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This document is the final version of a summary of notes taken during the course of a two
week workshop in Madagascar between PVO-NGO/NPMS Project representatives from
Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Uganda, and the United States. These included Mme. Ada
Ndesso-Atanga, PVO-NGO/NRMS Coordinator, Cameroon; Dr Enoh Tanjong, Consultant,
Cameroon; William Ramaroharinosy. Secretary GeneraI/COMODE, Madagascar; Moustapha
Soumare. Past President CCA/ONG. Mali; Susan Mubbala, Coordinator. PVO-NGO/NRMS.
Uganda; Michael Brown, Project Director. PVO-NGO/NRMS, Washington DC. Significant
revisions have been made from the first draft which was circulated to workshop participants
subsequent to completion of the workshop in December 1993.
The purpose of the workshop was to collaboratively develop an appropriate strategy and >
methodology to implement the PVO-NGO/NRMS Phase I Analytical Assessment This >
assessment is being funded by USAID/Washington. This workshop was the first step in
developing a strategy and methodology, as analysts will be finalizing an actual workplan
reflecting a sampling strategy for testing 8 themes, (identified during the workshop and
which will be assessed as sub-hypotheses) by mid February 1994.
The objective of the assessment is to determine if the strategy underpinning PVO-
NGO/NRMS since its inception is valid. The PVO-NGO/NRMS strategy is based on the
overreaching hypothesis that strengthening NGO's institutional and technical capability (also
referred to as "capacity") contributes to (or enables) sustainable natural resources
management (NRM) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The strategy was "operationalized" through /
implementation of the eight themes (sub-hypotheses) discussed below, though several of
these themes had never been formally stated.
To facilitate this strategic planning and analytical exercise, a 6 day field trip was undertaken
to "walk through", or develop on site a global strategy and methodology which would be
adapted subsequently at the level of each of the four PVO-NGO/NRMS focal countries. The
field visits were =. meant to fully assess each of the themes and associated hypotheses but
rather, develop a workable methodology for all countries to be assessed.
The field trip took place in Antsirabe. Tsaramody, Fianarantsoa, Isorana, and Ranomafana,
all highland areas in central and south central Madagascar. The purpose of the field trip was
to use the PVO-NGO/NRMS experience gained through COMODE as a springboard for
developing the strategy and methodology for the analytical assessment The objective thus
was not to "evaluate" COMODE and member organization activities in Madagascar in the
classic sense. Rather, analysis was made of COMODE and member organization activities as
the foundation upon which the assessment scategy and methodology could be developed.
This approach proved extremely helpful in concretizing what otherwise would have been
fairly theoretical and abstract concepts were they discussed solely at the COMODE office in
The document, and notes upon which it is based, have the quality of "rawness" which copying
straight from flip charts and notebooks inevitably "encourages." This is not meant as an
excuse, but rather as a point of information. This is therefore very much a working document
primarily for those who attended the workshop. Part of its value, in addition to its use in
implementing the assessment, will be historical and comparative once the assessment is
completed and the final document prepared.
One editorial note, when [ I are used, this refers to an editorial comment injected during the
course of document preparation, and does not refer to an actual verbalized comment during the
workshop. Also, that which is reported unbracketed in the text is not necessarily a word by
word repetition of what a person expressed at the workshop. (though it may be). Rather, the
text represents what is hopefully an honest reporting of the major statements, concepts, and
"dynamics" of the workshop. On a stylistic note, much of the text therefore flows as a
dialogue would, albeit with hopefully greater structure and emphasis on main points. In this
sense much of the report can be read as a trip report would.
The document presentation style varies between the field trip and the Antananarivo office
sessions. Highlighting of field trip discussions is made so that the reader can get a sense of
how the field trip helped inform identification of themes, sub-themes and structuring of the
proposed activities matrices. A model of the Analytical Framework used (Annex A) and a
glossary of acronymns (Annex B) are attached at the end of the document. [Themes are
presented in the order that they were approached first in the field trip and secondly in the
closing meeting in Antananarivo. This is to remain faithful to the flow of dialogue during the
workshop, while at the same time providing editorial input as needed. For this reason the
order of themes in the text is not 1, 2, 3, etc.]
For readers who did not attend the workshop, there is hopefully enough structure,
contxtualization and semantical sense in the document to render meaning. In particular, we
hope tLat Advisory Board members and others familiar with the PVO-NGO/NRMS
Analytical Assessment proposal will be able to follow the evolution of ideas from the
proposal, through the documentation for the Advisory Board meeting held in Washington in
early November, to results of the workshop presented here. In that sense this is very much a
"process/working document. While documents like this one are generally not published, we
feel that providing as much insight into the preliminary steps of the strategizing and
methodological planning process for undertaking the assessment will prove of interest to
For readers unfamiliar with either PVO-NGOiNRMS or the analytical assessment, it is hoped
that this document will offer insight as to how U.S. Private Voluntary Organizations
(PVOs) together with African non-governmental organization (NGO) colleagues are
analytically assessing work undertaken collaboratively in NRM over the past four years.
Hopefully this will provide colleagues in both the NGO and donor communities working
elsewhere with food for thought in approaching NRM activities analytically, and in
considering the potential to replicate certain NGO/NRM approaches in other places based on
lessons we are learning here. It also should provide transparency into an ongoing process
which will culminate in publication of a series of what hopefully will prove to be ever more
Despite these caveats, thanks to Brice Andrianomenjanahary for dutiful note taking and
assiduous flip chart transcribing under fast moving circumstances. This document would have
been difficult to produce otherwise. Many thanks to the entire permanent staff of COMODE
for their help in preparing this document. It absolutely could not have been completed in the
available time otherwise.
Any faults in the document, all prior caveats aside, remain my own.
January 4, 1994
Antananarivo, November 15-17, 1993
At the office of COMODE
The first days of the workshop involved discussion of the objectives, the importance, and the
potential strategy to use to accomplish the PVO-NGO/NRMS analytical assessment.
The essence of the assessment as proposed by World Learning. CARE, and World Wildlife Fund, is
to examine the validity of the original hypothesis of PVO-NGO/NRMS which contends that in
strengthening the capacity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) technically and institutionally,
African environmental degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will be reduced. [This hypothesis was
transformed into the project purpose: to strengthen NGO capacity in NRM.]
PVO-NGO/NRMS was funded to develop feasible NGO approaches to reverse environmental
degradation in SSA. While no single organization nor individual can be expected to stop
environmental degradation, NGOs have been assumed to be key actors in the drive to reduce
environmental degradation in SSA. Since 1989 PVO/NRMS has been involved in strengthening NGO
capacity. During that time numerous services in training, technical assistance and information support
have been delivered. Most have been considered by project staff and external evaluators to have been
"successful', in so far as the services provided were those that were intended to be delivered, and that
subjectively a broad range of people believe these to have been 'worthwhile" and "effective'.
What remains less clear is whether in fact this approach has (I) strengthened NGO capacity which has
(2) been leading towards reduced environmental degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa; i.e. are increased
capacities translating into improved NRM? If so, based on what indicators? And furthermore, is any
increased capacity and improved NRM primarily attributable to the PVO-NGO/NRMS activity, or is
it due to multiple factors, with PVO-NGO/NRMS not necessarily being the principal factor in any
increased capacity? Each of PVO-NGOINRMS four focal country programs (Cameroon, Madagascar,
Mali and Uganda) has undertaken activities destined to build NGO capacity through training,
information support and technical assistance. The next logical step for PVO-NGO/NRMS is to
determine whether, in fact, these activities are leading to more effective management of natural (
resources in each focal country. If this cannot: be demonstrated, if the hypothesis relating capacity )
building to reduced environmental degradation through improved natural resources management
cannot be validated, NGO and donor strategies (USAID or otherwise) in NRM in Africa which
involve capacity building components will deserve to be reviewed, since on the surface the overall
activity has been positively evaluated.
It was clarified during the first days that this kind of assessment should (hopefully) be helpful for
many types of organizations, including NGOs, donors and ultimately community based organizations
(CBOs). The assessment must be creative, innovative, and to an extent risk taking to accomplish its
objectives The assessment should strive to reach its full potential in terms of what it can contribute
to the state of knowledge about the effectiveness of NGO work in NRM in Africa from the
perspective of what to do and how to do it It was reiterated that if the analysis is carried cut well, it
will likely be both useful and provocative.
It was clearly stated that the analytical assessment is different from an evaluation. [The latter is
often a mandatory exercise which donors utilize for deciding to maintain or cut project funding, while
the former (at least in this case) is meant to answer questions of broader theoretical importance.]
Therefore, it is not meant to be a simple listing of all the activities that people at different PVO-
NGO/NRMS project levels have undertaken. While obtaining empirical information will be
fundamentally important in so far as it will serve as a springboard to answer higher level theoretical
questions, the value of the analysis in each country (and the synthesis overall) will be directly
correlated to how well we can answer questions pertaining to: what, how, who, when, and
ultimately why NRM capacity building activities (should) occur. These questions are of interest to
NGOs, donor agencies, national NGO consortium, as well as local communities. Based on PVO-
NGO/NRMS experience, along with other NGOs, the assessment team's tentative conclusions and
recommendations to donors and NGOs for strategic planning and programming purposes could be both
useful and timely.
To carry out the assessment the following must be considered:
-Determination of the target audience in strategizing and developing an appropriate
*Assuring optimal objectivity (while it is sometimes hard to distinguish "objective" from
"subjective" and assumption from fact, this must nevertheless constantly be strived
for during the assessment).
Based on consensus in both the Advisory Board meeting and this planning workshop, the target
audience is meant broadly to be any persons or organizations in the NGO, donor and government
communities that can benefit from what hopefully will be a high quality analysis. Our aspiration is
that the assessment will positively influence donor, government and NGO programming in NRM in
the years to come.
Resumi of discussion
During those first two days, the team managed to identify eight themes [which can be formulated as
hypotheses with associated sub-themes and sub-hypotheses that are presented as such in the text
subsequently] which are relevant to the assessment in the four PVO-NGO/NRMS focal countries:
Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali and Uganda. Those themes are:
1- The relationship between the PVO-NGOINRMS national consortium and regional
chapters (or country working groups or zones) in strengthening NGO capacity leading to
improved [sustainable] NRM.
2- The relationship of training programs to improved NGO institutional and technical
capacity leading to improved [sustainable] NRM.
3- The relationship between PVO-NGO/NRMS regional programs and improved NGO
institutional and technical capacities leading to improved Isustainable] NRM.
4- The relationslp between NGO collaboration and improved NGO technical and
instittioaal capacies leading to improved sustainablee] NRM
5- The relationship between a bottom up approach and improved technical and instituronal
capacities of NGOs leading to improved [sustainable] NRM .
6- The relationship between prioritizing service-providing NGOs (SPNGOs) in capacity
building activities leading to improved [sustainable] NRM.
7- The relationship between information support and lessons learned on the technical and
Institutional capacities of the NGOs leading to improved [sustainable] NRM.
8- The relationship beareen technical assistance and improved technical and institutional
capacities of NGOs leading to improved [sustainable] NRM
[ For organizational purposes in undertaking the assessment, these themes can be put into three groups:
(I) Organizational/structural (themes 1 and 4); (2) Quality of Interventions (themes 2.3.7 and 8);
and. (3) Philosophy (themes 5 and 6). By grouping themes, it should be possible to gain economies of
scale in implementing the assessment; literature reviews, interviews, group discussions can be
organized so that multiple themes can be addressed coherently at the same time and place for
Each theme is discussed below in terms of issues, indicators of relationship, and methodological
Most themes benefited from elaboration of another matrix identifying specific issues/sub-themes to
assess in order to enable the overarching hypothesis associated with a particular theme to be answered.
