed into FSSP development efforts:
livestock systems; economic analysis;
management of research/extension
institutions; and state-of-the-art research
and extension concerns in farming
systems. With project termination at the
close of 1987, no working sessions were
held in conjunction with the FSSP Annual
Meetings that year.
Support entilty participation in the FSSP
Annual Meetings over the years was
exceptional; vigorous participation made
the meetings into working and productive
sessions. The product was not only a better
understanding of issues and a synthesis of
the knowledge and experience of many
people, but a support entity contribution to
project activities, input into task force
reports and input into the project planning

FSR/E Network Forms

Following the 1987 Farming Systems
Symposium and FSSP Annual
Meetings an Open Network Forum was
held to explore the possibility of forming a
FSR/E Network and to consider technical
issues, networking, communications and
other concerns related to the future of
farming systems research and extension.
There were 62 participants at the Forum,
representing 35 different organizations.
An FSR/E Network was formed during
the course of this Forum, and legitimized
through consensus of those present. A
number of objectives were identified for the
Network, including: facilitating communi-
cation between/among project field staff
and home staff; development and transfer
of information and skills; and synthesis of
A Steering Committee was selected to
assume leadership for the Network in an
organizational capacity for one year. The
Committee was charged with responsibility
for conceptualizing and developing
short-term and long-term strategies on
behalf of the FSR/E Network and in
support of its objectives. It was also
charged with reporting its progress back
to the Network at the 1988 Farming
Systems Symposium, making recommen-
dations for an organizational and manage-
ment structure for the Network, and
making recommendations to USAID for

the Agency's continued supportto farming
systems research and extension vis a vis
the FSR/E Network.

USAID Provides Transitional Support
One specific FSR/E Network Steering
Committee initiative has received support
from USAID/S&T, a study, "Identification
of Results of Farming Systems Research
and Extension Activities". The study
reviews, analyzes, and documents the
results of a number of farming systems
research and extension projects which
have been implemented worldwide. From
this study a synthesis report analyzes the
factors that affect sustainability of FSR/E
within national agricultural research and
extension systems.

Other Related Activity Supported by
Two other important studies have been
underwritten by USAID that coincide with
the termination of the FSSP. One that
contributes to the knowledge and under-
standing of the Agency's farming systems
research and extension projects is "A
Synthesis of USAID Experience: Farming
Systems Research and Extension". It was
commissioned through the Bureau for
Program and Policy Coordination's Center
for Development Information and Evalua-
tion (PPC/CDIE). By reviewing USAID's
experience with FSR/E, the study contrib-

On behalf of the 25 FSSP support entities
and the University of Florida, Dr. K. R.
Tefertiller, vice president for agricultural
affairs, University of Florida, presents a
plaque to Kansas State University and Dr.
Vernon Larson for commitment to FSR/E
including initiating and hosting the annual
symposium and developing an FSR/E
documentation center for world-wide use.

utes to the ongoing discussion in the
Agency about the potential of the FSR/E
approach and what the nature and level of
Agency support to FSR/E should be.
The second study, commissioned
was also intended to stimulate discussion
regarding the future direction and focus of
USAID efforts and other donors to support
work in farming systems research and
development Titled "Possible Future
Directions of Farming Systems Research
and Extension: A Concept Paper" the study
was put together as a companion piece to
accompany and complement FSSP's final
evaluation. Of particular interest to the
FSR/E Network is contained in a section
on "Priorities for Future USAID Support of
Farming Systems", which identifies
possible mechanisms for future support
and considers some priorities of future
farming systems activities.

