MID-ITERM EXTERNAL EVALUATION
FARMING SYSTEMS SUPPORT PROJECT
A Cooperative Agreement
The University of Florida and
The Agency for International Development
The following were members of the evaluation team:
Patrick Fleuret, Africa Bureau, AID
Charles A. Francis, Professor of Agronomy,
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Raymond E. Kitchell, Development Management Consultant, Chairman
Edwin C. Price, Director,
Office of International Agriculture,
Oregon State University
Donald Winklemann, Director General, CIMMYT October 1, 1985
I. Purpose of Evaluation 1
II. Project Background 1
III. Methodology 2
IV. Performance to Date 3
A. Technical Assistance 3
B. Training and Publications 6
C. Networking 10
D. SOTA and Synthesis 14
E. Organization and Management 18
V. Issues and Conclusions 26
A. Conceptualization of FSR/E 26
B. Strategies, Priorities and Program Development 28
C. AID Policies and Programs in Relation to FSSP 30
D. Management 31
E. Relevance of Existing Project Design 38
VI. Recommendations 40
-. FSSP evaluation guidelines and issues 45
2. FSSP summary memos prepared for evaluation team 47
3. List of persons contacted by team 94
4a. Replies of SEs to evaluation questionnaire 95
4b. Replies of AID field missions to evaluation questions 109
I. PURPOSE OF THE EVALUATION
The Cooperative Agreement specifies that "Internal monitoring through user ratings must be complemented with periodic external evaluations". Accordingly, in consultation with the University of Florida (UF) and the AID regional bureaus, the Office of Agriculture, Bureau of Science and Technology, assembled a multi-disciplinary team to conduct an on-site review. During the AID/W briefing of the team, it was provided with a set of "FSSP Evaluation Guidelines and Issues" as a terms of reference which is included herein as Appendix No. 1.
Given the timing of this exercise (i.e., three years after execution or approximately mid-term in the five-year period of the agreement), the comprehensive and complicated nature of the project, and the limited time available for the review, the Evaluation Team interpreted the primary purpose of the evaluation to be as follows:
o to assess project performance and effectiveness to date and
review plans for the remainder of the contract period;
0 to review the current validity of the project concept and
approach and recommend new directions if warranted.
This report is focused on these two major purposes and, to the extent feasible, the specific issues provided to the team have been addressed, including how the project could be usefully redirected to provide increased attention to Africa while, at the same time, accommodating probable reduced funding levels.
II. PROJECT BACKGROUND
The PID for this project was approved in late 1981 and the process for preparing and reviewing the Project Paper and negotiating the Cooperative Agreement was accelerated. Partially as a result of the limited time available for review anad because it was not desirable to specify a fixed scope given the then state-of-the-art in farming systems research CFSR), a collaborative mode was selected through use of a cooperative agreement (CA) rather than a contract. Only one member of the present AID Project Management Team (APMT) participated in this process.
Selection and Start-up
Title XII universities were surveyed and 25 indicated interest in becoming the "lead university". The field was narrowed to the University of Missouri, Purdue University, Colorado State University, University of Illinois, Michigan State University and, of course, the University of Florida which was apparently selected particularly for its relevant experience in Latin America. Because of urgent start-up priorities, including activities already underway, it was not until early in 1983 before the first work.plan was developed. The early project thrust was on definition of FSR/E and orientation workshops.
As stated in the AID Project Paper, the goal of the FSSP is to
strengthen developing country agricultural research and extension programs in order to increase the productivity, income, and quality of life among small farmers. The purpose of the project is (sic) to provide technical assistance to missions and LDC agricultural research and extension programs for the design, implementation and evaluation of projects intended for the small or limited-resource farmer while, at the same time, building institutional capacity within those countries through training and networking.
Concerning the cooperative agreement itself, its purpose as stated is to develop, strengthen and expand the capacity of the recipient and collaborating institutions to provide technical assistance, training and guidance to FSR/E programs in developing countries. The recipient will perform as the lead entity and will coordinate the inputs of collaborating institutions with similar interests in FSR/E.
In both documents,-outputs are described more in terms of
acceptableactivities than specific or pre-determined, significant end-results expected at project completion, reflecting the "process" nature of the original agreement. These activities include: technical assistance, short-term training; networking; and state-of-the-art (SOTA) research.
The FSSP, as originally conceived, is basically intended to provide field support, viz, making available to USAID missions and agricultural research institutions technical assistance in the -design, implementation and evaluation of farming systems research and extension (FSRIE) programs on a global basis.
III. EVALUATION METHODOLOGY
AID field missions were queried by cable for their views on (i) most
positive features of FSSP; (ii) most negative; (iii) recommended changes; and
(iv) what impact FSSP activities had on mission funded farming systems efforts. In addition, at the request of the Team Leader, questionnaires were sent all FSSP support entities (SEs). Adequate responses from both queries were received, analyzed and made available to the team, (See Appendix No. 4).
An issues paper was also prepared by AID project staff for team guidance on the -substantive points of most interest to AID, (See Appendix No. 1). The team first assembled in Washington for two days of orientation and briefings (June 24-25) which included interviews with appropriate officials in both S&T and the regional bureaus, as well as BIFAD. Appropriate documentation was also provided.
The team then conducted its on-site investigations at the University of Florida (June 26-28). It began with a well-conducted oral presentation by the FSSP Director and core staff, supplemented by a written presentation on progress and plans on producing outputs (see Appendix No. 2) as previously requested by the team leader. This appendix is an integral part of this report. In addition to FSSP -and University of Florida (UF) staff, also at the team's request and on short notice, a representative of the FSSP Advisory Council and the Chairperson of the Technical Committee met accommodatingly
with the Team in private sessions in Gainesville. Alsofofficials and staff who talked with the team is provided in Appendix No. 3. FSSP staff also provided the Team with examples of their products, supplemental documentation and special presentations requested by the Team.
Cooperation during the evaluation exercise by all parties to this
agreement was commendable and the only weak point in the exercise, (aside from the limited time available) was the absence of direct knowledge on the use and effect of FSS? services by developing country clients. Nevertheless, during the evening of June 27 and the next day, the team was able without great difficulty to arrive at a consensus regarding its assessment of performance to date and recommendations for the future.
The evaluation report itself is not intended to be a summary of progress and achievements to date. Appendix No.2, in combination with annual and other special reports, will provide the reader with this information. Rather, the Team has attempted to provide the rationale for its assessment of performance to date, highlighting what it believes to be the most critical issues requiring resolution, and presenting action-oriented recommendations for improvements and changes which are intended to help the partners and collaborators in this agreement arrive at appropriate decisions regarding its future.
IV. PERFORMANCE TO DATE
A. Technical Assistance
* The first section of the Cooperative Agreement calls for technical
assistance in problem diagrams, design, implementation, and evaluation of projects involving FSR/E. The agreement envisions this ectivity as providing immediate help to resolve specific program implementation issues related to problems on farms and in program management. In the longer run, there should be a development of capacity in national organizations through institution building to develop in-country "professional expertise and commitment" which is needed for "sustaining coordinated national programs". The FSSP was envisioned as a field support project which would take its guidance from USAID missions, and respond to their expressed needs. The specific services which were included in the agreement would be available during pre-project, design, implementation, and evaluation phases of projects.
- Project Support
The project was involved in needs assessment in three activities in 1994 -for Honduras, for Liberia, and for Cornell University/FSSP training needs. During the same year there were three activities in project designfor Jordan, the Gambia, and Sierra Leone. In project evaluation, the FSSP supplied people for four country activities -- Honduras, Botswana, Zambia, and Philippines. Team or individual briefings were conducted for four countries
- the Gambia, Honduras, Rwanda, and Jordan. Debrief ings were conducted for teams and/or team leaders from activities in Honduras, Paraguay, Rwanda, Gambia, and Liberia. Information from the debriefings is destined to be added to state-of-the-art files and used in the future in modules for tiaining or for other materials in print.
The evaluation team commends this activity but notes that
disappointment has been expressed in the lower than expected level of demand, particularly in needs assessment. Since we were not afforded the time or the opportunity to interview any of the individuals who received this briefing or specific help in the field, it is not possible to evaluate its effectiveness. This would require personal interviews or an extensive questionnaires, which was not envisioned as a part of the exercise. The team was very impressed with the selection of contracting entities to implement projects in Latin America which built on the talents of professionals who were native Spanish speakers and who had extensive experience in the region. However, this reliance on a single private consulting firm has meant limited opportunity to build up the capacity of U.S. universities to fulfill this function another objective of the FSSP. We hope that this support capability is maintained within the project, although the basis for future contracts should be on a "payment for services" or "buy-in" basis by missions in this region.
From the mission cables, we were impressed with the projects quick response capability to do these contracts, and this capacity should be expanded and made available to missions on a world-wide basis. There was some concern expressed about the relevance of some of the technical expertise provided outside Latin America, and every effort should be made to provide professionals with experience which is relevant to the specific job at hand.
The current biodata resource includes information on more than 54Q
individuals. These "Program Associates" come from twenty six organizations in the FSSP Support Eutity Network, including twenty one universities and five consulting firms. During 1984, fifty four searches for seventy one individuals were conducted and, during the first six months of 1985, twenty seven searches for thirty nine persons. There is an apparent growing interest in this support function, with .requests coming from universities, AID, and private consulting firms. Of the searches conducted and individual biodata supplied, there is no evaluation of how many were actually placed in a program. From repeat requests from the same institutions or companies, and from limited qualitative feedback from clients, this biodata service appears to be filling a need. The job clearly is never finished, and must be expanded and kept current as people's circumstances change. The pool of specialists in the current biodata file represents the support entities, and there are many experts outside the project who should be included. Given the future cost of maintaining this activity, we believe the project should consider other options. Our recommendation would be to merge this biodata file with another file, such as the one maintained by Winrock International (WI), and by adding additional identifiers to the WI system this could provide an even greater pool of professionals to prospective clients at a lower cost. We consider this activity as one that has been done well, has attracted interest and provided a valuable service, but should be handled in a more cost-effective and comprehensive way.
Evaluation Task Force
During 1984 and 1985, a task force was set up to meet a need
perceived by the Technical Committee of FSSP to provide quality,, replicable evaluations of FSR/E projects in the field. After some initial delays in
start-up, a task force was appointed with eight members and nine additional people in a backstopping group. They have met and outlined a framework for the evaluation instrument. At the moment, sections of the draft are in preparation, and the FSSP is making plans to test the instrument in CATIE, CARDI, and Zambia, plus other projects in Africa.
The evaluation team applauds this recognition of the importance of
evaluation in projects and the need to develop tools which are appropriate to FSR/E in field evaluation of specific programs and activities. However, there is a critical need to involve AID/W effectively in the decision-making and formulation of any tools of this type. There is an institutionalized evaluation procedure already operational in AID, and a number of handbooks have been written at large expense to facilitate and standardize this process. It is critical that the agency which developed these instruments and which will need to use any new ones or modifications be included in their formulation. It is important to consider evaluation at the several levels of the project framework, decide what the evaluation should focus on, e.g., efficiency, effectiveness, and/or impact, and how it should be done within the context of AID contracts. There is need for an evaluative framework and a uniformity to approach which will use a standard device across as many types of projects as possible. There is also a need for a USAID technical input during the testing and evaluation phase of this activity. Thus, the team commends the effort, but insists on a greater participation by the agency to ensure the possibility of use within the AID system.
Research/Extension Project Handbook
Development of this handbook has been active over the Past two years. It is envisioned as a document which could be used for future workshops on management of projects and the institutionalization of the FSR/E process. There is an assumption by core management that this document would be widely used by people in USAID missions, national programs, and bilateral assistance projects. It was cited that nothing exists in this area, at least in the specific area of FSR/E, and that most projects have no written guidelines to follow in development of this type of project.
The evaluation team has reviewed the current draft of the
research/extension project handbook, and concludes that although this may be the only such guidebook to date, its approach is overly simplified and the draft as presented would be of limited value to managers of FSR/E development projects. .There are several books available on project design, and AID currently runs programs on project design and management. These should be used as a basis from which to start with project handbook development if, indeed, one is necessary. If so, there is a vital need for active AID/W participation in the process. The current version is weak on guidelines for management of interdisciplinary teams, for rigorous design of research on farmer's fields, and for a specific emphasis on FS research. Since considerable time and resources have been invested in the development of the current draft of the book from this project, it could be made available to development projects in its current form, perhaps in a loose-leaf arrangement. Given other priorities, it is not recommended that additional resources be dedicated to this handbook or future activities of this type, but
that emphasis be placed on implementation in the field using existing materials and procedures.
B. Training and Publications
This performance assessment is based on interviews, a review of FSSP documents and training materials, a support entity survey done by S&T/AGR, and a review of cables from missions commenting on FSSP activities. Since there has been no opportunity to get the direct views of participants in any of the training sessions.
Inventory of Activities and Assessment
FSSP has initiated a broad range of activities that can be regarded as training. These include: "sensitivity" workshops in the U.S.; "sensitivity" and "networkshops" in Latin America/Caribbean and in Africa; the development of specialized state-of-the-art training networks; a number of miscellaneous activities; and publications. Each of these five categories is reviewed separately below.
Three different types of domestic workshops have been organized by FSSP. Most of these were basic orientation workshops; in addition, one methodology application workshop has been held and one workshop to train FSR trainers (Iowa State). The table below summarizes these workshops:
Table 1 FSSP Domestic Workshops
Type 1983 1984 1985 Total
Orientation 5 4 1 10
Application 0 0 1 1
Training of Trainers 0 1 0 1
Total 5 5 2 12
Several aspects of these workshops deserve comment. First, there has been commendable success in having them sponsored by support entities; of the twelve workshops, only four were held in Gainesville and these have been for the most part pilot activities. Eight other institutions hosted the remaining workshops, and one Virginia State University has agreed to become the permanent home of the orientation workshops. Only one per year is now thought necessary, but the team believes the "orientation" mission has been accomplished.
Second, the domestic workshops have proved very useful as a way of building relationships among the U.S. community interested in FSR/E. This emerges strongly in the SE survey conducted by S&T/AGR.
Third, there was significant involvement of AID employees and foreign
nationals (administrators, scientists, students) in the U.S. activities; about
one-half or so of all participants were in this category.
A fourth point is that the domestic workshops have improved over
time. Initially they were very weak both pedagogically and technically and
AID criticisms and suggestions were often ignored, but significant
improvements have been made.
Finally, the number of activities is large given the relatively short
period of time FSSP has been in operation, which is a compliment to the energy
and organizational talent of the FSSP core staff, but also reflects the lack
of a "programmatic" focus.
There are a number of points where improvement must be sought.
First, FSSP staff attempted to use the domestic workshops to assess overseas
training needs (for Africa especially). This "informal" needs assessment however was no substitute for a rigorous assessment through visits to AID
field missions and national program leaders as is commonly done in other
centrally-funded projects. A limited amount of this was done on a somewhat ad
hoc basis in West Africa, but all-in-all the attempt to understand the full
range of indigenous training needs was inadequate. This has led to
disagreement among various concerned parties regarding the focus of many of
FSSP's activities. Second, the early slide-tape modules were of lesser
utility than they could have been; rather than attempting to prepare these
materials in7-house, FSSP could have used their Technical Committee structure,
with AID participation, to gain access to people able to strengthen the
materials both with regard to region-specific con-tent as well as A-V technique.
* Third, the workshops have been implemented by relatively junior and
inexperienced people-again FSSP could have done better by administering the
workshop process but leaving implementation to people with the breadth an
depth of experience required.
Fourth, the workshops have been relatively heavy on social science and
process, but light on technical content and problem focus. (Again this could
have been improved through greater reliance on outside expertise and AID
In sum, the domestic workshop series has been spotty but it is
encouraging that things appear to be getting better as time goes on. Probably
too much wa4s attempted by the core staff itself in the beginning; quality
suffered. The current intent to de-emphasize the introductory workshops and concentrate on a few priority areas, is a laudable attempt to prioritize and
focus the FSSP effort and should be given strong support by AID.
A relatively large number of overseas workshops of varying duration
have been held. In some of these FSSP was solely responsible for the
proceedings, in others responsibility was shared and in some FSSP has played
an ancillary role. Some attempt to categorize the activities along these
lines is made in the table below (this does not count workshops organized by
others at which FSSP was represented.)
Table 2 FSSP Overseas Workshops
Year Region Major Moderate Minor Total
APR 1 1 0 2
ASIA 0 0 0 0
LAC 2 0 0 2
1984 APR 1 1 1 3
ASIA 0 1 1 2
LAC 2 0 0 2
1985 APR 2 1 3 6
ASIA 0 0 0 0
LAC 1 3 0 4
Total 9 7 5 21
The following positive points need to be recognized. First, the LAC workshops have apparently been implemented very well judging from mission cables which are on the whole complimentary. Second, the quality of activities has improved with time, indicating that FSSP staff are learning from their experience. (This is particularly evident in Africa). Third, the large number of activities undertaken suggests a very high level of energy and commitment on the part of FSSP core staff and their hard work should be recognized.
There are also some areas where improvement is warranted. First, the Africa workshops have been weak with regard to Africa-relevant content, with regard to the availability and quality of French language translation for both oral presentations and written materials; and with regard to A-V technical quality. Although some improvement has been made over time, the current materials are still far too weak. This must be addressed as a high priority, preferably by drawing on the technical resources of others actively engaged in FSR and related.activities in the region.
Second, the very large number of activities carried out suggests that the FSSP staff have been giving too much attention to doing things and not enough attention to doing them well. A third and related point is that the workshops exhibit little sense of strategy, direction, or problem-focus. FSSP has seemingly been willing to support nearly anything anywhere, with the result that their staff and intellectual resources have been fragmented. Two noteworthy exceptions to this general rule are the Togo animal traction workshop, which was preceded and succeeded by related activities that appear technically-oriented and cumulative in nature; and the Paraguay program, which although little advertised is very important.
A final point relates to the Paraguay activity specifically and the
LAC program generally: these activities have been implemented very often by a
private consultant firm, and it is questionable whether this is the best
approach to host country institutional development. AID/Paraguay makes this point explicitly in their cabled assessment of the FSSP activities there and
notes the lack of a multiplier effect associated with U.S. university
In sum, the overseas workshop program has been implemented with
admirable energy but has been weakened by inadequate attention to the quality
and relevance of training materials. Good trainers can compensate to some
extent for weak materials, but all-in-all FSSP needs to devote much greater attention to improving their materials with effective involvement of the SEs and AID. This is recognized by FSSP leadership and staff and is, we believe,
in accord with their own emerging sense of priorities.
Training Materials Development
Much of what needs to be said regarding this topic has been touched
on in the sections above. But it is important to note that FSSP staff have
progressed over time in their approach to training materials development, with the result now that energies are being focused on refinement of three training units or modules on diagnosis, design of field trials, and management/administration. This focus should be encouraged and supported, but even further
prioritization is needed. Specifically, the management module should receive
lesser priority than the other two. This is not because management is
unimportant, but because (a) the other modules are more central to FSSP's
*basic mission; (b) it will be easier to introduce good technical content and a
sense of problem into the first two than into the third; (c) the management/ administrative module as currently presented is technically much weaker than
the other two; and suffers from the same deficiencies noted in the Project
Handbook; and (d) FSSP has strict limitations of staff time, financial
resources, and time remaining until project completion. Attention should be concentrated on improving the first two modules and institutionalizing their
delivery in appropriate SEs and host country national programs.
Miscellaneous Training Activities
FSSP has sent core staff or SE representatives to an impressive
number of meetings, conferences, and workshops. FSSP has also provided useful
support to relatively large numbers of individual scientists overseas,
enabling them to attend activities that they could otherwise have missed.