The second of the two matrices for each theme is therefore, in principle, a logical emanation of the
first matrix. While ideally each theme will be addressed in all focal countries, it may prove to be the
case that a hierarchy of priorities will need to be established. This prioritization was the
preoccupation of the PVO-NGO/NRMS Management Consortium at a subsequent mid-December
meeting in Washington.
This prioritization will need to be done first during preparation of the work plan (see Timelines and
Work Plan following theme 8 below), and secondly during implementation of the assessment if time
and financial resources prove to be constraining. At the least, the three thematic categories identified
above will require exploration in each focal country assessment, albeit in less in-depth detail than the
methodology presented below would have, should time constraints prove to be too daunting. The
depth of this more general exploration will be determined at a later time, only after it is determined
that the more in depth treatment of all eight themes with equal weighting proves unfeasible. All
issues pertaining to the ideal methodology to be implemented as developed in Madagascar are discussed
through the remainder of this document [The feasibility (or non-feasibility) to undertake the
analytical assessment as fully outlined at the Madagascar planning workshop must therefore await
preparation of the detailed four focal country workplans. On the basis of those finally proposed,
suggested revisions which will implicate the methodology used, and the overall comparability of the
data to be gathered and assessed in all four PVO-NGO/NRMS focal countries, will be made. Should
it be necessary, advise from Advisory Board members on drawing boundaries to the analytical
assessment exercise may be sought.]
During the first three days, the overall context for the assessment along with clarification of how the
workshop was meant to proceed was presented. On day three, theme I was begun to be explored, with
the experience of COMODE and its three zones or chapters serving as the basis for opening meeting
discussion. Helping the team of analysts to envision how they would go about analyzing theme 1 in
the context of their own country experience was the central element of discussion. Achieving a
balance between obtaining information on COMODE and its zones on the one hand, for the purpose of
developing a global analytical assessment strategy and methodology on the other, proved at the outset
challenging, as it appeared to many that we were inevitably meeting to evaluate COMODE. Using
COMODE/Madagascar's experience as a common reference point it became increasingly feasible and
relevant over the course of the two week workshop to have COMODE's particulars serve as a
springboard for identifying a common strategy and set of assessment themes. Unfortunately more
detailed notes on theme 1 are not available as our rapporteur did not begin his work until
Antsirabe, November 18th, 1993
At the office of IREDEC
THEME 3: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PVO-NGO/NRMS
REGIONAL PROGRAM AND INCREASED NGO INSTITUTIONAL AND
TECHNICAL CAPACITIES LEADING TO IMPROVED NRM.
The first day of the field trip began with the exploration of theme 3.
A series of questions, addressed mainly to Olivier Ravelomanantsoa of IREDEC, the Malagasy
NGO, was asked to find out whether the Regional Program of PVO-NGO/NRMS had positively
impacted on the activities of IREDEC in its work with communities in the pastoral sector. This
field visit to the IREDEC office and to an actual project site was undertaken to develop a
strategy and methodology for approaching the relationship between the project's regional
program and capacity building of participating NGOs through the program, leading (potentially)
to improved NRM. Had the program impacted on NGO capacity? Is this impact leading to
improved NRM? To determine how to approach this for any of PVO-NGO/NRMS regional
activities, the example of one member NGO (IREDEC) in COMODE, and its experience in the
pastoral sector workshop held in Mali in February 1993 was the test case.
Olivier described how IREDEC became involved in the pastoral sector in Madagascar and talked
about how IREDEC approached the sector before attending the workshop. He explained that
though there has not yet been any concrete application of the training he received during the
pastoral sector workshop in Mali, what he learned from pastoralists and other professionals
working in the sector has enabled him and IREDEC to develop new strategies and approaches to
the problems between the pastoral and the agricultural population of Tsaramody.
Upon questioning, Olivier noted that the problem between the two ethnic groups in this region
is very complicated from the perspective of land tenure. The pastoral people, the Bara, are
marginalized to a degree in the region. A census of Bara has not even been taken so that objective
assessment of land use and pressures related to pastoral production systems cannot be made. The
Merina cc the other hand are involved in agriculture and are continuing to extensify their
activities into Bara pastoral lands. This may be based or historical patterns of Merina
agricultural expansion from the central plateau to increasingly marginal agricultural lands on
the plateau's periphery. There is no legislation meanwhile which protects Bara land use on
pastoral (or otherwise zoned) lands, such that agricultural peoples are implicitly prioritized in
IREDECs initial approach to the Bara and the Merina communities, that they should be dealt
with in some respects as an indistinguishable whole, proved to be inappropriate. IREDEC
reaLzed after the Mali workshop that each group has its own specificity and interests which
requires that they be approached differently. l(t is not clear whether a "different" approach
implies "separate' or "independent" approaches.] Achieving a balanced approach which on the one
hand considers and respects the specificity of pastoral versus agricultural production systems, yet
on the other hand approaches the two holistically so that potential complementarities are
encouraged rather than discouraged, may be what is ultimately required. This is at the origin of
the present "zone approach" which IREDEC is developing in the region of Vakinankarara.
The Vakinakaratra region is now divided into six zones. Based on the pastoral sector workshop
experience of Mali, Olivier and IREDEC concluded that there should be different [hopefully
complementary] strategies for pastoral and agricultural activities promoted by IREDEC. Before
the workshop. Olivier and IREDEC tended to categorize rural resource users uniformly. Ther.
also may have been a tendency to prioritize agriculture as the priority aspect of rural life. Thi::
may have come from IREDEC's "professional bias" toward agriculture, as most IREDEC stall
are agricultural or rural development experts. What was most interesting about the session was
the fact that IREDEC is clearly rethinking their major assumptions and entire approach to
pastoralists and the interface between them and agriculturists (who in this case are themselves
somewhat migratory). The key question relating back to attribution, is the extent to which the
PVO-NGO/NRMS regional program activity provoked this rethinking.
From the IREDEC office, the group traveled 130 Km to west to Tsaramody. There, it met with
the local agricultural population of Merina who interact with Bara. Bara pastoralists were not
present at the workshop.
The meeting at Tsaramody had two objectives. The primary objective was to provide a field
opportunity to develop a strategy and methodology appropriate to testing the hypothesis
underpinning the regional program themes to be analyzed in each of the four PVO-NGO/NRMS
focal countries. To'chieve this objective, a corollary objective of the meeting at Tsaramody was
meant to obtain information from the villagers about the context of interaction between
themselves and the pastoral Bara population. It also meant to determine if and how well
Tsaramody agriculturists, presumably directly or indirectly, were benefiting from the pastoral
sector activities which IREDEC participated in through the PVO-NGO/NRMS regional program.
How, if at all has the regional pastoral sector activity under PVO-NGO/NRMS affected the
lives of Tsaramody agriculturists in terms of NRM or social welfare? The case was meant to
serve as a testing ground for approaching the regional analytical assessment theme. This theme
addresses the relation between the PVO/NRMS program and individual NGOs benefiting from
the program in each of the four focal countries to determine if the regional program has
succeeded in strengthening the capacity of NGOs to work in natural resources management. And
from here is there more effective natural resources management due to strengthened NGO
technical and institutional capacity? What are the indicators if so? Finally. is this overreaching
hypothesis linking strengthened NGO capacities to improved NRM valid, at least from the
perspective of the impact of regional program activities or increased capacity and improved
NRM? [The regional program itself addressed numerous substantive issues in over 20 African
countries, the pastoral sector being but one.]
in response to specific questions about a range of issues attemptng to help answer the above, the
Tsaramody villagers responded that :
1) They know nothing about COMODE.
2) IREDEC has considerably helped the community and they trust it
3) They wish that IREDECs activities in the village will continue despite IREDEC's
intention to extend its work to other regions. They agree with the principle that
development should be for everybody, and thus there is no reason for them to constrain
IREDEC from working with others.
4) The villagers did not seem to know of the existence of PVO-NGO/NRMS. Yet, they
were in fact aware of its activities since they knew about the workshop attended by
Olivier in Mali, and they knew in detail that what was discussed there had direct
relevancy to them and their interactions with Bara pastoralists.
In answer to questions regarding their status vis-a-vis the pastoral Bara population, the villagers
answered that there has been a great improvement over this past year. The Bara have seemed to
accept the importance [and de facto existence] of Tsaramody's agricultural activities for the
Merina people of Tsaramody.
Olivier, the IREDEC representative, explained that no awareness raising campaign has formally
been undertaken yet with the Bara. IREDEC was wary to falseiy attribute any changes in Bara
behavior to their work with them. Nonetheless IREDEC has made it clear to the Bara, as well as
the Merina of Tsaramody, that if each party wants their respective land tenure problems
addressed (if not solved) with IREDEC's help, there must be an honest attempt to reach a
compromise of sorts between the two sides. IREDEC claimed it was prepared to work in
collaboration with the communities to attain such a compromise.
The Bara now take part in the "protection" of agricultural production by not willfully damaging
agriculturists' crops through allowing their livestock to trample villagers' standing crops. The
Tsaramody farmers are, as a result, optimistic about their evolving relationship with the Bara.
This despite the fact that the latter have refused to sign any written agreements on land use. [It
is not clear what written agreements were proposed, by whom, when and in what context. This
requires empirical follow up to determine how if at ail, the quality of relation between the
pastoral (primarily) and agricultural (primarily) communities of Tsaramody has evolved. The
Bara reportedly support the idea that the relation between the two sides should be based on
mutual trust.] When asked a question about whether this improvement in the situation is the
result of what Olivier has discussed with them after the pastoral sector workshop, the villagers
answered that the knowledge they received from Olivier since his returning from Mali has helped
At this point the key substantive question for the group was: based on our information can this
specific regional program activity be attributed to be a causal factor in the improved relation
between Mexina and Bara in Tsaramody [in what effectively is the agropastoral sector]? If yes,
based on what indicators? And how can this be determined? [And if the available information is
not sufficient to grant attribution, what more information will be needed to objectively decide
Discussion followed. Michael Brown noted that he saw a great change in the attitude of
Tsaramody villagers since he first time came in 1992. The agricultural people, the Merina, on the
one hand, seemed to have changed what appeared at a prior visit to be a somewhat derogatory
perception of the Bara- Some had not even wanted to talk about the Bara, save rather reticently or
even disdainfully. Now, however, they seem to accept the Bara, and claim to want to fully
negotiate with them.
The pastoral people, the Bara, on the other hand, have reportedly also changed their behavior.
Now, the Bara supposedly contribute to the agricultural activities of Merina population of
Tsaramody by not constraining these activities. The question is again: can we attribute this
behavior change on the part of the Bara to the Mali pastoral sector workshop and its impact on
IREDEC? If so, to what extent? This is the question which each regional program activity we
analyze must answer regardless of the specific activity. Have workshops or training directly
impacted on behavior changes? Methodologically, we must be able to trace impact from the
activity to strengthened NGO capacity and improved natural resources management (and/or
increased human welfare).
Based on the information received, it appears that both the NGO in this case and the two
"community based organizations (CBOs)" (the Merina and Bara populations of Tsaramody) have
either bad their capacities strengthened or have been positively impacted. This can be considered as
a potential indicator, though the true impact of the activities of IREDEC on the community of
Tsaramody and the Bara will require more subsequent detailed assessment.
Another indicator of impact involves time; at the beginning, IREDEC wanted to be very careful
in its handling of the problem between the pastoral and agricultural populations at Tsaramody.
Yet after the Mali workshop. IREDECs strategic approach seems to have changed. Accelerated
programming and changes in IREDECs strategic plan appear to represent preliminary indicators
of impact of the regional program activity on increased NGO capacity.
William Ramaroharinosy. Secretary General of COMODE, reiterated concern over potential false
attribution, and wondered whether the reason for any change is really due to the impact of the
Mali workshop, or due to the trust that the community already had for IREDEC. Could that
trust not be an enabling factor ? He wondered if the result would have been the same if another
organization had been involved.
