ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION
INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT
AID PROJECT 936-5300
Office of Rural Development And Development Administration
Development Support Bureau
JAMAICA FIELD REPORT NO. 2
MANAGEMENT SUPPORT TO THE
JAMAICA MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
SECOND INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Research Triangle Institute
P.O. Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
r -:** .4.
Development Alternatives, Inc.
1823 Jefferson Place, NW
Washington, DC 20036
MANAGEMENT SUPPORT TO THE
JAMAICAN MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
SECOND INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
A Field Report Prepared Under
AID Contract No. DSAN-C-0065
For the Office of Rural Development and Development Administration
Development Support Bureau
Research Triangle Institute
P.O. Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Development Alternatives, Inc.
1823 Jefferson Place, NW
Washington, DC 20036
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . .
1 THE PROJECT . . . . . . .... . . . .. 1
2 THE PROCESS . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3 OBSERVATIONS . . . . . . .... . . . .. 7
Technical Strategy . . . . . . . . 7
Beneficiary Participation . . . . . . .. 14
Information Flow . . . . . . . . . 19
The Role of Women . . . . . . . . . 22
The Project Environment . . . . . . . .. 24
Benefit Sustainability . . . . .... . . 29
4 THE FUTURE . . . . . . . .... . . . 33
A. IRDP MANAGEMENT ISSUES
B. TRAINING CENTER NEEDS
This report focuses on management issues arising from the second
field visit of an IRD Project team to the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture
Second Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP)./ The field work
occurred between March 2 and March 20, 1981. Activities consisted of
gathering information, participating in project meetings, conducting
workshops, and presenting and discussing a series of management recom-
mendations with IRDP project staff. The goal of the work was to support
the capacity of project personnel at all levels to effectively plan,
coordinate, manage, and evaluate IRDP activities aimed at improving farm
family welfare in the project area.
The consultant team consisted of Jerry VanSant of the Research Tri-
angle Institute (RTI) with Thomas Armor and Robert Dodd of Development
Alternatives, Inc. (DAI). They were joined at no cost to AID or IRDP by a
student intern, Beth Jackson, who effectively combined a learning role
with significant contributions to the work of the team.
The activities reported here benefited from excellent support and
cooperation by IRDP staff and long-term technical assistance personnel
under the leadership of Mr. Dudley Reid, the project director. Their
contributions included many thoughtful insights and suggestions which have
become the substance of this report. Ultimately, the value of these ideas
will depend on the continuing leadership of IRDP staff in directing appro-
priate follow-up action.
This report briefly describes the IRDP project, reviews the activities
and process of the consultant team during the field visit, and comments on
several issues both of significance to the project and of potential interest
to the wider development community. Annex A reproduces material provided
separately to the project staff during the visit and details several
specific management recommendations. Annex B lists materials and sugges-
tions for the new project training center. Annex C reports the team's
1/A report of the first visit, entitled "Implementing Capacity Building in
Jamaica: Field Experience in Human Resource Development," is available from
Development Alternatives, Research Triangle Institute, or the Development
Support Bureau of AID. Jerry VanSant and Tom Armor were members of the
earlier team along with George Honadle and Paul Crawford of Development
The Jamaican Second Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP) is a
5-year effort jointly financed by the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture and
the Agency for International Development (AID), involving a total of US
$26 million in loans, grants, technical assistance, and host country
investment. The project evolved from the activities of a United Nation's
Development Programme (UNDP)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) field
survey initiated in 1967 which later led to a recommendation for a 10-year
model watershed rehabilitation project. In 1977, AID agreed to finance
IRDP, based on the UNDP/FAO proposal but with an expanded scope and accel-
erated time schedule. Field activities actually began in 1979 and the
project is now scheduled to end in 1983.
Project goals are stated as follows in the project paper:
To improve farmers' standard of living by increasing income and
providing improved roads, housing, electricity, and water; and
To establish an agricultural production model that can be repli-
cated on small hillside farms.
In support of these goals, project purposes include increasing agricultural
production on small hillside farms in the project area, controlling soil
erosion in targeted watersheds, and strengthening the human resource
capabilities of the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture.
The IRDP focuses on two noncontiguous watersheds in the interior
highlands of Jamaica. These watersheds, Two Meetings and Pindars River,
are inhabited by approximately 4,000 hillside farmers, each with an average
of 2.9 acres of land. Placement of the project in nonadjacent watersheds
reflects an attempt to address priority needs in two of the most important
of Jamaica's 18 severely eroded watersheds. However, this strategy also
greatly increases administrative demands.
Through direct farmer contact and efforts to build cooperating local
farmer organizations, IRDP attempts to provide incentives for the adoption
of soil conservation practices and new agricultural production methods.
Approximately half of the project's expenditures are earmarked for erosion
control activities. These activities include terracing, ditching, and
pastureland treatment; reforestation of over 5,000 acres of hill land;
stream control (waterway and check dam construction); and engineering
Credit and marketing components were included in the project plan but
are not closely integrated with the agricultural extension program.
Improvements in roads and housing and the provision of electricity and
water were also added as part of an ongoing effort to increase rural
infrastructure. Additional components deal with home economics, communi-
cations, agronomy, livestock, and local organizations.
The project is managed by a special unit within the Jamaican Ministry
of Agriculture. The line management chain runs from the project director
to assistant directors in charge of operations in each watershed. Field
activities are segmented into 20 subwatershed areas staffed by officers
representing major technical components such as soil conservation, agricul-
tural extension, and home economics.
Supporting project management are technical officers at the head-
quarters and watershed levels who coordinate the various technical inputs.
These personnel are further backed by a long-term American technical
assistance team consisting of component specialists and a team leader.
Planned project outputs are stated primarily in terms of quantitative
targets for component activities, employment generation, training, and
local organization development. It has been recently proposed to adjust
the principal component goal of 17,700 acres of treated land to 8,500
acres due to the unwillingness of some farmers to enroll in the program.
This reluctance is due largely to factors of insecure land tenure. Other
midcourse adjustments in project strategy include increased emphasis on
the role of local organizations and a greater focus on agricultural exten-
sion and marketing needs. These changes are a recognition that decreasing
soil erosion and increasing land under cultivation cannot alone guarantee
increased production and income for local farmers.
IRDP is seen by the Ministry of Agriculture as a model for potential
replication in other Jamaican watersheds. As such it is an important
learning opportunity. Some of what we have learned from project experience
to date is discussed in section three of this report. The following
section describes the process of team interaction with IRDP during this
The work reported here, performed in March 1981, is best understood
as part of a longer term relationship between IRDP and the DAI/RTI IRD
Project. In May 1980, an IRD Project team worked with IRDP for three
weeks on management training and organization development activities.
These activities resulted in a number of specific recommendations origi-
nating from various groups within the project staff. The expectation was
that action on these recommendations would be taken by the project staff
within about 6 months. It was also anticipated that a return visit by a
DAI/RTI team would be of value again at that time. For many reasons, some
within the project and some without, neither expectation was fulfilled.
The team that did return to IRDP in March, 10 months after the first
visit, represented a broader mix of skills and utilized a somewhat different
approach to the work from the first project team. Two team members, who
had been part of the previous team, had backgrounds in project management
and organization development. Two new members had backgrounds in agricul-
tural economics and rural sociology.
The March consulting exercise was less oriented to training than the
first visit and followed an evolutionary model. The character and substance
of each interaction between the consultants and the project staff were
most directly influenced at each turn by immediately precedent interactions
and learning. Other than two prescheduled meetings (necessitated by
logistical considerations), all activities were derived from information
and analysis undertaken during the 3-week visit itself. In this regard it
is fair to say that the substance, process, and outcome of the consulting
visit was only loosely defined by the scope of work agreed to prior to the
visit. This was a desirable situation and permitted the best application
of the skills and resources represented on the consulting team.
The team attempted to be responsive to the expressed needs of the
project (at several levels of the management structure) while also carry-
ing out an analysis of the project from an independent and constructively
critical perspective. Although consultants and their clients frequently
agree in principle to such an arrangement, it is often difficult to carry
out. Consultants can easily end up being too responsive in an effort to
please the client. Alternatively, because of the limited time and informa-
tion available to them as outsiders, they can be too analytical or too
critical and submit recommendations that may not be credible. In addition,
such "expert" recommendations are often difficult or impossible to imple-
ment in the real world.
To minimize these difficulties, the consulting team
1) Defined the "client" to include
several individual members of the IRDP staff and several
management levels of the project (in contrast to a single
high-level staff member or members);
USAID/Kingston. In this way the interaction between USAID
and the project was included; and
AID/Washington. Since this activity is centrally funded,
observations must be responsive to the broader interests of
the "development community;"
2) Responded to the specific needs of the project as outlined in
the scope of work and other correspondence between the team and
3) Addressed analyses of IRDP management issues or problem areas in
separate "stand alone" written memoranda that comprised a whole,
yet could be utilized on an issue-by-issue basis by project
staff as they saw fit;
4) Held team meetings on a regular, daily basis to share members'
thoughts and ideas and discuss potential implications of planned
activities from the perspective of each member;
5) Planned, in collaboration with project staff, appropriate actions
or interventions the team could take while at the project site
as a direct technical assistance input;
6) Identified opportunities for the four team members to work
individually, in pairs, trios, or as a full team with different
groups or individuals in the project; and
7) Reviewed the substance of this report orally with IRDP staff to
gain feedback and additional input.
The diversity of professional backgrounds on the team, combined with
mutual respect and interpersonal compatibility, supported such an evolu-
tionary approach to the 3-week exercise. In a like manner the project
staff's previous favorable experience with the IRD Project team reduced
their anxiety about such a flexible scope of work. This was a somewhat
unusual circumstance for a development project (and donor agency monitors).
Confidence and trust were facilitated by a conscious effort to distinguish
consultant activities from any sense of "evaluation." Evaluation most
often means one group making decisions about the performance of another
group. By defining the client to include all relevant actors, this diffi-
culty was minimized and joint assessments were distinguished from external
In taking direct action with various groups of the project, the IRD
Project team used several different formats and approaches. For example,
the team made a joint presentation of seven issues and related recommenda-
tions to the entire IRDP senior staff a few days before departure. These
management-related issues were identified by the team as critical for
immediate project consideration and response. In addition to this presen-
tation, each of the issues was discussed in more detail in a written memo
which was prepared and returned to the project a week later (see annex A).