PThe FSSP was let competitively as a
cooperative agreement. This procurement
CO N CEPT vehicle was selected as the optimal procure-
ment instrument because it
best allowed for: ongoing
TO PRACTIC \planning for project activities
(a "rolling design ') with USAID participation during project implementation; flexibility in
accessing from among numerous collaborating entities the limited and scattered FSR/E
expertise that would be drawn on to deliver project assistance; and strengthening among

the recipient and collaborators
needs of USAID.

of their capacities to respond to FSR/E program and project

Wendell Morse
USAID Project Manager FSSP 1983-1985
B oth the setting within USAID when
the FSSP was let and the organiza-
tional requirements of the project
were somewhat unique. The factors
directly and significantly conditioned
both FSSP implementation and the
perception of its performance.
The FSSP was a worldwide support
project funded principally by the Office of
Agriculture within USAID's Bureau for
Science and Technology (S&T/AGR).
USAID project management during early
implementation stages was shared in the
S&T Bureau by the S&T/AGR and the
Office of Rural Development (S&T/RD). By
nature of the cooperative agreement, these
two offices shared project management
responsibilities with the University of
USAID stipulated for the FSSP that a
university would be selected to lead the
project, but that this university would
access FSR/E expertise from among a
network of collaborators that would be
formed by the lead university after signing
of the cooperative agreement Despite this
requirement for collaboration, the lead
university remained solely responsible and
accountable for project implementation
and performance. The uniqueness of the
USAID setting and organizational require-
ments of the FSSP conditioned its
Worldwide Support Project
As a USAID worldwide support project,
the FSSP was to deliver program assis-
tance to all USAID geographic regions.
During the early stages of project planning,
the Africa Region was to receive priority
attention. That is, 50 percent of project

resources were to be allocated to Africa. In
reality, this meant that 50 percent of project
resources would be available to the West
and Central Africa countries serviced by
the USAID Regional Economic Develop-
ment and Services Office (REDSO/WA)
located in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. FSSP was
to focus on this region as the Bureau for
Africa had funded with CIMMYT an FSR/E
support project for USAID countries in East
and Southern Africa. It was originally
intended that the FSSP would assume
support responsibility for USAID-spon-
sored FSR/E projects in East and Southern
Africa roughly two years after FSSP
start-up. However, this never occurred as
the Bureau for Africa extended the
CIMMYT support project. Thus, the FSSP
undertook few support activities in East
and Southern Africa. These were usually
programmed in conjunction with CIMMYT.
In January, at a 1983 S&T Bureau
leadership meeting, surprise was expres-
sed at the worldwide support nature of the
FSSP, describing a perception of the FSSP
as an "Africa only" project. This leadership
perception was at variance with the S&T
Bureau approved project paper and
negotiated cooperative agreement which
defined the project scope of work in a
contractual sense. In this January, 1983
meeting, S&T Bureau leadership expres-
sed for the first time firm interest in
restricting the scope of the project by
eliminating services to the Latin America/
Caribbean and Asia/Near East regions.
The FSSP was the last of the mission
support projects funded by the S&T
Bureau just prior to its turning its attention
to research projects in late 1982. This
refocus reflected realignment in central
bureau interests when USAID's central
bureau changed from the Development
Support Bureau to the Bureau for Science
and Technology.

Both the misunderstanding of the
project scope (worldwide vs. West and
Central Africa) and its nature (support
rather than research) placed the FSSP at
a disadvantage in the S&T Bureau. It
simply was not viewed as favorably as the
research projects with which it competed
for Bureau attention and resources in an
atmosphere of ever shrinking budgets.
USAID Project Management
The FSSP was one of a small group of
projects within the S&T Bureau which were
to be jointly managed by two offices within
the Bureau. The FSSP was funded, with
the exception of $500,000 which was
made available to the project through the
Office of Rural Development (S&T/RD), by
the Office of Agriculture (S&T/AGR). A
project officer from S&T/AGR and a deputy
project officer from S&T/RD were desig-
nated as the USAID partners in manage-
ment of the FSSP with the University of
Florida. As stipulated by the cooperative
agreement, the S&T/AGR project officer
was the USAID contact for the university
leading the FSSP.
As with other projects jointly managed
by S&T offices, this USAID arrangement
proved difficult for the FSSP. The constant
need within USAID to reconcile the often
varying positions of the different offices
holding project management staff fre-
quently slowed FSSP implementation.
Once a single USAID project officer was
given authority to speak for USAID in the
collaborative management of the project
with the lead university, project manage-
ment became more efficient.
Numerous Participants
FSSP project design required that a
single lead university identify and establish
working relationships with institutions with
FSR/E expertise during the first year of