Michael Brown suggested that enabling factors may significantly contribute to NGO capacity
building and improved natural resources management as William suggested. If the Mali
workshop has really had an impact on the behavior of the population of Tsaramody. based on
empirically verifiable indicators, have other factors also been involved? What has enabled the
pastoral sector workshop activity to become successful in increasing IREDEC's capacity? Could
the workshop have had the same impact if Tsaramody hadn't had that confidence level in
IREDEC? In addition, it was noticed that all the available information on Tsaramody had been
from the perspective of IREDEC or from the agricultural people. We don't know how the Bara
themselves perceive the situation. What do they think? Has their use of land really changed? This
side of the equation-the pastoralists ultimately themselves-obviously requires study in a
pastoral sector analysis.
Antsirabe, November 19th, 1993
At the office of Nature et Progres (N & P)
THEME 2: THE RELATIONSHIP OF TRAINING PROGRAMS TO
INCREASED NGO CAPACITY AND IMPROVED NRM.
The team objective was to develop a strategy and methodology for determining the validity of the
theme 2 hypothesis in all four PVO-NGO/NRMS focal countries. Have the various training programs
organized by COMODE and attended by Natne et Progres increased N & P's capacity? Has this really
brought about improved natural resources management in N & P's zone of intervention? This question
is a major preoccupation in all four PVO-NGO/NRMS focal countries. [The actual matrix for this
theme is under the November 24, 1993 chapter below].
During the meeting the following members of Nature et Progr.s were present:
Jean: Technical manager of the association
Charles: National Animator
Stanislas Newly elected Secretary General of the association
Linette: Assistant Treasurer
Charles Frangois Xavier Treasurer
To reiterate, this was not a formal evaluation of Nature et Progris, or of COMODE.
Before coming to the core of the matter, Jean, the technical manager of Nature et Progres explained
the activities of Nature at Progres.
Nature et Progres (N & P) was created in 1989. It is an "umbrella organization" made up of 800
families, 95% of which are peasant farmers attached to different geographically based project zones.
The farmers are active members of the NGO. The activities of N & P involve environmental
conservation and rural development generally. N & P works most specifically in the agriculture and
health sectors. Regarding structure and decision making, the ultimate decisions are the responsibility
of the General Assembly of N & P. The technical staff, as well as the national bureau, play the role
of project implementors. Jean also explained that N & P has always been involved in natural resources
management, even before participating in COMODE and PVO-NGO/NRMS activities. That is the
reason why N & P was interested work with the latter. The NGO is also involved in sustainable
agricultural activities in particular on the production side through the utilization of organic
fertilizers. N & P works in soil conservation as well as in reforestation. 400 hectares of land in three
regions of the central plateau have been reforested the past few years. Next year, N & P will work on
200 more hectares.
Concerning training programs, Jean said that Nature et Progres has participated in the different
training sessions organized by COMODE, including :
"Mise A Niveau* (Getting everyone to the same level), Antananarivo
"Qui fait Quoi?" (Who does what?), Antananarivo
"Gestion de Projet" (Project design), Fianarantsoa
"PPOI (Planning by objective). Fianaranisoa
"PPO2 (Planning by objective), in Fianarantsoa
S"La Budgetisation et Comptabilit" (Budgeting and accounting), Fianarantsoa
"Formation Technique: technique de riziculture intensive", (Technical Training: intens-
ive riziculture techniques).
The objective for the assessment group was, through N & P's experience, to determine if there was a
relation between training and increased capacity in N & P. Yet how, or on the basis of what
indicators, can a positive or negative assessment of the impact of training programs on NGO
performance in NRM be made?
When asked about the impact of these training programs, Jean answered the training and workshops
that N & P attended through COMODE helped the association. Nature et Progrbs could not have
imagined how it would actually benefit from collaboration with an association like COMODE prior
to the workshops. They now claim that training programs organized by COMODE have strengthened
N & Ps capacity. They state that project design training, for example, has strengthened their capacity
to prepare project documents. Since this training, they have managed to prepare project documents
which are more viable than what they presented before, with "viability" defined as the successful
obtaining of donor funding for projects. According to N & P, these successfully funded projects have
been developed through a combination of building on pre-existing knowledge coupled to additional
training, so that N & P will not attribute all recent success to COMODE/PVO-NGO/NRMS training
alone. Three of these project proposals submitted have been funded by: Entraide de Fraternit6 of
Belgium, Association National d'Actions Environnementals (A' -' E) of Madagascar, and Catholic
Relief Service (CRS). Funding received has been invested in different zrivities, production of organic
fertilizer through fattening of livestock being one case in point
The relation between COMODE and Nature et Progres was also discussed. The question was asked :
Have you informed COMODE prior to the submission of your project documents to donors? Jean
answered that his organization is not obliged to report to COMODE for its private activities, as the
latter has no leverage over Nature et Progrts in its internal affairs.
Concerning the training on "Budgeting and Accounting". Jean explained that though the theme of that
training focused mainly on the umbrella N & P organization, they have also managed to transmit
some of the knowledge gained at the level of the umbrella association to the farmer level through the
sessions of grassroots training that they have provided. It was added by the analysts that this type of
information knowledge transfer in N & P case may be indicative of spread effect and NGO capacity
building. Empirical research at the family/village level is required to determine impact at this level.
Is it really "knowledge" that N & P farmers have gained based on assimilated information? This
training has enabled the association to get information on budgeting and project accounting. At the
family level, some notions of accounting, (not directly involved in budgeting) have also been
obtained. Accounting is important for the member families as the money they use for their activities
has to be refunded to N & P. This situation obliges families to have a functional notion of accounting.
The danger of using funded projects as a success indicator was raised. Michael Brown remarked that a
funded project is not automatically "viable" just because it has been funded. In fact, the activity may
or may not in its essence be feasible. So how do we determine if a proposed project is viable [or
feasible]? A distinction should thus be made in our initial thinking between a "nicely written" project
and a "viable" project. The latter determination requires considerable assessment in itself. "Nicely
written proposals" are discernible at the behavioral level. Viability may be determined at both the
behavioral level and the biophysical/human welfare level.
In response to the question: "How can you tell that your project proposals are more viable than
before?", Jean explained that the viability of their project proposals depended on 3 elements :
1) What they received from the COMODE training, in project design and related training.
2) The experience of the association and its credibility, judged from what it has already
accomplished, and what it is capable of accomplishing in the future.
3) Its capacity for negotiation.
Jean noted that the viability of a proposal is hard to define, as the donors have their way of conceiving
and analyzing project proposals. [Jean is still defining viability as a function of funding]. He noted
that an NGO may receive funding if the proposal coincides with the donor's interest
As an answer to the question of whether (1) Nature et Progres in project designs are technically
viable or not, and (2) if they have become more efficient after receiving training, and finally (3) if die
funded projects are infact proving to be technically viable, Jean said that it is logical that a document
should contain technical data which should be very clear to the donors. Weak data, or even the manner
of presenting figures can be at the origin of failure to receive funding. This distinction between receipt
of project funding and viability was not clearly differentiated by N & P. For N & P funding again
seems to imply viability. For the analytical assessments purposes, this cannot be assumed.
[Furthermore in project design training, this distinction between funding received and feasible project
designs was a major topic covered.]
When asked the questions: "Can you say that the training has strengthened the capacity of the families
in N & P, as well as the capacity of the NGO, and in what way can we see that there is a relationship
between the training and the natural resources management N & P is undertaking?", Jean said that it is
very hard to judge the latter until the results at the farmer level have been evaluated.
[Mth.odologically speaking intermediate indicators may nonetheless be apparent].
It was asked whether N & P thinks that the quality of their proposals is better than before? Jan
answered again that the fact that they managed to obtain funding for their project proposals
demonstrates that the training they received has really strengthened the caE :: to successfully
design projects. Before, the NGO was not able to design a project by itselff rAi orJy partiailv
answers the question.]
When asked the question : "What were your expectations for COMODE a-; ? "'0O-NGO/NRMS
regarding what they would do for N & P when they started to work with you?". 2aJ "How many of
these expectations have been realized?" [a theme i issue], Jean said that they 2 like a child to
COMODE. The latter already knows what N & P needs in the way a parent: die-s his/her family.
Nature et Progres does not have the intention to ask anything of COMODE. as e latter is wise
enough to know what to do vis-a-vis N & P. The NGO does not expect anyrti2g from anyone.
Besides, the decision belongs to the General Assembly of the association which mnees every 3 years, so
they cannot decide themselves what the NGO itself needs. What they want is to see the creation of a
technical unit within COMODE [like the proposed CATF] to provide technical assistance to member
NGOs in project design and implementation.
To the question: "Are you much more at ease after the training than before? Jean answered yes.
Besides, they have more activities to be implemented.
In summary, a number of topics were covered relevant to theme 3, along with therrm. 1, the relation
between COMODE and NGOs in the regions.
Fianarantsoa, November 20, 1993
Two themes were examined during the meeting in Fianarantsoa :
THEME 1: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NATIONAL CONSORTIUM
AND REGIONAL CHAPTERS IN STRENGTHENING NGO CAPACITY
LEADING TO IMPROVED NRM.
THEME 4: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NGO COLLABORATION AND
IMPROVED NGO TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITIES
LEADING TO IMPROVED NRM.
In the exploration of themes 1 and 4, the team met with representatives of the CEDID/CAPR
Consortium which operates in COMODE's southern zone. As an introduction to the discussion on the
two themes, the representatives of CEDID (note that nobody from CAPR was present at the
beginning of the meeting) were invited to explain their organization and its activities.
CEDID was created in 1976, at the time when Madagascar was embarking on its experience in
socialism. At the beginning. CEDID's objective was to undertake studies related to Madagascar's
development It focused on research. The association researched and wrote documents, organized
conferences, colloquia and seminars. CEDID also produced reviews for three continents: Africa, Asia
and South America. In 1982. the CEDID realized that it had been overly oriented towards planning,
with little or no emphasis on implementation. It then changed its orientation to focus more
concretely on grassroots development throughout the country. It organized training sessions for
projects managers and students. In 1984, CEDID decided to concentrate its efforts on rural
development with the philosophy in mind that as long as rural people are not in control over their
destinies, results in development will never be positive. This lesson was drawn from the goverrnment-
experience in rural development in the 1970s.
In 1989 -1990, CEDID's activities were concentrated in three areas:
I) Education: in the field of management, economy, law, French, and English directed to help
University students. This activity contributed towards covering of CEDID's operating costs .
2) Training: in animation, organization and management in rural development
3) Enterprise Development for the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises. This
focused on training in management, accounting and communication. Concerning this recent
orientation, the first part of the program has already begun to be implemented.
Unfortunately, political events in Madagascar in 1991 have constrained the evolution of this
Women and development was also stated to be part of CEDID's activities.
Concerning CAPR, it was said that it has an apprenticeship center for rural development The center
trains young people from the regions. CAPR apprentices master agricultural techniques which can be
adapted to farming situations back in the apprentices' home settings. After receiving training.
participants benefit from monitoring support provided by the trainers in the apprentices' villages.
CAPR also is involved in research.
Concerning the theme of NGO collaboration, it was stated that the CEDID/CAPR Consortium
operates in the joint implementation of rural development programs. The Consortium trains village
anim-ators and coordinators within the district of Fianarantsoa I, its main zone of collaboration. The
focus is on leadership training. The goal of the training is to enable rural people to take increasing
control over their own development CAPR helps people develop ideas, elaborate these ideas into
concrete projects, and manage the projects through all phases of implementation. Contrary to what
some organizations do, people who are trained within the context of the CEDID/CAPR Consortium
program are villagers. They receive training sessions in the field, not in classrooms. Training is
functional The application of knowledge gained is reinforced through implementation of village level
projects. Animators in training contribute to the implementation of the projects. The idea is to help
the villagers first identify, then manage their projects. The animators play the role of intermediary
between the Consortium and the peasants. They transmit management techniques to the community
(fokonolona). The training managers (Consortium) provide their support to the animators. Sometimes,
they even directly intervene in key situations. The Consortium thus helps the rural population to
initiate and organize the--selves. It also informs villagers about different opportunities for assistance.