Another means of interaction with project staff was a meeting held
with IRDP subwatershed team leaders. In this meeting the consultants
worked with the team leaders for several hours to help them identify
issues related to their management role in the project. These points were
then discussed with senior management. Interaction between managers from
different project levels provided a useful opportunity for enhanced mutual
A third, less direct approach was utilized by the consultants in
supporting the training division's workshop for Development Committee
leaders. In this instance the team worked closely with the workshop direc-
tor in reviewing his plans for the workshop. Ideas were discussed on a
collegial basis with him, but control over the agenda and leadership of
the workshop was effectively maintained by the IRDP training officers
whose work was evidence of their own growing capacity. Among the benefits
of this workshop was valuable feedback to the project from local farmers
regarding the need for better coordination of IRDP component inputs.
A less visible way of interacting with the project staff was a series
of one-to-one "consultant/client" relationships that each member of the
team developed with one or more of the project's senior staff. Issues
discussed varied from technical matters to consideration of more effective
ways to organize and run meetings.
In all these interactions, emphasis was placed on developing and
organizing IRDP staff members' knowledge based on their close familiarity
with the project. The role of the consultants was to facilitate expression
of ideas and, in some cases, suggest specific solutions to identified
problems. More broadly, certain observations about IRDP can be made which
may be of use to project staff and of interest to the wider development
community. These observations are presented in the following section.
Beyond the provision of short-term technical assistance, field work
such as reported here presents an opportunity to record some of what has
been learned in the course of a project's life. Project staff, long-term
advisers, beneficiaries, and other observers who are close to a project
all accumulate valuable information and insights as the project proceeds.
Often outsiders have a unique opportunity to gather, organize, and report
these insights, thus providing feedback to the project and useful informa-
tion on implementation issues to the wider development community.
In this case, it is possible to make certain observations based on
two visits to IRDP spaced 10 months apart. These observations are orga-
nized around six topical areas:
The role of women
The project environment
In addition to these findings, a set of specific management-related
comments and recommendations was developed and presented by the team to
IRDP staff in both oral and written form prior to departure from Jamaica.
These reports are contained in annex A to this report.
The goal of IRDP is to improve the living standard of hill farmers in
the two project watersheds: Pindars River and Two Meetings. The planned
strategy to achieve this goal is the development of a replicable model
that would control soil erosion, strengthen the capacity of professional
staff, and increase farm production and farmers' income.
To date, measurable progress has been made in construction of various
soil and water conservation structures on the land of cooperating farmers.
A large staff is in place and a relatively sophisticated administrative
system exists to expand and improve the soil conservation works of the
IRDP. In a strictly technical sense, the project is nearing a point where
the responsible managers can claim they have developed and tested a work-
able--if capital intensive and perhaps paternalistic--soil conservation
model, which could be replicated under similar circumstances throughout
Jamaica if sufficient funds were available. In the time remaining for
IRDP implementation, however, a much greater contribution could be made by
this project if other, less costly soil conservation methods were'developed
and tested. It is very unlikely that the current capital-intensive soil
conservation model will ever be replicated.
Professional Staff Capacity
From the amount and variety of local and overseas training, improved
capabilities of project staff can be assumed. Indeed, from observations
and reports of senior project officers, it is apparent that staff capabi-
lities and job performance continue to improve as a result of the project.
Further, the technical assistance specialists, in their advisory role, are
making important contributions to development of better skills and general
effectiveness of project staff. One area, however, that would benefit
from more attention is general project management. Emphasis to date has
been on the technical aspects of project implementation, whereas a greater
concern with effective management and coordination of project components
and resources evidently is needed (see annex A).
Farm Production and Farmers' Income
Limited progress has been made toward achievement of project targets
in farm production. The more important question of whether IRDP has
increased the net incomes, and thus the welfare, of participating farmers
also cannot be answered favorably at this time. A number of reasons
account for this:
To date, almost exclusive emphasis has been given to the soil
conservation aspects of the project.
Additional time is needed following major soil conservation
works before increased incomes may become evident.
Basic "packages" of improved technology--ones which, if applied
correctly, will result in higher farmer incomes--have not yet
been developed and tested by the Ministry of Agriculture or the
project for widespread farmer adoption. Almost no cost/benefit
analyses have been conducted on major crop and livestock enter-
prises to date.
An integrated system has not been established to link research
to extension and link extension to farmers' organizations and
individual farmers in order to effectively transfer knowledge
about improved farming practices.
Farm Product Market Uncertainties
In addition to the above, a major reason why farmers' net incomes
have not shown demonstrable increases as a result of participation in IRDP
is the uncertainty of the market for farm products. There are many reasons
Jamaica has a limited domestic market for its farm products,
particularly traditional starch crops such as yellow yams. This
is due, in part, to the fact that there is a small total popula-
tion, a high proportion of which is engaged in farming.
Most of the hill farmers plant much the same crops all at roughly
the same time; thus large amounts of a few farm products come on
the market simultaneously.
The export market is limited for most of the low-value crops
which make up the major part of the project farmers' output.
Most of these crops do not store or ship well.
Good storage facilities are lacking in Jamaica.
Few means exist to process or otherwise preserve many of the
farm products produced in excess of the fresh market needs.
For one reason or another, Jamaicans apparently have come to
prefer rice as a food staple over their own native crops. They
themselves do not grow rice to any important extent; therefore
it is imported to satisfy this consumer preference and competes
with.local staple foods in the marketplace.
The result of the above factors is a farm market that is subject to
frequent gluts and serious price depressions. The Agricultural Marketing
Corporation (AMC), which was organized to alleviate this situation, provides
small relief because shortages of funds prevent it from offering profitable
prices to farmers. Small traders (higglers) often use the low AMC price
as a base price upon which to negotiate a slightly higher, but still
unsatisfactory price on farmers' products. Because farmers are not gener-
ally organized for cooperative or group marketing activities, they are
easily exploited by the small traders if, in fact, there is a market at
all for their products.
A Market-Oriented Project Model
It is recognized by the IRDP project director that probably the major
constraint to increased farm incomes is the extreme unreliability of the
market for farm products throughout the project area. A marketing component
has been added to the IRDP and the staff is starting to address the difficult
problems outlined above.
As a contribution to this important task, there follows a proposed
project implementation model/ that emphasizes marketability of farm
products at the start of the farmer's production cycle. The suggestions
here are meant to stimulate discussions among IRDP senior staff and offi-
cials of the Ministry of Agriculture and USAID/Kingston. Hopefully, the
ideas presented will contribute to the early adoption of a fully integrated
system to assist farm families to plan, grow and sell their products at
reasonable profits in order to truly benefit from the project.
1. Prepare Market Priorities List (MPL)
A list should be made of all farm products (plant and
animal) that have good market acceptance. The list should indicate the
months when each of the products is most in demand. This list should be
prioritized where possible, amended when necessary, duplicated, and put
into the hands of all project officers.
2. Establish Credit Eligibility
Crop and animal production credit should be keyed to the
market priorities list. No credit should be granted for products not
listed on the MPL. Credit should be allowed for products with a low
priority and encouraged for products with a high priority on the MPL. No
credit is automatic, of course, and each situation should be evaluated in
terms of the farmer's interest and abilities, soil characteristics and the
availability of inputs needed for any given enterprise.
2/See annex A-III for recommendations regarding management responsi-
bility for steps in this proposed strategy.
3. Collect Technical Data
For every crop and livestock enterprise listed on the MPL,
a one-page technical data sheet should be prepared indicating all critical
operations in growing the crop or raising the animal. Information should
be gathered from all available sources; for example, research stations,
commodity boards, the Ministry of Agriculture information office, and
USAID. The technical sheets should be duplicated and given to all sub-
watershed officers at scheduled training courses used to explain the
4. Conduct Agronomic/Livestock Trials
Three of the present five demonstration centers should be
upgraded and properly staffed. to conduct meaningful adaptive research trials.
(The other two centers should be closed.) These trials should be limited
to crop and livestock enterprises listed on the MPL; to new crops considered
to have good potential such as peanuts, sorghum, and upland rice; and to
vegetable crops grown in home gardens. Information gathered from such
trials may be used to amend existing technical data sheets or prepare new
5. Conduct Farm Management Studies
A principal component officer in farm management should be
provided at the project headquarters by the Ministry of Agriculture and a
technical adviser in the same field be provided by means of a contract
arrangement. These two officers should conduct basic farm commodity
cost/return studies on enterprises listed on the MPL. The results of
these studies can be collected into simple farm management cost/return
data sheets. These should be duplicated and given to all subwatershed
staff. The economic studies would be used to modify the priorities of the
MPL where appropriate.
6. Implement Integrated Extension/Information Program
The following officers should be assigned full-time duties
exclusively in extension education and training:
Principal extension officer;
Principal home economics officer;
Senior extension and home economics officers;
Subwatershed extension and home economics officers;
(except where one of these must also serve as subwater-
shed team leader);
At least two field assistants per subwatershed; and
Technical assistance personnel in extension and home
Each subwatershed extension officer should establish a farm visita-
tion schedule based .on the division of the area into eight working units.
Each unit should be visited on one day during a fortnightly period. The
other two working days are to be used for office work and/or training on
subjects related to crops and livestock on the MPL, or home economics
subjects important for the visits during the upcoming period. The exten-
sion system could be carried out according to the following calendar:
EXTENSION SYSTEM (Each Fortnight)
DAY M T W T F S S M T W T F S S
VISIT 1 2 3 4 T* (OFF) 5 6 7 8 T* (OFF)
*T = Training (The training day may vary for each subwatershed team.)
This calendar is an example of an extension officer's fortnightly
field visit schedule; it is repeated every 2 weeks. Each subwatershed
extension team should, whenever possible, work on the same unit schedule
to reduce transportation problems and increase work effectiveness. All
field visits by extension officers should be written up in a field officer's
notebook. These should be simple entries concerning the officer's visit
and what was accomplished. The following should be included:
Name or number of unit visited
Date of visit
Names of leading farmers present
Names of other farmers present
Any problems encountered
Follow-up actions needed
On the days scheduled for training, subject-matter specialists from
the commodity boards, project headquarters, or watershed offices should
meet with the officers from one or more subwatersheds at demonstration
sites, central training facilities or a particular farm, to provide in-depth
training and preparation for the upcoming period of visits. Training
should be specific and directly related both to the MPL and to the current
farm operations being recommended. The role of the headquarters training
officers is critical in scheduling this regular activity.