project implementation. This was a new
approach to implementation of USAID
projects. Heretofore, collaborators and
their respective roles had been identified
prior to letting of a USAID project. Bilateral
and other central bureau projects, includ-
ing the collaborative research support
programs (CRSPs), all fit the pattern of
known collaborators with identified
responsibilities prior to signature of
contracts with USAID. The FSSP broke
new ground by completing institutional
arrangements during the initial phases of
project implementation, after signing of
the cooperative agreement with the
University of Florida. This is noteworthy in
that it proved that a large number (25) of
support entities from among universities
and private sector firms could and would
at significant costs to themselves, work
together in implementation of a single

Project Procurement
During project design USAID recognized
that farming systems capability in the
United States was scattered among a
number of entities including several Title
XII universities, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture and a few private institutions.
Outside the United States, farming
systems competence could be found in
some of the international agricultural
research centers and in a few of the
national research institutions of other
countries. The USAID challenge in
designing the FSSP to meet its needs was
both to assure that technical services
would be accessed and delivered from this
scattered resource base, and to broaden,
strengthen and institutionalize this re-
source base to assist USAID in its farming
systems program efforts in the future.
A cooperative agreement, an in-
frequently used procurement process, was
selected as the one that would best lead
to the successful accomplishment of the
technical assistance and institution
building objectives of the FSSP. The
USAID project committee decided that a
Title XII university could best lead the
The procurement process was initiated
by USAID contacting Title XII universities
to announce the project and to assess
university interest and perceived capability
to serve as the lead university under a
cooperative agreement with USAID.
USAID, at this time, also identified
universities which held significant farming
systems capacity and which wanted to
contribute to the project, although not in
a leadership role.
Universities interested in leading the
project were asked to submit to USAID a
statement of institutional management
capability. Institutional qualifications in
farming systems as related to the four

project components (technical assistance,
training, networking, and state-of-the-art
research), institutional commitment to
farming systems and international agricul-
tural development, and qualifications of
staff proposed for the project were criteria
used by USAID to evaluate the statements
of institutional management capability.
Fourteen universities expressed an
interest in leading the FSSP. The USAID
project committee selected six universities
(Colorado State University, University of
Florida, University of Illinois, University of
Missouri, Michigan State University, and
Purdue University) from among this group
to meet with the project committee for the
purpose of selecting the university best
qualified to lead the project. Subsequent
to these meetings, the University of Florida
was selected to lead the FSSP.
A highlight of this procurement process
was a general meeting held prior to
selection by all six of the universities which
were considered by USAID to lead the
project. This meeting was important in that
it established a nucleus of future col-
laborators in the project. Also, this initial
consolidation of interest was a clear
expression of intent to collaborate and
dispelled USAID fears that by competing
the project and choosing one university to
lead it, others considered in the final stages
of the selection process might not make
their farming systems and other institu-
tional capabilities available to the FSSP. In
fact, two months prior to signing of the
cooperative agreement with the University
of Florida, this group of six universities had
started to form the support entity network
that was so important to effectiveness of
the FSSP and the accomplishment of
project objectives during implementation.
The structural framework described
above was unique to the FSSP Its existence
as a field support project at a time when
the S&T Bureau had shifted its emphasis
to research activities, the misunderstanding
within the S&T Bureau as to project scope
(worldwide vs. West and CentralAfrica), the
requirement to establish a network of
collaborators after the beginning of
project implementation, and the attempt
within the S&T Bureau to jointly manage
the FSSP brought significant challenges to
both USAID and the University of Florida
during project implementation.

