ENDA ENVIRONMENTAL UNIT WORKING PAPER
Participatory Research for
Rural Development in
A report of a training workshop
for ENDA Zimbabwe Trees Project
Compiled by IAN SCOONES
D E V LOP M E N T
ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN ZIMBABWE:
A REPORT OF A TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR ENDA-ZIMBABWE TREES PROJECT
Maketo Community Hall, Msipane, Runde Communal Area,
Zvishavane District, Zimbabwe
March 28th 31st 1989
Compiled by Ian Scoones,
Sustainable Agriculture Programme,
PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN ZIMBABWE:
A REPORT OF A TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR ENDA-ZIMBABWE TREES PROJECT
Maketo Community Hall, Msipane, Runde Communal Area, Zvishavane
March 28th 31st
Background to the Project
Experiences of Village Based Research
Problems Faced by Local Resarchers
Biases in Information
Rapid Appraisal Techniques for CWs and VBRs
Farmer Transect and Aerial Photo Analysis
Community Level Feedback
Ways of Stimulating Debate and Discussion
Appendix 1: Workshop Participants
Appendix 2: Requirements for the Workshop
Appendix 3: Tree Dictionary
PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN ZIMBABWE:
A REPORT OF A TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR ENDA-ZIMBABWE TREES PROJECT
Maketo Community Hall, Msipane, Runde Communal Area, Zvishavane
March 28th 31st
The workshop was attended by the full staff of the ENDA-Zimbabwe
community management of woodland project (see appendix 1). The
aims of the training exercise were:
To assess the research experiences of the Village Based
Researchers (VBRs) during the previous three months, to
identify problems and design solutions.
* To train the Community Workers (CWs) and VBRs in
participatory research techniques that will be of use in
community level planning and research.
* To use these techniques to conduct a rapid appraisal of tree
resource issues, with a particular focus on fruit trees, in
two Village Development Committees (Vidcos).
* To assess techniques for community feedback of project
To examine the options for project evaluation by communities
who have been involved in the project.
Background to the Project
The ENDA project is developing a participatory approach to
research and extension for community management of woodland
resources. The area is semi-arid with a varied environment. The
project focuses on a participatory, adaptive and fine-tuned
approach, rather than on orthodox particular technical packages.
The project evolved out of a research process between 1985 and
1987 in Mazvihwa Communal Area (CA). A variety of techniques are
used to give the local people an opportunity to articulate their
concerns, needs and objectives. The research is linked to village
level planning of tree resources conducted at the VIDCO level.
This process enables the people of each area to make their own
response to the perceived woodland problems, using a variety of
approaches. These include planting in homes and fields, planting
in community woodlots, managing communal woodland regeneration
through protection or enhancing systems of rule making.
Work with farmers since i986 has clearly demonstrated that trees
are considered central to the production system of this semi-arid
area. Trees meet a variety of needs, requiring different tree
species in different situations. Certain indigenous trees, for
example raise soil fertility and enhance soil moisture, and so
are often left in fields against government agricultural
extension advice. Others are frequently wanted as shade and fruit
trees, often exotics, in homesteads. In the communal woodlands
trees that are good browse for stock, provide firewood and
building timber, and have fewer competitive interactions with
grass tend to be desired. Ecological variation and historical
factors, among a range of determinants, mean that the precise
resources and needs of each area are different.
Community rule making about utilisation of tree resources is an
important institution in local society, even if not entirely
effective. For example, a number of especially valuable species
can only be cut for very specific purposes. Certain areas are
also protected from cutting. In the wider woodland, cutting is
supposed to be scattered so as to prevent over-exploitation of
particular patches. With the shift from chiefly authority to
elected committees since independence, and with increasing
woodland pressure, these rules have had to change and adapt. The
project facilitates this where appropriate. This is important as
many communities feel that more effective management of existing
woodland is likely to be more productive than the mass planting
The project approach fosters a dialogue between the Community
Worker and the community through a series of interviews and
meetings at the village level. The CWs are resident farmers who
are well known to the communities they are working with. The
research process allows the Vidco to assess and analyse the local
situation and come up with a management plan, suited to local
conditions. This is the result of a one week appraisal and a
village meeting facilitated by the ENDA community worker (CW). It
is a reversal of the top-down message or package oriented
extension approach of conventional forestry and natural resource
conservation projects. The CWs establish what numbers of which
species indigenous and exotic are required in each VIDCO area
using interviews and group discussions. Seeds are provided by the
community and the seedlings grown in village based nurseries.