In addition to the above approach, the integrated extension education
program suggested here should include the following elements:
Simple, illustrated single-sheet farmers' leaflets containing
basic information about one crop or livestock enterprise on the
MPL. These could be developed in conjunction with the Jamaican
Adult Literacy Program. They should be produced in large numbers
and provided to all subwatershed teams for distribution to
Simple, illustrated flip charts keyed to each of the farmers'
leaflets described above. These should be available at the
subwatershed offices for farmers' training meetings.
Radio programs related to the leaflets and flipcharts repeating
the same information and reinforcing the main points for most
efficient production of items on the MPL.
Identification and support of selected farmers to encourage them
to become planting material producers in various areas of each
watershed. Again, emphasis should be on commodities listed on
Active support for present attempts by the home economics offi-
cers to develop school gardens as part of the extension effort.
This is an excellent opportunity to teach good gardening prac-
tices as well as nutrition to young people.
Small, very specific, widely scattered, simple demonstrations on
farmers' fields throughout each subwatershed. A goal of two
demonstrations, related directly to crops or livestock on the
MPL, should be set for each of the eight working units in each
subwatershed. These should be small demonstrations of improved
practices and varieties. No subsidy should be paid to farmers
for these demonstrations, but the small amount of cash inputs
needed should be provided. Demonstrations on neighbors' fields
are believable, particularly if kept simple, while farmers often
do not relate to activities on more complex demonstration farms
Concentration of extension efforts on leading farmers and,
wherever possible, on work with farmer groups such as Development
Committees, local Jamaican Agricultural Society groups or farmers'
A Field Officers Handbook in the hands of all subwatershed
agricultural officers. This should be a loose-leaf notebook
that contains all technical data sheets prepared by the agronomy
component and farm management cost/return data sheets prepared
by the farm management officers. As revisions are made, new
individual sheets should be prepared and sent to all officers to
replace the old sheets.
A major effort to encourage the hill farmers (and home gardeners)
in the project area to begin to apply basic organic farming
concepts. Organic, mixed farming practices including the
regular use of composts, manure and legume cover-crops
should be emphasized. The ideal is an integrated, mixed
(crop and livestock) farming system that requires the
minimum of expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Wherever possible, a small-animal rearing enterprise involving
chickens, goats, or rabbits should be incorporated into the
farm system. The use of manures from the penned animals
along with other composted materials and lime, where needed,
should be encouraged as a means to improve soil tilth and
fertility at minimum expense.
8. Provide Supervision and Control
The development strategy outline here requires a high
degree of central control and supervision to ensure that all component
parts are fully integrated. At present, only the project director can
take on this coordinating/supervising responsibility. When the deputy
project director position is filled, this could become one of this offi-
cer's major responsibilities. In the meantime, the Technical Coordinating
Committee should meet and organize itself to respond to this challenge.
The committee should establish appropriate small working component commit-
tees to develop, within 1 month, a detailed, time-phased implementation
plan for the director's consideration.
A local organization strategy was conceived as one component of the
IRDP design and implementation plan. According to the project paper,
groups of small farmers were to be helped to achieve economies of scale by
planning, borrowing, buying, and selling in a more concerted manner. It
was assumed that no new organizations would need to be created; rather,
organizational assistance was to be concentrated on the 33 existing branches
of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in the project area.
The role envisioned for local JAS groups had several facets (project
paper, p. 34):
A conduit through which information, advice, and technical
assistance could be disseminated;
A forum for discussion among farmers where local leaders could
encourage others to adopt new behavior;
A structure wherein coordinated activity could afford local
farmers economies of scale in buying and selling; and
A vehicle to community and political participation.
As implementation began, however, the local organization strategy was
altered to include creation of new community-based groups called Development
Committees (DCs). These committees were established under IRDP auspices
and were intended to relate more directly to the project than was possible
for the multipurpose JAS branches. To minimize duplication and confusion,
each DC was to maintain a close relationship with the appropriate JAS
branch. In practice this relationship varies considerably among the DCs
but is generally uncertain at best. The most frequent link is maintained
through common leadership. To date 22 Development Committees have been
established, though not all are functioning.
The purposes of the Development Committees are to serve as a mechanism
for communication between IRDP and farmers, a conduit for project benefit
distribution, and a foundation for broader community self-help. So far
they have served best as an arm of the project for soliciting expressions
of community need and recruiting the participation of farmer leaders.
They have been less successful as vehicles for broad dissemination of
information or for stimulating collective self-help. These shortcomings,
in turn, derive from a lack of consistent, widespread participation in the
committees by farmers and the tendency of the DCs to focus attention on
short-term project benefits rather than long-term community development.
These problems are related. To the limited extent that project benefits
are channeled through DCs, they are not closely linked to nor dependent on
the participation or even awareness of the larger community. Nor is any
meaningful local resource commitment to project or other development
activities called for. Thus the roots of farmer participation in the DCs
extend neither deep nor wide and tend to wither altogether when the visible
project benefit stream slows down.
To counter these problems, IRDP is now pursuing a capacity-building
strategy with DC officers, designed to increase their ability to identify
and address local needs and mobilize local resources toward feasible
solutions. It is hoped that this training will increase the value of the
DCs in the eyes of local farmers and provide a firmer basis for the DCs to
operate during the project period and after the expiration of the IRDP.
So far, this strategy has entailed the creation by IRDP of a Develop-
ment Committee Council consisting of the officers of the various Develop-
ment Committees. This council meets quarterly with IRDP staff. The March
1981 meeting was linked to a 3-day training workshop and additional such
workshops are anticipated. The result of these activities is that parti-
cipating DC leaders have a generally good understanding of the project and
a noticeable commitment to expanding the level of general farmer participa-
tion in and commitment to project activities. For this to happen, however,
some major constraints will have to be overcome. These include the Jamai-
can political culture and IRDP's own history of subsidizing farmer involve-
Despite the creation of local organizations, the recruitment of
organizational leaders, the flow of resources to these organizations, and
the delivery of benefits to farmers, meaningful participation by these
farmers in IRDP remains below expectations. Part of the problem may well
have historical roots, deriving from local understanding of and experience
with similar organizations in the past. For most farmers, the perceived
benefits of participation do not balance the costs of time and energy to
attend meetings, let alone take a more active role.
There is a tradition in Jamaica of centralized control of resource
flows to farmers. JAS branches depend on the Ministry of Agriculture for
subsidies and policy guidelines. Local government is dependent on the
central authority for 95 percent of its revenue and most policy initiatives.
IRDP follows the pattern in its exercise of considerable control over the
Development Committees and its provision of almost all the resources
available to them. These resources are further circumscribed--sometimes
!/The argument in this section is largely based on ideas of Harvey S.
Blustain of Cornell University as presented to the IRD team personally and
in a draft manuscript entitled "Participation and Political Culture in
Rural Jamaica." In Dr. Blustain's 2-year association with IRDP, he has
been a valuable resource to the project and to observers of IRDP. See
Arthur A. Goldsmith and Harvey S. Blustain, Local Organization and
Participation in Integrated Rural Development in Jamaica, Ithaca: Cornell
University, Center for International Studies, Rural Development Committee,
1980. Also Harvey S. Blustain, "Social Aspects of Resource Management in
the Second Integrated Rural Development Project," mimeographed, July 1980.
inappropriately--by the component targets of the IRDP project paper. In
this environment inadequate attention is given to mobilization of local
resources and to concepts of self-help in general. The project's few
initiatives along this line--such as local cost-sharing for construction
of small storage sheds--have not met with a favorable response. DC meet-
ings tend to be dominated instead by discussions of how to increase exter-
In this context, there is neither a tradition of community development
based on self-help or widespread participation, nor much involvement in
formal local organizations such as the JAS. Moreover, local leadership
roles depend more on political links to higher levels than on a broad
local constituency. The highly political atmosphere also creates risks for
any local group that becomes very visible by attracting widespread interest.
These factors work strongly against the success of the Development
Committee strategy of IRDP. The barriers are further reinforced by the
project approach of large up-front resource commitments and direct sub-
sidies to farmers.
Subsidized Farmer Involvement
An individual is brought into the IRDP project by the preparation of
a farm plan for his land, which provides him with access to project
resources and expertise. In effect, farmer participation is purchased
through subsidies which make initial involvement highly attractive.
This participation is not linked to Development Committee involvement but
is arranged on an individual farmer basis. IRDP provides an initial soil
conservation subsidy of 75 percent to cooperating farmers. This pattern
is so solidly entrenched that efforts to reduce the subsidy have met with
resistance by farmers who feel they are not receiving benefits to which
/This attraction dims considerably for farmers with insecure tenure
(generally, the poorest) since they do not exercise the rights over their
land which assure for them the benefits of participation. In the project
area, less than 3 percent of the approximately 15 percent of all farmers
who have insecure tenure are involved in the project. See Blustain,
"Social Aspects of Resource Management in the Second Integrated Rural
Development Project," mimeographed, July 1980.
they are entitled. Moreover, there is a tendency to overlook maintenance
of terraces and hillside ditches since these activities are not subsidized
IRDP is typical of many large donor-assisted projects in its emphasis
on large up-front resource transfers which rely heavily on imported tech-
nology and technical assistance and are locked into a set of quantitative
component targets such as acres of land to be treated. Such projects are
intrinsically antiparticipatory from the outset since their focus is on
short-term measurable targets. Attention to these targets precludes
strategies aimed at meaningful long-term farmer involvement.
It is late in the game now to begin thinking about expanded local
resource commitment, an essential aspect of meaningful farmer participa-
tion. The perception that IRDP is another government "giveaway" program is
already established. In retrospect, instead of a subsidy approach to
farmer involvement in IRDP, a strategy might have been followed in which
as part of the farm plan 'contract,' a farmer cost-sharing commitment was
negotiated. This commitment could be keyed to a return-of-benefits concept
that would not require assumption of financial risk by poor farmers. But
it is important that a commitment of some kind be made to prevent accentua-
tion of paternalism and dependency. Even now, the issue of farmer resource
commitment should be pressed, not withstanding the potential cost to
achievement of acreage targets.
In general terms, IRDP staff are faced with the problem of attaining
well-intended participation objectives in the context of an unsupportive
political culture and an original project design in which local participa-
tion was an afterthought at best. The mandate to meet rigid, quantitative
project targets continues to constrain achievement of meaningful local
involvement despite the admirable attention now being given to capacity-
building among the Development Committees. Above all, the entire subsidy
concept has skewed the project toward soil conservation engineering rather
than broader developmental needs.