The team attempted to determine the strength of the collaborative relationship t between
CEDID/CAPR. It was claimed that the two parties collaborate well, that CEDDD/CAPR wax. like a
single NGO [obviously, this is the type of assertion which requires verification at a number of levels].
CEDID/CAPR maintains a management committee which is formed of members from both
organizations. This management committee makes decisions on the content of training, project
implementation, and other issues related to the Consortium. CEDID is responsible for external
relations with donors. The Consortium coordinator implements the program established by the
management committee. There is also the general assembly of trained community leaders whici.
interacts with the Consortium periodically.
When asked the question: "How within the CEDID/CAPR Consortium structure does each member
maintain its respective organizational identity?", the representatives of the Consortium [CAPR was
represented at the meeting by this time] answered that within the Consortium, there is a mutual
respect in the implementation of the respective NGO programs. The conclusion drawn by the
analytical assessment team: individual NGO programming, and collaborative programming under a
consortium need not be mutually exclusive.
To further help the analytical assessment team understand what makes the CEDID/CAPR Consortium
wcad, a remark was made by CEDID that there is more than the institutional relationship between the
two institutions that beips make the consortium work. Personal relationships between the people as
individuals also pla-s a very important role in facilitating collaboration. It was noted by the group
that while personality factors are often acknowledged as important, they rarely are systematically
To illustrate the importance of personal relationship factors, one of the representatives of the
Consortium said that it would be impossible for two different NGOs like CEDID/CAPR to work
together without prior mutual understanding emanating from individual relationships. Within the
context of CAPR/CEDID. members of both parties had already known each other a long time before
the creation of the Consortium. Some members of CEDID had been involved in activities of CAPR,
and vice-versa Now, a third party (TEZA) wishes also to join the Consortium, but before coming to
an agreement, CEDID/CAPR feels that certain groundwork should be laid. The question for the group
was. "How can personality variables be adequately assessed without overstating or understating their
importance?" Unfortunately, this point was not systematically pursued during the team's discussions,
but should be pursued in each country assessment.
It was noted that CEDID has collaborated in three consortium; one within COMODE, the two
others outside COMODE:
1) With TIAKO. for the realization of a second bulletin of COMODE. There was minimal
integration of the members in the consortium. The collaboration between technicians was not.
good. Their conclusion: collaboration does not happen automatically. It requires a number of
preliminary or preparatory factors. This did not occur in the collaboration between CEDID
2) A second example of unfruitful collaboration involved the participation of CEDID in the
Regional Symposium on the Develooment of the Region of Fianarantsoa The problem there
was that the two parties could not understand each other.
3) Only in the third case, with the Consortium CEDID/CAPR, did consortium collaboration
The facilitation role which COMODE played in catalyzing an already existing level of mutual trust
between the two parties was identified as a key enabling factor for the Consortium. The bond which
exists between CAPR and CEDID is both philosophical and technical. It is the fruit of negotiation
between the two parties before the union. It was cited that the collaboration is like what happens in a
marriage: ideas and techniques were not in themselves enough to make it happen. It needed preparation
and mutual understanding of the two parties. Human relationships played an important role in the
realization of the union.
What needs to be done subsequently is to determine what factors in fact enabled "the marriage" to
work, by looking specifically into the nature of CEDID and CAPR's collaboration prior to the
Technical collaboration which is based on valid theoretical concepts, but not accompanied with
effective personal relationships, will likely not be enough to sustain NGO collaboration. This
requires consideration in all cases of successful or failed collaboration. If it turns out that personal
relations do ultimately prove crucial in NGO collaboration, analysis should be made into what can be
done in a capacity building project to promote personal relations which help enable collaboration.
There are the two subtle elements to analyze regarding collaboration:
the concept of human relationships, which is rarely overtly considered in development
literature, but which is likely in most if not all instances to be fundamental and,
honesty and transparency which may prove to be key enabling factors in facilitating NGO
It was noted that the fact that two persons know each other does not mean that transparency exists
between them. However personal relationships may facilitate communication and in turn,
transparency. This is an empirical question to be determined in each situation. Yet the existence of
transparency is probably not sufficient in itself to foster effective communication. The question is
then What minimum of transparency is needed to allow a relationship to develop and improve? What
is the minimum of information needed to say that there is transparency in NGO collaboration or not?
What else is needed to enable collaboration to occur and flourish? Can we even speak of
"collaboration" without transparency? Finally, what are indicators of transparency?
Possible indicators include :
Equal access to information. The fact that information flows does not mean that everybody
has assimilated this information equally well.
Broad based participation in decision making. A decision presupposes that there has been an
evaluation and understanding of the implications of a particular course of action. Have
decisions been broad based? Has information flow been transparent to facilitate this?
A question for the analytical team to analyze, for example, is whether what we are doing now
indicates transparency in design of a strategy and methodology for our assessment? Is this approach
To this question Susan Mufbala commented: There appears to a degree to be transparency in what we
are doing now. We come from different countries. We have not known each other too well
beforehand. We have not known the reality which really exists in each country. Now, we are revealing
some parts of this reality to each other. However, one rarely "really" knows the truth in any given
situation. There always might be somebody who has a "hidden agenda" [and is manipulating "truth"].
This can de stabilize the situation. Another question is: How can we, and particularly Michael Brown,
know that this assessment is representative of what really is in our respective countries?
In response to this, it was said that the strategy and methodology employed should allow the analysts
to determine what really exists in each country. The challenge is: What among that which a person or
organization has said actually reflects reality? Conversely, what has not been said that is relevant,
that can reveal relationship and causality within the component parts of a particular theme?
In regard to this, there are also two other points which were cited :
What somebody believes s/he "knows" might not reflect the reality of a particular situation.
The strategy and methodology we employ should consider both qualitative/subjective.
quantitative/objective, and qualitative/objective variables. Different tools should be employed
to determine what "really" is there, what "really" has happened.
There will always be some things that cannot be determined whether one is an "insider" or
an 'outsider' to a situation. It also is not necessarily the case that an insider's assessment is
more valid than outsider. Much depends on the tools used by each, along with the confidence
level which each can build with a given population.
For example, insiders are sometimes 'blinded" by the obvious. Outsiders, if they know how to ask
questions, and know what questions to ask, can learn a tremendous amount about what may initially
be totally unfamiliar situations. So the question is: Do we in the assessment team have the
methodological tools to profoundly analyze our eight themes and associated hypotheses to verify or
falsify that which we perceive as potentially true or not? How far can we take our analysis? Can we
separate fact from assumption so as to properly assess causes and effects? Reaching analytical reality
requires different skills and the right tools to get there.
To these questions CEDID/CAPR responded that there is no fixed recipe to say beforehand what the
indicators are for a given situation, and to say that what a person has said reflects on the reality or
not The indicator for "truth" is the determination of whether a linkage in fact exists between actions
and words. Verbal answers do not necessarily signify much. A Betsileo interlocutor might say yes to
the question about a certain situation without being really convinced. This may be done out of respect.
For this reason, verbal information must be checked and cross validated.
In counterpoint to this, it was suggested that what people say should not be neglected, because words
may reflect on real acts, commitments and realities. What people say and think if generally reflective
of their thoughts should be given great importance. In any analysis words may reflect ideas on
collective decisions or "solemn" declarations of something. The word Fanina means solidarity in
Betsileo dialect. If and when people refer to Fanina, (or its equivalent in other cultural settings) there
should be a means to prove if Fanina is really functional The biggest challenge of this assessment is
to go as far as we can to explore all possible influences on NRM behavior (or its absence),
sociocultural influences included. We must determine how far we need to go in order to reach
significant understanding. We should not be satisfied with analyzing what exists on the surface but
rather, we should attempt to go beneath it. Assumptions we have about what we think exists should
be distinguished from facts. In this assessment, we must strive to determine if indicators exist to
support what people contend is tue. These indicators may be verbal or conceptual and/or they may be
For instance, the role which traditional strctues like the Fanina play must be considered from the
perspective of enabling (or constraining) capacity building actions leading to NRM. Do traditional
structures play a role and if so, how? Do these structures enable or constrain decision making and
action? It is not sufficient to assume that because a traditional structure exists that it will necessarily
facilitate NRM. In the case of Fanina, one can conclude that there are ways of potentially explaining
local commitment (or lack thereof) to a certain approach. A certain traditional mechanism may play a
key role in constraining development, as well as enabling it So, how do institutions like Fanina
'interact with administrative structures in place at local levels (i.e., in Madagascar the Fivondronana
or District). How does this articulation enable or constrain NGO collaboration and NGO/CBO
To answer these questions, the quality.of the data brought to bear in our analysis will clearly be
important How were [will] data [be] collected? Were sampling techniques biased or not? Data
collection techniques themselves should be tested in the field. We must constantly consider how we
collect data, what data we collect, the veracity of the data and how we synthesize all this to
determine the validity of each of the 8 themes and associated hypotheses we are addressing.
Returning to theme I and the relationship between the national consortium and the regions, the case of
COMODE/Southern Zone was explored.
To the question: "Is there an effective relationship between COMODE and Southern Zone?", it was
answered that, of course, the relationship is a bit complicated because of logistical factors. In answer
to the question: "If COMODE did not exist, would the Consortium?", it was said that it is hard to
say. Perhaps there would be no collaboration between CAPR and CEDID. The idea to actually work
together had been suggested by COMODE.
When asked if the existence of the Consortium can be ascribed to the existence of COMODE. it was
answered that the work has been done by the Consortium, but that COMODE has helped catalyze the
The question was posed: "Did your respective prior experiences encourage you to collaborate in the
field of rural development? Was that a necessary predetermining factor?" As an answer, it was said
that this had indeed played an important role in the creation of the consortium.
As for the impact of this collaboration on achieving something concrete, it was said that each party
has its strengths and weaknesses. CAPR is strong technically. It has proven techniques and
technologies. Their problem is, however, that they do not have much time to provide the necessary
follow up on the ground. CEDID. however has available personnel on the ground to oversee
implementation Besides, the strength of CEDID is also its sense of organization and management
The following are flip chart notes from the session
FACTORS TO IDENTIFY ENABLING NGO COLLABORATION
TO BE INITIATED
To what extent do the foUlowing variaMes contribute to NGO collaboration?
Personality factors: Friendship
-Institutional and Personal levels
-Rural development from the base
-"Top down pedagogical"
Complementarity in programming
At this point the distinction between "initiating" and 'sustaining' an activity areas was broached. To
the question: "According to you, what are the necessary conditions to better sustain collaboration?", a
representative of the Consortium CEDID/CAPR answered that an overarching structure should
preferably be present in order to avoid chaos. That is why the role which COMODE has played has
been enabling. Note that in the case of CEDID/CAPR. the theme of NGO collaboration had been the
priority, whereas the specific approach of leadership training which was the substantive area of
collaboration was identified once the collaboration had been established. Collaboration was both the
priority and enabled identification of the subsequent content of the leadership training.
The team at this point began to consider the necessity to work through a national organization like
COMODE if NGO capacity building is the objective. We [the analytical team] do not yet know with
certainty if the result of the structural relationship between COMODE and its regional zones was
positive or not This still needs to be verified.
Four other important themes which had been identified in Antananarivo during the previous days were
now discussed The four additional themes had been identified in Antananarivo during the first three
days of deliberation. These were:
Theme 5: The relationship between a bottom up approach to capacity building and NRM, and
improved NGO performance.