They are planted according to the village management plan during
the rainy season. Some fencing is also supplied to protect trees
form browsing animals. Communal woodland planting is generally a
combination of replanting bare patches and enrichment planting of
highly valued species. Individual farmers also collect seedlings
for planting in their homes and fields. Rural institutions, such
as schools and clinics are also given support in tree planting
Since late 1987 the project has been operational in four areas -
Runde, Mazvihwa, Chivi North and Chivi South. Each area has a
community worker who facilitates community planning in two wards
during the year. During the initial project phases ENDA has
supported the nurseries and planting activities, as well as the
community workers. In the coming phases of the project certain
activities are will be taken up and run by the community.
ENDA has set out to learn from the project experience. There are
two parallel research activities that aim to assess the project's
impacts and suggest future directions. One research project is
attempting to establish a comparative idea of woody biomass
availability and use in the four project areas. Studies are being
carried out on: the woody biomass resources in each area, the
woodland dynamics of different vegetation associations, firewood
consumption, brick burning, construction uses. .Germination and
survival rates of nursery produced seedlings are also being
The other study is investigating the socio-political-religious
factors that determine the :ability of Vidcos and rural
communities to effectively plan and manage natural resources. The
effectiveness of the project's participatory approach is being
evaluated as part of this study.
Central to these research activities are the team of village
based researchers (VBRs). These are local people who have
recieved some secondary education and are resident in the project
areas. There are 16 VBRs representing all the wards where the
project is active. The role of the VBRs is to assist in the
collection of information for the research projects in their home
areas, to feedback research results to the community, to carry
out community evaluation of project activities and to support the
CWs in village level planning for woodland resources. The aim of
the training workshop was to improve the capacity of the VBRs and
the CWs in research, feedback and evaluation using participatory
Introduction to workshop objectives; administrative issues (30
Working groups: listing of problems with research carried out so
far interviews, fuelwood studies, woodland transects (45 min).
Plenary report back (45 min)
Research techniques: Understanding seasonality issues; Preference
ranking; Farmer transects and aerial photograph analysis: group
excercises (3 h).
Fieldwork: Walking transects and aerial photograph mapping in 2
Vidcos (2.5 h). Analysis: drawing the transect diagram; examining
time series aerial photographs (2 h).
Plenary: Group presentation of transect results and aerial
photograph analysis (1 h)'.
Fieldwork: Subgroups carry out interviews on seasonality of fruit
tree production, use and marketing, the economics of fruit trees,
and preference ranking of fruit trees in 2 vidco areas (4 h).
Analysis: Construction of seasonality diagram; analysis of
preference ranking results; assessment of marketing and economics
information (3 h).
Plenary: Presentation of appraisal results; discussion (2.5 h).
Community feed back mechanisms listing advantages and
disadvantages of possible options in working groups -
presentation and discussion. (1 h)
Role play: Preparation of feedback presentations in working
groups on fruit trees, fuelwood, tree planting and construction -
Presentation of drama, song and dance pieces (1.5 h).
Group meetings and the role of feedback in the project:
discussion (30 min)
Evaluation and assessing community participation: Working groups
draw up list of possible questions discussion (1 h).
Project announcements: Schools drama workshops, nursery
techniques training sessions, work plan for VBR research (45
EXPERIENCES OF VILLAGE BASED RESEARCH
The following is a list of the key issues brought up by the VBRs
and CWs reported by four working groups:
A number of groups commented that fears were aroused in the
communities with the start of research activities. Some people
feared that they would be arrested if they admitted cutting wood,
others commented that transects in the grazing areas aroused
suspicions of grazing scheme plans or destocking. Others noted
that people were unsure of the outcome of the project and
suspected that they might be forced into payments at a later
date. Some locals had been suspicious of the motives of the
researchers and questioned the benefits of projects on the basis
of past experience. They asked: "What will be the outcome of the
research? Many projects have come in other areas and have failed
whilst people have been used."
The group discussion dwelt on the issue of community acceptance
for some time. It was noted that the historical inheritance of
oppressive and top-down natural resource management regulations
and rural planning was something that had to be lived with and
only through time and exposure to alternative approaches will
sceptics gain confidence. The need to relate sensitively to
community concerns during interviews was also raised. Issues
relating to interview conduct that were highlighted in the
January workshop were covered again. The workshop resolved to
focus on community feedback as a priority issue during the coming
year. The importance of forging an effective working team between
the CWs and VBRs was also emphasised.
Problems faced by local researchers
Several groups commented that local jealousies had been aroused
with the employment of VBRs. Similar problems arise when
lineage/political affiliations had apparently been favoured. This
.ad resulted in some families objecting to the project. The
perennial problem of who to interview was also highlighted. Some
objected to being interviewed, others feel they are being missed
out. Some VBRs noted the problems faced when doing research in
one's own home (eg parents may want other tasks done). These
problems have few solutions, except through the reemphasis of the
system of employment (on merit and a restriction of one VBR per
ward) and a sympathetic acceptance of the wishes of individuals
not to be interviewed.