Two approaches are helpful in understanding how the flow, organi-
zation, and use of information can support or impede the implementation of
an IRD project. The first relates to strategy or policy issues and the
second relates to the operational management of the project. These may be
thought of as different shades of a single spectrum describing the informa-
tion needs of any organization.
In the case of information for strategy decisions, much can be learned
from IRDP. As detailed under "Technical Strategy" above, a revised approach
has been suggested by the IRD team, based in part on the fact that little
systematic use is being made of market information for guiding the overall
project strategy. In particular, information available about market
conditions for farm products has little influence on decisions about
extension strategy. Nor does it find a clear and reliable channel to area
farmers for their own decision making.
This is not simply a.project design issue that would ascribe the
difficulty to an erroneous initial model. All initial models are poten-
tially in error and implementors must develop information to test any
strategy's effectiveness. In Jamaica, the particular instability of
market conditions has given prime importance to the market component of
the project. Farmers themselves have identified their need for market
information and are asking why the project is not providing such informa-
In light of this, why does the project not make better use of market-
ing information? One reason identified in discussions with project staff
is their perception that a more central role for disseminating marketing
information as part of the project strategy would require management and
organizational changes which they felt to be beyond their influence.
Another aspect of this information problem is the emphasis on collect-
ing information about individual component performance. No measures of
overall project impact on farm families have been defined that might guide
integrated action. For instance, considerable information is available
about numbers of acres treated for soil conservation, amounts of planting
materials distributed, numbers of farmers visited by extension agents, and
so forth. However, it is difficult to understand how (and if) these
activities are improving production levels or families' incomes. Acres
treated are not necessarily acres maintained or productively planted.
Increased crop production is not necessarily a benefit if markets fail to
materialize and credit payments are in default.
If information had been available about the mix of component activi-
ties and the resulting impact on farm families, an earlier signal might
have alerted the project to the need for less emphasis on soil conserva-
tion and more emphasis on effective extension. The same case can be made
for other component combinations such as marketing and credit. In fact,
several such components were identified by farmer leaders as needing more
The difficulty seems to derive from the project paper's emphasis on
quantitative measures of project outputs. Few qualitative measures are
discussed in the project paper or "log frame." To be sure, such measures
are more difficult to articulate, but they are essential for a supposedly
integrated project such as IRDP. The technical background of most staff
members would also predispose them to concentrate on such quantitative
It is interesting to note that an IRDP subwatershed team leader
raised this concern for measuring broader impacts of the project. Another
subwatershed team leader suggested that home economics staff were probably
in the best position to measure changes in quality of life at the farm
family level. This concern on the part of subwatershed team leaders
highlights the point that concepts of integrated action are most opera-
tional and most recognized at this level.
The use of information for day-to-day management of the project is
another concern. In general, too much reliance may be placed on informal
information systems and not enough use made of the formal management
structure for conveying and processing information.
The conditions for a reliable informal information system include:
Reliable physical communication facilities (such as telephones
and interoffice mail);
Clear differentiation of purely technical information from
management decision-making information;
Clear understanding of management roles and technical or staff
Widespread knowledge of the responsibilities and authorities
vested in different staff members or units.
Most of these conditions do not exist in IRDP and thus the heavy
reliance on informal information systems is not effective. Severe problems
result: meetings are missed, transportation costs are extraordinary,
officers often have to miss appointments with farmers and farmer groups,
and, in general, staff time is not effectively used. In addition, informa-
tion that one unit or level thinks has been disseminated often has not
been, with predictable problems.
The question arises as to why formal information systems are not used
more regularly. They exist on paper and, for the most part, the essential
positions are staffed (with some important exceptions). One answer seems
to be a desire to avoid bureaucratic inertia, a laudable but apparently
overestimated risk under the circumstances. Related to this is the ex-
pressed desire of the project leadership to maintain a "family" spirit and
thus do much business in large meetings. The result is that proper manage-
ment information channels are not given the opportunity to work. Ad hoc
decisions are often made in a large meeting without adequate preparation
One formal use of information that does seem to be effective is that
of farm plans. In May 1980, concern was voiced about administrative
delays in processing these documents; however these delays no longer seem
to be a problem. Copies of handwritten drafts are now made available
immediately to the subwatershed officers. These are used directly at this
level, while eventually the typed and approved version is used as the
basis for legal contracts.
An interesting anecdote from the time when delays were a problem
illustrates an effective use of informal information systems. The forestry
component head had undertaken to have field officers tell him on an informal
basis of those farm plans that would require forestry activities. This
allowed him about a 2-month lead for his own planning. This is an example
of technical information that is utilized well by an informal system.
An example of management information not being used at all concerns
vehicle utilization in the subwatersheds. Daily mileage figures are
recorded by the drivers and tabulated on a monthly basis by the transporta-
tion maintenance manager. These data can be readily used to understand
how effectively subwatershed team leaders are using the vehicles assigned
to them. At present, however, this information is not made available to
the team leaders or the watershed manager. The IRD team suggested a
simple procedure whereby the subwatershed officer would note the daily
mileage in his own records when he signed the driver out at each day's
end. With this information, the subwatershed team leader would be better
able to make scheduling and dispatching decisions about the other vehicles
under his control. The current situation charges the expenses to one
division, but gives control over those expenses to another. The suggested
information-sharing procedure is a step in bringing the situation into
The Role of Women
Women are involved at all levels of the IRDP, both within the project
staff and among the target beneficiaries. In traditional Jamaican society,
women are relegated to positions inferior in status to men. However in
IRDP no particular discrimination is evident.
Women farmers are not uncommon in Jamaica. In fact, several studies
conducted in the IRDP area indicate that some 25 to 35 percent of the farm
households are headed by women. Senior project officers assert that such
women farmers are treated equally with men when it comes to benefiting
from the project. They share equal access to project assistance in the
development of farm plans, the installation of soil conservation structures,
the obtaining of production credit and access to advice from the extension
officers. It is worth noting that women farmers are often considered more
responsive project cooperators than many of the men farmers. Also, women
frequently are chosen as leaders by various farm organizations such as the
Jamaican Agricultural Society and the IRDP-sponsored local Development
The IRDP employs women at all levels and in many different capacities.
As might be expected, however, many more women are employed as daily paid
workers and clerical staff than in professional roles. To some extent
this disparity can be accounted for by government regulations which require
an individual to graduate from the Jamaican School of Agriculture (JSA),
or the equivalent, in order to receive a professional appointment with the
Ministry of Agriculture. Since fewer women than men choose, or are per-
mitted, to attend the JSA, the number of women available for professional
assignments is limited. In spite of this initial difficulty, however, the
IRDP employs several women in professional positions and provides advance-
ment opportunities to them. Some female soil conservation officers and
extension agents have been designated as subwatershed team leaders or
promoted to the senior watershed technical officer position. Except in
the fields of training and home economics, however, women are not repre-
sented in top positions at the project headquarters. This is probably the
result of past discriminatory practices, the smaller intake of female
students into the agricultural schools, and the fact that most of the
women professional officers are too young and inexperienced at this time
to move into more senior positions.
The home economics component of IRDP, though still getting established,
has successfully encouraged project women to participate in its programs.
Home economics was part of the original project concept but received
relatively low initial priority. It was not funded until more than a year
after the project started and the home economics officers are only now
finishing their first year in the field. In Jamaica, as in most areas of
the world, home economists must contend with slightly scornful or patroniz-
ing attitudes towards women's activities, both from male project staff and
target families. They find they are often not taken very seriously and
are still occasionally forgotten on meeting or travel agendas. In the
field, several home economics officers spoke of a husband's unwillingness
to give his wife a small plot of land for a home garden, to help with any
of the cultivation, or to leave tools for her to use while he is in the
field. Apparently, such non-cash-earning (though cash-saving) activities
are not always recognized as very important. Regardless of these obstacles,
however, the home economics staff and project leadership are working
effectively to dispell such preconceived notions. They have made signifi-
cant progress during the short year they have been operating, and home
economics is becoming a functioning, integrated component of IRDP.
Several observations can be made from women's involvement in IRDP
that are relevant to IRD projects elsewhere. For example, the home econo-
mics component is having good success in organizing women into small,
local groups that are effective units for training and extension activi-
ties. This has not been the case with men in the project area. Women
apparently are more willing to join groups than are men, and this tendency
allows the home economics extension workers to provide better quality
assistance to more people than would be possible through an individual
It is interesting that women, on the whole, seem to be more willing
to accept change and new ideas than men. For this reason, if seriously
involved from the beginning, women can become a tremendous support group
for the type of lifestyle changes that integrated projects often advocate.
Women are a vital resource that should be given a key role in the design
and implementation of IRD projects.
The Project Environment
Three critical requirements are needed to support a successful develop-
ment project: adequate and timely inputs, a rational implementation
strategy and a favorable development environment. IRDP has adequate and,
for the most part, timely availability of inputs necessary to make a
significant contribution to development of the project area. However,
implementation is constrained, at least to some degree, by the original
project design and the existing development environment. This section
briefly reviews how shortcomings in these two areas adversely affect IRDP
A major IRDP objective is to develop a replicable strategy to reduce
soil erosion and increase farm production (and by implication, net incomes)
of small, hillside farmers in the mountainous areas of Jamaica. There is,
however, an obvious inconsistency between this goal and the design being
utilized for its achievement. Three examples are cited below:
1. Project Area Selection
Two noncontiguous watersheds were designated as the project
area. Evidently social (number of poor families), resource conservation
(severity of soil erosion) and perhaps political considerations took
precedence over the original intent to create a model for replication
elsewhere. It is difficult to rationalize how the present two watersheds
were selected as the project area, except perhaps as a way to compare
different implementation strategies. However, no such intent is evident
in the project design. In fact, the selection of two noncontiguous project
areas has become a permanent constraint to the development and testing of
a model that can reasonably be replicated. This underlying constraint
expresses itself in the following ways:
Headquarters management and technical staff can not adequately
support the distant watershed program because of the 3-hour
round-trip drive involved.
Substantial project funds are used to provide vehicles, drivers,
maintenance staff and facilities just to serve the distant
Constantly rising gasoline costs result in a steady budgetary
pressure to reduce the services provided.
2. Implementation Approach
The IRDP designers chose to repeat a development strategy that
had been tried in the area previously without notable success. The concept
of paying subsidies to farmers for their participation in soil conservation
schemes had been the basis of earlier programs which generally failed to
ensure continued maintenance by farmers of the subsidized soil conservation
works and did little to increase production and incomes on the hill farms.