While admirable in intent, the cumulative impact of these various disconnected
efforts is probably not great and there is an unfortunate fragmentation of
staff attention as a result. Especially now that funding levels have
declined, FSSP management should re-think the approach to such activities and
give serious attention to reducing the level of support provided.
Publications and Related Matters
FSSP produces a number of useful printed materials that deserve
mention. The newsletter has been generally accepted in the U.S. and is very highly regarded overseas. The distribution list is large (nearly 5,000), and
it is available in Spanish and French as well as English. It is possible to quarrel with the content of the newsletter and with the translations, but overall this service is a valuable one and FSSP should be commended for having done the job well.
FSSP is also responsible for generating 100 bibliographic entries each year and arranging for them to be annotated and distributed by AID's central evaluation office (PPC/CDIE). In addition, all such materials are retained at the Kansas State University (KSU) documentation center. One problem is that the annotation service provided by AID/PPC/CDIE has been both slow and technically weak. This reflects a flaw in the original project design. The annotations should be done by FSSP (preferably through SEs), not by CDIE. S&T/AGR should address this problem immediately.
Many other documentary efforts are also underway various books,
manuals, an inventory of FSR activities, guidelines in various fields, and so forth. It is clear that this represents a dispersion of staff effort and financial resources, and not all the activities can be regarded as high priority.
FSSP management should undertake a careful review of these activities and thin down the number considerably both to conserve core funding and help staff prioritize their time. As already noted, two obvious candidates for elimination are, first, the manual on project management guidelines, which is peripheral to FSSP's basic mission. Moreover, this topic is addressed by a large number of other books, articles, and training courses. The second clear candidate for elimination is the series of country briefing books. While undoubtedly useful, these represent an extremely low-priority undertaking given FSSP's basic purpose and limitations of staff and funding.
Program design gave this activity a high priority and it was a
featured part of the FSSP presentation during the review. It was clear that FSSP staff have thought long and hard about networking and its implementation, e.g. see Chris 0. Andrew, "Considerations for Networking Development to Support U. S. Technical assistance," 1985. Several specific activities were listed in briefing materials (see exhibit #1) and the process itself was given considerable attention.
FSSP told us a network links three or more in sustained interaction. It features exchange among equals, a collegial activity resting on common concerns. FSSP's role is to actively promote such networks-"to foster/fuel/fan" in the words of one. To this end FSSP seeks to identify themes of high priority to farming systems research, to identify individuals with interest in the theme, to facilitate their coming together, and to structure an environment in which they can initiate and sustain the exchange of ideas. The aim is to improve performance through the stimulation that such sharing engenders and through the sense of endorsement from peers with common cause.
Exhibit # 1 FSSP NETWORKING ACTIVITIES
Universities (BIFAD, CRSP) USAID Missions National Institutions CGIAR & Others Existing Networks FSSP Activities PV0s & Others
Referrals Individuals Participants Visitors Response
Newsletter Program Associates Training Technical Assistance Documentation FSR Inventory Publications Biodata Files
-- -12FSSP sees several lines through which networks can be developed: 1)
within the U. S. support base, 2) through IARC networks, or through such
regional institutions as SAFGRAD, 3) inside countries, 4) through groups bound
together by topical interests, 5) through private firms, and 6) through the
creative crossing of barriers.
In looking at the six activities initially envisioned it is clear
that FSSP's major success to date has been in fostering the development of a
network among those in U.S. universities and private firms (SEs) who are
concerned with FSR/E. One possible measure of this is the undocumented FSSP management estimate that every dollar of funding from FSSP for this activity
has called forth up to two dollars of added spending by others.
Emphasis has been given to technology generation through
collaborative, on-farm research in which interactions and the farmer play
critical roles. Coming together in FSSP sponsored meetings, and in the
context of an ever clearer framework of ideas, has contributed much to the
exchange among practitioners based in U.S. universities. The principal FSSP
activity here is the annual workshop at Kansas State University. This
recurring event is certainly the fulcrum of international farming systems activities in the U.S. With growing participation from non-U.S. practitioners, it is argueably the single most significant gathering in the world
for those involved in farming systems researc..
A second major U.S. based effort is vhe nine "introductory"
workshops. These are seen by FSSP as training and are discussed above but it
is likely .that a great deal of peer exchange occurs and that much sustained
exchange has been touched off. To the extent this surmise is true, then those
workshops have fostered/fueled/fanned networks among those of like interests.
FSSP has undertaken several training courses in developing countries. While these have featured a teacher-student stance of varying quality, it is again
likely that significant peer exchange has occurred and that potential networks
Among the networking activities to date, perhaps the most significant
for the future were the focused efforts in Africa. There, three classes of
networks were identified for the west-commodity based, animal based, and
university based-and a pace setting animal traction workshop was held in 1985 in Togo. It wzs judged by participants and observers to be quite useful. Its
format will, according to FSSP staff, set the pattern for future efforts.
While it is still early to say whether sustained communication among
practitioners will emerge, there is cause for optimism. As well, the model (and that for a similar effort in early 1984 in Southern Africa) contributed to an Africa wide workshop on animal traction at ILCA in July 1985 to which
Judgment about these earlier efforts must necessarily be tentative.
Networking, after all, requires a sustained, continuing exchange if it is to
be cost-effective. It seems likely that sustained exchange has come about
through the efforts in the U.S. An unresolved issue is the extent to which
FSSP should take a leading role in networking vis-a-vis efforts to supplement,
expand, or reinforce ongoing networking activities carried out by IARCs,
regional organizations, and others concerning FSR/E problems already
identified and prioritized. Clearly sufficient time has not yet elapsed to
see if that will emerge from the Togo session.
FSSP staff expressed a strong commitment to creating networks in the
future. They have the animal traction theme as one point of departure. The more general farming systems research theme is another. FSSP staff are well
aware that much attention is already being given to networking in Asia, Latin
America, and Africa. Indeed the funds already committed by others-West Africa, for example, has networks in each of several commodities and in
farming systems research, the last through IITA and others-total well more
than will be available to FSSP. In these circumstances, they see themselves
as taking steps which will complement the activities of others. As can be
noted, this reflects some internal inconsistencies in approach.
FSSP is optimistic about farming systems networks based on West
Africa university staffs. These professionals have, as we understand it,
participated less than their NARC colleagues in existing networks. With the success of the Togo workshop, FSSP plans to use that effort as a model for
future networking. Along with workshops, FSSP will incorporate other vehicles
for structuring and facilitating exchange, e.g. exchange of staff,
professional visits and exchange of publications.
In evaluating FSSP's. efforts in networking and in commenting on its
future, several conclusions can be reached and suggestions offered, as follows.
0 Less emphasis should be given to networking in the U.S.
With what has already been accomplished, FSSP can reduce its commitments and expect that participants will find the funding necessary to carry on this work.
o The role for FSSP in farming systems networks in West
Africa has yet to be clearly defined. For instance, it is not clear what an institution based in the U.S. can do to ensure that the role of identifying priority themes and participants for developing countries is satisfactorily played, especially given the substantial commitments already made to the development of networks by others.
o FSSP, in collaboration with AID, should bring more evident purposiveness to their networking efforts. This means identifying priority problems, priority countries, and priority participants. It also means framing appropriate supporting materials, reducing the role of opportunism, and reinforcing structure and design in the planning of FSSP supported networking activities.
o Given the cost of the activity and the uncertainty
associated with the utility of output, the evaluation team is
forced to question the cost-effectiveness of the current
approach and urges that, as part of a collaborative strategizing
process, the purpose, scope and approach of future networking
activities be clearly defined, particularly in Africa.
D. State-of-the-Art and Synthesis
"State-of-the-art" (SOTA) activities are the synthesis of current
information and experience on farming systems concepts, methods, and technical issues. The purpose is to make such information, including guidelines and training materials, conveniently available to practitioners. This is important because the FSR/E projects that produce and use the information are often small and widely separated. It is difficult to learn where information is available and to obtain it. Accordingly, it is difficult for individual FSR/E groups to compare and evaluate various approaches, procedures and results. SOTA activities in the FSSP are a service to FSR/E practitioners and others who set the direction of agricultural development efforts located in universities and other contractors for FSR/E projects and AID. Thus, it is important for FSSP to obtain access through effective linkages with the deliverers of FSR/E services.
This review of "state-of-the-art" and synthesis activities within the FSSP addresses their following aspects: general approach; procedures; level of achievement; and future directions. The basis for review includes oral presentations and answers.given to the evaluation team by the FSSP staff and other informants, program documents (the 1982 Cooperative Agreement, 1984 Annual Report, 1985 Annual Work Plan, 1985 Implementation Plan for the 1985 Annual Work Plan, and FSSP Summary Memo on State-of-the-Art Developme nFprepared for the evaluation team and several State-of-the-Art subject matter papers. These sources appeared representative of the scope and quality of work required of FSSP and of FSSP's response, and hence adequate for the review.
2. General Approach
The Cooperative Agreement (October 1982) suggests.that
state;-of-the-art research should identify issues common to FSR/E programs and evaluate causes, solutions and possible consequences of the concerns most frequently expressed. The work is expected to yield five practical field guidelines that might cover alternative methodologies used by national programs, organizational concerns, extension, training and the costeffectiveness of FSR/E.
The summary memorandum on SOTA given at the June 1985 review
indicates that efforts to systematize SOTA development have just begun. SOTA development is regarded as an implicit activity in training, networking and technical assistance, but no specific strategy has evolved. Fifteen topics are listed on which information has been assembled, or soon will be. The
topics are prioritized presumably according to the need expressed by practitioners of FSR/E, and hence in the order in which work on them will be completed. Unfortunately, AID was not invited to participate in this process.
Intervening reports and workplans discuss SOTA activities but do not reflect a consistent approach or consistent themes in conceptualization of this area of activity. Each discussion tells what is being done but the steps aren't clearly related. In presenting SOTA syntheses, one report highlights the role of the Technical Committee and the bibliography, another training units, and another case histories; all no doubt related to SOTA development but not according to a particular plan. A definition of SOTA is not found, nor the purpose of SOTA, its objectives, or a plan for achieving the objectives. Nevertheless, from several sources and through diverse activities, syntheses of information on a number of topics are being accomplished (See Appendix 2).
The sources of SOTA synthesis vary. The role of extension and issues with respect to livestock in FSR/E were examined by special task forces. Many of the topics are to be treated in training units. Agro-forestry is covered in a workshop proceeding, as is traction power, while integrated pest management is presented in a University of Florida course, and nutrition in case studies.
The Evaluation team wishes to express the following concerns about FSSP's general approach to SOTA and synthesis development:
o A definition (and perhaps renaming, if it aids
understanding) of SOTA/synthesis activities is needed, and a
stronger conceptualization of the job to be done.
o Given a definition of the concept, a strategy and work plan
for achieving objectives is needed. A strategy might show how
aims suggested in the cooperative agreement are linked to
activities (bibliography, case studies, technical committee,
course development, etc.) at any given time, how activities are
linked one-to-another, and how these together are linked to
expected SOTA products.
o If convenient access to synthesis of information on
frequently cited issues in FSR/E is indeed an objective, as we
think it should be, then the present passive approach (i.e.
leaving the syntheses to comprise mainly of products from other
activities--training units, textbooks, courses, workshop
proceedings, network operations, etc.), requires modification.
Accessing and using information from such diverse sources and in
such diverse formats may not be an easy task.
o Even if information were easily available and understood
from these various sources, it is not clear that it would
represent a state-of-the-art synthesis. Training courses, for
example, might reasonably contain the basics of FSR/E,
emphasizing "tried-and-true" methods, but go light on theory,
history, or comparative review that a synthesis might contain.
Similarly, workshops, textbooks and case studies often are developed with objectives that may not support a synthesis.
There is no substitute for SOTA/synthesis in a dynamic setting
based on research.
Identifying issues for study, prioritizing them and getting the work done are the major procedural concerns. The Technical Committee of the FSSP is to provide guidance on the identification of issues for study and, presumably, in the setting of priorities. This is to be done through a representative of the FSSP core on he Technical Committee. Information is then assembled and synthesized through the various means mentioned above-training unit development, task forces, bibliography, workshops, etc. In practice, the leadership and initiative for getting the work done, and much of the direct responsibility for SOTA activities, presently resides with the FSSP core staff.
A review of the procedures followed and results obtained suggests
that identification of issues and setting of priorities with respect to those issues has been satisfactory. That is, the areas of SOTA activities listed in Appendix 2, particularly the highest priority areas, appear an appropriate beginning set of problem areas for study. However, the prioritization was apparently done primarily by core staff, with little input from the technical committee and no discernable input from AID. The set of issues contains technical problems (e.g. agro-forestry, IPM, livestock), methodological areas (diagnostic surveys, on-farm trials), institutional questions (e.g. extension, social science, in FSR/E and evaluation of FSR/E approach), and principles of FSR/E (e.g. economic characteristics of small-scale farmers).
The identification of issues and setting of priorities, however, might be improved by:
o Organization of issues in a manner that provides a sense of the kinds of expertise required for their study-e.g. principles of FSR/E, methods of FSR/E, organization of FSR/E, technology of
FSR/E, economics of farming systems, etc.;
o Establishing procedures for identifying issues that more
explicitly incorporate the views of FSR/E project staff
overseas, e.g., what are the FSR/E backstopping issues that can
be explored by FSSP for bilateral contractors?;
o Associating with each problem area a quantitative or
qualitative measure of the importance of the issue (e.g.
projects that requested work on nutrition, areas of the world
where agro-forestry technology is a concern, economic conditions
under which crops/livestock technology is lacking, expected
gains from closer linkage of research and extension).
The slow progress to date in developing and implementing an overall plan for SOTA activities within the core FSSP, and the largely untapped greater capacity of the FSSP program as a whole (including the support entities), suggest that a larger amount of the responsibility for SOTA
development should be distributed to associated universities. A needed expansion of activities that are explicitly planned; a process closely involving the Technical Committee with AID participation, for SOTA synthesis (i.e. not simply comprised of training units, workshop proceedings, etc.). cannot and should not be accomplished solely by an already heavily committed core staff. Both the quality and the volume of SOTA development accomplishments require a wider base for contributions to this effort.
The level of achievement of the FSSP with respect to SOTA activities is reviewed on the basis of selected SOTA materials already identified. Assuming the products presented by the FSSP to be the appropriate kind of output, how satisfactory are they?
o The range of topics selected by FSSP management for study as
SOTA activities appears an appropriate beginning list of farming
systems problems areas. As methodological and conceptual issues are resolved, the program should increasingly focus on technical issues
identified through network activities. Traction power is an example
of such an issue already covered. Additional issues should be
identified according to their importance in the countries where
farming systems projects are being carried out.
0 Prioritizing the SOTA problem areas, in collaboration with AID,
is also a useful step and should similarly be based upon likely
benefits in countries where FSR/E is being carried out with linkages
to the FSSP.
0 Production of SOTA materials has been slow, with very few of the
15 initial topics considered finished. As cited earlier, SOTA
materials have -been developed mainly for other purposes and without
much central direction. Apart from content consideration, this
approach has undoubtedly delayed SOTA output, compared tio identifying
resources and proceeding with a specific plan for producing SOT&
o0 Materials vary widely according to the apparent target
audience. The "Task Force Report on Livestock in Mixed Farming
Systems" may be useful to a high level research officer to
.understand broad concepts, perhaps as input into a decision of
whether to commit agency resources to a farming systems
livestock project. The report is not likely to be 'of much use
to a field practitioner needing to know the state-of-the-art for
conducting livestock research in FSR/E. This problem is shared by many of the materials because they were not planned as SOTA
o The quality of SOTA documents needs improvement, largely
from the standpoint of comprehensiveness and practical
usefulness. In most cases, one or two items are recommended as the SOTA documentation on a topic. Again, perhaps :because they were not produced as SOTA documents and often written by a few authors, they necessarily lack the perspective and credibility.
usefulness. In most cases, one or two items are recommended as the SOTA documentation on a topic. Again, perhaps because they were not produced as SOTA documents and often written by a few authors, they necessarily lack the perspective and credibility.
In summary, the quality and rate of progress of work on SOTA
activities to date suggests that a specific strategy and multi-year plan for producing a limited number of priority SOTA products be formulated and that resources be identified among the support entities to conduct the work in a timely manner. The materials produced should be carefully reviewed for comprehensiveness, soundness, understandability and practical use to practitioners. Review of SOTA might be conducted by either the Technical Committee or by independent scholars recognized for their expertise in the respective fields.
5. SOTA Strategy
There is little in FSSP documentation to suggest planning or
direction of SOTA activities. The above recommendations with respect to general approach, procedures and level of achievement imply future steps to be taken. Most important is an overall strategy and plan, agreed to by the principal parties of interest, that defines what SOTA activities are, who is the target user of the documents and for what purpose, and that shows where the SOTA program is headed.
Finally, usefulness of the term "State-of-the-Art" without reference to synthesis should be reconsidered. Its meaning may be sufficiently obscure as to inhibit understanding of FSSP objectives within FSSP, USAID, and country projects. Another acronym or word denoting "modern methods, principles and technology" may be more useful than "SOTA", per se.
E. Organization and Management
The management of this project has reflected, to a significant
extent, the problems in a collaborative arrangement involving a large number of institutions in an innovative and experimental effort. The FSSP project management team, that is, the Director and his core staff, have a number of clients to deal-with and satisfy, e.g.; the Title XII community in general, and particularly the FSSP participating universities (generally referred to as support entities); AID including S&T, the regional bureaus and field missions; and, ultimately, the end-users including bi-lateral contractors, NARCs, IARCs, etc. The cooperative agreement itself is vague regarding expected results and the signals coming from AID are sometimes distorted or contradictory, or at least are interpreted as such. Since there is not complete agreement or understanding among all the players as to the purpose and principal thrusts of the projects, annual work planning and result-oriented progress reporting becomes a difficult process and, without an agreed upon strategy, short-term and activity-oriented. As will be briefly described, the FSSP has made a strong effort to develop organizational and procedural guidelines* but it
*See "Procedural Manual Operational Guidelines for the Farming
Systems Support Project:, a draft dated April 1985.
appears that often there is more structure than substance in the arrangements and materials.
The Cooperative Agreement specifies that the University of Florida will "... perform as the lead entity and will coordinate the inputs of collaborating institutions with similar interests in FSR/E." It goes on to explain that the FSSP will be administered centrally with core administrative and management staff coordinating and supervising overall program activities. Program and administrative support was envisioned as emanating"... from a confederation of entities working cooperatively with the recipient." The precise advisory and participatory structure was not stipulated in the agreement but was expected to evolve as the dimensions of the program became more obvious. Many entities are to-be called upon to participate in and prepare for implementation responsibilities. A "core program", presumably to be worked out in the work planning process, was to multiply expertise by helping developing "core areas", also undefined, at various institutions directed toward establishing specific areas of strength. It is worthy of particular note that the CA language states:
A coordinated organizational administrative
and managerial strategy will be essential
to achieve that end. The rapidity with which the FSSP is being initiated through the cooperative agreement has not provided the interinstitutional communication time required to
finalize a particular mode.
The FSSP Director pointed out to the team that "lead entity" is not the same thing as a "management entity" as used in CRSPs. The participating universities or support entities are not equal and there is no cohesive research objective to provide the basic framework. Therefore, one of the earliest challenges facing the project leader/director was to recruit his core staff and build-up the project structure and organization.