Biases in information
A number of instances were cited where information returns were
known to be inaccurate. This related in particular to the source
of firewood. In certain areas firewood is collected illegally
from commercial farms, but people are loathe to admit this for
fear of arrest. The discussion agreed that this was a problem,
but one common to all rural research on such issues. The
advantage of researchers resident in the rural areas is that they
can know when information is likely to be biased and make a
record. Nearly all other studies are not in a position to make
Questions about sampling procedure for the research studies were
raised by all groups. The principles of sampling in research were
reiterated and the system employed for the various studies was
Practical problems of transport, difficulties in measurement
techniques etc were brought up. The workshop resolved to
investigate possible solutions.
RAPID APPRAISAL TECHNIQUES FOR CWs AND VBRs
The ENDA research project has two directions of information flow.
One is from the community through the CW or VBR and directly back
to the community. The other is from the community through the VBR
.and CW to the ENDA professional staff for project assessment,
'report and policy paper writing.
-Both information flows require research results that can be
.rapidly assessed and assimilated, either for community feedback
or for on-going project review. A critical element of the
building of the research capacity of the CWs and VBRs is to equip
them with techniques that allow rapid assessment and analysis. It
is an important emphasis of the role of the VBRs that local
capacity for analysis and feedback is strengthened. The workshop
opened with a discussion about the use of information collected
in rural areas:
"What do we do about the information we collect? Do we just
sit with it by ourselves? We can use it for ourselves. We
can say we know alot and tell people in Harare. But how do
we use it in a valuable way? We need to be able to throw our
findings back to the' community. They need to be able to say:
'No, you are wrong it is not like that'. Then we, the
researchers, can ask a better set of questions and assist
the projects' progress. We are aiming to come up with an
effective model about rural development and feedback to the
people. You cannot just pocket the information! We cannot
make the best use of it in Zvishavane, Harare or in England.
It is here in the rural areas that the owners of the
information can make best use of it."
Three appraisal and analysis techniques were introduced at the
workshop: Walking transect. and aerial photograph analysis,
seasonality diagrams and preference ranking. This built on the
training in interview approaches carried out at the previous
workshop. Each of the techniques has some elements in common:
All rely on semi-structured interviewing
S All require interaction between the researcher and farmer in
All are attempts at assessing local perceptions and
All use simple diagrams or tables to analyse the information
Farmer transect and aerial photo analysis
The importance of analysing spatial characteristics was
introduced. In terms of the project the spatial assessment of
village woodland resources and problems as part of the community
planning process was emphasised. In addition, the wider
assessment of biomass resources -in the project area was on the
research agenda and aerial photographs had been ordered.
Working groups were given photo 'snaps' covered with acetate
sheets and asked to outline the main features with marker pens.
These features were then marked with a key. Following this the
groups had to assess what other information was contained in the
photographs (Figure 1)
Aerial photographs were introduced as a method for getting a
different and wider perspective than that normally recorded on
the ground. Aerial photos can be used:
* to assess different areas and land categories,
* to assess changes over time,
* to assist work on the ground
* to help focus discussion with farmers on issues on space and
Working groups were asked to outline and key different land
categories on a 1:50000 aerial photograph of the Runde project
area. The following categories were outlined: Arable land,
grazing/woodland, rivers/ waterways, settlement, -roads (Figure
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The concept of a transect down a slope was introduced. Transects
were chosen on the aerial photographs for the two study Vidcos,
in discussion with the farmers from the two Vidcos (Vidco
chairpersons). Transects that traversed a range of land types
from topland to bottomland were marked on acetates covering the
aerial photographs. Transects of approximately 2 kms were chosen
for the exercise.
The group split into two each accompanying the Vidco chairperson
to the starting point of the transect. Subgroups had
responsibilities for assessing different information whilst
walking the transect (eg slope, vegetation, history, land-use
types, administrative boundaries, soils and physical features
etc.). The information was recorded in notebooks or on the aerial
photograph acetate. Information was derived through discussion
with the Vidco chairperson (or others met en route), through
direct observation or in group discussion at various stopping
Analysis: Transect diagram
The two groups drew up the transect diagram on their return. All
of the information collected by different individuals was put on
the diagram (see Figures 3 and 4). The process of filtering and
collating the information generated much debate in the groups.
The Vidco chairpersons also joined in the discussion and helped
to iron out certain points of contention.
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On completion of the transect diagram particular problems were
identified for each of the zones identified in the transect.
These were assessed in relation to opportunities for the ENDA
woodland management project. Examples included the replanting of
land cleared by the DDF camp, bare land near homes and land noted
to be suffering from erosion. The types of tree species that
might be appropriate were discussed in terms of existing tree
species and the type of soil observed.