The experiences of the earlier soil conservation programs evidently were
not fully considered in designing IRDP, which now faces the likelihood of
3. Project Costs
The capital intensity of the IRDP is another indication of the
gap between the stated project goal of developing a replicable model and
the actual project design. The total project budget of $26 million, if
divided by the 4,000 farmers within the project area, amounts to $6,500
each. Therefore, in order to replicate this type of project for the
estimated 150,000 hillside farmers in Jamaica, over $900 million would be
required. Also surprising is that the project provided large sums of
money to purchase heavy equipment for construction of the hillside terraces
and roads in the area. The bulldozers have proven infeasible for most of
the terracing activities because of the steep slopes as well as the small
size and scattered locations of the farms. The road building is a relatively
small part of the total project. Such a capital-intensive design cannot
be expected to result in a replicable model for a country such as Jamaica.
The point to be stressed is that large, complex IRD projects, such as
IRDP, take on a life of their own after the initial settling-in process.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to readjust their direction once
implementation momentum is established.
In the case of IRDP, a good opportunity to develop a balanced, rational
and cost-conscious model that has reasonable chance of being replicated is
being lost. The inappropriate original design and the later hesitancy to
modify and correct that design makes the job of getting the project back
on track very difficult. Strong action by the project leadership is
needed to reidentify replicability as a key challenge, and to direct all
the components toward meeting that challenge. The active backing of
USAID/Kingston is also essential in support of this action.
Jamaican Political Considerations
The recent change of government in Jamaica has resulted in some
additional tensions and difficulties for IRDP. Certain key professional
staff have been transferred from the project and a number of new subpro-
fessionals, in excess of project needs, have been added to the staff,
The main problem with this sort of political tampering is not only
the positions required to be added or even the loss of some experienced
professionals. It is, rather, the sense of insecurity felt by the entire
project staff and the reduced morale that results.
The external donor agency, in this case USAID/Kingston, should use
its influence by communicating to the host government the need to stop
petty political interference in project implementation if project goals
are to be achieved.
U.S. Political Considerations
The change of government in the United States also is a factor
in how successfully the IRDP can be carried out. New attitudes toward the
project, based upon preconceived concepts of how such projects should be
implemented, and perhaps supported by quick visits to the field by senior
AID/Washington officers, may result in reduced enthusiasm for the project.
This is unfortunate because IRDP, now more than ever, requires active
support from USAID/Kingston. A large investment has been made in IRDP to
date. The main task now is not to criticize the project for its shortcomings
but rather to help redirect its substantial resources toward development
of a rational strategy for the time remaining in the life of the project.
U.S. assistance and support are needed to help the IRDP identify less
expensive, more generally applicable soil conservation methods that truly
can serve as part of a model for later replication in other areas of the
country. Also, support is particularly important now to establish an
effective extension and marketing system that will address the basic
project goal of increased farmer incomes.
As explained elsewhere in this report, the inability of farmers
to profitably market their products is a serious constraint to the achieve-
ment of project goals. Shortages of funds, lack of staff incentives, and
inadequate management capabilities prevent the government's Agricultural
Marketing Corporation (AMC) from fulfilling its role as the primary buyer
of farm products. The prices set by the AMC are too low and, in fact,
serve merely as a base price from which private traders negotiate with
farmers to the disadvantage of the farmer. For example, the AMC offers
farmers 50 per pound for green ginger. Because of production costs
farmers feel the need to receive a minimum of 65 per pound. The traders
negotiate a price that is based upon the AMC price but that is still not
at a level profitable for most farmers, and that can even drop below the
AMC price. The result is that farmers are forced to sell at unprofitable
prices and there is little incentive for their continued production and
marketing of certain commodities.
Import/Export Policy Constraints
Certain government policies.regarding agricultural imports and
exports evidently have detrimental effects on project farmers. Some
imports directly compete with locally produced farm products at the time
they are coming on the market. Imported rice, for example, competes
directly with yellow yams as a food staple. Imported onions, apparently
preferred because of their glossier sheen, also find their way into Jamaica
and compete with local varieties. Quantities of meat products are imported,
and again local producers feel the loss. This is not to imply that the
Government of Jamaica should spoonfeed the farmers, but rather to suggest
that the government should reduce, wherever possible, unnecessary competi-
tion for the local producers.
On the other hand, some government policies limit the export of
certain commodities. Green ginger is a good example. Apparently, export
of the green variety has been prohibited until recently in order to prevent
its cultivation outside of Jamaica. Farmers are just beginning to test
the green ginger export market and it is hoped that they will be able to
establish effective marketing outlets. Although this prohibition of
exports has been lifted, it is unclear how many other such laws are limit-
ing the farmers' chances to earn additional income from the export market.
Slow-moving government bureaucracy is a continuing constraint on
project achievement. For example:
Important senior staff positions are not filled (such as deputy
project director and farm management specialist).
Release of funds is delayed (such as for construction of a
produce grading and packing facility to improve the marketing
Purchase of seriously eroded or extremely steep parcels of land
for conversion to forest land is delayed by inflexible administra-
Project staff are well aware of such delays but can do little to
speed up government action. While, on paper, projects such as IRDP appear
to command all the resources necessary to achieve their objectives, in
reality they are seriously handicapped by the existing bureaucratic system
within which they must function. It seems a fact of life for such a
project as IRDP that while the project works toward a specific goal within
a definite time frame, the host government agencies on which the project
depends for critical support work on a routine, business-as-usual basis
with no particular concern about project goals or deadlines. Generating
government commitment to supporting project goals is, therefore, one of
the highest priority needs in improving IRD project performance.
The history of integrated rural development projects manifests a
frequent absence of benefit continuation after external project interven-
tions end. Problems of sustainability derive from a number of common
Lack of clarity regarding what is to be sustained;
Failure to consider sustainability in the project design;
Lack of involvement by local populations;
Inadequate ongoing organizational capacity; and
Limited attention of project staff to sustainability.
Each of these problems characterizes IRDP to some degree. They are con-
sidered briefly below.
Lack of Clarity Regarding Objectives
IRDP was conceived and begun as a major soil conservation effort.
Later it added an important local organization focus. Now it is recog-
nizing the need for an integrated extension-marketing strategy if pro-
duction and income targets are to be addressed. The result is a somewhat
disorganized mix of objectives in search of a common strategy. Moreover,
little attention has been given to how any of these objectives may lead to
ultimate improvements in beneficiary welfare. No serious effort has been
made to develop indicators of farm family welfare in the project area, let
alone to measure project impact beyond achievement of physical component
targets (see annex A-IV). Effective planning for sustainability is unlikely
to take place in the absence of greater clarity regarding what welfare
goals are attainable and worth being sustained after project termination.
Project Design Flaws
The design of IRDP itself is a major constraint to benefit sustain-
ability. Not only did the project paper fail to address the question of
sustainability, but the strategy of the project is so dependent on large
external resource inputs that benefit continuation is virtually precluded.
For example, in the project area the ratio of IRDP staff to farmers is
about 1 to 35 compared with the general Jamaican pattern of 1 equivalent
extension officer to 1,000 farmers. Project vehicles, including bulldozers,
are visible everywhere in the project area. The monthly gasoline bill is
running at a level near $35,000 (US) per month. Overall, the project
budget exceeds $6,500 for each farm family in the target watersheds.
No one at the project level, the Ministry of Agriculture, or at
USAID/Kingston appears to have given much thought to the upcoming major
transition from the resource-intensive project phase to the time when
continuing activities will be dependent on normal government inputs and
whatever local organizational capacity survives. It is not known what
levels of staffing will be maintained by the Jamaican government or whether
any special project component inputs such as marketing, credit, and home
economics will be continued. What is already apparent is that, even as
the project continues, levels of maintenance of early terracing work leave
something to be desired. This does not augur well for the maintenance of
other benefits that may develop as the project continues.
Lack of Local Involvement
As noted under "Beneficiary Participation," levels of farmer involve-
ment are limited by tradition and by project emphasis on external inputs.
Sustainability of the Development Committees is doubtful if they serve
primarily as a channel for identifying needs and as a conduit for project
response. Without a greater problem-solving role and the capacity to
mobilize resources, these committees will have no meaningful function
after project termination.
Local involvement depends in large part on rational perceptions of
benefits that are tangible and relatively short term. The main project
"benefit" which meets these criteria is the one-time subsidy paid to
enrolled farmers for land treatment. That subsidy, by design, does not
continue. The development of other perceived benefits through effective
marketing and extension assistance may create local demand for continua-
tion of these inputs. The effectiveness of this demand upon ongoing
governmental structures may depend, in part, on local organizational
capacity. Therefore, the greater attention of IRDP on building Develop-
ment Committee competence and improving extension activities promises
important and mutually reinforcing benefits. But there is a long way to
go on both fronts and success is far from assured.
Inadequate Organizational Capacity
IRDP is managed by a special project unit within the Jamaican Ministry
of Agriculture. This unit is unlikely to continue in its present form
after the project ends. Therefore, the burden of transition to and continua-
tion of a permanent staff presence depends on the Ministry of Agriculture
and the local Parish offices in the project area. At this point, little
thought seems to have been given to the future by these agencies of govern-
ment. Moveover, since the project watershed boundaries are not contiguous
with the boundaries of any Parish or group of Parishes, long-term project
influence may be uneven at best. The subwatershed areas to which local
project activities are keyed bear little relationship to community or
Parish boundaries and the subwatershed organizational structure is unlikely
to be maintained even on a reduced staff basis. Indeed, there is no
assurance that staff trained under project auspices will even remain in
the area. Therefore, the organizational structures developed by the
project are likely to vanish with little or no impact on the organiza-
tional capacity of the remaining governmental framework, especially at the
Parish level. In theory, Development Committees or JAS branches might
help fill the gap but, as noted elsewhere, this possibility seems remote
at present. In sum, in view of the doubtful prospect that project func-
tions will be institutionalized within the Jamaican government structure,
there is low probability that political and administrative support will be
available to assure broad benefit continuation after external resources
are withdrawn. At best it may be hoped that some component activities
such as extension or home economics may be sustained in a way that will
provide limited benefit continuation.
Limited Project Staff Attention
IRDP staff are not unaware of the constraints that are likely to
limit benefit sustainability. But the demands pressed upon them by the
array of quantitative component targets in the project plan, combined with
the relatively thin management structure (see annex A-I), have precluded
an adequate planning focus on steps to improve prospects for sustainability.