The original agreement contemplated three core staff members, i.e., a project leader, 1 coordinator for technical assistance, and a coordinator for training and networking, plus supporting staff. It was anticipated that consultants would provide many of the short term services required by the agreement. The current staffing pattern is listed on pages 50-52 of the Procedural Manual and includes, in addition to the Director, five coordinators. Core management has also actively been seeking AID's approval and funding of a regional support program based in Cameroon and the assignment of an additional full-time coordinator. In addition to advice received by organizations mentioned below, the Director receives counsel from a senior-counciler in residence (Pete Hildebrand) and from time-to-time, may seek external advice, e.g., the hiring of a consultant (Bob House Vanderbilt University) on FSSP management.
In the view of the team, and as expressed elsewhere in this report,
the core staff has taken on more responsibilities and delivery activities than originally contemplated or desirable. This is due, at least in part, to the pressure on them to produce results, the absence of an approved long-range strategy and agreement on the priority and nature of specific expected results (i.e., outputs), and their individual and collective high motivation to produce. It has had, however, some unfortunate consequences regarding quality and relevance of work undertaken and/or planned. The size and skill composition of the core staff is obviously at issue, particularly in light of the current funding difficulties. Since these are non-tenure track positions and, according to the Director, are more management than substance or discipline oriented, it was not possible to recruit an agronomist or other bio-scientist for the core staff. The net result, except for a former AID research management specialist, is an unbalanced team of young and ambitious social scientists who are learning (and they are learning), but mostly by trial and error. In the process, the natural self-preservation instinct of the core staff (like any institution) may be subconsciously modifying the original project approach to fit personal capabilities, objectives and perceptions.
Particularly in the early days, there was a reluctance for core
management to involve the SEs effectively in the central program and to accept SE proposals but, according to a member of the Advisory Council, this has improved and there is more acceptance of "delegating a chunk of the program to specific SEs' There can be little doubt, however that some SEs felt spurned.
The Project Director, a l ng-term and tenured faculty member of the University of Florida and an economist with extensive experience in Latin America, has a good personal style and is well-liked and respected. He has done a very good job in separating FSSP per se from the UF in the eyes of the university community while, at the same time, getting good UF support. He has not, however, always been equally as successful in dealing with AID. Core management is not always sensitive as to when AID should be involved in FSSP decisions and activities and at what level. Confronted with conflicting signals, or signals he doesn't like, the Director has shown a tendency to treat the cooperative agreement as an iron-clad contract rather than a partnership. This is an indication that, after three years, there is still a great deal of misunderstanding, confusion or disagreement as to what FSSP is to accomplish and the optimum way to do it
An Advisory Council, composed of-three members selected from amongst the SEs of the FSSP network, was established as an advisory body to the Director anad a sounding board for policy purposes. Current representation includes: (1) Larry Zuidema, Cornell University; (2) Jim Meiman, CSU, and (3) Dale Harpstead, MSU. *A U
Apparently this council has been quite active and has the support of the university community. It has been involved in the selection of SEs, in policy meetings with AID officials, and, most important, in melding. the various views regarding FSR/E, at least at the policy level. It has helped in establishing the Technical Committee and providing general support to the
- -21Director. The Council, which is non-technical in composition, has suggested or concurred in areas of program concentration but agrees that more can be done in strategizing and using a problem focus; possibly through the use of regional committees. As a support project, FSSP activities are viewed as about right with a need to broaden the base of faculty participation. If the Council can be faulted at all, it would be in taking too soft a role in encouraging program developmentand project design revision, providing more programming guidance to core management, and in advising the Director on the more effective timing and level of AID involvement as a partner in major project decisions.
The Procedural Manual describes the Technical Committee as the only "standing committee" of the FSSP and as advisory to the Director and core staff. It is to serve as a technical resource base and as regional and institutional representative for network and communication purposes. Areas to be considered include: research, extension, management, data retrieval and analysis, family, livestock, cropping, agro-forestry, soil and water infrastructure and policy systems. Its purpose, inter alia, is given as (a) provide for common goals and serve as trustees of the systems approach (b) assist in developing guidelines and roles for task force strategies and (c) representing disciplinary interest in farming systems through multi-disciplinary interfaces and integrated approaches to research and extension programs. Membership selection is primarily from Program Leaders with core staff representation.
Given the size and composition of the core staff, the Committee was viewed as a mechanism to involve the technical agro-disciplines but, by the admission of most parties, it has not yet functioned effectively. The Committee as originally composed was balanced and with good people but after two meetings attendance began to fall off, partly due to indecision about the advisory role of the committee and its clients. There have been no inputs into networking or training with the only concrete result being the review of submissions for the bibliography of readings in farming systems by the Committee itself (Kansas State University serves as the lead institution in this documentation effort).
The current chairperson indicated some frustration in attempting to set priorities for a support or passive type project. There has been an attempt to comw up with task force subjects and people, e.g., in evaluation, animal 'traction, and intra-household dynamics, and to determine SOTA priorities but they are mostly short-term and reflect on-going functions. To a considerable extent, this reflects a lack of sufficient guidelines and/or delegation from the core staff. In turn, this may also reflect the conflicts between a service and research orientation. The Director himself has indicated concern about the gap which has evolved and the underuse of the committee to date. It appears obvious to the team that a good part of the problem concerns the role of the core staff vis-a-vis the supporting entities and the FSR/E community in general.
.. -22Task Groups
i O The task force concept (ad hoc committees) is employed to address
technical support needs as an instrument of the Technical Committee and core
'staff. The task-oriented approach is to be employed to support training,
4 ~-~ technical assistance, networking, and SOTA/synthesis A product is expected.
/'/ The most active task force appears the one concerned with evaluation,
;. / a subject initiated by the Technical Committee and reflecting their concern
with the need for quality, replicable evaluations of FSR/E projects in the
- field. A lead entity Winrock International was selected in September,
Y 7 .1984. The group, led by James Henson from WSU, includes membership from
\ f several universities, The Research Triangle Institute, with ex officio
,,--advisors from FSSP and AID. The evaluation task force is also backstopped by
a large group of individuals but there is a significant gap no professional
@ representation from the AID evaluation community. Since AID already has a ,,"j) \" well-developed and institutionalized project evaluating system, the team is
\' concerned that the end product may not be acceptable in part or in whole to
Other task forces have been created, e.g. on livestock, in connection with the animal traction workshops, but to date this mechanism to involve
\4% technical expertise has been underutilized.
)0 Support Entities
An important objective of the project is to increase the quality and quantity of U.S. expertise in FSR/E to strengthen the base for the FSSP and
other AID initiatives in FSR/E. As the lead university, U.F. is expected to
"...eagerly solicit help from and cooperate with other institutions" which
will collaborate in providing technical assistance, training and guidelines to
FSR/E programs in the developing countries. The agreement is non-specific regarding the structure of the "confederation of entities" which will work
cooperatively with UF. Therefore, one of the first tasks of the Director was
to develop the University support base which was formalized in a non-funded
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the purpose of linking support entities
(universities and private firms) to the FSSP. According to the 1984 annual report, there are 26 support entities in the base, including five consulting
Some-AID officials have indicated surprise at the large number of SEs which was decided by the Director with the assistance of the Advisory Council
but without consultation with AID/S&T. It is important to note, in this
connection, that the execution of MOA does not, by itself, give an accurate
picture of SE participation since, on the one hand they are non-funded and, on
the other, SEs may use other than FSSP funds when participating in an FSSP
At the request of the team, FSSP management supplied some rough data on the issuance of funded Purchase Orders (POs) to SEs. This was difficult to
do because the accounting system is not set up to provide aggregate data by
SEs. In the $250,000 to $302,000 bracket were, in order of magnitude:
AGRIDEC, CSU, MSU, and KSU. In the t50,OO to t249,000 bracket were, also in
order of magnitude: U. of Arizona, WSU, VPI, Development Alternatives, Inc., and U. Minn. In effect, the major recipients of FSSP funding have been two private consulting firms and approximately seven universities neither an
unwieldy nor impressive number. It appears that MOAs are used mostly as
public relations instruments rather than as the basis for programmed linkages.
At the request of the Team Leader, the S&T project manager prepared a
survey questionnaire which was sent to all SEs asking for their response to a series of statements describing their reactions, on a rough favor-to-disfavor
scale, to FSSP activities. Nineteen program Leaders and 18 Administrative
Coordinators responded. The two groups did not differ substantially in their
replies and were therefore consolidated. The questionnaires and a compilation
and analysis of replies is included as Appendix No. 4.
The support entity survey reflects the judgment of the respondents
based upon direct observation, information provided by the FSSP, and other
sources. A significant number of the respondents had no opinion regarding the
training and networking activities in foreign countries. Perceptions of the
members in the joint venture regarding the performance of the project,
however, are important regardless of the amount of direct involvement in the \ project. Although the responses in large part are self standing, some major
conclusions from the "objective" questions are evident.
A o Members of the support entity group are more favorably impressed
wii- the domestic workshop training activities than the delivery ,of training and networking activities in developing countries.
o A great deal of dissatisfaction exists regarding the lack of involvement or contribution to the support of FSSP activities. In addition, the type of involvement is not strongly correlated with original expectations as reflected by the MOA.
o Almost all institutions believe they have considerable expertise and capability in FSR/E. This finding has implications with respect to the development and delivery of future domestic workshops.
o At this point in the project, only about half of the respondents feel that the FSR/E methodologies and training support materials are appropriate. This finding warrants additional follow-up to determine the basis for this response.
o The institutional impact of participating in FSSP is mixed. A majority of the respondents feel it is beneficial; however, over one third of the respondents feel FSSP participation has not enhanced their institutional capability in farming systems.
Among the top-ranked positive features of the FSSP reported in an
open-ended question" fashion were:
o opportunity to participate in FSR/E work overseas without a long-term project (particularly for smaller universities);
- -24" opportunity to interact with FSR/E thinkers and practitioners; and
o providing a forum for synthesizing and testing key systems elements.
On the negative side, the features most reported were:
o lack of opportunity to gain overseas experience;
o start-up problems, including visible mistakes such as the slide-tape modules for training materials;
o inadequate technical inputs;
o excessive reliance on the "old-boy" network; and
o heavy on organizational structure and light on SOTA/research results.
On one point there seems to be universal agreement. The annual FSSP
conference at Kansas State has been, in the short life of this project, almost
institutionalized indicating a real need for this type of mechanism to bring
universities together in the development and use of FSR/E.
While this subject is also addressed in other parts of this report, >f\ it is important to note that there has been an undue reliance on the annual
work planning process to provide the framework for strategizing, refining or ,~, I redesigning the project and to develop priorities. Program development hs ~ been conceived by core staff as primarily an internal rather than a
collaborative or joint process with AID and FSSP collaborators. With an
evolving (hopefully ) project concept and the collaborative mode provided by a
* cooperative agreement, this has proved to be a weak reed to lean on. There
has also been little interaction with other AID centrally-funded activities of
interest, e.g.., in livestock, aquaculture and crop systems analysis.
There are indications that the Director and his Advisory Council may
be uncertain as to where the project is going, or should go, and what AID
actually wants. This is manifested by the protective tendency to rely on a
strict interpretation of the CA wording. To some extent this is
understandable given the conflicting signals sometimes coming from Washington, e.g., global v. Africa approach, support v. research. It is also reflected in
the FSSP core confusion or intransigence as to who is in charge in AID/W
despite a recent letter to the Director, dated March 12, 1985, which clearly
designates the "S&T/AGR management team" and its specific responsibilities.
Finally the extraordinary interest in this evaluation exercise by
both parties indicates a realization that serious problems exist and need
University and State Support
There is ample evidence of support of the FSSP by the University of
Florida, both directly and indirectly. In addition, U.F. also acts as an SE. There are problems, however, in applying State of Florida regulations to international and national activities, e.g., in sub-contracting, per diem rates, provision for travel advances, and late payments. Since a large number of out-of state institutions are involved, this is serious enough to warrant special attention.
From the organization and management point of view AID has had its
own share of problems beginning with, and to some extent the result of, the CA itself and an over-reliance on the annual work planning process as the mechanism for collaboration. At some point after the first year or so of operations, it could have been reasonably expected that a project redesign or definition could have been attempted. This, too, is awaiting the results of this evaluation a heavy burden for a limited and external exercise.
The relationships of the first project manager with FSSP, insofar as day-to-day activities have been concerned, have been excellent. However, for some reasons beyond his control, he has not been able to act effectively as a consensus mechanism for AID itself. The Project Committee appears to have become inoperative and "considered" regional bureau inputs based on a clear understanding of the project have been difficult to obtain.
While the PP or CA does not Aention an Africa focus, te Assistant. Administrator of S&T believes this is the raison d'etre for the FSSP. While all concerned now realize that Africa is, or will soon be, the principal if not the exclusive focus of the FSSP, signals from the Africa Bureau have been mixed, have not been adequately reviewed by mid-level management, and have not been communicated to the FSSP management core through proper S&T channels. Problems with the inter-bureau communicating process and AID's collaboration with FSSP are also exacerbated by the appearance of split responsibility within S&T, i.e., between its offices of Agriculture and Rural Development. As an example, despite the March 12, 1985 letter on new project management arrangements, a staff member from S&T/RD introduced himself to the team as the "project co-manager", and apparently he is still considered so by U.F. Perhaps S&T/AGRthought it was solving this problem when an IPA officer assumed responsibility for overall project management and direction but this does not yet appear to be the case either internally to AID, or with the FSSP and its Advisory Council, and will not be until a single officer is designated as the project manager.
A final observation on management concerns the nature of AID staff relationships in a cooperative agreement. It is unlike a contract involving specific services or products which, after negotiation, involves AID primarily in an oversight and facilitative role with the contractor responsible for implementation. Rather, in a CA, AID and the recipients become partners, throughout the entire project cycle, in a joint effort to achieve.the project purpose using an approach that requires flexibility and experimentation. This means that staff and backup resources must be available at appropriate
organizational and technical levels and in a timely manner to interact with FSSP management including its Advisory Council, Technical Committee and task groups. Staffing and funding shortages have made this difficult for AID staff to perform effectively, at least up to this time.
V. ISSUES AND CONCLUSIONS
The Team, on the basis of its analysis of performance to date and
current planning, believes that the major issues involved may be summarized as follows:
o Lack of consensus regarding the contribution of a centrallymanaged support project to FSR/E;
o Absence of a long-term strategy as the basis for joint
determination of FSSP priorities and as the basis for
o Major changes in AID policies and priorities;
o The management difficulties in this type of project and
the proper balance between core and SE participation; and,
in light of the above;
o The need to review the current relevance of the original
In this section, the report repeats or expands on the team's analyses, conclusions and suggestions on these principal issues which, in an action-oriented version,'are summarized in Section V as team recommendations.
A. Conceptualization and Synthesis of FSSP
A sense of diversity in views and approaches was a major
consideration in establishing the need for the FSSP. Why this idea emerged and what the Project has done about it is itself an interesting story.
Step back a bit and see the impressions about agricultural research over the last decade or so. Most notably, there was an impression supported by study -- of the great potential for investment in such research. Accompanying tht was a spotty record for development assistance investment in the research systems of developing countries, some enormous successes but overall an uneven record. Finally, there was an emerging impression that the research paradigms which had had such apparent success were not the most relevant for research aimed at the problems of small farmers in developing countries. Practitioners were coming forward with different ideas. Among these were a set of guidelines featuring farmer participation in research, on-farm efforts, collaborative or interdisciplinary activities, and some broadly defined problem settings. Activities with this flavor came to be called farming system research and development assistance agencies saw great potential in their application. USAID in particular invested substantially in this pursuit through bi-lateral programs and a diverse set of undertakings was
- -27soon in place. As well, there was a sense that extension and research were not coming together as they should. Somehow, it was thought, communication
among farmers, researchers and extension agents was not as it should be.
By 1980, with vocabularies coming from several disciplines and with
ends defined by a multitude of purposes, the farming system field presented
great apparent diversity. While at its core the concepts are clear and
simple, farming systems research soon encompassed virtually everything in
agriculture -- from technology generation, through markets and infrastructure,
the rural household, women's roles, to rural development and agricultural
policy. Many sought to keep technology generation, testing and diffusion at
center stage. Even so, however, there was still scope for diversity as, along one spectrum, attention varied from a commodity or enterprise emphasis all the
way to simultaneous coverage of the entire pattern of production with crops
and livestock accorded appropriate weights. Little wonder, then, that
practitioners (or managers, or apologists or interpreters) frequently talked
past one another.
USAID saw the need to bring order and coordination to their own
programs and to contribute to harmony and understanding in farming systems
research wherever it was underway. This led to the FSSB project, which was to
"foster and coordinate the many farming systems research and extension
programs (FSR/E) instituted in the last decade" (Cooperative Agreement, Page
As we understand it, FSSB was to offer two kinds of support to those
concerned with FSR/E. One went to AID missions and involved assistance with
the program cycle -- briefings, BID preparation, PP, needs assessments,
evaluation,. debriefings where farming systems was involved. The second related to the intellectual dimensions of FSRIE and involved trdining (for Title XII teams and for NARC staff), networking, and assessing the evolving
dimensions of the work itself.
What has happened with these objectives over time? First, the need
for the first kind of support has not evolved as predicted. The emphasis on
FSR/E Title XII participation has not grown as was projected. Moreover, recently USAID regional bureaus are finding advantage in having project
preparation undertaken by the same entity which will implement the project.
* These developments have led to a lower than anticipated demand for assistance
through the project cycle.
On the intellectual front, time has brought substantial change.
Impressions about what farming systems research is all about have begun to
jell. FSSP's activities (along with those of CGIAR and many other
institutions) have contributed to this. FSSB, as with a great many others,
sees such research (1) focused on technology generation and diffusion, (2) for
well defined sets of farmers, (3) involving collaborative efforts (e.g.,
biological and social scientists), (4) with significant on-farm activities,
and, (5) sensitive to the heavy influence of interactions (concurrent and
through time, biological and economic) on the decision making of small farmers
in developing countries. This last point, with the emphasis on interaction,
makes it possible to accommodate research on whole systems as well as that on
commodities or enterprises within the farming systems rubric, so long as the research is undertaken with full-awareness of the interactions, e.g., across
enterprises, into the household, and including off farm work.
These developments have forced a change in the priorities among
clients. As an example, service to overseas missions has been less than originally anticipated while networking for Title XII contractor overseas
staff is being given higher priority. These new priorities and opportunities
are described in the subsequent portions of this section.
B. Strategies, Priorities, Program Development
A Change in Approach
FSSP staff expressed to the evaluation team two approaches to the
selection and scheduling of activities, a response approach and a proactive
approach. The response approach means to inform clients of capabilities then
supply services upon request. This approach was also referred to as the
"opportunistic mode" of operations. The proactive mode implies the
formulation of a strategy for reaching a goal, the creation of an environment in which clients are likely to request services, and otherwise elicit actions
by clients that advance FSSP goals.
The FSSP has largely followed the "opportunistic" or "response"
approach until now. This, perhaps, was appropriate to the intended
o "cooperative mode" of the FSSP's design by which the project's services would be redesigned as the need becomes evident. Indeed the opportunistic approach
has been useful in the early phase of FSSP. Clients' needs and FSSP's
* comparative advantages'in services were initially unclear. The opportunistic
approach facilitated an assessment and matching of needs and capabilities.
It is a major conclusion of the evaluation team that more of FSSP's
activities should be conducted in a" proactive mode. Or in a somewhat negative context, strategic planning and priorities setting are not yet apparent in the
principle activities of FSSP. Lack of planning and strategizing is apparent
SEs structure and linkages
Some unilateral prioritization is apparent in SOTA but it is not
clear how they were set or how this relates to level and scheduling of
effort. Much more needs to be done.