Farming Systems:
A Need for Consensus
The underlying justification within
USAID for the FSSP was the need to
provide technical assistance and human
resource development support to the
many bilateral projects which USAID was
funding under the title of Farming Systems
Research and Extension, or some close
variation of this project title. USAID
recognized in 1981 that the farming

systems approach to agricultural research
and extension carried varying definitions
and that these varying definitions were
reflected in the diverse implementation
patterns of USAID projects, which by
design were intended to be very similar.
This lack of consensus as to "what is
FSR/E" was further compounded as
contractors staffed field research projects
with personnel who knew agricultural
research well, but who knew the farming
systems approach less well, if at all. USAID
and host country officials became frus-
trated as "their" farming systems projects
frequently assumed characteristics of
commodity or discipline based research.
They called for central support efforts that
would help host country agricultural
research institutions develop and deliver
new agricultural technologies. It was this
call for central support from a farming
systems expertise base that led to the FSSP
and the similar CIMMYT implemented
support project in East and Southern
Therefore, the FSSP entered an arena
(farming systems research and extension)
which proposed added dimensions
(extension and farmer involvement in the
research process) to the more commonly
practiced commodity or disciplinary
approach to agricultural research. And, the
FSSP began at a time when farming
systems as an approach to agricultural
research and extension was itself still being
defined and learned among the agricultural
research and extension communities in
the United States and abroad.
The FSSP was handed considerable
definitional and consensus building
responsibility as it entered this arena. While
its responsibility was focused on USAID-
funded farming systems efforts, its
mandate to access and strengthen farming
systems capabilities on a worldwide basis
thrust the project to center stage among
U.S. universities, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, private institutions, interna-
tional agricultural research centers and
national research institutions in its
worldwide leadership role in farming
systems consensus building.
Early Project Implementation
During its first nine months, the FSSP
faced three significant and noteworthy
organizational and programmatic chal-
lenges which were related to:
1) the establishment of a network of
2) USAID response to a proposal from
the International Institute of Tropical
Agricultural (IITA); and
3) staffing the FSSP.

Network of Collaborators
The nucleus of a network of collaborat-
ing institutions was formed at the time of


lead university selection in July, 1982 as
mentioned above. Prior to signing of the
cooperative agreement, at the end of
September, 1982, a second, larger
meeting was held with universities and
firms interested in affiliation with the FSSP.
These two meetings demonstrated broadly
based interest and support for the FSSP;
all costs for these meetings were absorbed
by the participants.
Subsequent meetings with collaborators
during the first year of project implementa-
tion defined the support entity base for the
FSSP. During the first year considerable
project time was devoted to finalizing
formal agreements between the University
of Florida and the 25 support entities
affiliated with the project.
IITA Proposal
During the summer of 1982, USAID
(S&T Bureau) received a proposal from
IITA requesting USAID support for IITA's
farming systems program. The scope of
the proposal, both in terms of budget and
range of activities, exceeded the capacity
of the FSSP even though the S&T Bureau
proposed that USAID response to IITA be
made through the FSSP and use FSSP
It is noteworthy that University of Florida
representatives, who were responsible for
the FSSP, met at their own expense with
USAID and IITA officials in August, 1982,
to consider the IITA proposal prior to

signing of the cooperative agreement for
the FSSP. Officials at this meeting decided
that a site visit to IITA by USAID and FSSP
officials would be required during the fall
of 1982 prior to further consideration by
USAID and the FSSP of the IITA proposal.
Subsequent to site visits to IITA in October
and November, 1982, the S&T Bureau
decided that USAID support for the IITA
proposal was not appropriate through the
FSSP. FSSP did, however, during the early
months of 1983, provide roughly 5 person
months of technical assistance to IITA for
the purpose of designing an FSR/E
training program.
Consideration of this IITA proposal was
significant and noteworthy in that:
a) prior to signing of the cooperative
agreement, the University of Florida
was asked by USAID to consider use
of FSSP project resources;
b) evaluation of the IITA proposal
consumed significant project re-
sources during project start-up toward
an end only marginally related to the
purpose of the FSSP; and
c) during the very early months of the
project, support to IITA diverted scarce
technical assistance resources from
activities more directly related to the
purpose of the FSSP.
Project Staffing
Staffing of the FSSP was defined in the
cooperative agreement Project manage-