Given the project's design flaws, a major effort is needed not only to
formulate strategies to enhance benefit sustainability but to press for
commitments from the Ministry of Agriculture to maintain the necessary
levels of personnel and funding in the project area to assure a smooth
transition to viable post-project arrangements. These should be con-
sidered as major agendas for the project staff and also for USAID/Kingston
in its support role. Without this kind of planning and preparation for
the post-project period, achievement of targets for land treatment, road
building, tree planting, training, and even Development Committee creation
will have little beneficial effect.
As argued elsewhere in this report, a market-oriented project strategy
may offer an opportunity for increased project benefits both during and
beyond actual project life. In retrospect, it seems likely that such a
production strategy would have offered a better original basis for IRDP
with soil treatment seen as a follow-up activity to be funded, in part,
from increased local income. Instead,.the original UNDP/FAO proposal for
a 10-year soil treatment scheme was loaded with other components, cut in
half timewise, and relabeled as an integrated project. But, in fact, the
project has been dominated by soil treatment priorities from the beginning.
It has lacked both the design flexibility and planning resources to effec-
tively integrate its components or to offer its beneficiaries a sustainable
Present initiatives--particularly the greater focus on extension and
the Development Committee strategy--offer some promise. But without
institutionalization of these activities in the Jamaican government struc-
ture, it is doubtful that the diligent efforts of IRDP staff can overcome
the many marked constraints to lasting benefit flows.
The first step in planning further activities involving the DAI/RTI
IRD Project with the Jamaican IRDP is a discussion of the usefulness of
the work done in March 1981, including this report and the specific manage-
ment suggestions outlined in annex A. Such a discussion should await IRDP
staff review of this report and decisions regarding appropriate follow-up
activities. There are several possibilities for additional collaboration
in the future. These possibilities should be reviewed in light of demon-
strated commitment by IRDP, USAID/Kingston, and the Jamaica Ministry of
Agriculture to implementing needed management strategies to increase
If the market-oriented development strategy is accepted as a
useful model, assistance could be given to the project in imple-
menting such an approach.
The need for management development and training can be met, in
part, with consulting assistance. There are also local institu-
tions and other resources that might be linked to the project
with the help of the DAI/RTI team. This effort should focus on
several levels of the organization.
If a deputy director is put in place, there would be a good
opportunity for reviewing and articulating overall management
responsibilities within the senior staff. Outside consultants
can be very helpful in such an exercise.
If a more clearly delineated planning procedure is to be insti-
tuted, consultants could help design it and guide implementation
through the first 3- to 4-week period.
In the two opportunities for interaction to date, productive relation-
ships have been established between the IRD Project and IRDP staff. These
relationships and the mutual understanding which has developed provide a
good base for further, more targeted assistance with organizational and
administrative aspects of this important integrated rural development
IRDP MANAGEMENT ISSUES
IRDP MANAGEMENT ISSUES*
I. Role Definition
II. Coordination and Planning
III. A Market-Oriented Project Strategy
IV. A Strategy for Monitoring Family Welfare
V. IRDP Evaluation
VI. Project Meetings
VII. Management Follow-up
SThe contents of this annex were provided as a separate memorandum
to IRDP project staff prior to team departure from Jamaica.
I. ROLE DEFINITION
As is typical for an IRD Project, the Jamaica IRDP is staffed by
persons in policy-making, staff, and technical roles. While individuals
in each of these roles have management tasks to perform, the distinction
in responsibilities between the Project's line management team on the one
hand and persons in staff and technical roles on the other is not suffi-
ciently clear. This is due, in part, to the inadequacy of the project's
line management structure and, in part, to the lack of authority possessed
by field-level officers who are expected to perform management functions.
Both factors reflect the project's failure to take the role of management
A. The IRDP Line Management Team
It is remarkable that in a $26 million project with nearly 300
staff, there are only 3 persons with primary line management roles the
Project Director and the two Assistant Project Directors. All other senior
staff are in technical component or staff roles. Sub-watershed team
leaders do not now have the authority to be considered line managers (see
Regardless of how capable they may be, three persons cannot meet
the management needs of a project such as IRDP. The consequences are
two-fold. First, many management demands are not fulfilled. Second, there
is a tendency for technical and advisory personnel to engage by default
in management functions which are not part of their job. When this happens,
there is a loss of overall management coherence and lines of management
authority and accountability are confused. Moreover, the flow of
information essential for effective planning and management is diffused
to the point of being out of control. A great deal of information is not
available to the persons who need it, even though it often exists in some-
body else's files.
B. The Sub-watershed Team Leader's Role
The IRDP project's main link to its beneficiaries is at the sub-water-
shed level. It is at this level that technical inputs are made available
to farmers as a theoretically integrated package designed to help them
increase production and personal income. The importance of the sub-water-
shed level is reflected in the fact that the majority of project staff
are employed at that level. Nonetheless, as presently organized, sub-
watershed teams are not able to effectively plan, implement, or evaluate
an integrated response to farmer needs. This inadequacy is due in part
to a lack of information and in part to the absence of a clear management
link between subwatershed teams and the project. These problems are
evidenced most strikingly by the fact that very few designated sub-water
shed team leaders know what the overall project goals are or that recent
changes in those goals have been proposed. In essence they are treated
by the project as technical staff only, not managers, even though they
have a critical management function.
1. FILL THE VACANT DEPUTY DIRECTOR POSITION
The job description prepared by project staff and submitted to the
Ministry of Agriculture several months ago is excellent. Highest priority
should be given to securing approval to fill this position and to locating
a highly qualified candidate. This person must have the authority to carry out
major management responsibilities under the overall direction of the
Project Director. These responsibilities would relate primarily to
operational management at the Watershed and Sub-watershed levels including
coordination of planning and evaluation functions.
2. FORMALIZE THE LINE MANAGEMENT ROLE OF SUB-WATERSHED TEAM
Effective coordination of sub-watershed teams requires a clear
managerial role for team leaders who, in that function, will report to
their respective Assistant Project Directors. (In their technical
roles, all sub-watershed officers should report to the appropriate water-
shed senior officers rather than directly to the Assistant Project
Managers). To function effectively as team leaders, the designated officers
will need basic project management information to facilitate decision-
making that serves the total project effort. They will need to participate
in periodic management meetings in their watersheds with the Assistant
Project Director. These meetings would be distinct from meetings of water-
shed component groups or general watershed staff conferences.
Additionally, subwatershed team leaders need increased authority to
fill their necessary management function. This authority would take the
form of greater control over subwatershed personnel, including drivers,
and responsibility for coordinating overall subwatershed activities.
To support them in these tasks, all sub-watershed team leaders should
be given regular management training as part of the project training program.
Finally, consistent with the importance of the team leader's manage-
ment role, the individuals in that position should be evaluated and rewarded
based on their management performance as well as their technical work. The
present incentive structure does not support attention to management needs
or achievement of integrated project objectives.
To develop specific recommendations to upgrade the management role
of sub-wateshed team leaders, a task force consisting of Mr. Henry, Mr. McNish,
and Mr. Walters is suggested to consider the above issues and make recommendations
to the Project Director.
PLANNING AND COORDINATION
The planning and co-ordination functions of management should be
strengthened at the II IRDP. This should be done in relation to clari-
fied project goals. We suggest the following actions be taken:
A. Goals and objectives:
1. The overall project goals should be reviewed and articulated in terms
reflecting impact on improved welfare and quality of life for farmers
and farm families. Qualitative project goals should be emphasized over
quantitative component goals.
2. Each watershed should establish its objectives for meeting
project goals. Such objectives would reflect any unique opportunities
and problems in each watershed. These objectives would be results the
watershed proposed to accomplish during the life of the project. They
would be stated in both quantitative and qualitative terms and be related
to overall project goals rather than individual component targets.
3. Each sub-watershed should establish its own objectives for meeting
the watershed objectives. These may only be more detailed versions of
the watershed objectives, however they also would be directly related
to project goals rather than component targets.
4. Each component should establish its objectives, based upon those
of the watersheds and sub-watersheds. These objectives should reflect
the support and service nature of the components and be directly related
to the needs of the watershed and sub-watershed implementation staff.
B. Operational Planning:
Once objectives have been determined they form the basis for
operational planning. Such planning seeks to set realistic time targets
and sequencing for the objectives. In addition such planning identifies
the resources needed to accomplish objectives and the points of critical
co-ordination necessary between various project groups (i.e. components,
sub-watersheds, and management levels).
1. A single operational planning calendar should be established.
Fixed dates should be determined for completing items Al through A4 above.
Regular (i.e. recurring) dates should be established for the following
activities (B2 through B7). These dates might well be determined in
view of the budget cycle or some other existing cycle (e.g. planting
seasons, weather, etc). Steps B2 through B7 should take approximately 4
2. Each sub-watershed prepares its operational plan for the cycle to
a) the objectives it will accomplish during that cycle;
b) the sequence it proposes for accomplishing these objectives;
c) the support activities it needs from other project groups
for accomplishing these objectives;
d) start and finish target dates within the cycle for these acti-
e) resources (human and otherwise) it will need to carry out the
3. The sub-watershed plans are reviewed by the watershed manager,
modified as needed and agreed upon.
4. Each watershed group prepares its operational plan (as outlined
in B2) to support the activities of the subwatersheds.
5. The Project Director and Co-oridinating Committee review the water-
shed operational plans and sub-watershed operational plans, modify and
discuss them as needed, and approve them.
6. The several components each establish their operational plan
based on those of the sub-watersheds and watersheds (as outlined in B2).
7. The resultant plans are collected and made available as the project's
operational plan for the cycle period.
The need for ongoing co-ordination of project activities must be
met. The monitoring of progress on the various operational plans can
provide the initial focus of such a co-ordination effort. We strongly
1. A revitalization of the Co-ordinating Committee under the
strong leadership of the Project Director. When (and if) a Deputy
Director is in place, this would be a key role for him or her to assume.
The membership of the committee should include all component heads, their
technical advisors and the watershed managers and watershed senior staff.
2. This committee should meet fortnightly, alternating with (as
suggested here) fortnightly meeting of the entire senior staff. Every
effort should be made to use the committee meetings for issues of co-ordi-
nation of component activities. Issues of administration, general informa-
tion, and policy formulation should be deferred to the senior staff meetings.