Associated with the inclination of the FSSP toward a "response
approach" is an apparent emphasis on the process and dynamics thr6ugh which
FSSP actions and decisions happened rather than on the content and direction
of actions based on any strategy to achieve desired results. The evaluation team recommends the following.
o The emphasis on an African focus, while justifiable,
should not exclude the use of relevant experience in
Asia or Latin America as it may apply to Africa or limit
their access to FSSP products. Technical services to
these regions, however, should be supplied on a "buy-in"
o Identify technical problems that critically affect food
production, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa, which prospectively can be solved through a FSR/E approach.
Principle activities of FSSP should relate to those
technical issues, including networking, training, SOTA, technical assistance, and the distribution of responsiabilities to SEs. Network activities on traction power
is a step in the right direction. Additional examples of possible technical issues are: weed management in
upland system, small farm irrigation practices, dryland range management, efficient water use in arid and semiarid regions.
o The formulation of an FSSP strategy with respect to
Africa should have a problem focus and be carried out
in close collaboration with SEs, S&T, and the regional bureaus. Questions such as'whether to post core staff
in Western Africa should await the results of such a
o Program development should be defined to include the
inputs of not only the internal management of the core
FSSP team, but all collaborators including SEs, task
groups and others. Particular attention must be given
to planning how they might diverge from activities
planned under the original project design. Strategic
decisions should be consistently reflected in work plans
and annual reports.
o While it may be clear internally to the core what the
S. priorities and strategies are, it does not come through.
These must be clearly articulated in processes and
products from the various program activities.
o The Technical Committee should be immediately given the
task of performing a more active role in strategizing,
technical review, promoting access to technical resources,
and to follow up evaluation of FSSP outputs.
o AID should be recognized by FSSP management as. a full
partner in strategizing, program development, and work
planning at the purpose and output levels.
C. AID Policies and Programs in Relation to FSSP
FSSP has experienced a number of difficulties in implementation due to unresolved contradictions about AID's approach to agricultural development in Africa and elsewhere. Three of the most prominent contradictions are discussed below, and a final section draws conclusions that shed light on the question of what needs to be done over the next two years.
1. Field Support vs Research
At the time FSSP was conceptualized it was generally felt that FSSP should not do research per se but should rather provide support for field research activities. This is reflected very strongly in the PP and Cooperative Agreement. Now, however, the pendulum has swung in the direction of research and FSSP is criticized for being insufficiently involved in or linked closely to field-level work.
This is not fair to FSSP management and should not cloud our judgment of the value of what has been accomplished. There is more subtle aspect to this as well. By restricting FSSPs involvement in actual FSR/E work, the PP/Cooperative Agreement made it very difficult for FSSP to develop (SOTA), training materials and problem-oriented networks. This is because only hands-on involvement in the process of agriculture research can generate the up-to-date and well-targeted guidance and knowledge required. On the other hand, FSSP management has been slow in establishing working linkages with field researchers. FSSP has also been too slow in bringing a technical orientation to their work. However, the overriding problem was a basic flaw in projectdesign, which assumed that SOTA field support could be provided independently of hands-on involvement in agriculture research.
2. FSR/E vs Commodity Work
Within the Agency there is considerable ambivalence and lack of
clarity regarding what FSR/E is and what it should do, particularly regarding the relationship between FSR/E and commodity research. People's different and often partial conceptions led to conflicting expectations regarding FSSP. All this might have been resolved had more time been spent putting together the project paper, but this process was rushed. FSSP was left to generate a definition of FSR that would suit various actors in AID, and the FSR/E community, an obviously impossible task. Now, however, at least with regard to Africa, an-Kgency consensus on the role of FSR/E has been achieved, FSSP should carefully review the Plan for Supporting Agricultural Research and Facilities of Agriculture in Africa, and discuss the implications with those in S&T and AFR who share responsibility for guiding the evolution of FSSP. In the meantime, however, FSSP should not be regarded with disapproval for having failed to develop a definition of FSR/E that would satisfy everyone in AID and outside as well.
3. Networks and Networking
As with the concept of FSR/E, there has been considerable uncertainty and disagreement regarding the role of "networks" in agricultural. development. FSSP management has chose, perhaps inevitably given their lack
of involvement in on-going research programs, to concentrate on simply facilitating the exchange of views and experience in the realm of FSR/E broadly defined. At the same time, there has been within AID a growing conviction that the "network" concept should have the following- basic attributes: (a) be organized around the definition and resolution of particular technical issues or problems arising in agricultural research; and
(b) facilitate the exchange of genetic material and trial results on a regional basis among cooperating scientists when joint activities complement and support one another. This understanding had not been concisely stated until publication of the Plan referred to above, and it has not yet been effectively communicated to FSSP management. Thus their networking activities are viewed with some disfavor due to the general lack of technical content; but until recently it was not all that clear what AID expected of a network and in any case FSSPs "support" role makes it difficult for them to take any sort of technical leadership role in supporting network development. There are a range of possible solutions, including careful discussions with S&T and AFR of the networking guidelines contained in the Plan (which represents an AID concensus on this point); more careful attention to ensuring that technical issues guide the development of future networking activities; and a general withdrawal from the "sensitization" type of FSR workshops.
This evaluation has identified some significant issues in communication between AID and FSS"P management with regard to implications for the future shape of FSSP programs, particularly in Africa. The one-week exercise, however, does not provide sufficient scope to wholly resolve these issues and arrive at definitive, viable, and pragmatic conclusions. It is not possible for an external group to say at this point exactly what .FSSP should do to meet emerging AID interests in research as opposed to program support. It is not clear to us how a project directly focused on FSR/E can effectively address the commodity tie-in; given FSSP distance from national programs and IARC's. It is difficult to state how they can best help support networks; and there is insufficient information available to judge how best the focus can be sustained and increased. For these reasons it would be prudent to defer major decisions on re-orientation of FSSP and the nature of the Africa program in particular until early 1986, prior to which AFR, S&T, and FSSP would have participated in a joint strategy review leading to a respecification or redesign of the Cooperative Agreement which would have taken into consideration the recommendations included in this report.
D. Management of FSSP
The management of a complex project of this nature, (i.e., an
innovative effort in an evolving interdisciplinary systems approach to on-farm management involving a large number of competitive universities and discilines with differing perceptions and needs) is bound to be difficult and challenging for it is breaking new ground. In a cooperative agreement, management control is shared and even diluted further when there is a lack of an operational consensus as to the purpose of the project and .the approach to be taken among the principal FSSP players, including AID. These problems, some already identified under "performance", are reiterated belov along with the teams' suggestions of what might be done. The team wishes at the outset,
however, to make clear that in its view, all the parties have been making significant and honest efforts to improve the management of this project in order to assure its success. In many cases, the problems are due to resource and other constraints beyond the control of the participants. The pressure to get started and show results has sometimes affected their quality and relevance. Some critical assumptions made at the beginning of the project, e.g. a projection of USAID field demand for project-cycle support in FSR/E, have not the been validated. In hindsight, it is easy to find fault. This is not the intention here. Rather it is to provide the rationale for considering immediate steps which can be taken to improve the management of the FSSP within the context of the other findings, conclusions and recommendations included in this report.
The Director of the FSSP, under difficult circumstances, has done a good job in: (i) mollifying most of the universities who originally competed for the "lead" role; (ii) separating FSSP core management from the University of Florida; and, in the process (iii) gaining acceptance from the FSR/E community in general. The ability of the Director and his core staff to work effectively with AID, however, is subject to some qualification regarding timing and sensitivity to AID needs, complicated by problems within AID itself.
While an elaborate organizational plan has been developed covering the purpose and role (operational guidelines) for the FSSP, including its mandate, organization, and procedures, the university support base, etc., it is often more structural and procedural and lacking a programmatic rationale.
This is particularly serious in the case of the role and functions of the core management staff vis-a-vis the SEs, including the Technical Committee and its task groups.
While sincere recruitment efforts were undertaken, because of the
lack of tenure-track positions and other reasons, most of the core staff are young social scientists and there is an absence of adequate biological-scientific input. Under pressure to produce, through trial-by-errorf necessary, the staff has become too involved in delivering per se.but without the cohesive framework of a high level of USAID mission demands or overall strategy. Quality and relevance of results have suffered thereby and appear ad hoc in nature. Given the nature and history of the project, perhaps this development was inevitable and improvements are being made! In the team's view, however, they are not sufficient and require, inter alia, a clarification of the core's role vis-a-vis AID, SEs and task groups which takes into account the expectation of continual funding limitations. In short, core staff should become more involved in planning and facilitative effort while "delegating" more implementing responsibilities to selected SEs and providing support to them through backstopping services and supplemental funding.
The University Private Sector Base
Land-grant universities and five private consulting firms, all U.S., make up the FSSP base. Twenty-one universities have signed MOA's and, together, they thereby become "support entities". The lion's share of FSSP funds, however, have flowed to two private firms and seven universities.
The SEs are the primary source of members serving on the FSSP
Advisory Council, the Technical Committee, and the two or three task groups established to date. The team was not able to ascertain the policy and criteria for the number of entities selected and the reason thereof except a willingness to sign an MOA and expand the'base.
The Advisory Council appears to be functioning in a useful manner as a small advisory group to the Director and a buffer to both the university base and AID. It has not, however, been of much use to date in helping him to strategize, at least on a more formalized and long-range basis, or in putting life into the Technical Committee. The team sees the Technical Committee, which has had a marginal impact to date, as the mechanism or the means to add substance and interdisciplinary technical input to the core management function and as a means to more effective technical and problem-oriented participation of the SEs and others, including AID, in FSSP activities. More use of problem-oriented task forces seems called for under the leadership of a specific SE, with core support not leadership. AID staff, not just confined to the S&T project management team, also needs to be involved at the working/technical levels with field participation when feasible; The absence of such involvement, and the possible negative consequences, is particularly noteworthy in connection with the Evaluation Task Force.
There are similar problems evident on the AID side. From an
organizational point of view, they are not helped by the preceived split in project management responsibilities both within S&T/AGR and between S&T/AGR and S&T/RD. It is in the process of being exacerbated further as the focus shifts to Africa. Despite recent attempts to clarify matters, the FSSP Director acts confused as to who is calling the signals in AID and at what level. Since these signals have sometimes been contradictory, he takes refuge in a literal interpretation of the CA, a position which is not conducive to eventual proje ; effectiveness and success. For the time being, at least, senior-management in the S&T (and perhaps the Africa Bureau) must provide more guidance to the APMT staff, allocate the resources necessary to operate in a collaborative and joint manner, ensure that the intra-agency consensus process is working, and closely monitor progress over the next 12 months. While it is desirable that many bureaus and offices of AID are involved in implementation through participation in the Technical Committee and working groups, for strategizing, program development and work planning, a unified AID front must be maintained through S&T's Office of Agriculture.
At this point, the team wishes to note that the collaborative mode involving joint decision-making, as usually envisioned in a CA, while often indispensable is also a difficult mode for AID and S&T in particular, given its multitude of goals, programs and clients combined with continuing staffing
and support constraints. It is particularly severe when a centrally managed project involves a number of technical disciplines and combines research and similar activities with technical assistance and support of field activities. When the basic approach and the expected results are unclear, it puts even a greater responsibility on AID staff who may not have the time, inclination and/or capability or background to contribute to the process. In extending this project or entering into new CA's, these facts of life need to be considered by AID programmers and managers.
2. Management Processes
The report repeatedly points out the need for a new project framework which, as the result of experience to date, should provide a verification or revision of the original project logic, i.e., project purpose and-approach, including a rationalization of research and support, the establishment of desired end results/project activities (outputs), critical assumptions, and performance and EOPS indicators. This redesign should be the result of a strategizing process which involves AID, FSSP core management, and representation from the Advisory Council anad Technical Committee in a joint exercise. It is evident that the annual work planning process with its short-term and activity orientation has not and cannot provide the raison d'etre which appears missing in the eyes of some important officials within AID and the Title XII community. Such a redesign, and its acceptance by the major players, must be a pre-condition 'for any .consideration of extension of the FSSP.'
During this process, the issue concerning the role of the core
management vis-a-vis the APMT, the SEs, Technical Committee, and expanded use of problem-oriented task groups, must be considered. The potential and desired interface with other AID/S&T projects should also be reviewed.- The global vs regional focus of the project and its ramifications must also be resolved as quickly as possible. On the basis of this redesign, a work plan should be developed for the remainder of the project emphasizing, as suggested elsewhere, SOTA/synthesis, development of priority training modules, and networking/support activities, with new starts postponed until the justification for an extension is clearer.
The team was impressed and a bit concerned with the role both parties were granting to the Evaluation Team regarding these issues. While it is hoped and expected that our analyses and suggestions will help in arriving at critical project management decisions, these issues must be resolved by the 1. partners"~ themselves, i.e., UF/FSSP and AID, in a joint, collaborative and continuous fashion.
Reporting and Accounting
One of the advantages of a redesign as suggested above is that it can provide the basis for improved reporting on progress involving pre-determined results using milestone events even when qualification is not feasible. An annual report of the plans, activities, and accomplishments of the Advisory Council and Technical Committee would also be useful, combined with a
similar report on the annual FSSP conference. Rather than requiring quarterly reports, per se, progress reports by various task groups might be more useful in the future and mare feedback on the effectiveness and impact of field activities. There also should be more reporting on how FSSP is impacting, directly and indirectly, on the U.S. FSR/E community.
In addition, accounting data could be adjusted or repackaged to
provide more programmatic information, e.g., the amount of funds transferred to individual SEs and task groups and the results obtained and the cost of producing major products such as training modules and manual. This would help in making more rational choices from program alternatives and choosing the most cost-effective outputs. The need for both a work plan, based on an output concept, and an implementation plan appears redundant.
As both a management tool and networking device for the FSSP, the annual KSU symposium has been widely recognized as very useful and valuable and should be continued. The process of using the annual symposium to involve SEs in planning and decision-making should be continued and strengthened, including more effective AID participation.
State of Florida
Finally, it has been noted that the regulations of the State of
Florida regarding contracting, travel costs and advances, etc., are not always comparative with a project which has a nationwide and international dimension. This problem has been faced and solved by other universities in similar circumstances. Solutions range from special legislation granting exemptions to establishing "institutes" with special authorities. If the University of Florida wishes to continue its role as sponsor for the FSSP, i.e., as the "lead" university, and enter into similar arrangements in other subject-matter areas, the team believes that the University should initiate action with its legislative committee to seek a satisfactory and immediate solution.
Telimited time available to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of this project precluded an in-depth investigation regarding specific activities, e.g., views of officials who received training, discussions with individual SEs, or any assessment of field activities. For these reasons, it is believed that some follow-up evaluation on specific topics, particularly those of interest to the Africa Bureau, should be undertaken by qualified consultant(s) in collaboration with AID staff.
4. Specific Recommendations
Management of FSSP
a The core management staff should be reduced in size and become
more involved in planning, coordinating and facilitative effort
while transferring more implementation/delivery responsibilities
to selected SEs and task groups, providing support through liaison and backstopping services and allocating FSSP seed
and/or supplemental funding.
0 Greater recognition needs to be given by FSSP management and
core staff to the "partnership" role of AID in this cooperative
venture. As part of an effort to increase the relationship
between FSSP and AID, there should be at least ex-officio AID representation on the Advisory Council (outside of the APMT),
formal representation of the APMT on the Technical Committee, an
increased AID participation in task groups.
o The Advisory Council should assist the Director of FSSP in the
further elaboration of the FSSP -FSR/E approach and in
multi-year strategizing with assistance from the Technical
o The Technical Committee should be revitalized, with help from
FSSP core staff and the APMT, to serve as the mechanism for (i) supplementing and expanding the technical and interdisciplinary
base necessary to carry out basic functions; (ii) to serve as the nexus between the core and SEs in problem-oriented FSR/E
0 In pursing the above, greater use Eaould be made of SEs and
others, through problem-oriented ta3k groups, lead by selected
SEs and with core support. AID sta:if participation at the
working level should be encouraged and facilitated.
0 Senior management in S&T, and in the Africa Bureau if a regional
focus is decreed, sholild provide clearer guidelines to the APMT,
ensure that an effective intra-agency consensus process is
working, allocate the necessary priority and resources (time and
travel funds) necessary to operate in a collaborative and
partnership mode, and closely monitor progress over the next 12
months-particularly the implementation of recommendations in
this report which are acceptable to them.
o A unified agency project management responsibility should be
maintained in one office, viz, S&T/AGR. This should be made
-abundantly clear to the Director of FSSP, including those
problems or subjects in which higher-level participation may be
o An exercise should be initiated as soon as possible to attempt
the formulation of at least a preliminary, multi-year
strategizing process which will provide the basis for the
revision of the project logical framework (design)
including a verification or change in project purpose and
rationalization of the research (SOTA/synthesis and methodology) versus project-cycle support focus;
selection of regional (Africa) v. global scope, or some reasonable combination of both;
resolution of the role (including size and composition) of core management vis-a-vis the SEs;
determining desired interface with other AID centrally and field managed (i.e., bilateral contracts) projects; and within the context of these actions;
redefining the major project design elements, i.e., clearer statements of project purpose and approach, specification of desired end-results (major outputs) of project activities, explicit statements of critical assumptions and provision of performance and B0PS indicators.
o Based on the results of the above recommended joint
strategizing, rationalization and programming exercises, develop
an output-oriented work plan for the remainder of the current
project life, limited to SOTA/synthesis, development of priority
training modules and problem-oriented networking and support
o Also deriving from the steps suggested above is an improved and
more useful reporting system for management purposes, which,
inter alia, would:
focus on progress (through use of milestone events) in producing major results and problems encountered;
provide more information on the plans, activities, and achievements of the Advisory Council, Technical Committee, SE, and the task groups;
provide a feedback on the effectiveness and impact of field activities;
S present highlights on the impact of FSSP in involving the SEs, in particular, and the US FSR/E community in general; and
discuss the results of the KSU-FSR/E symposium and plans for the next one.
Budget and fiscal data should be repackaged to provide more programmatic information, for example:
the purpose, cost and results of FSSP activities carried out by
SEs, task groups, core staff and others; and
Ar -38actual and/or projected costs to produce major products such as, training modules, management manuals, evaluation methodology;
" High level representation to the appropriate authorities of the State
of Florida should be made by the University of Florida for
appropriate relief from State contracting and similar regulations
which impede FSSP activities involving a nationwide as well as
international dimension; and
" Finally, that necessary changes in budget categories and increased
allocations be made for the high transaction costs involved in a
cooperative agreement of this nature.
E. Relevance of Existing Project Design
After two and one half years of project implementation, it is timely
to access the relevance of the project design as envisioned by those who wrote
the project document, and how this was translated into the Cooperative
Agreement. This must then be evaluated in light of the above analysis of the
project, and how the perceived needs have changed during the interim.
Programs and needs evolve, as do the perceptions of what farming
systems is or can be for projects and for the farmer. This evolving
understanding of concepts and ways to implement them need to be reflected in
the types of specific plans and their implementation in the field. This project is a "support project", and the types of support to AID missions, bilateral contractors, and national programs has changed as the FSSP has
attempted to provide specific types of services over the past two years. Some
activities have generated interest and response, while others have not s
is the framework within which.we analyze the current relevance of project
The evolving needs for support in farming systems were envisioned by
AID in their choice of the cooperative agreement mechanism instead of a
contract for this project. This meant that a regular dialog hopefully would
occur between project management and AID to assure that the project is
developed in concert with the needs of the agency and other clients. In the
absence of other mechanisms, the annual work plan has turned out to be the
main instrument around which this dialog occurs. There has been a relatively
long and cumbersome process surrounding the preparation and negotiations of
this plan, witbothe recipient expressing concern about the-length of time
needed-to get it accepted by AID", the lack of direct involvement by
appropriate" level administrators, and the resources and time invested in
rewrites and additional trips to Washington. AID expresses concern about the
recipient ignoring or not seriously incorporating its suggestions and the poor
quality of its proposals. Clearly, there is a need to streamline and clarify
this approach, although the choice of a cooperative agreement mode still
appears to be the appropriate one to maintain the relevance of the project
approach from year to year.