The aerial photograph information was also analysed. Vidco
boundaries were estimated at and the major land-use categories
identified with the help of the Vidco chairperson. The exact
boundaries of the Vidco were unclear however. Both groups
analysed the aerial photographs for changes over time.
* One group compared the features noted in the transect
diagram with those observable in a 1968 aerial photograph.
The differences were noted in another transect diagram for
* The other group mapped the major land-use categories and
settlement patterns in the 1980 aerial photograph and
compared this with photos from 1939 (see Fig 5).
Both groups noted the following changes over time:
More arable land and less grazing area
More settlements, roads, dams
However, in other areas outside the Vidcos different patterns
emerged particularly when comparing the 1939 photograph with more
recent images. Arable land had been consolidated into blocks,
vlei (valley bottom wetland) cultivation had been reduced and
some areas that were previously cultivated had now reverted to
woodland. The impact of land-use policy was seen to be different
in different Vidcos. Present day woodland availability is
therefore determined largely by previous land use planning.
The diagrams (Figs 3 and 4) were presented to a plenary session
and the general themes that emerged discussed. All materials
presented were written up on large sheets of paper. The workshop
reflected briefly on the possible role of the technique in Vidco
resource management planning.
The importance of understanding changes through a year was
introduced. Changes in seasons affect resource availability and
use and so influence people's activities. All of these factors
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will affect planning for the project. The potential uses of
seasonal calenders in the project were discussed. These included:
the planning of seed collection and planting activities in
different project areas, the use in special studies by the VBRs,
for instance, in relating the quantitative assessments of
fuelwood use to perceived firewood use patterns.
The seasonal calender diagram was introduced and the group
contributed a series of diagrammatic characterizations of
seasonal change in tree resource use and availability. The
following information was filled in:
* Local classification of seasons
* Fruiting period and peak for several exotic and indigenous
* Browse intensity
* Fuelwood use
Interviews were carried out in subgroups of 3 in the 2 videos.
Information was collected on seasonality, marketing and
preferences of fruit trees. Each subgroup carried out 2-4
interviews over a period of about 4 hours. Each subgroup aimed to
interview a range of people: men and women, both young and old. A
sample of approximately 10 interviews per Vidco were carried out,
which represented a reasonable range of household types.
Questions were asked about the seasonality of fruit availability
'of different trees. In addition seasonal differences in marketing
opportunities were assessed. Some groups made qualitative
assessments of seasonal labour demands and nutritional
information. Each Vidco group collected information on about 25
different fruit tree species.
Information from each of the subgroups was collated and a
seasonal diagram produced on a large sheet of paper (Figure 6).
Intense debate was involved in the construction of the diagram,
particularly over conflicting information from different
interviews and over incomplete information. The group debated
fruiting season timing on the basis of the interviews carried
out. The process of drawing the seasonal calendar assisted in
the development of a consensus amongst the team.
The analysis concentrated on a comparison between the differences
between indigenous and exotic fruit availability, the relationship
with other activities, the seasonal opportunities for marketing
and the impact of fruits on children's nutritional status.
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Each Vidco group presented their seasonal diagram to plenary,
giving a brief summary of the findings of the analysis. The
seasonal patterns can be related to calendar months or climatic
variations reflected in the local terminology for different
seasons (e.g. Zhezha (harvest), Chando (cold season); Chirimo
(dry season)). The general results can be summarised as follows:
Differences fruit availability
Indigenous fruits are available throughout the year, except in
May and June when no fruits are available (according to the
Exotic fruits are largely available in the rainy season; at other
times of year they would have to be reliant on irrigation.
Differences in marketing
Exotic fruits are available at a peak labour season, so marketing
may be difficult.
Indigenous fruits are available at other times of year,
particularly in the dry season, when labour requirements are
lower and more flexible. The possibilities of storage of
indigenous fruits means that they can be marketed throughout the
year and fit with labour availability or cash needs.
Exotic fruits are available when other foods are also around (Jan
to April), while indigenous fruits are available at times of year
when children's nutrition is poor (Sept to Nov). The seasonal
peak in nutrition levels in zhezha (March to April) will be
helped by the availability of fresh fruits. Because of the
storage properties of certain indigenous fruits, they can be made
available as food at any time of year. However, drying is likely
to affect their nutritional qualities.
A brief group discussion of the possible issues relating to
marketing was carried out. A recording matrix was derived that
related species price, sale location, transport system and fruit
Questions were asked as part of the farmer interviews (see
A combined matrix was filled in for all of the 'information
collected during the Vidco interviews
Two matrices were presented to the full group with an'outline of
issues. The following issues arose during the presentations and
the ensuing discussion. (see also Table 1).