III OUTLINE OF A PROPOSED MARKET-ORIENTED
The following is a summary of a proposed project development
strategy that places a major emphasis on the marketability of the farmer's
products at the start of the production and marketing cycle. It is
hoped that this proposal will generate discussions leading to the adoption
of such a strategy; one that coordinates the many component parts into
a unified, integrated whole needed to achieve the qualitative goals of the
B. Market Priorities List (MLP):
A list of all farm products with good market acceptance, noting the month when
each is most in demand, is prepared and sent to all project officers.
This MLP is modified as necessary.
Responsibility: Marketing Component, Headquarters.
C. Credit Eligibility:
All credit is keyed to the Market -riorities List (MPL). Credit
is not allowed for items not on the MPL; it is encouraged for high
priority items on the MPL.
Responsibility: Credit Component, Headquarters.
D Technical Data:
A single page technical data sheet is prepared for each crop or
livestock enterprise listed on the MPL. These are.:sent to all project
Responsibility: Agronomy and Livestock Components, Headquarters
E. Adaptive Research Trials:
Three of the existing five demonstration centers are staffed and
supported to conduct meaningful adaptive research on commodities listed
on the MPL. Two of the existing centers are closed. Results of
trials are used to modify or update the technical data sheeds discussed
Responsibility: (a) Project Director, Ministry of Agriculture,
USAID; for consolidation of existing demonstration centers; b) Agronomy
and Livestock Components; for adaptive trials.
F. Farm Management Studies:
A principle officer in farm management and a technical assistance
officer in the same field are added to project staff. These officers
conduct basic cost/return studies on enterprises listed on the MPL.
Resulting data get published as simple Farm Management Cost/Return Data
sheets and distributed to project officers.
Responsibility: Project Director to request the two specialists;
Ministry of Agriculture and USAID to provide these officers.
G. Integrated Extension/Information/Training:
The following officers will devote full time to extension education:
SPrinciple Extension and Home Economics Officers.
Senior Extension and Home Economics Officers.
Sub-watershed Extension and Home Economics Officers. (Note:
there are situations where this officer also serves as the sub-
watershed team leader, in which case he/she will have divided
responsibilities between management and extension).
At least two field assistants in each sub-watershed.
STechnical Assistance Officers in Extension and Home Economics.
The following will be the basic elements of the integrated extension
program suggested as a critical part of the strategy outlined here.
1. Training and Visit Extension Method:
This will be based on an 8 unit division of each sub-watershed
to permit visits by extension staff to each unit every two weeks with
two days each fortnight available for training of sub-watershed staff.
2. Simple, illustrated, single-sheet farmer's leaflets prepared
on commodities listed on the MPL in cooperation with the adult literacy
3. Simple, illustrated flip charts and other teaching aids prepared
for use by extension officers in the field.
4. Radio programs developed to reinforce the recommendations made
by extension officers on commodities listed on the MPL.
5. Identification and support of producers of planting materials
in various areas of the two watersheds. Emphasis will be on commodities
listed on the MPL.
6. Simple, very specific demonstrations will be conducted in each
sub-watershed on crops or livestock listed on the MPL. These would be on
IRDP cooperating farmers' fields. A goal of two demonstrations in each
of the 8 working units in each sub-watershed is recommended.
7. The focus of the extension effort will be on leading farmers
and farmer groups.
8. Each field officer will carry a Field Officers Loose-leaf
Handbook containing all technical and economic data on the crops and
livestock on the MPL.
Responsibility: Project Director: to assign full-time extension
responsibilities to the extension staff. All extension staff; to carry
out comprehensive, integrated extension program as outlined by the Project
Director. Training Officers: To coordinate all training needs as part
of the Training and Visit Extension Method. Communications Officers: for
all information materials, radio programs, etc.
H. Supervision and Control:
The development strategy outlined here requires a high degree of
central control and supervision to ensure that all component parts are
fully integrated. At present, only the Project Director can take on
this coordinating/supervising responsibility. When the Deputy Director
position is filled, this could become one of this officer's major respon-
sibilities. In the meantime, the Technical Coordinating Committee
should meet and organize itself to respond to this challenge. The Committee
should establish appropriate small working component committees to develop
within one month, a detailed, time-phased implementation plan for the
Responsibility: Project Director: To coordinate and supervise.
Deputy Project Director (when named): to replace the Director in this
supervisory role. The members of the Technical Coordinating Committee:
to assist and fully cooperate in implementation of the type of unified,
integrated strategy suggested for the balance of the project.
J. Project Support:
Complete understanding and active support of the IRDP by the USAID
are essential if the project is to achieve its major goals. The IRDP
is a large, complex, well-funded project which requires greatly increased
involvement and assistance of USAID officers. Visits of those officers
to the project must be frequently and regularly scheduled to permit continuous
assessment of progress and a meaningful contribution from USAID to project
implementation. USAID/Kingston should be an active advocate for the IRDP
in discussions with AID/Washington and the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture.
Responsibility: The Rural Development Officer and the IRDP Project
IV A STRATEGY FOR MONITORING IMPROVED
WELFARE OF IRDP FAMILIES
The IRDP has reached a point when assessment of its qualitative
impact upon the target population is appropriate. This is needed to
better focus project activities during the remainder of the implementation
period. Quantitative figures -- number of farm plans completed, home
gardens established, acres terraced, crops planted -- are available. But
the question of "what impact is IRDP having on improving the welfare of
the project families?" has not been directly addressed to date. That is,
it is not clear how the quality of life of participating families is changing
due to the IRDP. Welfare is much harder to measure than project physical
outputs, but nonetheless is stated as a specific project goal.
In meetings with sub-watershed team leaders, it was suggested that
the Home Economics officers are in a unique position to observe first-
hand the changes in the welfare of the project families. This is so because
their activities bring them into the homes and in close contact with the
project families. The Home Economics officers can more easily see the
subtle changes in the beneficiaries' standard of living resulting from
the project. This opportunity should not be overlooked.
The following proposal outlines a plan to measure qualitative impacts
of the IRDP by capitalizing on the unique role of the Home Economics officers
with project families:
1. to establish within IRDP the capability to monitor the impacts
of the project on the improved welfare of participant families;
2. to take advantage of the unique position of the Home Economics
officer to see and assess the household situation, living
conditions and changes in family welfare.
1. Coordinate this activity within the Home Economics component.
2. Determine "improved welfare indicators" and appropriate means
to measure these. Indicators might include:
food consumption (meat, vegetables, milk)
improved clothing, shoes
home improvements (tin roof, flooring, water, electricity,
latrines, gas stove, for example)
increased expenditure on entertainment (radio, TV)
more conveniences, tools
3. Include a special "IRDP welfare impact" section in planned Home
4. From data gathered, develop standard list of welfare indicators;
incorporate these indicators into ongoing monitoring and periodic
evaluations of the project.
1. Provide IRDP with some measure of its real impact on the intended
2. Complement the ongoing quantitative assessments within each component
(# of farm plans completed, acres terraced and planted, home gardens
established, etc) to provide project managers with the broader
picture of IRDP impact.
3. Develop an improved capability within the proposed evaluation unit
to conduct effective project monitoring and evaluation.
V. PROJECT EVALUATION
1. Project field activities started: May 1979
2. Internal (USAID) evaluation: January 1980
3. Presently planned project termination: February 1983.
In order to review the progress made in achieving project targets and,
more importantly, to provide guidance to IRDP managers for the remaining imple-
mentation period, a formal, in-depth evaluation is suggested. This evaluation
should have three major purposes:
1. To assess how effectively the IRDP is developing a pilot model
for improving the welfare of small, hill farmers by means of
recommended soil conservation measures and increased net income
resulting from improved crop and livestock production practices.
2. To refine and sharpen the focus of the IRDP during its remaining
implementation period so as to more adequately develop such a model
that can be replicated in other, similar watersheds of the country.
3. To develop greater capability within the IRDP staff to monitor
and evaluate this type of large-scale, complex Integrated Develop-
To achieve the above purposes, the following procedures are recommended:
1. The Project Director and USAID project officers should. discuss the
need for and agree on a time-phased plan to carry out the suggested
2. The services of an internationally experienced rural development
project evaluator should be requested for ten weeks during 1981 to
provide leadership for the in-depth evaluation.
3. The external, professional evaluator should be assisted in
conducting the evaluation by three officers of the IRDP. Because
of personal interests and in order to achieve balance in the
evaluation team, the Project Director might consider assigning
this task to:
SThe Project Administrative Officer, Headquarters
The Senior Soil Conservation Officer, Two Meetings Watershed
The Senior Extension Officer, Pindars River Watershed
4. The three project officers selected should meet as soon as possible
to begin to prepare for its evaluation. For this purpose they
a. Collect all available baseline data relating to the project
area and families.
b. Gather any information about the various project components
that will be of use in measuring progress toward achievement of
the goals, purposes and objectives as set out in original or
revised project documents.
c. Gather all technical reports and data generated by or about
the project to date.
d. Interview any departing senior officers or technical assistance
specialists regarding their accomplishments, problems and recommendations
for future activities in their respective fields.
e. Consult with the Home Economics staff regarding the development
of welfare indicators and the method by which such indicators can
be incorporated in the overall project evaluation. See section IV
for further details.
Meetings can serve as an important management tool as well as a means
of establishing and maintaining a sense of team spirit among the staff. We
have several suggestions for increasing the effectiveness of meetings for both
A. Meetings and Management
It is our suggestion that regular meetings only be used for dealing
with issues or decisions that cannot be resolved through the existing
management structure. In this way meetings can be shortened and the
management structure strengthened. Assuring proper input to the decision
making process is the responsibility of all competent managers.
B. Organization of Meetings
We suggest several points be considered when organizing and scheduling
1. Establish fixed start and finish times. This will allow more
effective use of staff time and focus discussions toward resolution
rather than leave them open ended. Clearly., finishing times will
have to be somewhat flexible, however the success of a meeting can
often be gauged by its brevity.
2. Often the usefulness of a meeting can be increased dramatically
by careful consideration of the purposes to be served and then organi-
zation of the attendance and timing accordingly. For instance:
a) the first part of a meeting can be held in several aDDrooriate
sub-groups and then reconvened as a total group to deal with issues
of general concern. In such a case sub-groups could be tasked
with identifying those issues of importance to their members and
raising those issues in concise form for the agenda of the total
b) Another model is to discuss issues of general concern first,
then identify the issues of concern to a smaller group (e.g. key
decision makers, technical staff). Those people who want to
participate are free to do so, those who have minimal interest
are free to leave.