Several shifts in emphasis in project design are regarded as critical
by the evaluation team as already proposed. A major objective is-to improve the capabilities of intermediaries those who cause things to happen on the
farm. Any redesign must consider a reappraisal of the purpose of the project, deciding what the project will produce as a measurable output, and how this may be evaluated. Recommendation to this effect are included in this report.
Any project design must reflect the fact that the most important level of networking is within developing countries. Networking is needed among bilateral contractors, among CELSPs, among IARCs, among national programs, and linking all these entities when appropriate with each other and with USAID mission people and projects. This is an important support function which should receive major importance in future strategies. Both networking and training should emerge from any project redesign with a strong problem focus..
Comparative analysis of experiences and synthesis of lessons learned as specified in the Cooperative Agreement is a worthwhile activity, and one specific project in cooperation with the Population Council with partial support from outside (Ford Foundation) is under way. This should be encouraged, with a minimum investment from core funding. The center at KSU also provides a resource for projects in the US and other countries. This is not synthesis, but the use of these materials and the continued publication of key papers by experts in the area of farming systems (networking papers) can help to move this process along. This is not a high-cost item, 'and should be continued.
The documentation center at IZU has done an outstanding job of bringing relevant materials together, cataloguing them, and making this resource available to people throughout the world who are interested in farming systems. This activity should definitely continue and remain a part of the project design. The evaluation team views this activity as an excellent prototype for contracting specific projects to 'institutions in the supporting entity group.
State-of-the-art research was envisioned as a part of the original project design. This has not received high priority in the FSSP, although many individuals associated with the project have carried out research under other sources of funding and their reports often are found in newsletters, papers, the ESU symposium, and in specific project implementation papers or reports. The case study project is a good example of attracting outside support to synthesize information and provide this to people interested in farming systems research and extension.
The balanced use of funds for SOTA, training, and networking is important for the project, and determining this balance on the basis of a central strategy is a function of the design considerations each year when developing the annual work plan.
In summary, the project design needs to be an evolving activity which takes into account past experience in the project and elsewhere, the current thinking in AID, in the central bureau and in missions, and the current ability of the contractor and supporting entities to deliver. This process needs to work more efficiently than it has in the first two years of the project, and every effort should be made to keep the project relevant to current needs of client groups, the thinking of AID, and growing capacities of the project and the supporting entities.
The previous narrative has included many explicit and implied recommendations which are "actionable", i.e., if approved by the parties to the FSSP Cooperative Agreement, action may be taken to implement them or initiate follow-up actions. They are compiled and consolidated below to facilitate review.
. Provide future technical assistance to non-Africa regions through
2. Handle bio-data services on a more-cost effective and comprehensive
basis, e.g., merge with WI system and add additional "identifiers".
3. Include AID evaluation community participation in the Evaluation Task
4. Distribute current version of draft FSR/E project handbook in
loose-leaf form. Do not allocate additional resources or staff time
to this or similar activities of this type.
5. A careful review of documentation efforts should be undertaken by
FSSP management, in collaboration with the APMT, to reduce
considerably the number, conserve core funding and prioritize staff
6. Annotation services now provided by AID/PPC/CDIE should be done by
FSSP, through an SE. S&T should address this problem as soon as
7. Continue KSU publication of key papers and its documentation center
8. Continue support of annual KSU-FSR/E symposium.
9. FSSP management, on a priority basis, should address the identified
weaknesses in current training methodology and materials particularly for content relevance to Africa-by drawing on the technical
resources of SEs and others actively engaged in FSR/E related
10. Develop an overall training strategy which, inter alia:
o withdraws from "sensitizing" type workshops;
o emphasizes international training workshops with specific focus
on priority African agricultural problems;
0 concentrates on development and refinement of priority training
modules using the technical resources of the entire SE network
and other institutions and individuals with unique capabilities;
0 re-thinks miscellaneous training activities and reduces level of
11. A specific plan for SOTA activities leading to a useful synthesis of
experience in a small number of priority areas should be formulated
in collaboration with AID, which will include an identification of
resources and (at least preliminary) assignment of responsibilities
12. This plan should include a strategy statement which defines what
SOTA/synthesis activities involve within the FSR/E framework, who are
the target users or clients for its products and for what purpose, and where this program is headed, both in the short and long-term
13. As methodological and conceptual issues are resolved, SOTA activities
should shift to technical issues of relevance to developing countries
where FSSP-associated projects are conducted.
14. Encourage joint efforts involving outside support (e.g., Population
15. As in training and SOTA, and in collaboration with AID and the SEs,
FSSP management should establish an overall strategy for networking
activities in FSR/E, which includes:
o concentrating on problem and technical-oriented networking
-ectivities within the developing countries;
o the results of a careful review of the AID/AFR "Plan for
Supporting Agricultural Research and Facilities of Agriculture in Africa", particularly in relation to a problem and commodity
o continue networking activities at the current level but in
support of existing viable networks.
Program Development and Project Redesign
16. As mentioned in several categories above, there is an urgent need to
relate the principal activities of FSSP, i.e., networking,
SOTA/synthesis, training and technical assistance to technical
problems critically affecting food production, particularly in Africa. FSSP management, in collaboration with S&T, AFR, the Advisory Council and the Technical Committee, after review of the conclusions and recommendations in this report, should embark as soon as possible on a strategizing process leading to a project redesign in early 1986 for the remainder of the existing agreement. This redesign and/or respecification should include:
o revision of the logical framework, including a verification or
change in the project purpose and approach;
o rationalization of the research (SOTA/synthesis and methodology)
versus project-cycle support focus;
o selection of regional (Africa) v. global scope, or some
reasonable combination of both;
o resolution of the role of core management vis-a-vis the APMT and
the SEs; and
o determining desired interface with other AID centrally and
17. Within the context of the above actions, redefine the major project
design elements, i.e., develop clearer statements of project purpose and approach, specification of desired end-results (major outputs) of
FSSP activities, explicit statements of critical assumptions, and
provision of performance and EOPS indicators.
18. Based on the results of this collaborative strategizing and planning
exercise, an output-oriented work plan should be jointly developed
for the remainder of the current agreement term, limited to SOTA/synthesis, development of related training modules, and
problem-oriented networking and support activities.
19. A special review should take place within the next 12 months to
assess the results of this strategizing and planning and its impact
on performance, including the quality and relevance of activities,
for the purpose of recommending extension or phase-out of the project.
20. The cokllaborative strategizing and program development process should
began annual and evolving one, needed to keep FSSP activities
sensitive and relevant to the current needs of client groups, the
thinking of AID, and the growing capacities of the SEs.
21. Core management staff should be reduced in size with a change in
duties to involve more planning, coordinating and facilitative effort
while transferring implementation/delivery responsibilities to
selected SEs and task groups, providing support to them through
liaison and backstopping services, and allocating FSSP seed and/or
22. Greater recognition needs to be given by FSSP management and core
staff to the "partnership" role of AID in this cooperative venture.
As part of an effort to increase the desired and necessary
collaborative relationship, there should be ex-officio AID policy
level representation on Advisory Council and formal APMT representation on the Technical Committee.
23. The Advisory Council should assist the Director of FSSP in further
elaboration of the FSSP/FSR/E approach and in multi-year strategizing.
24. The Technical Committee should be revitalized, with help from core
staff and the APMT, to serve as the mechanism for (a) supplementing
and expanding the interdisciplinary base necessary to carry out basic
functions, (b) to serve as the nexus between the core, AID, and SEs
on technical matters, and (c) to accelerate the more effective use of
SEs in problem-oriented FSR/E activities.
25. In pursuing the above, greater use should be made of SEs and others,
through problem or technically oriented task groups, led by selected SEs with core support. AID staff participation at the working level
should be encouraged and facilitated.
26. Senior management in S&T, and in AFR if a regional focus is decreed,
should provide clearer guidelines to the APMT, ensure that an
effective intra-agency consensus process is working, allocate the
necessary priority and resources (time and travel funds) necessary to operate in a collaborative and partnership mode, and closely monitor progress over the next 12 months--particularly the implementation of
recommendations in this report which are acceptable to them.
27. Unified agency project management responsibility should be maintained
in one office, viz, S&T/AGR and with one, and only one, project
manager through which all communications to and from FSSP must pass.
This should be made abundantly clear to the Director of FSSP and core
staff, including those problems or subjects in which higher level
agency management participation may be appropriate.
28. Deriving from the steps recommended for strategizing and program
development, an improved and more useful reporting system for
management purposes should be installed which would, inter alia:
o focus on progress (through use of milestone events) in producing
major results and solving problems encountered;
o provide more information on the plans, activities and
achievements of the Advisory Council, Technical Committee,
Support Entities and task groups;
o provide feedback on the impact of FSSP in involving the SEs in
particular, and the US FSR/E community in general; and
0 discuss the results of the annual ESU-FSR/E symposium and plans
for the next one.
29. Budget and fiscal data should be repackaged to provide more
programmatic information, e.g.:
" the purpose, cost and results of FSSP activities carried out by
SEs task groups, core staff and others; and
o actual and/or projected costs to produce major products such as
training modules, management manuals, evaluation methodology.
30. High level representation to the appropriate authorities of the State
of Florida should be made by theUniversity of Florida for
appropriate relief from State contracting and similar regulations
which impede FSSP activities involving a nationwide as well as
31. Necessary changes in budget categories and allocations should be made
to cover the high transaction costs involved in a cooperative
agreement of this nature and to implement these recommendations.
45 Annex 1
F'SP ElALULTION GID=-INES A-D ISSUES
I. Review the project objectives and purpose, as developed by the
concept papers, PID, PP, log frame and contractual do,ments, as well
as the subsequent workplans. Deterine the degree to ihich the
current interpretation of this objective by the principal
participants in the "Fa=ming Systems SuppDort Project" is consistent
with AID policy and strategy for the technology generation and
transfer process, and the present day "state-of-the-art" in the field of farming systems, as viewed by evaluation team members. Recommend
new directions if warranted.
II. One purpose of the cooperative agreement is to develop, strengthen*
and expand the capacity oz the recipient and collaborating
institutions to provide technical assistance, training and guidance
to kR/E programs in developing countries. The recipient institution
is to function as tne lead entity and act as coordinator of the
ir=uts from collaborating institutions with similar interests in
i. ~ave support entity" s -- '-y c n_'ut_=d in this
2. What factors ~fluence participation levels among support
3. Is there an optimum number and mix of support entities?
Source of information for review of this issue would include (1)
emrandum of Agreement with the support entities, (2) the value of
staff time spent in training, technical assistance and state-of-the-art
research and synthesis activities, and participation in foreign and
domes tic workshops, and (3) other stuary statistics from the Support
II. A 1vrxing definite ion of the FSSP is to develop the indigenous human
resource capacity to assess the constraints to agricultural
production, identify potential interventions for overcoming such
constraints in existing faing systems, and generating and testing the effectiveness of alternative approaches to achieve these goals.
?ow has the project addressed these issues and how are they
proceeding to implement this task? Is this effort adequate and
properly designed for achieving t-is goal?
IV. A number of methodological issues warrant consideration. FSR/E
authorities (Referenced by Shaner, et. al.) state that the FSk/E
approach views the farm systems as a wuiole and focuses on the
interpendencies between the cc=oonents under the control of farm
household members and how these cceonents interact with he physical,
biological, institutional, political and eccncmic factors not under
1. Have project activities demonstrated agreement with this
statement and a thorough understanding of its im plications?
2. The whole-farm approach means that total farm resources must be analyzed in a way which allocates these resources to the most
productive activities in terms of farmer and country welfare
objectives. When total farm resource use .and allocation issues
are addressed, constraints to production can be significantly different from those assumed with single enterprise analysis.
In addition, the whole farm analysis can give valuable input
into identifying agricultural comparative advantages and
associated constraint identification can feed back to policy
makers dealing with prioritizing the research/extension agenda.
Does the project explicitly deal with this issue, and in
general, have the methodologies for analyzing the economics of
farming systems been developed to an equal level of .adequacy and
competency as the agronomic trials worK?
3. There are several methodologies which could be employed for
each stage in tne FSK/E development process. Has the project
reviewed these methodologies to determine the comparative
advantages of each witi regard to their most favorable context, and imparted the notion of choice of methodologies according to
different environments in the project's training and networking
Reference documents: Louise Fresco's comparison of anglaphone/
francophone FSR/t approaches and FSSP networking paper, 115.
V. Is a redirection of FSSP indicated by reduced funding levels and
increased attention to Africa?
1. Ave tools (newsletters, networking, training activities,
Setc.) consistent with "new needs"?
L. Assess the role, assignment, and location of core staff.
Can FSSP effectively carry out programatic thrusts when limited
to one geographic focus?
FSSP SUMMARY MEMOS PREPARED FOR EVALUATION TEAM, JUNE 1985
FSSP SUMMARY MEMOS
Accomplishments to June 1985............. ........... ................ 3
FSSP Evaluation Issues..............................................5
Publications, progress, and plans, 1985..............................6
Visitor's Program..** *****.**************************************9
Domestic Workshops............*.*.....** ...******************. 10
Evaluation Task Force Activity Statement, 1984-85 ...................12
Biodata Searches, Jan to June 1985... .................................. 14
FSSP Training Program.......... ......................................15
Program Development Statement, 1985.......................... ...... 17
State of the Art.............. ...................................19
FSSP/Population Council FSR/E Case Studies Project................21
Project Activities in Latin America and the Caribbean................28
1985 Activity Calend-r for Latin America and the Caribbean...........30
Asia Policy Development and Strategy Statement, 1984-85.............31
FSSP Africa Policy and 1985 Activities.............................34
Index of items for the FSSP Evaluation.... -........o......... ...37
Memo to Dr.Bertrand regarding FSSP West Africa Support......1........39
Africa Budget... ........... ** *...** ...* .... .... ............. .43
FSSP Budget ... ................. .................. *. ... *44
Base Support Budget in Africa...... ................ ....... .45
FSSP Budget and Release....................... ............. 46
Agenda for the FSSP External Evaluation June 26 to June 28, 1985
Evaluation Team: Project Managers:
Raymond Kitchell, Leader Don Osburn
Chuck Francis Wendell Morse
Wednesday June 26, 1985 8:00 8:05 Discuss agenda
8:05 8:40 Project Background Chris Andrew, Pete Hildebrand
1. Why FSR/E
2. Why FSSP
3. Organization and structure for FSSP delivery
4. Background, status and future
8:40 9:00 Discussion
9:00 10:00 Evaluation Issues & recam endations for considerationRaymond Kitchell, Chris Andrew
10:00 10:15 BREAK
10:15 12:00 Presentations 10:15 10:25 1. Networking Susan Poats a. Worldwide linkages b. Domestic programs 10:25 10:30 Clarification
10:30 10:40 2. Technical Assistance- Dan Galt a. Evaluation Task Force b. Handbook
-c. Biodata Lisette Walecka 10:40 10:45 Clarification
10:45 10:55 3. Training- Jim Jones a. Training for trainers b. Training Unit Developmemt- Lisette Walecka c. Delivery
10:55 11:00 Clarification
11:00 11:10 4. Program Development- Dan Galt 11:10 11:15 Clarification
11:15 11:25 5. State of the Art- Dan Galt a. Farming System Case Studies 1. For Training- Susan Poats
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85)
2. Other Uses- Dan Galt b. Minimum Data Set
c. Contributions to Methodology- Pete Hildebrand 11:25- 12:00 Discussion
12:00 1:15 LUNCH with K.R. Tefertiller, Vice President for Agricultural
1:15 -2:15 Regional Presentations 1:15 1:25 1. Latin America Jim Jones 1:25 1:35 2. Asia/ Near East Dan Galt 1:35 1:55 3. Africa Susan Poats 1:55 2:15 General Discussion 2:15 3:00 TEAM BREAK 3:00 4:00 Individual meeting with Susan Poats 4:00 5:00 Individual meeting with Dan Galt
DINNER (no prearrangements made, left to discretion of team) Thursday June 27, 1985
8:00 9:00 Individual meeting with Jim Jones 9:00 10:00 Individual meeting with Lisette Walecka 10:00 11:00 TEAM BREAK 11:00 12:00 Individual meeting with Chris Andrew 12:00 1:15 LUNCH with Hugh Poponoe, Director, International Programs,
1:15 2:15 UF Program Support meeting- Peter Hildebrand, Hunt Davis,
Director, Center for African Studies
2:15 2:45 jF Administrative Support meeting- Judy Meline 2:45 3:15 TEAM BREAK 3:15 -.5:00 Communication with SE's (here or on telephone)
Interact on-call with FSSP Core or Administrative staff
DINNER (no prearrangements made, left to discretion of team) Friday June 28, 1985
8:00 3:00 TEAM WORKING TINE 3:00 4:00 Summary Comments- Team and FSSP
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 2
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON: ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO JUNE 1985 Countries Involved
AID Needs Tech. Training Net- Countries
Mission Assessment Assistance work- benefited
Africa 18 7 17 9 17 29
Latin Am 10 5 10 9 3 15
Asia/NE 7 4 4 2 2 7
Total 34 16 31 20 22 49
Visitors Days Countries Person-Days
FSSP 186 267 37 1360
IP 34 104 17 449
Participants in Short Courses, Workshops and Exchanges
'Latin America 345
US/Domestic Workshops 307
Universities with FS Courses 9
current FS Minors at UF 7 PhD 8 Masters
graduated FS Minors at UF 8 Masters 1 PhD
FS assistantships UF 4
1985 Applicants for FS/UF Assist. 73
FSSP Suunary Memos (06/85) 3
Newsletter US International Total
English 1616 1601 3217
Spanish 7 896 903
French 30 495 525
TOTAL 1653 2992 4645
Support Entities 21 Universities 690 Program Assoc.
Collaborating Institutions 10 Universities
IARC' s 7
Regional Centers 8
Pop. Council World Bank
East West Center
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 4
1. Program and Fiscal Planning
Annual planning and implementation are hampered by limited, divergent and delayed information from the
agency concerning funding and program emphasis.
2. West Africa Base
Enphasis on location of core in W. Africa calls for
decisions among priorities (Asia, Africa, Program
Development), short and long range program support, and
within region priorities.
3. Support Entity Involvements
Concern with adjustments in the overall FSSP structure
generally but specifically related to program
associates/bio data management, SE project
participation, the role of the Technical Coamittee and concern for strengthening the university support base.
4. Short and Long Term FSSP Priorities
Management calls for decisions relative to short term
demand/ workload/ organization and emphasis to be placed
in systematic activities such as domestic workshops,
visitors, bio data maintenance and management, bilateral
networks, newsletters, documentation center etc.
5. Backstop Support to FSSP through UF by the State of Florida
FSSP stresses standard administrative and fiscal
procedures of any IP or state structure yet facilitative
support through adaptation of state regulations is
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 5
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
PUBLICATIONS, PROGRESS AND PLANS, 1985
1) FSSP Newsletter: two issues of the FSSP Newsletter have been published and distributed (Vol. Three, Nos. One and Two). French and Spanish versions of No. Two are presently at the printers, scheduled for completion and distribution this week.