* Exotic fruits have a local market, whereas indigenous fruits
generally do not (except when processed eg shomwe, mukumbi
* Unit price of exotic fruits is high because of high local
and urban demand and relatively lower supply. Indigenous
fruits have low unit price because there is a relatively
high supply in Runde, there is competition amongst sellers
and relatively low rural demand.
* Indigenous fruits have a good urban demand where they are
regarded as "exotic". The reverse is true of exotics where
garden irrigation in the townships means that they can be
grown. Because of this exotic fruits tend to be more
expensive in the rural areas; the reverse of indigenous
* There is a larger flow of fruits (indigenous and exotic)
from the rural areas to town than in the other direction
(exotics only, especially fruits like oranges).
* Indigenous fruit storage properties means that marketing and
transport is feasible.
* Transportation to urban markets by bus is expensive.
* 'Exotic fruits require significant labour inputs in terms of
protection, watering and management, whereas the
requirements of indigenous trees is lower. Therefore despite
differences in unit price the returns to labour may be
higher for saleable indigenous fruits.
* Indigenous fruits are regarded as "free goods", as they are
found naturally in the communal woodland. However, although r
free in cash terms there is always a cost in collection.
This increases as the woodland resource is depleted when
more time or risk (eg climbing to inaccessible parts of the
tree or stealing from the farms) is involved.
The rationale for preference ranking was introduced. It is
important to understand why people make choices between different
things, and that the reasons differ. This may be dependent on
age, sex, education, wealth or other factors. Preference ranking
has two outputs a ranked list of 6-8 and criteria for making
the choices. In the ENDA project it is important to discover what
are people's priorities and to understand 'why people have
different preferences. Only with this knowledge can the project
be truly responsive to local demands.
Preference ranking techniques can have a number of applications
in the project process. They can be used to assess local
priorities for the village level planning process prioritising
tree species for planting in homes, in fields and in grazing
areas and gaining the detailed perspectives of different sectors
of the community. As part of the research element ranking can be
used to assess local criteria of choice in fuelwood, fruit trees,
building materials or building wood and compare actual use
patterns with ranked preferences.
* The farmer is asked to name 6 important species (eg for
The names are written out on pieces of paper (alternatively
leaves or fruits can be used)
The farmer is asked to choose one species from all possible
pairwise comparisons according to a simple question eg: "If
you had the choice of growing just one of these two species,
which would you grow?"
* The choice is recorded on a matrix.
* The farmer is asked why s/he made the choice, all possible
reasons are asked (without prompting).
* Good and bad criteria are recorded in a table
* The ranking is'drawn up according to the sum of all positive
choices for each species.
The workshop participants tried out the techniques in four
groups. The full group listed 6 species under four headings -
firewood, building, cattle browse and fruit trees. In each
subgroup one person was the interviewer, another the interviewee,
another recorded the results in the matrix and another listed the
criteria. The results were presented back to the plenary session
and are reported below.
Rankings were carried out on fruit trees at each home where
interviews were held. The farmer was asked to list 6 important
fruit trees (including both indigenous and exotic). Each ranking
took approximately 30 minutes.
The matrices for each of the two Vidco groups were analysed and a
chart produced of the overall ranking for each informant (Figure
8). The groups then compared preferences for different informants
by age and sex.
The criteria lists were compiled on a table for each Vidco group
(Table 2) and differences between indigenous and exotic fruits
Each group reported their summary of findings back to the plenary
session. These can be summarised as follows:
* There was a general preference shown for exotic fruit trees
across all groups (old/younger men and old/younger women).
* Older women showed a higher preference for indigenous fruit
trees than other groups
* Men's criteria focused more on cash value, whereas women's
focused on food value.
Differences in criteria:
* Exotic fruit trees were seen as important for earning money
* Indigenous fruit trees had a wider range of uses
* Indigenous fruits generally stored better
* Indigenous fruits caused problems of digestion
* Since exotic fruit trees generally ranked higher, the cash
value criterion was probably weighted higher in people's
minds than the other criteria showm by the indigenous
COMMUNITY LEVEL FEEDBACK
The aim of feeding back research information is to stimulate
debate and discussion in the community. Research is partof a
process which starts with the collection of information, goes
through sorting and analysis to the development of a picture of
what is happening. There is then a need to offer this picture
back to the community so that they can assess it, add to it,
learn from it and have a chance to act upon it. The project
therefore needs the farmer's views on how to solve the problems
highlighted by the research process. Feedback also helps to widen
the debate and discussion to a wider circle of people. Research
may be done with individuals, but feedback is to the community.
The channel for feedback is the group meeting. Sharing the
research information increases peoples confidence in the research
process and helps to allay fear or mistrust.
Group meetings need someone to help debate and discussion start.