Theme 6: The relationship between strengthening Service Providing NGOs as a priority vis-
a-vis community based organizations (CBOs) in NRM.
Theme 7: The relationship between information support/lessons learned and improved NGO
performance in NRM.
Theme 8: The relationship between technical assistance and increased NGO capacity in NRM.
To better contextualize all eight themes a general discussion ensued. Several other contextual issues
requiring addressing were also raised as prerequisites in the assessment
The historical context regarding the evolution of NGOs in civil society, particularly in
relation to governance.
In the natural resources sector, what is an NGO? Is an NGO a service providing
organization? Is it any organization with non lucrative, non-profit objectives that works in
NRM? Or should there be greater specificity?
Some remarks were also made on the way the assessment is being carried out
In developing a strategy, are we primarily focusing on conceptual versus empirical things?
In response, it was said that both conceptual and empirical, experientiaily verifiable indicators are
Some discussions were held that afternoon around the new themes which had been broached in
Antananarivo the previous days:
Concerning the theme on "Strengthening Service Providing NGOs", the problem evoked was that the
definition of an NGO remained unclear. It was noted that there are NGOs who do little on the
ground, but rather spend their time "thinking" (studying) rather than 'acting" (on the ground
implementing). Here, we are preparing a distinction between service providing NGOs who render
services to CBOs, and CBOs themselves. This distinction is itself being proposed by COMODE's Legal
Unit (Ceilule Juridique) in its proposal for revised NGO legislation in Madagascar.
The analysis of this issue of NGO versus CBO status should be a key element in the assessment,
particularly regarding our strategic approach.
Discussion ensued over theme 7: "Iformation Support/ Lessons learned". It was said that we really do
not know the effect of information diffused to NGOs and increased NGO capacity. We assume it is
important, but we really don't know. A strategy must be created which enables us to test the impact
of the information we diffuse on people/groups receiving the information. Is the information diffused
actually assimilated? The criteria of assimilation offers a possible means of defining knowledge.
Questons to consider here include
Does information in fact become knowledge?
Is this knowledge used to initiate action on the ground?
Is behavior changed (appropriately and feasibly) as evidenced by activity indicators?
Is this behavior leading to changes on the biophysical level?
What indicators (mtermediate or final) allow us to conclude whether information support
leads to strengthened capacity and improved natural resources management?
is there any increasing level of sophistication in knowledge, behavior and approach as
information is processed and new activities are initiated?
We just assume that providing information is important, that in some way it is "good" to do
and is "effective". But just how effective is it?
[The Analytical Framework Annex A to this document addresses this issue.)
Fianarantosooa II, November 21, 1993
THEME 4: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NGO COLLABORATION AND
IMPROVED NGO TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITIES
LEADING TO IMPROVED NRM.
Exploration of the CEDID/CAPR Consortium was continued.
This theme is meant to test the hypothesis that NGO collaboration leads to strengthened NGO
capacity and NRM in turn.
Three project sites of the CEDID/CAPR Consortium were visited in Fianarantsooa II; Isody,
Nasandratrony and Isorana. While grassoots leadership training has been the focus in all three cases,
cocretization of training (the actual capacities strengthened) has had different NRM impliczrions in
each community, particularly regarding sustainability issues.
The reason of the visit to Isody [the cover of this document is an illustration of the workshop] was to
address the theme of NGO collaboration: to what extent has the NGO collaboration strengthened
NGO capacity, through training programs and TA, which contributes to the capacity of local
communities to better manage natural resources? The CEDID/CAPR collaboration on leadership
training was the model used to develop a strategic approach and methodology for this theme (which
would hopefully) be relevant for all PVO-NGO/NRMS focal countries.
During the visit the team had the opportunity to exchange views with the local population to
determine its views on the Consortium efforts and its fruits. The first question asked was:
Q: "After the training what did you do?"
in response, the animators (themselves trained through CEDID/CAPR leadership training) organized
an awareness raising campaign to mobilize rural development activities. They organized two general
assemblies during which they decided to undertake a dam project. This decision was made because the
community depends on agricaultal production. 30 hectares of land is available but is not currently
irrigated, so that the full agricultural potential of the communities is not being met. This condition
has existed since the First Republic of the 1960s, but the government has yet to satisfactorily address
it After leadership training, tasks were identified and assigned. The community undertook the
rehabilitation of the canals, the hauling of building materials, and their transport
Remark: There are three interesting aspects to this case to ponder.
1) After the leadership training, will the community be able to sustain productive activities?
Do they have a village structure in place? To ensure this, has the community strengthened its
capacity through the Consortium of CEDID/CAPR? We must analyze if they have developed
institutional capacity to be more self-sufficient now than prior to the training.
2) Regarding biophysical indicators the following may be considered: Are production
activities sustainable from an NRM standpoint? Or is capacity building, which in this case has
led to improved productive capacity, also led to improved NRM?
3) [Is what CEDID/CAPR does a viable Malagasy version of Participatory Rural Appraisal
Regarding institutional aspects of the community raining activity, several questions were posed:
Q: "Why did you request the assistance of the Consortium?" [Did they really request
assistance or did they respond to an opportunity presented and marketed by CEDID/CAPR?]
Q: "Now that you have realized the dam project, what's next on your agenda?" [Having an
agenda may indicate some form of institutional capacity, particularly if agenda items are
appropriate and feasible .
Villagers claimed that the irrigation problem is more or less solved, yet other problems related to
agriculture remain. Improved seeds and fertilizer are in short supply, and the community also does not
have sufficient livestock to practice organic farming.
Q: "Has CEDID/CAPR strengthened village capacity so that these other tasks can be
[sustainably] addressed?" Any increased capacity would be an intermediate indicator of potential
sustainability. This intermediate indicator itself must be broken down into sub-indicators which
demonstrate increased capacity.
There is some indication of village level capacity in that they are able to identify problems.
Nonetheless, they do not yet seem to knoow w to solve them themselves. They appear to still be
largely dependent on outside technical expertise to resolve technical planning problems. [Which may
be inevitable, regardless of their training.] Still it must be determined if the community has the
ability to formulate plans to solve their priority problems, i.e. does the community know what
resources are available (or needed) to address certain needs?). The community apparently already
knows how to organize itself (though it requires clarification as to what extent). They appear to
know how to determine their needs. But the question regarding this theme is whether the village
structure is stronger and more capable than before to undertake both production level, as well as
natural resource management activities.
On an empirical level, the question was asked whether the institution which is in place had been there
before the Consortimn's existence or after? The response was that it came about after the
Consortium. [Is it build upon or associated to any traditional institution which may influence its
long-term institutional sstainablility? Here it may not always be the case that building upon pre
existing traditional" institutions is advantageous, though this is often assumed to be true. Traditional
institutions in many countries may be capable of maintaining the status quo which may
disproportionally benefit elite groups at the expense of women or lower castes. This is not necessarily
suggested to be the case at Isody.]
Capacity beyond the level of institutional structure must be assessed.
The next community visited was Nasandratrony where leadership training was conducted. The
community of Nasandratrony has received technical training in improved seed processing and crop
production. Some questions were asked concerning the training.
Q: "How was the training done? Had it involved all the members of the village, or some
Q: Why was the choice was made to focus on agriculture?"
Q "How effective has the training received been?"
Nasandratrony villagers answered that the training was held for a group of persons who agreed on the
time table as a function of their availability. Agriculture was the focus because food security was
expressed as a fundamental concern. Agriculture, especially the off-season crops (like potatoes, beans,
maize, etc.), are essential during emergency situations. Nasandrarony villagers felt that the training
had been productive. Before the training, 10 milk tins of bean seed would produce 15 milk tins of
crop. Now, for the same quantity of seeds sown one can harvest up to 60 milk tins. Before, for 10
kilos of potatoes you could get approximately the same quantity or even less. Now, for the same
quantity, you may get up to 40 kilos. [It is doubtful that we are actually referring to 15 'tins" of
bean crop yielded, but rather "ins" are used as an example referring to another measure].
This type of information opens up a whole other area for analytical inquiry.
The case appears somewhat different from the one in lavonomby. Instead of institutional
strengthening, people seem to have benefited most from technical training. How if at all could this
kind of training have an impact on natural resources management? Can intensifying agricultural
production lead to improved natural resources management? On what scale has intensification
occurred? Is intensification actually inadvertently bringing about more pressure on the natural
resources in Nasandratrony? The assumption is that it is decreasing pressure, but this is not self
evident. This requires empirical verification
Q: "After the training, did the participants apply what they have learned on pieces of land
that they have always used. or have they extended production into other areas?" (A potential
indicator of information, knowledge, and behavior changes). Also, this is a potential indicator
of whether agricultural production is appropriate from a NRM perspective, based cr
biophysical indicators such as type of land cultivated, type of agricultural practices, etc.
The answer was that there has been an extension of cultivation onto previously uncultivated lands.
The community has set up conditions for use of improved seeds as follows:
One can get seeds from the seed banks for ploughed land only.
Only selected seeds can be turned to the granary after production.
Each individual must contribute financially to the management of the seeds bank.
Anyone who has not paid for the seeds that they have borrowed from the granary can be
To determine if institutional sustainability was being promoted, the question was asked about future
plans for agriculture and NRM activities.
The response was that there were plans for the breeding of milk cows. People have begun to plant
grasses to serve as fodder for the milk cows.
Q: "What justifies the change from agriculture to livestock?"
The reason villagers offered is that cows not only provide milk, but the manure obtained is very
helpful in support of agricultural production. It is also important to diversify production as
agriculture fluctuates according to the season and the climatic conditions. And finally, the income
from livestock raising is promising, for one milk cow, one can get up to 100,000 fmig per cow at time
An indicator at both the behavioral and biophysical levels in this case involves activity diversification.
After the training, does the community actually have the capacity to diversify from one activity to
another? Does it have the technical capacity to sustain diverse activities? Should there always be a
linkage between these activities? What indicators do we now have for biophysical as well as
behavioral impacts? Will it have the institutional capacity to see that innovations can be replaced on a
broader community scale?
The visit to Isorana actually involved farmers from 4 villages. Each village had its own respective
project The focus of the discussions was on decision making processes and whether the four
communities organized out of Isorana have increased their institutional capacities via the leadership
training they have undertaken. How decisions were made, the role of CAPR/CEDID, the implications
of the relationship between Isorana and CAPR/CEDID in Isorana's developing sustainable
institutional capacity, were all issues explored. Two of the Isorana villages have water supply
projects, one a road construction project, and the last one is involved in agricultural activities
following the training.
It was asked:
Q: "Why was water delivery prioritized in Andibe?"
A representative from the village of Andibe answered that there is epidemic malaria in the region.
Physicians had concluded that the problem comes from the local water supply the population drinks.
Q "What kind of training had Andibe received from the Consortium?"
It was answered
* Project management
Self-evaluation was defined as the attempt to find out why, in the case of road construction, the first
portion of road was completed whereas the second portion was not. The work was supposed to last
between May and November 1993. Because of unavailability of local labor, they could not finish the
work on time.
Q: "Was feasibility analysis pat of any of the training in project design?" If yes this could
be an indicator of potential sustainability.
It also was asked why people in this community decided to become involved in a program that appears
potentially to not be feasible? Did they (and do they still) lack diagnostic skills? The question is
then: Are the skills that the community received from the Consortium enough now to enable the
community to make good decisions? For the moment it appears unclear. This requires further analysis.
To determine the quality of decisions it was asked if the community has also determined in advance the
details of what it wants to accomplish. In response they said that yes, a calendar of future activities
had been established. They have even determined the division of labor for future activities.