C. Building an Agenda
Perhaps the most important aspect of conducting a meeting is the
process of building an agenda. It is far more effective to have a
complete agenda agreed upon prior to any discussion of the agenda items
themselves. At the conclusion of all introductory ceremonies the
first thing to be done by the leader of the meeting is to build the
agenda. This is most easily done by using a black-board or large paper
sheet visible to all. (We suggest reading and correcting minutes of
previous meetings not be done unless raised as a desired agenda item by
staff members). The steps of agenda building are:
1. The leader lists those items he or she wants discussed at the meeting.
2. The leader asks attendees what other items they want on the agenda and
calls upon those indicating they have a request. As these requests are
stated the leader accepts them as appropriate for the meeting at hand
by writing them on the board. If he feels the item is not appropriate
for the agenda he briefly explains why (without getting into a discussion
of the issue itself) and indicates where the issue should be referred.
Good judgement must be used to accept items of interest to most and/or
items that are timely and appropriate to the purpose of the meeting.
3. When these items are all listed the meeting leader should eliminate
duplicates and combine related items. The resulting shorter list should
be examined for logical priorities (that is, item 'A' might only be
resolved after item 'B' has been discussed). After logical priorities
have been set, it is often useful to discuss the easiest and most quickly
resolveable issues first, leaving the difficult and controversial issues
D. Conducting Yeetings
Once an agenda has been built actual discussion of the items can
1. As discussion of an item begins it is useful for the leader to ask
himself what is the desirable outcome of the discussion. In this way
the discussion can be continually directed toward a meaningful end point.
'a. is a consensus decision sought?
b. is a decision by a management decision maker sought? Who?
c. is information sharing the concern?
d. is a policy being formulated?
e. is a problem being raised for suggested solutions?
2. After all items have been discussed and resolved or the time to
end the meeting is reached the meeting should be concluded.
1. the leader should review the resolution or action taken for
each agenda item in a few brief words.
2. this brief verbal review is the basis for members to take
notes or for a single page 'mini-minutes' to be prepared and
distributed within 1 or 2 days.
E. We suggest
1. Senior staff conferences be held every second week. They should
be held at the training center to minimize disruptions (e.g. phone
calls), increase comfort and reduce distractions.
2. The Co-ordinating Committee meet every second week (alternating
with the senior staff conference).
3. Each watershed manager should meet monthly with his sub-watershed
team leaders to deal with management issues.
4. Watershed staff meetings should be held monthly, perhaps utilizing
the suggestion in item B,2,a) above. Every second or third such meeting
should be a combined meeting of the two watersheds.
5. The day of the week and the week of the month for each of these
meetings should be carefully reviewed and scheduled to best fit work-
loads, other commitments, and flow of information into and from the
VII MANAGEMENT FOLLOW-UP
Like any complex undertaking involving a large staff, substantial
resource flows, and major information needs, IRDP has management problems.
It is probably more aware of these problems than most project management
teams. But IRDP's success in overcoming recognized management needs has
not been satisfactory. At the core it is an issue of management follow-up
or, as expressed by many project staff, turning talk into action.
Much of what has been observed and discussed here repeats old
refrains. We have tried to add suggestions for specific management
actions to deal with some of the problems in the hope of facilitating
the follow-up that ultimately must be your responsibility.
By way of example, four representative set of management recommen-
dations available to project staff over the last 18 months may be cited
as opportunities which were largely lost.
A. The AID (DS/RAD) Evaluation of December, 1979:
This evaluation, conducted early in the life of project field
activities, identified several issues which have become recurring
themes. Among the main recommendations were:
1. Define broader developmental goals for IRDP to reduce
emphasis on quantitative component targets.
2. Fill the Deputy Director position.
3. Improve information flow.
4. Conduct a management audit to establish lines of authority.
5. Improve the link between demonstration farms and extension
There is no evidence that a strategy was developed to address these
recommendations and so the problems remain. The point is not that all
external observations are accurate. It is that they require an organized
B. IRDP Guidelines on Sub-watershed Meetings:
This document of uncertain date and authorship was provided to
the May, 1980 IRD Management Training Team. It is an internal IRDP
instruction dealing in some detail with sub-watershed meetings, work
scheduling, and reporting. If taken seriously, it would have imnrovel
information flow from sub-watersheds as well as coordination and control
of activities at that level. But procedures such as were indicated as
IRDP policy in this document cannot be instituted by transmittal of
a piece of paper alone. Personal instruction and guidance are needed
through the management line of control. This did not occur.
C. The May, 1980 Management Workshops:
These workshops, among other things, generated a set of 119 manage-
ment recommendations. Some were followed-up, mainly those dealing with
certain facilities to improve routine communciation and institution of
regular meetings between Development Committee leaders and Project staff.
Other recommendations dealing with sub-watershed planning and data collection,
Team Leader responsibilities, and overall staff role definition were not.
The general perception of junior project staff who were the source of
most of these recommendations is a lack of concern on the part of senior
Recommendations of this sort call for one of three answers: We won't
do it, we can't. do it, or we will do it and here's how and when. To simply
ignore such ideas is not an appropriate response, particularly when they
relfect a systematic expression of the concerns of a sizable segment of
We would suggest that a small task force be organized in the wake of
any serious evaluation or management strategy intervention to organize and
pursue appropriate follow-up action and communication of that action to
project staff. The make-up of the task force would depend on the content
of the recommendations but should include one or more of the three senior
D. Pindars River Watershed 1981 1982 Annual Plan of Work (Extension):
Recently this document was prepared by Pindars watershed staff. It
represents a good example of concrete sub-watershed component planning and
goal setting in cooperation with watershed leadership. Both general goals
and specific targets are itemized and implications for training are outlined.
There is considerable risk that the opportunity to spread the benefits
of this initiative will be lost due to lack of follow-up. For example,
although the desirability of a similar planning exercise in Two Meetings
has been voiced, no successful effort has been made to bring this about.
We would suggest that a task group be formed including Mr. Gilpin the
key person behind the Pindars plan and the Two Meetings Senior officers.
This group should work with Two Meetings sub-watershed personnel to develop
a similar annual plan. The result would be both better planning and the
extension of Mr. Gilpin's training and experience to Two Meetings senior
officers. Similarly, the process could then be extended to other components
or to an integrated bottom-up planning effort in each watershed.
Undertaking systematic follow-up of management ideas will be a demanding
but rewarding undertaking. It underscores the need to expand management
resources through addition of the Deputy Director and an increased role for
sub-watershed team leaders. It requires giving highest priority to management
functions as a necessary underpinning for effective, coordinated service
delivery and improvements in beneficiary welfare.
TRAINING CENTER NEEDS
TRAINING CENTER NEEDS
The effective use of the new IRDP Brooklyn Training Center will be
enhanced by the addition of certain supportive equipment. Although our
mandate did not include reviewing this issue in detail, several sugges-
tions are offered:
Paper and pencils should be readily available for distribution
to training groups when necessary.
A good moveable blackboard and chalk should be provided.
Pads of large paper (approximately 3x2 feet) should be avail-
able along with felt tip marking pens and means for displaying
Consideration should be given to the purchase of a Spirit dupli-
cator and an adequate supply of stencils and paper. This "tech-
nology" is simple to use and does not require typing. This
would permit production of training materials on the spot. In
addition, it would provide a simple and inexpensive alternative
to mimeograph (requiring typing and careful operation of a more
complex machine) or photocopying (which is very expensive in
Placement of a telephone in the large classroom would not be
A variety of kitchen equipment is felt to be necessary by the
training center caterer (whose excellent culinary skills con-
tributed much to the meetings held there). We express our
appreciation by reporting her "wish list" here:
12 Meat dishes or platters
12 Milk jugs
12 Sugar bowls
16 Large pyrex
8 Medium pyrex
6 Gravy bowls
6 Large tea pots
6 Salt and pepper shakers
3 Large pans for washing clothes
4 Tongs to serve ice
3 Sets of canisters
2 Large kettles
4 Aluminum graters
4 Large jugs to serve drinks
1 Meat pump (German type)
8 Strainers -- 4 large, 2 medium, 2 tea
6 Large kitchen knives
12 Kitchen paring knives
8 Large aluminum knives
6 Small aluminum knives
1 Electric blender
1 Electric mixing bowl for cake
2 Ironing boards
8 Large table cloths
5 Dozen forks (dining)
5 Dozen soup bowls
4 Very large mixing bowls
4 Cake bowls (to finish mixing a large batch of cakes)
2 Very large frying pans
4 Medium pots
2 Sets of layer cake pans
4 Medium cake pans
4 Large cake pans
4 Oblong cake pans
6 Very large aluminum basins
4 Pie pans
2 Large pressure cookers
6 Loaf pans of medium size
4 Round cake pans
2 Angel food cake pans with removable middle
3 Egg whisks
4 Egg lifters
2 Pie lifters
3/1 Travel to Kingston
3/2 Discussions with RD staff USAID/Kingston
Travel to Christiana
3/3 Meetings with IRDP staff to plan activities during field visit
3/4 Visit to Agricultural Fair at Falmouth
3/5 Meeting of Two Meetings Watershed Staff Conference at Spring Ground
Discussion with IRDP Administrative Officer
Discussion with Harvey Blustain, Cornell University
3/6 Meeting of T-5 Subwatershed Team at Bronte
Discussions with Project Staff, Christiana
3/7 Preparation for Development Committee Workshops
3/8 Meeting with Roger and Terri Newburn, former TA Team Leader and
Home Ec Advisor
3/9 Meeting with Pindars Watershed Staff Kellits
Meetings with Sr. Staff Christiana
Sr. Staff Weekly Conference Christiana
3/10 Development Committee Council Seminar
Discussions with technical component heads and TA advisors
Visit of AID Administrator and retinue
3/11 Coordinating meeting with component heads and TA advisors
Development Committee Council Seminar
Marketing Coop meeting Christiana
Discussion with Head of Transportation/Maintenance Section
Home Economics Officers Meeting Kellits
3/12 Development Committee Council Seminar
Meeting with Assistant Project Director, Two Meetings
Meeting with TA Team Leader
Development Committee Council Quarterly Meeting
3/13 Subwatershed Officer training workshop
3/14 Report Preparation
3/16 Project Senior Staff Meeting Management report from IRD team
3/17 Report Preparation
3/18 Final Presentation to Project Director and Training Officer
Return to Kingston
3/19 Meeting with USAID/Kingston IRDP Project Officer
3/20 Meetings with Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, and USAID
3/21 Return to USA