It is important to let the people present guide the content and
not have ideas imposed. This is the role of the CWs assisted by
the VBRs. After the introduction to the meeting and a description
of the ENDA project and research topics, the larger group should
be split into smaller groups of 4-5. These groups can be given
different discussion topics. Older and younger people or men and
women can be in separate groups if it is felt that this will
encourage.the exploration of different issues. The VBRs and CWs
will act as resource persons-for the group discussions (30 mins),
perhaps offering experiences of research or village planning.
Each.group will then report back to the wider group with a short
presentation (5 min each). This will hopefully prompt wider
debate and this will be a further opportunity for the VBRs and
CWs to feedback research experiences.
Group meeting opportunities:
The following types of meetings were listed as opportunities for
feedback. The approach taken will be dependant on the audience
and it is clearly easier to encourage a different structure in a
meeting called by the project. This should not dissuade the
project from encouraging involvement and open debate in other
S Ward/Vidco meeting
S Village community worker meeting
S Womens club/association
Ways of stimulating debate and discussion
The workshop participants again split into four groups to list
all possible ways of stimulating debate and discussion in a group
meeting. The advantages and disadvantages were also listed and
presented back to the workshop.
Report back from 4 groups:
Advantages: Short; interesting; give confidence; history is
passed on; old people involved.
Disadvantages: Exaggerated; myths; people can disbelieve; many
Advantages: Easily understood; involves people actively; relates
what is actually happening; clear illustration of points; gives
Disadvantages: May take a long time; shyness; organisation
Advantages: Illustration of fine woodland; if provided, very
useful in schools; educational; diagrams and maps resulting from
Disadvantages: Difficult to produce in meeting, may be expensive
Advantages: People are generally interested; can include school
children; combine with dancing; revival of old songs.
Disadvantages: Relevance of the song may be questioned; requires
people who can sing.
Advantages: Stimulates people well; people enjoy alot
Disadvantages: Requires prior organisation
Advantages: Requires few people and a short time; can be written
out in a book; can hold anywhere; of historical interest.
Disadvantages: Boring if'participants not active or if poem too
short or long; can be misinterpreted.
Advantages: Traditional dances encourage the elders
Disadvantage: Knowledge of the dances not so widespread
Advantages: Encourages the unwilling (especially if prizes); can
use old games from the past.
Disadvantages: May create divisions; prizes cost and should be
Examples suggested during the plenary:
Seed collection competition (max number of tree species)
Naming trees: the first to stop or falter in naming new
Leaf identification: One group collects a range of leaves
from different species; the others have to identify.
Advantages: Encouragement of direct observation
Disadvantages: Time constraint in a meeting
Visits to local woodlot, orchard or nursery
Visit to historical site (eg rambotemwa)
Advantages: People will come to meetings with food
Disadvantages: Expensive; luring not participating
Advantage: See visual representations; lively, memorable and
interesting; information from other areas broadens horizons.
Disadvantages: Relevance to local conditions; expensive and
requires equipment; needs night time showing; a room is required;
attracts too many people.
Advantages: Includes Christians actively in the project
Disadvantages: Alienates the traditional believers
Advantages: Mobilisation; focus on project needs
Disadvantages: Slogans may be inappropriate in certain areas;
political/propaganda approach; lack of choice; means power and
control not participation.
Advantages: Brings precise and accurate information
Disadvantages: Labour involved in preparation; need well equipped
lecturers; fail to get rapport or involvement; tell people what
they already know; condescending; low participation.
All of the options presented by the working groups were discussed
vigorously and assessed in relation to a number of criteria:
Do they provoke debate and discussion?
Do they actively involve people in participating?
Do they require equipment?
Can they be feasibly carried out in a group meeting?
The group felt that all options were possibilities except: films,
slogans, prayers and lectures. These were rejected on the basis
of the disadvantages outlined above.
The participants again split into working groups and each were
asked to prepare a presentation using one of the options listed
during the previous session. Four subject areas were chosen:
construction wood; fuelwood; tree planting and fruit trees. Short
presentations were prepared in 30 mins and fed back to the whole
group (about 5 minutes each).
1. Construction wood: drama
Four species are represented by different actors mutsviri,
mususu, musasa and mupani. Each introduces their wood qualities
and their value for construction. A villager arrives in the
forest in search of wood to make his new hut. He first cut some
musasa for makavi, then poles from mususu. He later returned to
collect nhungo from mutsviri. However he found them bent and
unsuitable, he therefore used them for his kraal.
Discussion: The drama illustrated the multiple functions of
different species in construction, but there was no clear ending
nor an exploration of conflicts over wood resources.