Two additional issues are planned for this year, maintaining a
quarterly distribution. At a quarterly issue frequency by the end of 1987 nineteen issues will have been published (the log frame calls for 18 in the life of the project). Special issues could be published in addition, and may, if project activities warrant doing so.
Present distribution is approximately 3600 English, 1000 Spanish, and 600 French (for newsletter distribution information see information appendix to the 1984 Annual Report). FSSP log frame calls fram distribution of 1000 newsletters; present distribution of approximately 5,000 has levelled-off. List maintenance continues on a weekly basis and is expected to be fully canputerized this quarter (IFAS Mailing and Distribution Services are in the process of upgrading their equipment and capability.
In canpliance with the statutes of the State of Florida and in the
interest of maintaining a "qualified" distribution for the newsletter, a purge will take .place beginning in the Fourth quarter of this year. This will also provide an opportunity to proffer a survey of readership, the general analysis of which may be published in the newsletter. The survey instrument has not yet been designed and could benefit greatly fram core staff input.
2. Networking Papers: Six issues of this series have been distributed to date; five of these were distributed in 1985. The present committee of Susan Poats, Dan Galt and Steve Kearl is responsible for selection of items for inclusion in this series. The committee was set up to rotate membership among core staff and is due for new members in the Fourth quarter of this year. While there is no specific, budget for Networking Papers, the series was initiated to meet a perceived need of field practitioners in employing a sounding board for peer review of their farming systems activities. (For a definition of purpose or intended use
of this series see the introduction to Networking Paper #1 or the introduction in any issue of this series).
3. On Demand and On Networking: These network newsletters were initiated in 1984 to inforn recipients of anticipated demand for services, news, and upcoming program activities. Distribution is to nearly 600 program associates and includes the Technical Ccamittee, Advisory Council, Core Staff and AID/Washington project management. Five issues of On Demand were issued in 1984; none have been released in 1985. Fourteen issues of. On Networking were issued in 1984; eight have been distributed to date in 1985.
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 6
A current purge of these newsletters is underway. Margarita Rodriguez holds a folder with returned renewal/discontinue forms. Comments fram readership are available for consideration in this folder. Response has been especially positive.
4. 1985 Annual Report: It is intended that the various core staff
contributions for this document will be called for in an Action Memo to place the report process in a time frame for delivery to AID/Washington by December. In practice this has been found to be a workable approach to the
formulation of this document. Annual Reports have been solicited frame Support Entities and a collection of those submitted is on file with the project.
5. Work Plan: It is anticipated that the 1986 Work Plan will be directly affected by the reccmendations of the 1985 Project Evaluation Report, as well as by subsequent core and AID/Wahington management decisions and
It is also anticipated that the time frame for input of information
will delay a timely and expedient work plan. This may be an advantage in the sense that it could provide an opportunity for the annual core staff planning session (Cedar Key II), recommendations from support entities through the 1985 annual meeting, and overall program considerations fran
that meeting to provide definitive considerations for t!he project. An
important qualification to this observation is the fact that the 1985
Annual Work Plan was initially submitted to AID/Washington in mid-December of 1984. However, after many revisionsr the evolution o; that document
never in fact &ecane,. or necessarily contributed to, the actual Work Plan
which was largely written (and subsequently accepted) by AID. Instead, the final version submitted by the project was adopted by the project as a 1985
Implementation Plan for FSSP; it had to be; the project was four months
into the year.
6. Publications in Progress:
- Book of Readings:
- selections and copyright okayed except for 1 or 2
which may require substitutions
- PEH intros done, final printout going on now
- commercial printer mid-summer
- Spanish translation of selections 2 more to do
- initial issue in Vol 2 No 4 newsletter
- approximately 150 additions received
- plan to publish as a separate document Fourth quarter
(IDRC mailing next month) hopefully for Kansas
Neil Carpenter/FAO interest no new progress
Minimum Data Set/Fieldbook:
- no time frame
FSSP Summary Menos (06/85) 7
A 4 55
- Liberia Report:
- completed and initial distribution
- ILCA Livestock Workshop Proceedings and Research Plan
Guidelines in production in July
- procedural Manual draft printed and distributed plan to
maintain feedback file for revisions
-Other internal items
- Training Unit Development materials
- Management Guidelines Evaluation Task Force
- Case Studies
- Togo Wrkshop
FSSP Summrary Memos (06/85) 8
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
VISITOR' S PROGRAM
Visitors, with interest in the Farming Systems approach to agricultural development, began coming to the University of Florida in mid 1981 as information regarding the North Florida FSR/E Project became known. This predates the FSSP by more than one year. With the inception of the FSSP, the visitor flow has constantly increased.
The maps which indicate these visitors show that, while visitors in
1983 were predominately fron the United States, those in 1984 reflected the growing interest in FSR among persons frame other countries. The 1983 visitors were generally fran the growing network of Support Entities (SE's) of the FSSP. The 1984 visitors, on the other hand, came fram a wide spectrum of countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
As each visitor has a different agenda, the FSSP has endeavored to
tailor a program for each individual visitor or group. These programs have varied fran mere "appointment making" with University of Florida faculty to intensive short courses in the Farming Systems methodology, as well as field visits to Florida agri-business concerns, Agricultural Research Centers and the North Florida FSR/E Project..
The character of the visitors also shows great variation. Visitors have ranged fran U. S. graduate students and faculty, to international graduate students studying in the U.S., to FSR practitioners fran both International Research Centers and bi-lateral contracts as well as other countries, to Directors and Ministers of Agriculture and Extension of their countries.
As the FSSP Visitor's Program is demand driven, it is somewhat
difficult to plan specific activities in advance. The FSSP will endeavor to provide the same services to visitors as have been available in the past. Implementation will be carried out as required, according to scheduling demands of other FSSP activities.
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 9
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
Domestic Workshops, sponsored and supported by the FSSP, fall into two distinct categories; (1). General Introduction to Farming Systems Research Methodology, and (2). Specific Applications of the Methodology. The latter represent a second, and higher level of curriculum. These include Diagnosis in FSR/E, Agronanic Design and Analysis of On-Farm Trials, and Management of Research and Extension Projects.
Number 2 above represents the product of the 1985 Training Unit
Development Workshop, held in Gainesville, and are targeted to FSR
practitioners who desire specific information regarding the methodological
steps of the FSR process.
In 1983, the FSSP offered the General Introduction to FSR/E Workshop
twice in Gainesville and supported three other workshops at other
institutions in the U.S. These were held at Colorado State University, Michigan State University and at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, all of
which are Support Entities (SE's) of the FSSP. 142 persons were trained
during this year.
In 1984,-the General Introduction Workshop was given three SE's;
University of Minnesota, Virginia State University and the University of
Florida. These workshops, as those in 1983, were given primarily to
upgrade the FSR capabilities of the Support Entities, although a larger number of international graduate students attended these workshops. 117 .persons were trained in 1984.
To date, in 1985, one Introductory Workshop was given at the University
of Arizona. 48 persons attended this workshop.
As the demand for FSR training has shown sane change in direction from
Introduction to FSR towards more specific information regarding
implementation of the Farming Systems approach, the FSSP has focused more
on the specific information required by FSR practitioners. Virginia State University has agreed to became the permanent host for the Introduction to
Farming Systems Research and Development Workshop. VSU will host, at
least, one workshop per year for interested persons. It is anticipated that more international graduate students will become involved as their
hame court ies and bi-lateral contractors will be required to provide sane sort of Farming Systems Orientation. These workshops will be supported by
the FSSP, to a limited degree.
The strategy for the second level of workshops is still being
developed. The first steps have been implemented, however. The FSSP has
presented the first "Management of Research and Extension Projects"
workshop. Participants were persons fran SE's who have experience and/or
interest in this type of work. The group, which participated in
Gainesville, helped to polish the presentation of these materials. The Management workshop will be presented, with FSSP support, at interested
U.S. institutions by the personnel who attended the first workshop in
FSSP Sumary Mewos (06/85) 10
At the sane time, the "Design and Analysis" workshop was being
presented in the Gambia, using materials developed at the Training Unit Development Workshop. This workshop will be presented, to U.S. Support Entity personnel, in July, 1985. Again, the plan is to expose U.S. personnel to the concepts of the Training Unit so that they will be able to use the materials in their own institution and in bi-lateral training situations.
It should be noted that the multiplier effect of domestic workshops is
quite large. By training U.S. personnel in Farming Systems methodology,
the resource base of all participating institutions is substantially
FssP Surrnary Memos (06/85) 11
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
EVALUATION TASK FORCE ACTIVITY STATEMENT,1984-85
The evaluation task force or ETF evolved froan interest expressed at a technical committee meeting in April, 1984, to the need for quality, replicable evaluations of FSR/E projects in the field. An On-Demand advertisement for interested support entities went out front core, and frnm the five interested submissions, a lead entity Winrock International was selected in September, 1984. Interested individuals front several other support entities were also asked to participate on the ETF. The composition of the ETF, including the lead entity and leader designate, were announced to the FSSP support entity network shortly thereafter.
The leader-designate of the ETF subsequently accepted a position at Michigan State University, and Winrock was not interested being lead entity on this activity without the active participation of the leaderdesignate. During the KSU FSR Symposium in October, three pre-organizational meetings were held with representatives of the support entities involved in the ETF. It was decided that Washington State University would replace Winrock as lead entity, and that the leader-designate of the Washington group, James Henson, would act as leader of the ETF.
Evaluation Task Force
The ETF consists of the following members and affiliates:
1. James Henson, ETF leader, Washington State University
2. Rick Bernsten, Michigan State University
3. Tan Cook, Research Triangle Institute
4. Dan Galt, FSSP, ex-officio advisor and liason to FSSP
5. Jan Noel, Washington State University
6. Mike Patton, University of Minnesota
7. Ken Swanberg, AID/S&T, ex-officio advisor
8. Don Voth, University of Arkansas
In addition, the .TF is backstopped by a larger group. This backstop group consists of the following individuals: (1) Gustavo Arcia, RTI, (2) Robert Butler, WSU, (3) Merle Esmay, MSU, (4) Dale Harpstead, MSU/BIFAD,
(5) Marcus Ingle, UOM, (6) Don Isleib, MSU, (7) Ken McDermott, FSSP, (8) Tan Trail, VSU, and (9) Kim Wilson, MSU. This group was put together to respond to ETF output during implementation of the activity.
The ETF first met in November, 1984. At that time, a working definition of "FSR" was called for and subsequently developed. More importantly, Tan Cook presented an evaluative issues framework to the group, which he was requested to expanded upon for a subsequent meeting. After sane inter-institutional negotiation period of about three months, this framework was produced and circulated to the rest of the ETF members for cmanments and reaction.
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 12
After allowing sufficient time for members to cormnent and juggling travel schedules, Jim Henson called for the second meeting of the ETF during June, 1985. The following was accomplished at this meeting:
-The' framework was expanded to contain these 4 basic sections:
b) Mid-term evaluation framework for FSR/E projects
c) Adaptive instructions for other types of evaluations
Sections a), b) and d) are of equally high priority. Section b) will represent a restructuring of the framework produced by Tau Cook. It is being revised to incorporate the FSR/E issues and items suggested by the ETF group. It is also being reorganized around the five basic steps of the FSR/E sequence. This latter reorganization, suggested by Mike Patton, is to minimize the difference between the evaluation framework and the FSR/E projects likely to be evaluated using this framework.
Tam Cook volunteered to expand the framework (section b). All others fran the group have contributed to section d), which consists of the details to allow evaluators to use the evaluation framework in an evaluation setting. Thus, actual details needed for understanding the evaluation of FSR/E projects are being produced by the group for this section. This organization allows the framework to remain a concise, highly camprehensible document of great utility to any level of evaluator: professional or novice, disciplinary specialist or generalist.
While the whole thrust of the ETF will be to develop a protocol to evaluate projects mid-term, section c) eventually will provide instructions to users on how to adapt the framework to near-end and end of project evaluations. The writing of section c) has been assigned lowest priority by the ETF.
Goals for the Future of the EFT
The ETF has Jecided to merge the proposed "dry run" test of the
framework.with a training/orientation/briefing" session to be held for the first evaluation team to use the draft framework. Possible projects considered for the initial field test include CATIE, CARDI and Zambia. Jim Henson will try to identify other projects in consultation with representatives from the Africa Bureau. A field test could occur as early as Late October or November, 1985. It is not yet known if sufficient funds remain in the sub-contract between KtU and the FSSP to allow the process to proceed through the proposed field test.
The E=F is continuing to interest other AID bureaus in the draft
evaluation instrument. Mike Patton's visit to AID in July to consult with
Nina Vreeland's division is the next step in this legitimization process.
FSSP Summary .Memos (06/85) 13
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
BIODATA SEARCHES (Jan. to June 1985)
Total Requests = 27
(note: same requests include more than one person search)
Total Person Searches = 39
SUPPORT ENTITIES OFFICIAL FSSP/AID NON-AFFILIATES
DAI = 1 FSSP = 1 TOTAL = 8
KSU =1 USAID = 9
IADS = 2 TOTAL = 10
AGRIDEC = 1
WINROCK = 1
MSU = 1
UOF = 1
UOI = 1
TOTAL = 9
DISCIPLINES LANGUAGES FARMING SYSTEMS EX
Agronaomy = 11 Spanish = 3 15
Ag. Econanomist = 7 French = 15
Animal Sci/Lvstk = 1
Soil/Water Mngt = 1
Rural Soc/Anthro .= 5
Research Admin = 2 REGION
Agroforestry = 2 Africa = 14
Agric. Admin = 1 4 Asia = 6
Farming Sys. Dev = 1 Latin America/Car = 5 MCNTH
Geographer = 1 Near East = 0 Jan = 6
Evaluator = 4 Other(US or non-LDC)= 2 Feb = 6
Education = 1 Mar = 6
Public Health = 1 Apr = 1
Environmentalist = 1 May = 5
These figures show the activity of the biodata file for the six mont period of 1985. The figure for the 1983-1984 period appear in the 1984 Annual Report, Appendix 5. For the period frman 1983 to mid year 1985, the total number of requests has been 73 (Support Entities = 24, Official FSSP/AID = 26, Non-Affiliates = 23) for a total of 113 individuals.
FSSP Summary Menos (06/85) 14
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
FSSP TRAINING PROGRAM
The first training materials developed by the FSSP, mostly during 1983, were a series of slide-tape modules. There were few good materials available anywhere in farming systems research and extension(FSR/E). Our modules were to reach a wide audience, both U.S. domestic and foreign, and were designed mainly to sensitize people to the FSR approach. They were heavily supplemented by other materials and techniques at the discretion of trainers, especially when used overseas. Translated into Spanish and French, the modules were widely used and were for the most part well received, particularly by U.S. domestic audiences, where the demand for them has been considerable, but also by audiences in Latin America. FSSP thinking at the time involved the development of entire courses, more or less in packaged form.
We realized after more than a year that there was a need for better materials for overseas training, materials that would give trainers more flexibility in course design and that would involve trainees to a greater degree. This was one of the major conclusions of an FSSP workshop held at Iowa State University in the sudmer of 1984 to develop FSR/E trainers. We entered this workshop with the idea that FSR/E, because it was a novel approach, somehow required novel training techniques. But we learned that this was not so, that conventional training techniques were quite adequate. We left Iowa State with a renewed appreciation for the value of good trainers and a feeling that no materials could canpensate for a lack in this regard- indeed, really good trainers'could even design and deliver effective courses with poor materials.
Following the workshop at Iowa State, the project launched a
concerted effort to develop the needed training materials. We began to think, not of developing courses, but of developing units that trainers could combine in any number of ways to design and deliver courses that would respond to the needs of different training settings. Accordingly, we held a training unit materials development workshop(a TUD workshop) in Gainesville in February of 1985. Participants from several FSSP support entities gathered for a week to develop units for the FSR areas of diagnosis, agronamic design and data analysis, and project management. Much headway was ziade during the week, and the effort continues.
The development of training unit materials is following a
three-stage process: initial development, testing and refinement, and distribution. The week long collaborative effort resulted in the first-stage development of the three units noted above. Since then, each unit has been technically editied by at least one member of the original development group. Two of the units, Agroncnic Experimental Design and Analysis, and Management and Administration have been partially tested in workshops in The Gambia and Gainesville. We plan to test the Diagnostic unit at the soonest opportunity and hope to use it in Cameroon in the fall of 1985. Completion of the work on content and revisions based on testing are in process. We plan to have the first .edition ready by December of 1985. All subsequent revisions will be incorporated into the second edition planned for December of 1986.
*FSSP Sunary Memos (06/85) 15
The development of these materials has cost the project to date
about $55,000, and to complete them as planned would cost another $35,000. The total effort would have an estimated cost of between $90,000 and $100,000.
The strategy for delivering training courses is a function of region and will be dealt with there.
FSSP Suuary Memos (06/85) 16
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
PRORAM- DEVELOPMENT STATEMENT, 1985
A coordinator for program development was appointed in the Spring, 1985. The position of program development coordinator was created to address these coordination needs of the project:
1) Verify that the functional areas of technical assistance,
training and networking cover all priority areas so designated by the project;
2) Assist in avoiding duplication of effort;
3) Make sure that joint, or overlapping, areas of effort are
properly blended back together as activities proceed and/or are completed;
4) Verify that jointly-assigned activities proceed along acceptable tracks and time frames;
5) Make sure FSSP policies are not implemented at cross purposes
with one another, especially in the three general areas of regional policy in Africa, Asia/Near East and Latin America/Caribbean.
6) Coordinate state-of-the-art (SOTA) activities, suggest further SOTA activities, and assist in the transition of completed tasks and activities fra SOTA into the appropriate functional areas 9f technical assistance, training, or networking.
To date, this new coordinating function has:
1) Suggested that each regional area coordinator consider forming a support entity advisory committee similar to the Near East and Asia Advisory Cammittee (NEAAC) to assist core in policy advice and delivery of activities. This mechanism will give support entities more of the responsibility for regional FSSP policy and implementation, allowing more support eritity input into project delivery. This mechanism is viewed as an efficient way of transferring responsibility for overall project implementation frame core to the FSSP support network.
2) Begun the more formal process of integrating regional policies. Examples so far include using the expertise of a support entity formerly confined to Latin America AGRIDEC in West Africa in technical assistance and training, and asking representatives of Southeast Asian universities to participate in a West African university networkshop activity scheduled for early 1986. Integration of regional policies will allow more and more Asian and Latin American FSR/E expertise to be focused on African FSR/E problems and needs.
Goals for the Remainder of the Project
FSSP SumTnary Memos (06/85) 17
Based on the short experience of 1985, the following areas will be
considered for program development stress during the rest of the project:
1) Strengthen two accomplishments of 1985.
2) Provide integration between the case study activity, the
guideline handbook activity, and the evaluation task force. The relevant outputs from these three activities should be focused mainly on practitioners, projects and programs implementing FSP/E approaches. Coordination and synthesis will be required. The diffusion mechanism may be through a series of SOTA publications. Sets of SOTA publications may be developed for the following FSR/E stakeholders:
a) Field practitoners (both project and host country
b) Chiefs of party;
c) Campus/private firms backstop personnel;
d) AID contracting and project officers, bureaus and missions; e) Other host country governmental representatives, especially
those dealing with FSR/E at substantive and administrative
3) Work with the c'--rdinator for African policy to integrate the three major threads of Afican policy, including the policies of (a) short-term, crop-based networking, (b) short-term, animal-based networking, and (c). long-term, West African university-based networking.