ment (both University of Florida and S&T)
agreed in the fall of 1982 that the core staff
would be assembled at the University of
Florida and consist of both University of
Florida staff and staff seconded to the
University of Florida by collaborating
universities or firms for the purpose of
FSSP implementation. During late 1982
several highly qualified candidates for core
staff positions were identified from among
the network of collaborating entities.
However, the seconding of these people to
the University of Florida was not possible
because the arrangement was not accept-
able to their parent institutions. Project
management then considered two options
for staffing the core group: a dispersed core
staff; or recruitment for a University of
Florida based core staff. In January, 1983
the recruitment option was chosen as the
most beneficial way of staffing the FSSP
These events surrounding FSSP staffing
are significant in that the seconding
arrangement, had it been workable, would
have been precedent setting and could
have contributed significantly to solidifying
the FSSP support base.

I _


Core Staff
Dr. Chris Andrew became Director of the
FSSP at the inception of the USAID/Univer-
sity of Florida Cooperative Agreement,
September, 1982.
Dr. Jim Jones joined the project in
December, 1982 to provide coordination
and leadership in training and Latin
American programs.
Mr. Steve Kearl joined in April, 1983, as
editor/communicator with responsibilities
for the newsletter, support to the training
program in the development of training
modules and support to other communica-
tion and publication efforts.
Dr. Susan Poats joined the project in
June, 1983, to coordinate network and
related efforts including workshops,
regional and sub-regional networks, and to
provide leadership for African programs.
Dr. Ken McDermott joined the project in
September, 1983, with responsibility for
coordinating technical assistance program
requests from USAID for the entire project
and to serve as a Washington-based
Dr. Dan Gait also joined the project in
September, 1983, to work closely with
support entities in the supply of technical
assistance and training teams and in
coordinating Asian programs.
Ms. Lisette Walecka assumed
coordinating responsibility for the
development of training materials in 1984.

Other complementary support to the
project was as follows:
Dr. Peter Hildebrand provided
state-of-the-art, technical support and

consultation for the FSR/E program in
general and training in particular, through
the development of training materials.
Dr. Robert Waugh consulted with the
project regarding management and
administration issues in FSR/E projects,
both in techncial assistance and training.
Mr. James Dean was responsible for the
visitors program, support to development
of training materials, reference facilities
and network logistics within the United
Dr. Eugenio Martinez served as a Senior
Counselor in Residence from 1984-1985.

USAID Project Management included:
Wendell Morse, Project Manager
Ken Swanburg, Co-Project Manager
Don Osburn, Project Manager
Roberto Castro, Project Manager

Members of the Advisory Council
1983 WendellMcKinsey
University of Colorado
1983-84 James Meiman
Colorado State University
1983-85 LarryZuidema
Cornell University
1984-86 Dale Harpstead
Michigan State University
1985-87 Jean Kearns
University of Arizona

1986-87 Ned Raun
Winrock International
1987 DelaneWelsch
University of Minnesota

Representation on the Technical Commit-
tee included:
1984 SamJohnson
Universityof Illinois
1984 RobertMcDowell
Comell University
1984-85 Bob Hart
Winrock Intemational
1984-85 Jim Henson
Washington State University
1984-86 Cornelia Butler-Flora
Kansas State University
1984-87 John Caldwell
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
1985-87 Jim Oxley
Colorado State University
1985-87 DaveThursten
Comell University
1985-86 Mimi Gadreau
University of Minnesota
1985-86 Pascal Fotzo
1985-86 Terd C.
1987 DonVoth
University of Arkansas
1987 Rick Bernsten
1984 Steve Franzel
Development Alternatives, Inc.
1984 Ken Buhr
University of Florida
1985-87 MichaelJoshua
Virginia State University


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