2. Fuelwood: drama
The old father found he had little opportunity to help his
family. He sits discussing the problem with his wife at home. His
wife suggests that he should brew beer to raise cash. However,
they found that finding firewood was a serious problem. They
think of hiring someone to collect firewood for them using a
cart. But the person charges them $5 for cutting and $3 for
transport. This meant that it was impossible for them to solve
Discussion: The indirect approach of bringing up the problems of
firewood scarcity through examining the increased cash market for
wood was thought to help provoke debate on how firewood shortages
particularly affect those people without money.
3. Tree planting: drama
Two drunken lovers are wandering in the forest and they chance
upon some men planting trees. They wander past and tell them that
they are wasting their time. "Surely, it is up to God to let the
forest grow; these things just happen naturally". The tree
planters object and say that they have been doing this for some
time and the forest is now coming back. The drunkards ask if they
are being paid to do this, but the others say no. The drunkards
then wander off. The woman then starts to think aloud about what
they have seen and suggests to the man that they should go and
help too. The man is most reluctant and rejects the idea. However
the woman persists and the man then joins her for fear of being
left behind. They return to the place where the trees are being
planted and help out.
4. Fruit trees: song and dance
An old Karanga praise song for mananga was used to sing about:
Musuma, Muvuyu, Munengene, Munyii, Mango and Guava.
The project already had systems in place for monitoring project
outputs in terms of nursery production, species chosen by
different Vidcos, germination rates, seedling survival, numbers
of trees planted and where etc. These are easily measured and
.quantified. However, one of the project's primary aims is to
encourage a system of community planning and management that
results in community participation and awareness. This is
difficult to evaluate. Success depends on a wide range of
factors and is determined by the different conflicts of interest
in rural communities, the effectiveness of village institutions,
the degree of contact with project activities and the local
debate encouraged by the research extension process.
The project intends to follow up in Vidco's where the community
planning and project implementation has taken place in the
previous season. This evaluation will be led by the VBRs. This
will assist the CWs in their future work and identify local needs
for follow up in Vidcos where they have already worked. During
the community planning phase 30 interviews are carried out as
part of the village appraisal (approximately 30% of households).
The community evaluation will be based on a further 20
interviews; 10 from the list of those already interviewed and a
further 10 who had not been interviewed before. As with the CW
interviews a range of men and women and wealthy and poor
households will be interviewed. The intention is to assess the
degree of participation in the project and the way the project
was heard about, .as well as picking up areas of conflict or
dispute. In addition, information relevant to monitoring and
evaluation will come out in group meetings held in these areas.
The methods outlined above will be used tb bring up such issues
and act as a focus of discussion. The outputs of such meetings
will then be reported by the CWs as part of the normal reporting
Working groups were formed to discuss a possible checklist of
questions to be asked as part of the community evaluation survey.
The results were reported back in a plenary session and a full
Checklist of questions for community evaluation:
General: Vidco, age, sex
Contact with the project: Interviewed, ward meeting, vidco
meeting, other meeting (eg school/farmer club/women group);
friends/relatives/beer party; Vidco officials; Agritex/NRB;
community drama; none.
Participation in project activities: Visit to nursery; seed
supplied to nursery; tree propagation techniques workshop;
woodlot preparation/fencing/watering; tree planting
communal/home; seedling propagation at home; schools projects.
Issues: Conflicts and disputes related to the project; benefits
of the project; future prospects and expectations; fears about
project outcome; suggestions for future direction.
The list developed during the workshop will act as the basis for
the drawing up of an interview checklist for use by the VBRs.
Follow-up and feedback
The results of the Vidco appraisals carried out during this
workshop will be reported back to the communities at Vidco
meetings to be held in April as part of the community planning
process that is being started in April in Ture Ward, Runde. The
original transect diagrams, seasonality charts and ranking
results are on large sheets of paper suitable for presentation to
Appendix 1: Workshop participants
Davison Gumbo Environmental Unit director, ENDA
Billy Mukamuri Project Coordinator, ENDA
Morden Muzondo Research associate, ENDA
Johnson Madyakuseni Village Based researcher supervisor
Ian Scoones Consultant, Drylands programme, IIED (London)
Chivi North project area:
Nebeth Muguti Community worker
Chivi South project area:
Ruzvidzo Community worker
Mazvihwa project area:
Mathou Chakavanda Community worker
Runde project area:
Champion Magwisi- Community worker
Acknowledgements: The ENDA-Zimbabwe community management of
woodland resources project is supported by grants from the Ford
Foundation and NORAD. We are grateful to the Councillors, Vidco
officials, Agritex and the Ministry of Community Development and
Women's Affairs who offered us the hall and welcomed us into the
Appendix 2: Requirements for the workshop
Classroom and sleeping accommodation
Food, cooking assistance and utensils
Blackboard and chalk
Notebooks and pens
Marker pens of different colours
Large sheets of paper (30)
Total costs: approx Z$600. (including allowances)
Appendix 3: Tree Dictionary
Trees planted in the project area (1988/9 season)
Total: 47 tree species; 24 fruit tree spp.