4) Work with the coordinator and assistant of training to oversee the final development, production and distribution of the FSSP training units. General issues to consider include (a) revision policy and (b) integration of training-tested and newly-created materials, activities, caselettes, case studies and suggestions back into the units. A specific issue to consider is the development and integration of the necessary
socio-econcmic materials into the diagnostic and agronomic experimental design and analysis units.
5) Work wih the African-based core staff member and whenever is designated to backstop this staff person here in Gainesville, if a core individual is transferred to Africa. Issues may include smoothing the transition of core staff to Africa and maintaining communication between the project and AID/W, Africa Bureau and the various West African missions.
6) Develop and implement a better method to facilitate information flow between Gainesville and AID/W project management.
Most of these tentative program development goals are contingent upon (a) core agreement, (b) concensus that they represent priority areas for the program coordinator, and (c) level of project funding.
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 18
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
The 1984 Work Plan (pp. 39-43> offers a summary of first, second and third-degree State-Of-The-Art (SOTA) priorities as viewed by the project at that time. However, .q.o....rdi.n.a...o..n of SOTA has lagged behind other areas
during, project implementation. This is partly because SOTA is a natural component of nearly every activity -- normally considered training, technical assistance or networking -- that the project has undertaken. In addition, at a very early date in project history, core staff became more than fully occupied in, functional and regional assignments. For these reasons, rno conscious effort was taken to develop a specific strategy to
consider SOTA systematically until recently. This does not mean that SOTA activities did not, and do not, occur. It does mean that a sp..ecif..ic SOTA strategy has not lead training, technical assistance and networking, nor has it lead any regional strategy. This is as it should be.
Recently, SOTA coordination has been placed under program developmerit. A specific FSSP policy orn SOTA development has yet to be developed. The ope..gr national. policy in place is to oversee developments in the three functional areas, to suggest particular SOTA activities for each, and to assist in placing.SOTA output back into circulation to field practitioners and other interested users.
Summary of activitiess .t present
Because .there has not been a coordinated SOTA policy does not mean that SOTA activities have not occurred. In fact, almost all of the SOTA
priorities specified in the 1984 Work Plan have been addressed by the project.
Several SOTA items -- such as the Hildebrand/Poey text titled
"On-Farm Agronomic Trials in Farming Systems Research and Extension,' and the Farminq Systems Case Studies activity (jointly with the Population Council) -- began as .nearly pure SOTA activities. 7he former addressed a high-priority felt need in FSR/E methodology, while the latter case studies are cutting-edge FSR/E SOTA activities. However, results of both have had, or will have, an increasing influence over training, and both are also important.in keeping field-level practioners abreast of new developments.
Other SOTA items began as 'routine' activities and have expanded
naturally to encompass relatively large SOTA dimensions. Examples of the latter include the Guidelines Handbook development activity and the evaluation task force. The next page contains a current status summary table of SOTA activities identified in the 1984 Work Plan.
SUMMARY STATUS. STATE-OF-THE-ART ACTIVITIES AS Ox J. LNE. 1985 Priority
Groupin S*TAt ...Cu......t....t.t..s
.... ....... ........ .................. ..... ............................ Q. ..rr~ I _S aI u ......................... ....................... ......
1 FSR/E institutional setting Evolving from TUIIf
1 Role of extension in FSR/E Task force: completed
1 On-farm trial design and analysis (1) Hildebrand/Poey text,.
(2) Evolving from TUIIb
1 Project/program evaluation (1) Evolving from Guidelines
(2) Evaluation task force: work in progress
2 Economic characteristics of small- Not addressed
scale family farms
2 Nutrition and FSR/E May evolve out of Farming
Systems Case Studies
2 The farm household as a unit of Farming Systems Case Studies
2 Diagnostic surveys (1) Evolving from TUIIa
(2) Addressed in Networking 'Paper No. 5
2 Role of social science in FSR/E Not addressed
2 Livestock in FSR/E (1) Livestock task force:
(2) W. Af. livestock network
2 Agroforestry in relation to FSR/E East-West Center, ESR/E-Agroecosystems joint workshop, Aug., 1985
2 IPM in relation to FSR/E Barfield/Poats course at UOF
2 Agricultural and household Partially addressed by Togo
engineering animal traction workshop
3 Policy and infrastructure (1) Evolving from TUIlf
(2) Evolving from Guidelines
3 Evaluation of FSR/E approach FSSP will not handle
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
FSSP/POPULATION COUNCIL FSR/E CASE STUDIES PROJECT
Anong the sets of documents made available for the evaluation is a
complete file on the FSR/E Case Studies Project. These case studies for use in training are being produced in a joint effort with the Population
Council, with funding from the Ford Foundation as well as FSSP. The completed cases will fulfill in part obligations fran the cooperative
agreement in both Training and State of the Arts Research by providing a
rich source of training materials based on actual on-going FSR/E projects, and at the same time offering a synthesis of activities and methodologies
which have been effectively used in the field.
The eight cases being developed were selected because they represent
on-going field projects which have reached a level of development through
at least the first three stages of FSR/E (1. diagnosis, 2. design, 3.
testing and evaluation), and demonstrate a positive incorporation of either
intra- or inter-household and gender analysis within their on-going
activities. The cases also include considerable project and institutional background and setting. When completed, the cases should serve as useful
training materials for teaching concepts and methods of FSR/E,
intra/inter-household analysis, gender analysis, and institutional analysis
for management and administration.
Attached to this mew is a list of the members of the Advisory
Camnittee for the FSSP/Pop. Council project, a summary of the proposals (Expressions of Interest) submitted for case study consideration, and a
synopsis of the eight selected case studies. The following chronology of events summarizes project activity to date. Further details are available
in the abovenentioned file.
February 1984. S. Poats and J. Bruce, Population Council, meet in
Gainesville and the idea for a case studies series is first developed.
July 1984. FSSP, Population Council and Ford Foundation agree to fund the
project with an initial three cases, and the potential to develop others
depending on interest generated.
August 1984. Hilry Feldstein is hired by the Pop. Council as managing
editor and naninations for a project advisory committee are begun.
November 1984. A list of 50 potential advisory carmittee members is
completed. When contacted, 17 were willing/able to serve. With input from
FSSP core staff, Feldstein, Bruce and Poats met in NY to select the
committee. Ultimately 10 persons were selected.
January 1985. The advisory committee meets in NY and drafts the guidelines
for the case study project, the outline for the case study format, and a
Request for Expressions of Interest in writing a case study. Following the
meeting, 6000 announcements and EOI forms are mailed out via FSSP, Pop.
Council and Ford F. mailing lists.
February 1985. S. Poats and Hilary Feldstein complete the draft of the
FSSP Sumnary Memos (06/85) 21
case study format.
March 31, 1985. By this cut-off date, 72 expressions of interest have been received. These were reviewed and catalogued as potential, maybe or rejects and reviewed by the advisory committee.
April 1985. Two presentations on the case study project are made at AWID and further input is received on the format and a developing analytical framework for the series. The advisory committee meets in NY and selects the 6 best case proposals. The Ford F., impressed with the quantity and quality of the submissions, invites the project to request further funding to expand the original 3 cases to a total of 8. An additional 5 cases are identified as potential and two are selected to make the total of 8.
June 1985. The case writers and,advisory canittee reps. attend a casewriters' workshop to develop the outlines, pedagogical objectives and teaching notes for each case. Cases are thoroughly reviewed for agronanic, FSR/E, socio-econcmic content. A case study specialist fra HIID leads several sessions on how to write effective cases.
July-December 1985. Each case writer has developed a plan of work for delivery of drafts. Anticipate completion of all cases by March 1986.
February 1986. Canompleted cases will be tested at the Univ. Florida conference on Gender Issues and FSR/E.
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 22
FSSP Summary Menos (06/85) 22
Advisory Committee for Population Council/FSSP Case Studies Project
Dr. Harry (Skip) Bittenbender Dr. F/ederico Poey
Department of Horticulture AGRIDEC
Michigan State University 1414 Ferdinand Street
East Lansing, Michigan 48823 Coral*Gables, Florida 33134
(617) 353-5473 (305)-271-5694
Ms. Kate Cloud Dr. Mary Rojas
Department of Agricultural Economics 105 Patton Hall
University of Illinois Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Champaign, Illinois 61821 & State University
(217) 333-5832 Blacksburg, Virginia 24601
Dr. Frank Conklin
Office of International Agriculture Ms. Hilary S. Feldstein
Oregon State University Managing Editor
Corvallis, Oregon 97330 Population Council/FSSP
(503) 754-2304 Case Studies Project
RFD 1, Box 821
Ms. Nadine Horenstein Hancock, New Hampshire 03449
Room 3725 NS (603) 525-3772
Washington, DC 20523 Ms. Judith Bruce, ex officio
(202) 632-3992 Program Associate
Ms. Kat6 McKee 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
Ford Foundation New York, New York 10017
320 East 43rd Street (212) 644-1777
New York, New York 10017
(212)573-5345 Dr. Susan Poats, ex officio
Dr. Rosalie Norem Farming Systems Support Project
Department of Family Environment University of Florida
, Iowa State University 3028 McCarty Hall
LeBaron Hall, Room 173 Gainesville, Florida 32611
Ames, Iowa 50011 (904) 392-2309
Dr. Cornelia Butler-Flora, ex officio Dr. David Nygqard Chairman, Technical Committee FSSP
Agricultural Development Council Department of Sociology
725 Park Avenue Kansas State University
New York, New York 10021 Manhattan, Kansas 66506
(212) 517-9700 (913) 532-6865
Dr. Pauline Peters
Harvard Institute for
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 (617) 495-3785
EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST RECEIVED AS OF 4/15/85
1. 72 proposals received
2. Geographic distribution
West Africa 24 (Burkina Faso 6)
East Africa 6
-Southern Africa 5
Asia 20 (Philippines 7)
Latin America/Mexico 8
Europe (Netherlands) 2
3. Disciplines and Gender
Discipline Total Female
Agricultural Economics 22 5
Anthropology/Sociology 24 16
Agricultural Sciences 11 1
Agric/Vocational Education 9 5
Other 8 3
Very mixed or unknown 3 (projects)
TOTALS 74 30
4. Of 74 proposal writers, 36 were nationals of developing countries.
A .5 ju'2~ q/e 11>OJ pro~oasI ee.. .
INTRA-HOUSEHOED DYNAMICS AND FAIMING SYSTEMS CASE STUDIES PROJECT
Synopsis of Projected Case Studies 6/13/85
Botswana, ATIP, Doyle Baker
This is perhaps the most difficult case, as some of the issues raised by ATIP as'a result of the IHH (read female headed household) research could have negative policy consequences for those households. The context is unusual for Africa in that remittances enter every household providing a near minimum of subsistence and the government has resources from other diamonds, etc. such that it has substantially subsidized agricultural inputs and health care. During the three years of the project, there has been a severe drought making a number of, desirable trials impractical. The case leads the reader through a process of parallel activities, continuous leveraged trials of tillage/planting and a comprehensive set of socio-economic surveys in which data is disaggregated by household types and/or by -gender. The theme of the project has been the difficulty of getting any successful results from the leveraged trials; the increased understanding of factors that differentiate between farmers ability and willingness to undertake arable agriculture (access and control of draft animals; availability of other sources of income including remittances). One agronomic outcome is to put in place non-leveraged trials for post-establishment conditions for households with draft constraints, usually female headed. Another outcome has been to move further into the policy arena, suggesting that policy recognize the different possibilities of different recommendation domains, i.e. resources to better off and more interested farmers can contribute to national production; resources to less well off households (of which the majority are female headed and without access to draft) will help household incomes, but not necessarily be contribution to national production goals. The theme of the case as stated in the last iteration is to emphasize the importance of socio-economic research which includes IHH to defining agronomic and policy issues. The resource people feel there may be more data and possibilities inherent in the data than the project has considered, but are waiting on the completed analysis of the more recent surveys (which will be 'done for the first draft).
Burkina Faso, SAFGRAD, Joe Nagy
This case will go carefully through a straight FSR/E process as applied to 3 sample villages in Burkina Faso. The first section will cover background and the information from the initial diagnostic survey leaving to students the task of playing zhat data against the framework and making their own analysis of the situation. Section II gives project analysis which was to go with trials on tie-ridging as low cost and using available on-farm resources including labor. This section will include the trials'with tie-ridging and fertilizer use showing positive agronomic results, but lack of interest by various members of farm households because of labor constraint; labor for tie ridging was provided principally by women and children. Section III will go into new trials with a mechanical tie ridger, requiring capital resources available to a minority of households and students will evaluate the implications of this strategy. There may also be material on differences between men and women's plots, but Joe needs to dig that out.
CARDI, St. Lucia, Greg Robin and Visantha Chase
The CARDI case builds on the use of an Area Focused Survey, i.e. a
diagnostic survey with considerable socio-economic data including IHH variables, to look at a single valley. In addition to economic and agronomic stratification, the survey showed serious nutritional deficiencies and that a high proportion of the households (38%) were female headed. The decision was made, recently, to transfer a self-sustaining home gardening system being instituted in a nearby island, Domenica, to Mabouya Valley. The case will illustrate the use of the Area Focused Study approach; allow consideration of home gardens as part of a farming system and the importance of female inputs in such a system; and will examine the implications of transferring a successful system from one location to another. Federico's work on this case was particularly helpful in channeling at least the case, and perhaps the upcoming extension of technology in Mabouya, into a more experimental direction concerning the improvement of varieties and practices used in home gardening.
Colombia, CIAT, Jacqueline Ashby
This case will show why IHH variables were important to the testing and evaluation of a production technology, beans, and how they were recognized. Specifically this relates to recognizing the importance of identifying desirable consumption characteristics of different users: the urban market and the subsistence consumer. The importance of understanding desirable consumption characteristics has economic implications in that women cook for hired labor and their cooking task and time is affected by the kinds of beans used. The case will also illustrate a methodology for including participation by multiple members of the household in testing and evaluation.
Indonesia, Sitiung, TTOPSOILS, Vicki Sizman and Carol Colfer
The strongest element of the TROPSOILS case is the use of the entire,
multi-disciplinary research team to undertake a time allocation study of the activities of household members in this transmigration site. This study has led to a decision to have trials on forage as forage-gathering was a prime labor constraint, and undertaken principally by women and children. Home gardening also emerges as important in terms of both men and women's time and a nutrition survey done during the same time period suggests the value of its improvement. Because Vicki herself has not yet been to the field, but is going soon to work with Carol. we left the case with a series of questions about how the different pieces have fit together in time and in effect on each other.
Philippines,.Lake Balinsasayao, Lini Wollenberg
-..The Lake Balinsasayao project is intended to provide the government with assistance in promoting forest conservation on government lands in the face of increasing migration to the area and in insuring an equitable distribution of benefits. There were two diagnoses undertaken resulting in a large body of agroclimatic and socio-economic data, as well as statements concerning farmer preferences, which students can compare as to methodology and results. A second set of more focused studies-production & consumption, cropping systems, fishing, nutrition, and land use decision making-followed. Each used different methodologies for getting at questions of time allocation and again this will be an exercise for comparing the approaches as to resource costs and benefits. One issue will be the degree to which resource constraints affect the definition of research domains. The relationship of a parallel set of field activitiescontinuing community organization, literacy programs, demonstration plots, etc.-to the research is also explored. The third section reports the results of the
field interventions and plans for further interventions and ends with the tasks of reviewing the interaction between research and field activities and of looking at what has already been done in view of reorganizing as an FSR/E project.
Zambia, ARPT, Charles Chabala and Robert Nguiru
This case is a classic. The first section will give the country
background, including the institutionalization of FSR/E in Zambia, and the original diagnosis of the area leaving to students the task of identifying research priorities. One element of that information is the heavy labor of women in their (separate) bean fields. The second section details actual trials undertaken by the project as a result of the original diagnosis: one on intercropping beans with maize to take advantage of the traction being used on family (male headed) maize fields and thereby reduce women's labor as well as the fertilizer that was already being applied to the maize. A second set of trials was on maize for increased yields. Though both trials showed the experiments to be successful in agronomic terms, neither was acceptable to the farmers. In the case of beans, the integration of mens and womens fields resulted in losses to women of the income they got from the sale of small surpluses and women objected. In the case of both beans and corn, the consumption and processing characteristics-were not taken into account and therefore the varieties were rejected. The third section covers a Labor Survey designed to get more information on time allocation and men's and women's resources and benefits with respect to particular crops. An interesting aspect of the survey is the methods used to get women's views in light of cultural constraints (and institutional difficulties). The results of that survey are the subject of a fihal set of tasks to determine what research to tackle next.
It should be noted that these synopses are tentative, based on current drafts and the emphases in any might shift as further work is done and the writers get further into their data.
1 ; -*
- ~ ?oc.~i~e~ 'v~d17IL
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
PROJECT ACTIVITIES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
According to the Cooperative Agreement, the FSSP was to allocate no more than twenty-five percent of its funds to Latin America. Yet, there has been more demand for project services, especially in the early months, frame Latin America than fru the other regions. We soon realized that the demand would draw excessively on project resources and began operating on a cost-sharing and buy-in basis with USAID missins in the region. Over the last several months, as funds were withdrawn fran our project and as USAID began to give ever more emphasis to Africa, we began requiring USAID missions in Latin America to finance all FSSP services that they requested. That policy is in effect today.
A list of FSSP activities by country for 1983 and 1984 appears in
our annual reports; a summary for this year is appended to this memorandum. The project has been especially active in Paraguay and Honduras. We collaborated with INTSORMIL, the sorghum-millet CRSP, as well as with ICRISAT and CIMMYT in the development and delivery of a workshop at CIMMYT for sorghum and millet researchers fran several Latin American countries. We also financed the participation of several of those researchers. We have worked with CIMMYT elsewhere, including in Paraguay when the project first entered that country. And CIMMYT sent two researcher-trainers to help us develop training materials during the workshop this year in Gainesville.
The FSSP worked with PRECODEPA in the design and delivery of an FSR training workshop in Guatemala for potato researchers in Central America and the Caribbean. PRECODEPA is a regional potato research cooperative managed by CIP, who helped with the workshop. We also financed the participation of scme of the workshop participants.
The FSSP assisted CATIE this year in the design of a one-week
seminar to analyze six FSR/E cases in Latin America. And again, we covered the participation costs of several seminar participants. At the request of RCAP, the project is now assembling a team to conduct a final evaluation of the CATIE-ROCAP farming systems project. I just returned after a month in Central America, where I gathered information in five countries that will be used in this evaluation. The prospects for further collaboration with CATIE and ROCAP are good.
An FSSP training team is now in Jamaica delivering an introductory FSR workshop to researchers in that country.
Our training activities in the region have reached about 350
persons. We have sought to use native speakers of Spanish in our training work in Spanish America, since the farming systems approach is a radical departure fran the traditional organization of research and extension and communication is especially critical. For technical assistance, we have been less concerned about language skills, although we still consider them important.
Other countries of the region have expressed an interest in using
. FSSP Sumary Memos (06/85) 28
the FSSP. USAID/Peru has indicated that it might soon need assistance in reorienting research and extension in that country. Both Honduras and El Salvador have expressed an interest, though it might prove difficult for the FSSP to find people, at least fra the universities, willing to work in El Salvdor. And Paraguay has just bought into the FSSP at the level of $80,000 for services to be rendered mostly over the next year. Haiti approached us about three months ago regarding advisory support for farming systems work there. It is very likely that the Dominican Republic ask us to conduct further training, since an FSSP person recently went there to help them devise a training plan.