The assessment team felt that while it appears that the villagers are doing their best, what they have
gotten from the Consortium is not enough to meet their institutional needs. Yet the skills they get
should enable them to begin to analyze things more coherently. So the question to follow up on is: Is
this type of strategy CEDID/CAPR employs enough to build community capacity and engender NRM?
The community was asked what they perceive of their potential institutional sustainability. They
responded that the training they received from the Consortium has motivated them to become
independent They believe that they can in the future manage to undertake other projects without
outside technical assistance. [What are the indicators that this may or may not be true?]
Discussion turned to Tarantsoa. One representative of the community of Tanantsoa, the village which
was implementing an agricultural project, explained that at the beginning, the community wanted to
plant grapes for wine making. But after the consultation with the technical assistant from the
Consortium, they switched to wheat
The PVO-NGO/NRMS analytical assessment team asked the community members whether they had
themselves identified their priorities, and whether they had believed that they would benefit from
growing grapes. Why in fact had they switched from grapes to wheat? Was this really the
community's decision, or were they "guided" by collaborating NGOs? [On the basis of what indicators
was this the "right" decision?]
It was determined that the priority for the village is income generation. This accounts for the choice
of wheat cultivation which offers favorable results in the short term. [This however does not explain
why they changed their minds. At the outset they had identified viniculture as their priority, knowing
full well that grapes require a number of years before yielding financial benefits.]
The assessment team remarked that people in this community claim to prioritize objectives according
to their needs. Yet who actually decides how the priorities should be defined? This is a key question in
addressing the "bottom up" theme, as well as the NGO collaboration and technical assistance themes.
three of the eight analytical themes to be addressed in this assessment
On a participatory methodological level, it was asked bow people determine their priorities given the
multitude of needs expressed Will it ever be possible to satisfy .ese needs? Unless feasibility
analysis is coupled to needs assessment, it is unlikely that the approach will be feasible. This
will be true for needs identified through leadership training, a la CEDID/CAPR, or participatory
rural appraisal (PRA). [Needs assessments can be potentially "dangerous" is expectation levels are
unrealistically poised, as is arguably too often the case.]
The problem with the needs assessment is that this list of needs and priorities may be established, but
the necessary materials or financing to meet these needs might not be available. Feasibility to
implement an activity is not just a function of people themselves identifying their needs. Is that
which is identified actually feasible to accomplish from the perspective of financing and project
A discussion session took place at the Catholic mission in Isorana. This was the beginning of the
team's attempt to synthesize its findings on questions of strategic approach and methodology to the
overall assessment and is summarized below.
I. STRATEGIC APPROACH
The following issues were discussed and out onto flip charts:
A. Are the themes/areas we have identified the ones which will enable us to validate or negate
the hypothesis driving PVO-NGO/NRMS: strengthening NGO capacities leads to reduced
environmental degradation through improved NRM.
B. Should anything else be added to the assessment agenda?
C. What should be included in the analytical assessment besides fieldwork?
The following was proposed:
1. Literature review/contextnalization
a. What? Why? To what depth should the review be taken?
2. Historical context
a. Society, culture
b. NGO Evolution
c. Democratization and governance issues
d- National political environment
e. Other institutional activity i.e.: Association National
pour la Gestion des Aires Protegdes (ANGAP). Office
National de l'Environnement (ONE). Association Nationale
des Activitcs Environinenntale (ANAE). National
Environment Secretatiat (NES). National Environment
Action Plan (NEAPS/PAE) Plan National pour la Lutte
Contre la Desertification), Africa 2000, Tropical Forest
Action Plan (TFAP).
[Identification of the boundaries appropriate to contextualize the NGO/NRM experience in each
country will require very careful conside-ation as this is one area that risks becoming a Pandora's box
with no visible exit]
II. METHODOLOGY ISSUES
A. What are the issues?
1. Methodology to employ
2. Amount of time to employ per theme
3. The sample area/strategy
4. Approaching the target group on:
a. Conceptual/intangible issues
b. Tangible issues (physically verifiable)
B. What methods have we already identified?
1. Analytical Framework (see Annex A) for
a. Determining factors to enable:
Initiating NGO collaboration >Strengthening capacity > NRM
Sustaining NGO collaboration > Strengthening capacity -> NRM
[The factors above were identified in ianarantsoa as distinct issues requiring analysis.]
2. Is this framework applicable to any of the other thems/areas/domains?
C. Division of labor
1. Analysts (4 countries)
2. Project Director --> (Action plan)
3. Others: consultants
2. In-depth/detailed action plan/literature review
3. interviewing (institutions, projects. PVO-NGO/NRMS)
4. Field research
1. How should differences in perception, (the appreciation of the analyst vis a vis
others) be addressed?
a. Need to assume a philosophical position that states that differences of
opinion will be straight out and coherently acknowledged.
2. Need to go deeper to explain reason for similarities and/or differences in opinion:
b. Gender/age related
II. WHAT QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ASKED?
A. What needs to be done for each kind of activity?
1. State country specific situation which describes the relation (if any) between the
nationalcecrral institution and the periphery, i.e. the chapters or zones.
2. Develop county specific action plans to determine the relationship in terms of:
a. Cost estimate (Budget)
b. Strengths/Weaknesses in the relationship
i Causes of strengths and weaknesses
c. Separation of subjective/objective information and assumptions and
beliefs to explain relationship
B. How will action plans be implemented? [This is more fully discussed below.]
I. Interviews (Use methodology of analysis)/ Content/Analysis:
i. Capture representativity of range of potential interviewees
(The full range of interviewees should be representative).
ii Understand social/geographical breadth of groups
needing to be assessed before undertaking the assessment
-Determination of instruments or tools to use to assess
i. State sampling assumptions
ii. State statistical significance of results obtained (if
iii What is feasible as a function of what is necessary?
2. Literature Review of relevant correspondence/project documents.
3. Statutes of NGOs and their relation with central/national consortium.
Antananarivo, November 24, 1993
At the office of COMODE
The meeting started with a report of the conversations between Moustapha Soumare, Michael Brown,
Enoh Tanjong, and William Ramaroharinosy which were held in the car during the trip back to
Antananarivo from Fianaransoa. While informal, the discussion was provocative.
During the conversations, many topics were addressed including:
Is there a relationship between the eight themes that have been identified?
Is there a "systmatic" relationship between them?
Is there feedback in a positive or negative sense for each theme?
Is the PVO-NGO/NRMS approach analyzable as a system?
Is the [systemic] relationship between these themes similar in each country?
A main task of the team is to try to figure out if a systemic relationship exists in each country for the
eight themes, and then across countries. We must devise a way to determine if and how a system
exists and works.
An issue raised during this trip was also if success, failure, or stagnation of a PVO-NGO/NRMS
project activity or national program is identified (at the sub-regional, national, or international level
(PVO/NRMS)), is it related to "contextual" factors? There might be constraining or enabling factors
which are crucial to answering the hypothesis posed by each theme. For instance, bow much can
cultural, social differentiating factors (class, caste, ethnicity), political factors, personality or chance
factors explain the validity (or lack thereof) of a particular theme. For instance in the case of NGO
collaboration, how much does the lack of solidarity between a national consortium and its regional
chapters or zones account for the lack of efficient NGO collaborative relationships?
It was also suggested that three sub-themes (sub-theme' and associated sub-hypotheses here refer to
addressing a theme on a geographic basis within a country which may also give the theme a particular
"twist" or emphasis, or refers to a particular thematic slant) and three treatments Ctreatment" here
refers to the number of times the theme/hypothesis is tested) for each sub-theme would be appropriate
to make in the assessment. The reasoning is that the greater the number of treatments, the more likely
that credible information will be obtained. This number would ideally be applied for each theme.
[Whether this will prove in practice feasible to implement will, as discussed above, require serious
thinking in each focal country planning exercise.]
The methodology and strategy to use should enable the team to first identify similarities and
differences within countries for each theme and sub-theme. At the end of the assessment there should
be a comparison "between" zones within a country and across countries, so that (1) country specific
assessments can be drawn (2) assessment across countries can be made to draw conclusions about the
validity of a given theme for Sub-Saharan Africa generally.
Indicators for each sub theme should also be identified. There are three categories of indicators (see
If we want to assess impact, we have to be very conscientious to assess all these categories of
indicators, with emphasis placed on flow between or across the categories (along with any
feedback). (This will be further described below).
Cognitive indicators are discernible at the level of thought and potentially, knowledge: measurement
of awareness, information assimilated (knowledge) and attitudes. Hopefully (if not necessarily), there
will be a "flow" or movement from cognitive levels to behavioral levels, and then hopefully to the
biophysical level for any given theme and any given beneficiaries. To assess flow, the team must
distinguish between facts, opinions, and feelings. i.e. is flow really occurring based on empirically
verifiable indicators, impressions (perhaps shared), or just gut level feelings or assumptions (which
may be intuitively correct but are not verifiable).
On a substantive level, a question was asked about the difference between opinion and feeling. [As
scientific knowledge progresses however, what once was considered to be fact may in a decade be
obsolete. The status of the atom comprised of protons, neutrons and electrons thought "factually" to
be the smallest fundamental particle (with electrons being the smallest ) has over time been modified.
Quarks or neutrinos are now thought to be more "fundamental', so that yesterday's fact is now
obsolete. At one point facts, in principle, are empirically verifiable and thus are "objectively
Opinions may or may not be based on objective reality. Feelings are subjective, and are the least likely
to necessarily be empirically verifiable. The important point is that the distinction be made between
facts, opinions, and feeling, and that analysts are aware of the differences so that in analysis they can
properly weigh the credibility of different information received.
For instance, take the case of antirosion technologies and improved soil fertility. Can apparent
improvements to soil fertility in particular cases be attributed to any soil conservation technologies
employed? Perhaps organic or inorganic fertilizers are responsible. Perhaps we do not have data to
empirically verify that a given technology is responsible for what is perceived to be an improvement.
If a number of people strongly believe in the correlation, we may be dealing with a well founded
opinion. Where there is considerable uncertainty, coupled nonetheless to a gut-level feeling or
assumption that something is true, this may be a belief.
As analysts, the team should be able to make a distinction between objectively and subjectively
verifiable information. An analyst should also be able to identify if s/he is subjective or objective
about her/his methods of assessment during the course of analyzing a given situation. This even
includes selecting a sampling strategy, and the specific sites/individuals to sample. Personal biases
must always be recognized (if possible) and accounted for.
We ultimately want to be able to determine the strength or weakness of the relationship studied in
each theme, and to do so, we must be as objective as we possible can be. At this point the group
meeting in Antananarivo focused on systematically approaching the strategy and methodology for
assessing the 8 themes.
THEME 2: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TRAINING PROGRAMS TO
IMPROVED NGO INSTITUTIONAL AND TECHNICAL CAPACITY AND
SUSTAINABLE NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.
The table below is meant to be purely indicative of how tables and relationships can be structured at
their most basic. This table could represent the end product of theme 2. [Such tables could be
developed as end products once all data has been collected and analyzed.)
Types Zone Nord Zone Centre Zone Sad
Project design + +
Agro-forestry 0 0
Financial management + + +
(+ = positive relation; =no relation; 0 = no measurable relation)
-Tools to use to determine this relationship:
Interviews: individuals-->traditional and secular--->men/womea
group->traditional and secular (NGO)->men/women
We have to determine whom to interview so that the information obtained and the analysis reflects
the gamut of social and cultural variation relative to the target group assessed.