Mubvumira Kirkia acuminata
Muchakata Parinaria curatellifolia
Muchecheni Zizyphus mucronata
Mudohonya Ficus soldanella
Mudziyavashe Combretum apiculatum
Mufuti Castor oil
Mukamba Afzelia quanzenzis
Mukwakwa Strychnos madagascarensis
Munhunguru Flacourtia indica
Munyii Berchemia discolor
Muonde Ficus sycamorus
Mupani Colphospermum mopane
Mupanda Lonchocarpus capassa
Mupfura Sclerocarya birrea
Mupfuti Brachystegia boehmii
Mupwezha Combretum collinum
Murovamhuru Combretum hereroense
Musasa Brachystegia spiciformis
Musekesa Piliostigma thonningi
Mushavi Ficus spp.
Mushuku Uappaca kirkiana
Musuma Diospyros mespilliformis
Musvimwa Lannea stuhlmanni
Mususu Terminalia sericia
Mutamba Strychnos spinosa
Mutobwe .Azanza garckeana
Mutondo Julbernadia globiflora
Mutondochuru Schotia brachypetala
Mutsviri Combretum imberbe
Muvora Albizzia amarra
Muvuyu Adansonia digitata
Muzumi Strychnos cocculoides
Rukato Acacia ataxacantha
Paw paw *
Trees not planted but mentioned in the text:
Table 1: MARKETING OF FRUITS combined results from the two
SPECIES STORAGE PRICE MARKET TRANSPORT
Mulberry No 20c/plate Zvish Bus
Muzumi Dried 5-15c/each Zvish Bus
Dhorofia 2c/each Zvish Bus
Combined criteria from the two groups
Good fruit, cash,
Tasty fruit, drink,
Cash, 'adds blood',
Fruits, juice for
tea, slimming, put in
porridge, cures flu
Fibres in teeth, cannot
store, attract mosquitoes,
when unripe affect mouth
Watering, turn to lemons
Sour and bitter, thorns
Good to eat
Good fruits, sales,
Body building food
Can be cooked and
stored, cash, eaten
any season, makes
teeth and jaws strong
whitens teeth, leaves
ear medicine, shade,
Beer, stored, food
Fruit has no food, too
many cause nyon'o
Babies' umbilical cord
slow to heal.
Vomit if eat hora, const-
ipation if swallow seeds
Seed damages gums
Stomach ache, 'block
embryo's gullet', kids
can break necks when
falling from tree.
Fruit soft and
Cash, easy to
Fruits, beer, dovi,
nuts, animal food.
Fruits to eat,
Fruits good, 'jelly
Fruits good, stored
Seeds block gut
Can attract mosquitoes
Social problems (beer) eg
Might meet baboons when
Thorns, no trade
No taste, darkens teeth,
Figure 8 RANKING RESULTS: all groups combined (14 informants)
M M M M M M F F F F F F F F
O O O O M M O O O M M M M M
1 3 2 1 1
2 3 3 1
3 2 3
4 1 1
4 2 4
3 3 4
KEY: Sex: M = Male; F = Female
Age: O = Old; M = Middle Aged
Rank: 1 (highest) to 6 (lowest)
Figure 7 Results of preference rankings
Ranked firewood species
Mutondo Good charcoal Does not burn if wet
Little smoke Smokey if wet
Fibre good fuel
Mubhondo Good charcoal Bulky
Little smoke Difficult to cut
Burns if alive/dead
Mutsviri Good charcoal Scarce
Alot of heat Thorny, bulky
Light to carry
Good for beer brew
Ranked fruit trees
Mupfura Fruits, nuts, beer,
shade, leaf litter,
Mango Fruits, shade, cash
sales, leaf litter.
Mutobwe Palatable fruit,
Mushuku Tasty fruit, leaf
Hard to cut
Alot of smoke
Alot of ash
Sacred not used in
Mosquitoes attracted by
Danger if swallowed by
Branches easily break
if kids climb
Difficult to plant
Gum Easy to cut, straight
poles, fast growth
Mutsviri Long lasting
Mususu Straight poles, fibre
Mupani Long lasting, poles
Cattle browse ranking
Mumveva Food in fruit, sweet
Mupani Quickly have leaves,
protein content high
Mubhondo Soft leaves, not too
Mupanda Big leaves, evergreen
Musasa Early leaves
No shade, watering,
Hard to cut
Cannot be found in all
No straight poles
Leaves fall in winter
Small leaves, difficult
to browse, sticky