A methodological question How do we determine whether to designate minus (-), plus (+), or zero
(0) for assessing the strength of relationship? This is not as easy a question as a (-), (+) or (0) may
Below are potential specific indicators which would enable each country analyst to assess the impact
(+), (0), (-) of the training programs on the capacity of the NGO and improved (potentially
sustainable) natural resource management. Others can no doubt be added in time. [This list of
indicators was useful in developing the Analytical Framework presented under theme 3 and in Annex
Positive (+) Negative (-) I Neutral (0)
Original training objectives People exhibit unproductive No change
met behavior reversals
Performance Criteria Performance Criteria Performance Criteria
Quality of project design Increases noted in arguably No perceptible impact
improving: feasibility analysis inappropriate
is fundamental tool in project practicestechnoogies (slash No measurable sustainability
design; options for different and burn agriculture, poaching.
courses of action are identified, indiscriminate burning, etc.)
In anything we try to do, we
get the opposite result from
Empirically determinable that intended
that projects are meeting
Sustainabilitv Sustainability Sustainability
Sustainability and Multiplier
effects noted No sustainability Wht. was beginning positive
becoa s negative leading to
Behavior Behavior Behavior
Increased social solidarity increased apparently imperceptible social impacts
indicating social feasibility inappropriate NRM behaviors
(eg: slash and burn)
Throughout, the issue of sustainability in terms of maintaining appropriate and feasible activities
which contribute to NRM must be assessed. Sustainability must Be approached from a technical,
institutional and financial perspective.
In addition we must determine if there are any contextual variables that enable or constrain the
relationship betw.~e capacity building through training programs and improved NRM. Are they
social, political, personal, cultural (ie. In Madagascar, the fihavanana (friendship or blood relation
ties). fanina (solidarity in Betsileo dialect), havana (a friend, ally), fombandrazana (customs) will all
impact on whether the relationship will be either (+), (-) or (0)).
THEME 3: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE REGIONAL PROGRAM
ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED BY PVO/NRMS, INCREASED NGO
CAPACITIES, AND IMPROVED NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT.
A number of activities of generic interests across wide areas of Sub-Saharan Africa have been promoted
by PVO-NGO/NRMS. The intention was for these activities to be Doth innovative and to have a
multiplier effect in countries which provided participants for the different aciriities. This is true for
both PVO-NGO/NRMS focal countries, as well as other countries. Unlike other themes where
several sub-themes and associated sub-hypotheses could be identified, regional program activities were
usually limited to one case per focal country, save when the focal country frosted the activity, thus
restricting the number of potential sub-themes.
The following Regional Program activities have been tentatively identified for focus in the
assessment Pastoral Sector Activities (PVO-NGO/NRMS), Buffer Zone Management (PVO-
NGO/NRMS), Sustainable Agriculture workshop (Winrock) Kengo NRM Tra:ning. Southern Africa
Community-Based Conservation (WWF). Of these, the Pastoral Sector assessment and workshop, the
Buffer Zone Managemec: workshop, and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PFA) have involved
participation from all four PVO-NGO/NRMS focal countries.
Issues/Sub-themes to be evaluated
Types Cameroon Madagascar Mali ; ganda
Buffer Zone Korup National Amber Mountain Gourma Elephant Country wide
Management Park Reserve
Pastoral Sector Dry Savannah Zone Southern Zone Country wide Nyabashozi (S.W.)
PRA Bafut Andasibe (and evolving in Tororo/
elsewhere) conjunction with Nyabashozi
PVO co financing
Indicators relate to cognitive, behavioral and biophysiral/human welfare values. The indicators
identified for theme 2 above, along with indicators from the Analytical Framework (see below) will
be relevant for the regional program thematic activities as welL
The attempt to develop an ven more explicit analytical framework for different categories of
indicator s made below. it assumes that cognitive activities precede behavioral activities, which
precede in return any biophysical or human welfare level impacts. It is possible (if not necessary)
for "transformations" to occur at times within a single category, before crossing over to the next
category. While flow will normally be from cognitive to behavioral to biophysical/human welfare, it
is likely that feedback in the opposite direction will occur. The framework provides the basis to
identify what indicator to look for in terms of content and process. Arrows (-->) refer to potential
directional flow that is hypothesized between categories. This flow, together with any feedback, must
be empirically verified under this framework it is hypothesized as potentially relevant.
Categories of indicators
* Information received
* Knowledge: do
people understand the
* Has the information
been assimilated ?
* Is the information
AL BIOPHYSICAL/HUMAN WELFARE
COGNITIVE or MEASURABLE
* Increased use of functional
Writing documents -->
Letters to editor etc
* Appropriate action taken:
Projects: Soil and water
- lobbying (government)
* changes in strategic
workingg with new
techniques, for example:
- PRA with CBOs
* improved tavy (slash and
* NGOCBO collaboration
Ou-ai - I r--tativ
* People note environmental trends and
impacts as a function of information
* people noe biophysical change and/or
human welfare (can we anribate any
biophysical change to behavioral, or
cognitive change, which in Omn were
results of any or all of the eight themes?
* People note improved human welfare by
less environmental depletion
more security (land tenure, economic)
increased economic welfare
* people note biophysical change
and/or human welfare (can we attribute
any biophysical change to behavioral,
or cognitive change, which in trn were
results of any or all of the eight themes
* People note improved human welfare by
less environmental depletion
more security (land tenure, economic)
increased economic welfare
This framework can be utilized for all eight themes.
P- - - -- - -
This framework can be utaized for all eight themes.
THEME 4: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NGO COLLABORATION AND
INCREASED INSTITUTIONAL AND TECHNICAL NGO CAPACITIES
LEADING TO IMPROVED [SUSTAINABLE] NATURAL RESOURCES
At this point in the meeting a more systematic approach evolved to identifying types of issues to
assess and sub themes based on geographic or programmatic criteria.
Issues/Sub-themes to be assessed
Types of collaboration Cameroon Madagascar Mali Uganda
SWithinlacross regions -Dry Savannah -North -North -South
-Dense -Center -Center -North
-Forest -South -South -East
* Around technical -CARE/USAID -CEDID/CAPR -AFRICA/ -MUKUJA/ Red
themes -UNDP -FIKRIFAMA/ GRAT Cross
-PVO/NRMS- ASE -CCA/ONG -NEAP (PAE)
Africa 2000 -TIAKO/CEDID -CARE/MALI AFRICA 2000
SManagement -World -Executive -Comite de -UWTPM/
Structure Learning/ Bureau of Gestion/ CATF UFA/
CARE/WWF COMODE World
I. Withinlacross regions, chapters or zones:
A. Actions to take:
1. documentation review
a. interviewing to assess qualitatively how and why collaboration works or
does not work, if it promotes increased capacity, and if it leads to improved
1. Are NGOs demanding or asking to adhere to zone?
2. Frequency and quality of contact
3. Increase in on the ground activities
n. Technical theme indicators:
1. major new technical initiatives started (donor funding)
2. technical or methodological questions asked and answered
3. products measurable spin-off/spread effects
4. See Analytical Framework (Annex A)
B. Methodology :
1I. Management consortium indicators should specifically consider:
A. indicators: see Analytical Framework (Annex A)
THEME 5: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BOTTOM UP APPROACHES,
INCREASED TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL NGO CAPACITIES, AND
The following identifies issues of relevance which were first identified on flip charts prior to creating
a matrix for the themes and sub-themes. The subsequent matrix follows this flip chart of issues,
indicators and methodological considerations.
Issues Indicators Methodology
SEmpowering country institutional Increased lobbying Gender participation effect
strucares Increased advocacy activities Lnterviewing group (NGO.
SInclusiveness (membership) Government. Donors)
Targeting CBOs as a priority Increased advocacy Honesty (+or-)
Increased solidarity (fihavanana. Flexibilityl adaptation
women and men) Conflict resolution
- Empowering zones Broad-based participation (across
Program. plan implemented
* Empowerin NGOrsCBOs Funding provided
Communication between levels
(CBOs. NGOs. Government. Donors)
Newspapers. radios. TV. official
Breadth of conmuimcation bush->
capital -> DC
Vohlne and type of correspondence
IssueslSub-themes to be assessed
Antananarivo, November 25, 1993
At the office of COMODE
This day's meeting was a continuation of what was started during the previous meeting.
THEME 6: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PRIORITIZING SERVICE
PROVIDING NGOS (SPNGOs), LEADING TO INCREASED NGO CAPACITY,
AND IMPROVED NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT.
In PVO-NGO/NRMS the strategy has been to prioritize capability (or capacity) building activities
among service providing NGOs, versus working directly with community based organizations in
NRM. To be tested is the hypothesis which states that in prioritizing SPNGOs, NGO capacities are
strengthened therefore leading to improved NRM. The matrix (which was not developed for this
theme) will use the same three issues identified here as its sub-themes.
Issues Indicators Methodology
*Relationship between SPNGOs and Frequency of r t (before and Assumptions
CBOs after) -Underlying methods should be
*Relationship between SPNGOs. Quality of contm -Same as in theme 5
Donors, and Govermnnt -nformation sharing
-where do assumptions come in -Decision making for planing
-Monitoring and evaluation
L __________________________________________________ ________________________
Issues (cont-) Indicators count. ) Methodology (coat.)
Relationship between SPNGOs Activities: by sector with similar Gender participation/ effect
themselves consideration to natural
resources management Honesty (+or-)
-definition of SPNGO -sustainability
-SPNGO means what? Flexibility/ adaptation
-Why the ioitizaion? Spread effect
-Where are SPNGOs located in -Neighboring countries Conflict resolution
cominsman of NGOs? -CBO level NGO. donors
Spread of methodology or
THEME 7: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INFORMATION SUPPORT
AND LESSONS LEARNED ON THE TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL
CAPACITIES OF THE NGOS AND IMPROVED NATURAL RESOURCES
The following outlines issues, indicators and methodological points relevant to this theme. In
subsequent matrix we identify the actual sub-themes which may be tested in each of the four
Issues Indicators Methodology
-Look at structure -How information is Determine quality of the
(dissemination of transmitted?: content of information
information) + contents +
effects of information support -TV (local satellite) Implement the analytical
and lessons learned -Newsletter (local language, framework (see theme 2)
-Word of mouth
-Kinds of activities:- -> Special publications: financial Gender participation/ effect
-Information on management economy/ PRA; BZM; ICDP;
-Technical issues (development Pastoral sector Honesty (+ or -)
---------------- -------------> What information is Flexibility/ adaptation
-Political issues transmitted?
-Advertising Conflict resolution
-Entertainment (cartoons. Quality
-News events Quantity
_* Target groups)
Quality of information content Depth of information Lituature reviews
(eg: tavy, slash and bum,
gender, decentralization is the Sources Export
quality of information correct?)
Newsletter, special publications, and other media will be tested for validating or negating the
Issues/Sub-themes to be assessed
Types of Cameroon Madagascar Mali Uganda
Newsletter X X X
Special Project design Project design Project design
Cadre juridique Improved Sahelian PRA
Newspaper Newspaper Newspaper
TV, radio, popular
In terms of indicators, refer to the analytical framework presented under theme 3 (see above).
[Consider how this framework can be utilized for eaxh of the eight themes.]
Three levels of indicators may be considered.
Level 1: Information (knowledge)
Level 2: Planning to act (itermediate indicator)
Level 3: Act completed (final verifiable indicator)
THEME 8: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
(TA) AND IMPROVED TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITIES
OF NGOS LEADING TO IMPROVED NATURAL RESOURCES
The same approach used in previous themes to develop a matrix of sub-themes to be tested was used in
theme 8, after identifying issues, indicators and methodological approaches.
Issues Indicators Methodology
* How to distinguish technical Frequency of cmmnncatn One on one dialogue
assistance from training as a theme? Kinds of activities -Management consortium opinion
SVisits attentionn given) -CLA opinion
Activities: Correspondnce (quantity and
Issues (coOt.) Indicators count. ) Methodology count. )
Field visits and effects on program
How is technical assistance implementation
strucred or delivered? Length of the visits Same as in the previous themes
quality of reports: technical
What is its content? acceptability -Gender participation/ effect
Problems: technicaL financial,
Relationship between: personality, political budgetary -Honesty (+ or -)
proposals (number. quality.
PVONRMS(DC)CLA- NGOs feasibility) -Flexibility/ adaptation
PVO-NRMSA~O)NTRY Number of proposals received and
LEVEJZONES funded -Conflict resolution
Monitoring and evaluation
Issaes/Sub-themes to be addressed
Types Cameroon Madagasar Mali Uganda
Project design -- ----- > -> > >
Proposal writing -> > > >
SFinancial> > > >
Country program to: Project design and Project design and Project design and Proposal writing
Zones/ Chapters/ proposal writing proposal writing proposal writing
NGOs Information > -----
Monitoring and> >
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Assumptions, Hypotheses and Methodological Points
Assumptions and Hypotheses
[Some very general remarks about assumptions and hypotheses may be useful to reconsider.]
There is a subtle difference between an assumption and an hypothesis. An assumption is something
that is supposed. Unlike an hypothesis. one does not necessarily try to assess an assumption's
validity, though in fact this may be well worth attempting.
An hypothesis on the other hand is an assumption that is made especially in order to test its logical
or empirical consequc-_es (New Webster dictionary definition).
Assumptions are usually unstated and are often accepted at face value; i.e. one often confuses what one
"assumes" to be true for what one "knows" to be true.
As mentioned, it is possible for an assumption to be tested as an hypothesis. In this case an
assumption can become an hypothesis. Until the point however that one identifies an assumption
(stated or unstated), and then actually tests its empirical (or logical) truth, it remains just an
A question and challenge for the assessment team in the four countries is: Can we identify the major
assumptions that have informed the approach we have taken in our work? How far can we demonstrate
that the major and minor assumptions (and articulated hypotheses) we have adopted are valid or not in
terms of facilitating our work?
[In both the Advisory Board meeting and the Madagascar workshop the issue of experimental controls
was raised. While certain situations in which experimental controls in a comparative "side by side
approach" were identified in Madagascar, there was agreement that "before/after" types of comparisons
would likely offer more realistic and fruitful comparisons to draw conclusions about attribution and
If we take the example of Nature et Progrs cited above, we should make an assessment on how N &
P's institutional and technical capacities were before and after the training it has received from
COMODE. It would not do much good from an explanatory purpose to compare the capacity of N &
P to other NGOs which have not followed any of those training. Such a comparison would be
unlikely to tell us too much since the two situations are likely to be largely incomparable due to
numerous intervening variables. Intervening variables include other capacity building activities (and
experiences in general) which can in no way be attributed (to PVO-NGO/NRMS in this case). We
should also find out if there are constraining or enabling factors which have prevented the training
from accomplishing its objectives, or conversely have helped in the success of the training.]
The following are some diverse considerations, each of which could be extrapolated on given more
Methodologically, in the assessment we must consistently cross-check different informaio and
opinions received. The information should not come from one source only. and we should 'e as
objective as possible in assessing the credibility of the information. Do we or don't we have conf' ience
in it, and why? We should state whatever our sampling assumptions are which enable us to collect
the information we get from different sources. As a rule, we should not try to "maximize
information, but rather try and "optimize". given our data needs and resource (financial, human)
constraints. The methodology we use should enable us to optimize the ground we need to cover.
Samples around particular sub-themes/hypotheses should not necessarily be taken at random, as
randomness will likely not lead to greater objectivity or understanding. We should instead
purposively choose people who know something, and not just choose anybody. Our strategy should
thus not be random, but selective and purposive so that the range of diverse experience and view points
we have encountered is accounted for in it In implementing the actual methodology out in the field.
we have to explain to people why they are chosen to participate. We need to be clear in explaining our
assessment objectives and methodology as well as our assumptions. We must be able to effectively
"market" why transparency and participation ar important to participants (and non participants) alike.
In our assessment, we are ultimately limited by :
-our research questions
-the time we have
-the money we have
The aggregation of the information we receive is also very important, because individual opinions may
be based on subjective or objective perceptions. We have to evaluate how much weight to give to
information based on whether opinions are based on empirical facts or on yet assumptions or beliefs.
As analysts, we have a lot of power to judge the quality of the information we get; we must be as
astute in our judgments as we possibly can be.
The following section deals with timeline and workplan issues to be addressed in the next two
TIMELINES and WORK PLAN:
Q: How should time be optimally and feasably divided across 8 themes in each country
November 15, 1993 to November 14, 1994: Project life
1) Data collection
2) Analysis/Report writing phase
January 30, 1994: deadline)
Feedback on glossary of terms
February 15, 1994: deadline
2. WORK PLAN:
It was agreed that each country would submit a draft workplan by February 15,
In proposing a work plan in each of the four countries, each analyst must ask
questions concerning (A) what, (B) who, (C) when, (D) how and (E) where
activities must be addressed.
A. What?: In each country
I) Basic literature review:
PVO/NGO/NRMS related literature
Key USAID/ARTS/FARA documents
NRM/NGO related literature
2) Father clarify sampling strategy and specific sample sites and target groups for each of
the themes under investigation in outline form.
3) Identification of potential problem areas in implementing the assessment with potential
solutions. (ie. the feasibility of the methodology presented here).
4) Identification of techniques to be used in the assessment of each theme (ie: interviewing,
5) Reports (on monthly basis: forward and backward in time).
1) Identify nature of collaborative approach headed by chief analyst (the kind and degree of
collaboration will in each country depend on the theme).
2) Outside consultants (included as needed).
Timelines: Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Glossary of terms 1----------I
Detailed work plan I---------------
Data collection/ to be determined in workplans
Sampling by themes:
Theme 1 to be determined I->----------------------->
Theme 2 etc. I-->.---------.. --.------------>
Reporting I>---------.... ---.. >
Each country should have its own deadlines.
Actual analytical assessment reporting : monthly progress reporting; quarterly
D. How?: Presentation of substantive data collected and "packaged".
Budgetary issues should be projected in the plan as function of what is available from
Transfer of funds from PVO-NGO/NRMS to focal countries
Country Leading Agency (existing structure) manages
Secretarial and administrative support
Continues as before activity
In preparing a country specific budget based on assessment needs and available funds, the possibility
for using existing assessment funds to leverage other funding should t pursued where opportune and
To be determined in each country. The sampling strategy depends on where specifically within each
country activities will be undertaken. [Time did not permit for activities to be undertaken in Senegal
and Kenya to discuss be discussed with the workshop participants]
Closing of Workshop
To close the workshop, participants took turns in expressing their respective impressions of how the
Michael Brown expressed his satisfaction with what the team had accomplished during the prior two
weeks. He also addressed his thanks to COMODE which had provided the team with what had been
the necessary "groundathing context" for the realization of the assessment, in addition to excellent
logistical support and hospitality. He also said that he would determine if funds from the
Collaborative Analytical and Dissemination Activities (CADA) of Phase II could be used towards the
end of the project towards a potential collaborative analytical activity suggested by the assessment
participants (in about a year and eight months). CADA funds could perhaps be used to convene a
review meeting to permit the four focal country analysts (as well as perhaps as these responsible for
undertaking any PVO-NGO/NRMS related analysis in Senegal and Kenya) to have a chance to
collaboratively review and provide feedback on the final document which will be prepared under the
Project Directr's supervision in Washington. [The management Consortium subsequently agreed that
this activity would be worth pursuing.]
Ada Ndesso Atanga in turn also thanked all the participants who have been very active and co-
operative. She addressed particular thanks to Mr. Michael Brown, who had allowed her to join the
team in addition to Enoh Tanjung, the principal Cameroonan Analyst. The full participation of team
members had helped in promoting creativity. She promised to transmit what she had learned during
these two weeks to her fellow Cameroonians. She also thanked COMODE, which had been very
hospitable. Ada said she hoped that the future workshops could be even more collaborative and fully
participatory than this workshop had been.
Monstapha Soumare said also that he was very happy for having joined this assessment workshop so
that PVO-NGO/NRMS in Mali, through the CCA/ONG, was guaranteed representation. It had
enabled him to make friends among the Malagasy, and the fact that he arrived late had not prevented
his full participation in the deliberation so that he did not feel like an outsider. The discussions as
well as the field trips which had been organized had been very fruitful. To end his speech, he thanked
William Ramaroharinosy said that the work that the team had done during these two weeks would
go along way to help everyone undertake the assessment in her/his respective country. He also thanked
the visitors for not having hesitated to come to Madagascar.
Enoh Tanjong. said that he had been involved with PVO-NGO/NRMS since its inception in
Cameroon. He explained that he had been a consultant for 7 years. He remarked that he had really
learnt a lot during these two weeks. He hoped that would continue through his association with this
Finally. Susan Mabbala said that the work that the team had undertaken during these two weeks had
been very fruitful She also thanked to the team members, especially COMODE which had provided
wonderful hospitality to the visitors.
Categories of indicators
BtK AV LtAL.
COGNITIVE or MEASURABLE
* information Increased use of People note environmental trends
disseminated functional skills: and
Project proposal impacts as a function of information TO
Information Attending international received BE
received training DETERMINE
---- > Writing documents -> D
Letters to editor, etc
Knowledge: do Appropriate action people note biophysical change
people understand taken: and/or
the issues? human welfare (can we attribute any
biophysical change to behavioral, or
Projects: Soil and water cognitive change, which in turn were
Has the conservation, results of any or all of the eight
information been BZMPRA themes?
assimilated ? etc- TO BE
People note improved human welfare DETERMINE
.---> ----...-> by D
SAdvocacy: less disease
policy less environmental depletion
lobbying (government) more awareness
more security (land tenure,
increased economic welfare
* Is the information Changes in strategic people note biophysical change
appropriately acted approach- and/or human welfare (can we
upon? NGs niche attribute any biophysical change to TO
comparative advantage behavioral or cognitive BE
realized changewhich in turn were results of DETERMINE
testing methodology any or al of the eight themes or D
(working with new approach?)
PRA with CBOs People note improved human welfare
improved tavy (slash ly
burn agriculture) less disease
NGO/CBO less hunger
collaboration less environmental depletion
> reduced conflict
more security (land tenure
increased economic welfare
________ __ ___ __ ___I__~ _I
~hr-L ~~-m R I ~~- ~h~
.t t I V t
GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS
Association National d'Actions Environnementales (Madagascar)
Association National pour la Gestion des Aires Proteg6es
Office of Analysis, Research and Technical Support, Division of
Food, Agriculture, Resources and Analysis.
Association pour la Sauvegarde de la Nature (Madagascar)
Buffer zone management
Collaborative analytical and dissemination activities
Centre Artisanal de Promotion Rurale (Madagascar)
Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc.
Cellule d'Appui Technique et Financier
Community based organization
Comitd de Coordination des Actions des ONG an Mali
Centre (Groupe) d'Etudes de Documentation et de Formation sur !e
Country Lead Agency
Conseil Malgache des ONG pour le Developpement et
Country Working Group
Fikambanan'ny tantsaha Arindra Hamokatra (Madagascar)
Group de Recherche et d'Appui cn Technologies
Integrated Conservation and Development Project
Institute de Recherche et Application de M6thodes de
Developpement Communiautaire (Madagascar)
National Environmental Plan
National Environment Secreariat (UganMa)
Nature et Progres
Natural resources management
Natural resources management supports (project)
Office National de l'Environnement (Madagascar)
Plan National Pour la Lutte Conte la Desertification (Mali)
Participatory niral appraisal
Planning by objective (ZOOP in German)
Private voluntary organization
Service providing NGO
Organisation Malagasy pour Education de Parents (Madagascar)
Tropical Forestry Action Plan
Tontolo lainana Koloy (Madagascar)
United Nations Development Program
United States Agency for International Development
World Wildlife Fund (U.S.)