FSSP Summnary Menos (06/85) 29
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
1985 FSSP ACTIVITY CALENDAR FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN Centro Acronenico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza(CATIE)
April 22-26: Helped sponsor and plan seminar for presentation of six FSR cases from Latin America.
July-August: FSSP to field evaluation team for ROCAP, to evaluate CATIE-ROCAP farming systems project. Dminican Republic
March 3-7: One person sent to help Ministry of Agriculture
develop training program to introduce FSR/E
approach to Dominican setting.
Feb. 1-15: Training team sent to conduct two-week course
on FSR/E approach for Programa de Tecnologia
Rural(PTR). Course addressed to PTR field
teams froa the six regions of Honduras.
March 4-19: Conducted evaluation of FSR/E approach being
used by PTR. Helped them plan for 1985.
Identified problems in application of FSR/E
approach and suggested solutions.
March 20-22: Workshop in which PTR regional teams
presented their work plans.
April 20-May 7 Provided technical assistance on use of microcomputers in analysis of on-farm agronmic trial data.
June 18-274 Two-week course to introduce Jamaican
reserchers to FSR/E.
USAID/Gov. of Paraguay buy-in at level of $80,000 for services.
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 30
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
ASIA POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGY STATEMENT, 1984-85
By project definition, the regions of the Near East and Asia are considered together for regional policy development. Being the last two regions to be considered for formal policy, Asia and Near East policy development profitted fram the experiences gained in implementing FSSP policies in both Latin America and Africa. In addition, the FSSP acknowleges that (1) core staff has the least amount of experience working in Asia and the Near East and (2) Asia has a longer continuous experience in cropping systems research than any other region of the world.
Given this setting, Asia and Near East policy development began in the Spring of 1984 with the creation of a committee composed of faculty frcm several support entities interested in continuing their work in Asia. This camittee, known as NEAAC (Near East and Asia Adivsory CC mnittee), consists of 11 members representing 9 support entities. Its purpose is to provide a cadre of members with both interest in, and expertise from having worked in, Asia and/or the Near East. The cormittee provides advice to the core regarding Asia and Near East policy and implementation strategy. The NEAAC committee met 3 times during the 1984 FSR Symposium a" KSU last October. The co-coordinator for Asia and the Near East keeps the ccmittee abreast of the demands on the FSSP francm these regions, as well as delivery by FSSP core and NEAAC members. Composition of the NEAAC is provided by the attachment to this report.
Since the cable announcing the beginning of an Asian policy and creation of the NEAAC went to missions in July, 1984, the FSSP has been involved in the following activities:
1) Technical assistance was supplied on request to an FSR/E workshop
in Sri Lanka. African and Asian expertise was used.
2) Core has made exporatory visits on request to missions, and host
country representatives of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Nepal. A NEAAC member accompanied the core representative during the exploratory visit to Thailand.
3) Follow-up visits to the Philippines and Thailand have taken place. In the first instance, two NEAAC members carried out a training needs assessment, while in the latter, technical assistance was provided
for an impending project evaluation and for host country field
implementation of FSR/E.
4) Dialogue/collaboration with AVRDC, IRRI, ICRISAT, and CIMMYT outreach has begun. Representatives from AVRDC, IRRI and ICRISAT have visited
the project in Gainesville. Core visits have been made to IRRI (tw6) and
to CIMMYT outreach staff. A NEAAC member has visited AVRDC.
FSSP Summnary Memos (06/85) 31
5) Through an IRRI-FSSP initiative, an African-Asian linkage has
begun by sponsoring three representatives of the newly-formed West African livestock-based FSR network to attend a forthcoming AFSN crop-livestock
monitoring tour in Asia in August.
6) Another Asia-Africa linkage has been started by requesting representatives of the SUAN (Southeast Asian University Agroecosystems Network)
system to attend a forthcuing networkshop in Africa for West African
universities interested in FSR/E. This activity should take place in early
7) IRRI and the FSSP have interacted in development and refinement
of FSR/E training materials.
8) Technical assistance was provided to the Jordan mission via the University of Arizona in a FSR/E project design activity.
Goals for the Remainder of the Project
NEAAC has proven highly successful during its first year. Recently,
NEAAC membership was asked to form a subcommittee with the objective of becaning more directly involved in Asia and Near East policy. This subcommittee will address itself to the continuing evolution and inplementation of FSSP policy in the region, and will account for the majority of the
delivery of FSSP activities in the region during the rest of 1985 and
throughout the rest of the life of the project. This subcomnittee currently consists of NEAAC members, and -is included in the NEAAC membership
roster attached to this report.
In summary, the core will continue to turn policy development and
delivery over to the NEAAC subcommittee, which in turn will continue to
work closely with the core co-coordinator for Asia and the Near East. Two
explicit goals ior the project in these regions are:
1) Continuing integration with IRRI, CIMMYT and ICRISAT in defining
the roles of each entity in FSR/E activities in the regions, including the
issues of which entity should lead the activity, which entities should provide support, and how such support should be paid for and delivered;
2) Continuift the search for activities which can for the basis or
ribboning between the regions of Africa and Asia/Near East in addressing
FSR/E problems and needs.
Finally, activities begun in 1984 between the FSSP and SUAN will
continue into and beyond 1985. Two such activities are the joint meeting
of FSR/E practitioners and agroecosystems practitioners, hosted by the
East-West Center (with Ford Foundation funding) in August, 1985, and FSSP
participation in the SUAN meetings in Chaing Mai, Thailand, November, 1986.
The FSSP views the former as a state-of-the-art activity which may lead to
use of agroecosystems methods in FSR/E activities, and use of FSR rapid
rural appraisal techniques in agroecosystems research.
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 32
ATTACHMENT TO ASIA POLICY STATEMENT
This attachment provides the NEAAC (Near East and Asia Advisory Camittee) membership. Those members starred witi an asterisk (*) have agreed to serve on the NEAAC policy development and delivery subcommittee: Regional
NEAAC Member University Affiliation Interest
Randy Barker Cornell Southeast Asia
*Richard Bernsten Michigan State Southeast Asia
*Harry Bittenbender Michigan State Southeast Asia
*John Caldwell Virginia Polytechnic Institute Southeast Asia
San Johnson Illinois Southeast Asia
Herb Massey Kentucky Southeast Asia
*Harold McArthur Hawaii Southeast Asia
Mike Norvelle Arizona Near East
Howard Olson Southern Illinois East Asia
Delane' Welsch Minnesota Southeast Asia
*Larry Zuidema Cornell Southeast Asia
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 33
FSSP SUMMARY MEMO ON:
FSSP AFRICA POLICY AND .1985 ACIVITIES
The Cooperative Agreements for the FSSP state that at least fifty
percent of project activities during the life of the project will support mission programs in the Africa Bureau. This memo will provide: 1) a brief summary of regional activities to date, based on reports in the files compiled for the evaluation; 2) a description of activities completed in 1985; 3) a calender of activities planned (both confirmed and tentative) for the remainder of 1985; 4) and an optimal plan of action for the remainder of the project.
(1) The first year of FSSP, 1983, focused on needs assessment, technical assistance and the development of a one-week overview workshop on FSR/E concepts and methods. During 1984, we focused attention on the training area with refinement of the overview workshop and initiation of training materials development geared to the needs of the region, including case studies, training units, diagnostic survey guidelines for West Africa, and an exploration of the francophone and anglophone approaches to FSR in West Africa and the implications for training. Attention was also placed on preparation of trainers for Africa with the Training for Trainers Workshop" at Iowa State University. FSSP supported two MSTAT workshops (Malawi and Mali). Task force activity (household, evaluation, livestock, extension) also focused attention on key problem areas of FSR in Africa. Work was also begun on the synthesis of field experiences and task force recommendations into FSR/E guidelines.
(2) Activities completed in Africa in 1985.
(Core staff member associated with activity in parenthesis)
January: Briefing for Gambia Ag. Research and Development Design team (DG)
FSSP FSR/E specialist on Gambia GARD design te#n (SP)
MSTAT course in Senegal (CA)
February: Preparations in Togo for Networkshop (SP)
World Bank Seminar in Ivory Coast Res-Ext Linkage (CA)
Zambia FSR project evaluation (E. MAINEZ)
March: Networkshop on Animal Traction in a Farming Systems Perspective,
held in Togo (SP, J. OXLEY, S. RUSSO, P. STARKEY, V.
BARRE=T, J. LICHTE, H. ZANDSTRA)
SAFGRAD/FSU/PURDUE Workshop on Technologies Appropriate for
Farmers in Semi-Arid West Africa (DG + 11 West African
participants sponsored by FSSP)
ICARDA workshop on on-farm research with animals; Head of FSSP
Livestock Task Force attends (J.OXLEY)
Planning of June ILOFSSP workshop on On-Farm Research
Methodologies for Livestock (J. OXLEY)
April: Cameroon Technical Assistance Seminar FSSP sent FSR specialist
to give 2 plenary lectures (S. FRANZEL)
Completion of Africa FSR Bibliography (KSU LIBRARIES)
FSSP Sumnary Memos (06/85) 34
May: Africa Bureau/S&T Seminar on Results of Togo Networkshop (SP)
Senegal workshop on agronmanic trials, FSSP facilitator
participated (F. POEY)
Gambia Workshop on Design and Analysis of On-Farm Trials; all
trainers and materials supplied by FSSP (SP, DG, LW, J.
CALDWELL, F. POEY)
Senegal networking visit with MSU/ISRA team concerning joint
training, networking and publication activities (SP)
FSSP/Pop. Council FSR/E Casewriters Workshop in Boston;
casewriters for Botswana, Zambia, Burkina Faso attend (SP,
D. BAKER, J. NAGY, C. CHABALA)
June: African Title XII Bilateral Contractors Network meeting in
Chicago as part of initiation' of Crop-based networking
activities in W. Africa (SP, DG)
West African Animal Systems Networking: Exchange visits between
animal traction teams in Togo and Sierra Leone (SP,
ILCA/FSSP Workshop on On-Fanrm Livestock Research Methodologies
(SK, J.OXLEY, R. McDOWELL, H. OLSCON)
CIMMYT East Africa Program, ICRAF, ICIPE networking visits (SK)
(3) Activities planned for the remainder of 1985
July: Networking/Training trip to CIMMYT/Nairobi, Rwanda and Burundi
Planning of Egerton College, Kenya, East/West Africa FSR
Workshop; FSSP will support 10 W. African Participants (SP)
August: Egerton College East/West Africa FSR Workshop (SP)
Animal Systems Networking Steering Ccamittee Representatives to
join Asian FSR Network Livestock Monitoring Tour (SP, P.
Sept.: WAFSRN Symposium in Dakar; FSSP will co-sponsor together with
IDRC and IITA (SP)
Ivory Coast/IDESSA FSR workshop (Proposed; solicited FSSP
October: KSU FSBjE Symposium and FSSP annual meeting: African members of
- Technical Ccamittee will meet (DG, SP)
November: ADO/RDO meeting in Togo: FSSP asked to assist in developing preor post workshop activity on FSR/E and animal traction.
Networkshop for COP's of FSR/E or related projects in Africa
(tentative) (SP, DG)
Rwanda FSR/E overview workshop with CIMMYT (SP)
Zambia workshop on research-extension linkages in
institutionalization: CIMMYT/FSSP/INTERPAKS (CA)
December: West African FSR/E Practitioners networkshop, co-sponsored
FSSP/WAFSEN (SP, DG)
Cameron FSR/E Overview workshop; to be co-sponsored with AID
mission/IITA/UF Dschang Proj./FSSP (SP)
FSSP Sumnary.Memos (06/85) 35
(4) Strategy for the remainder of the project.
FSSP has been asked to develop a plan for placement of a regional support office and staff member in West Africa. A long range plan and budget for such an office to be placed in Cameroon was developed by C. Andrew (See-meuo May 28, 1985 to Anson Bertrand). While FSSP strongly concurs with the development of a West African base from which to continue FSR/E support activities, this will not be possible without additional financial support frou USAID. FSSP does, however, see that a series of third and half time positions within bilateral contracts could build towards the development of such a base in the future. FSSP has been requested in the PP of the Gambia ARD Project to share a trainer position for two years. This would provide FSSP with two opportunities: 1) to conduct a series of training short courses in English with hands-on activities within an on-going FSR/E project for both Gambian and other English-speaking practitioners from the region, and 2) to develop a model for the integration of an FSR/E training within an African National Ag. research and extension program. Both experiences could build into a regional support base, such as the one proposed for Cameroon. Linking the Gambian trainer position into other regional training and networking activities would further strengthen the development of a regional base. A second shared position with the Univ. Florida Cameroon University Project
could also be considered as another step towards a regional base. Such a position could build upon Gambian training activities and incorporate them into a University level training program. Other shared positions with other bilateral contracts now being bid upon (Mali, Sierra Leone) could further strengthen linkages upon which to build a support base. FSSP could then work towards the development of such a base for the remainder of the project-and phase implementation of the base into 1987, provided finding is made available.
Whether the activities described above are funded or not, the FSSP
will continue with proactive FSR/E support to Africa, primarily in the West and Central Regions. Major attention will be placed on networking and training, while maintaining a response and facilitation mode to mission requests for technical assistance. Networking activities will center around support for 3 interrelated networks: animal-based farming systems (as initiated with the Togo networkshop), crop-based farming systems (initiated with the bilateral contractor network) and a third dealing with FSR/E in the Afriaan University context (which will be linked to the SUAN network irr Asia). Linkages of these activities with IITA, SAFGRAD, INSAH, IDRC, FORD F., WORLD BANK, and WAFSRN are being discussed and planned. Training will focus on delivery of courses using the TUD and case study materials, and adaptation of these to French.
FSSP Sunmary Memos (06/85) 36
INDEX OF ITEMS FOR THE FSSP EVALUATION
A. PROJECT REPORTS
A-I Project Paper
A-2 UF Response to the Project Paper
A-3 Cooperative Agreement and Logical Framework
A-4 Procedural Manual
B. WORK PLANS
B-I 1983 Work Plan (See Appendix 1 of the 1983 Annual Report)
B-2 1984 Work Plan
B-3 1984 Work Plan Ccamittments
B-4 1985 Work Plan
B-5 1985 Implementation plan for the 1985 Work Plan
C. QUARTERLY REPORTS
C-I #1 1982, 4th Quarter 10/01/82 to 12/31/82
C-2 #2 1983, st Quarter 01/01/83 to 03/31/83
C-3 #3 1983, 2nd Quarter 03/01/83 to 06/31/83
C-4 #4 1983, 3rd Quarter 07/01/83 to 09/31/83
C-5 #5 1983, 4th Quarter 10/01/83 to 12/31/83
C-6 #6 1984, 1st Quarter 01/01/84 to 03/31/84
C-7 #7 1984, 2nd Quarter 03/01/84 to 06/31/84
C-8 #8 1984, 3rd Quarter 07/01/84 to 09/31/84
C-9 #9 1984, 4th Quarter 10/01/84 to 12/31/84
D. ANNUAL REPORT
D-1 1983 Annual Report
D-2 1984 Annual Report
D-2.1 1984, Summary of FSSP Annual Meetings D-2.2 Sumnary of Interests, Capabilities, and Experience of SE's D-2.3 Biodata Search Summaries (included in the 1985 Annual Report)
E. TECHNICAL REPORTS AND DOCUMENTS
E-1 Liberia Report
E-2 Honduras Evaluation Report
E-3 Livestock Report
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 37
E-5 Evaluation Task Force (in progress)
E-6 Burkina Faso Country Book (not included)
E-7 The Gambia Country Book (not included)
E-8 Sierra Leone Country Book (not included)
E-9 Togo workshop summary
E-10 Upper Volta Workshop report (not included)
E-11 Wrking Paper 101 E-12 Networking Papers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
E-13 FSR Bibliography
E-14 KSU FSR Bibliography
E-15 Hildebrand, P. and F. Poey. On Farm Agronanic Trials in Farming
Systems Research and Extension.
E-16 FSR/E Case Study Project- FSSP/Population Council
F-l* TMS 101 Technical Overview of FSR/E
F-2* TMS 102 Introduction to Farming Systems Research/ Development
F-3* 'IMS 201 Introduction to the Econmanic Characteristics... F-4* TMS 202 Economic Characteristics fo Small Scale....Farms...
F-5* 4TMS 203 The Small Scale Family Farm as a System F-6* TMS 204 Land Tenure in Upper Volta
F-7* TMS 301 Defining Recommendation Domains
F-8* TMS 302 Initial Characterization: The Rapid survey or SONDEO.
F-9* 'IMS 401 Designing Alternative Solutions- Jutiapa, Guatemala F-10* TMS 402 Designing Alternative Solutions- Zapotitan, El Salvador F-11* TMS 403 Designing Alternative Solutions- North Florida FSR/E F-12* TMS 405 Wbmen and Cassava Production in Zaire F-13* TMS 406 ILCA Highlands Animal Traction- Ethiopia F-14* TMS 501 Design and Analysis of On-Farnm Trials F-15* Int'l Pr. The Land Grant Systen and the University of Florida F-16 TMS 600 Training Unit: Agronomic Experimental Design and Anal.
F-17 TMS 601 Training Unit: Management and Administration in FSR/E
F-18 TMS 602 Training Unit: Diagnosis-Getting Started in FSR/E
F-19 Selected Readings for FSR Methods (Hildebrand)
* slide/tape modules (script available)
G. CIRCULARS 4
G-1 Newsletters Vol. I, Nos. 1,2,3; Vol. II, Nos. 1,2,3,4; Vol.III,
Nos. 1 and 2
G-2 On-Demand 1 thru 5
G-3 On-Networking 1 thru 21
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 38
DATE: May 28, 1985
TO: Dr. Anson Bertrand
THROUGH: Don Osburn & Wendell Morse
FROM: Chris 0. Andrew
RE: FSSP West Africa Support
The following presents results of the recent meetings held in Cameroon concerning possible location of an FSSP regional support office and staff in Cameroon. Budget estimates are included to indicate necessary supplemental support to the core FSSP budget if such action is to be undertaken.
Based upon our last canmunication at the FSSP Advisory Council meeting, we have directed our assessment to establishment of a complete regional support program based in Cameroon. We believe that this should be the position taken. Limited support, however, will not achieve better results than the present mode of operation. A field assistant position (an ex PCV type) might be appropriate as an extension of the present mode to facilitate training and network activities if a complete regional support
program is not possible. We do- not recommend the limited support alternative.
Meetings in Cameroon confirm the position taken by you and the Advisory Council that a complete support package should be considered. Those meetings were held with the following leaders and numerous of their support people:
Dr. Rene Owona Director General, University Center at Dschang
Dr. Joseph Djoukam Deputy Director General, University Center at
Dr. Jean Ongla Director,ENSA (National School of Higher Education) University Center at Dschang
Dr. Joe Busby Chief of Party USAID/UF/UCD Higher Education Contract
Dr. Emanuel Atayi Chief of Party USAID/IITA/IRA National Cereals Research to Extension Project
Dr. Herb Miller Acting Director, USAID Cameroon
Mr. Bob Schmeding HRDO/USAID Cameroon
Mr. Bill Litwiller ADO/USAID Cameroon
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 39
In summary the UCD administration would like to have the FSSP locate
with the University in Dschang assuming that support would be given to the establishment of a farming systems course in the university curriculum, that the FSSP would work closely with the two bilateral contracts (UF and IITA), and that assistance -would be given as the UCD jointly establishes on-farm research with the National Cereals Research and Extension (NCRE) program. The farming systems anm of the NCRE is the Technical Liaison Unit (TLIJ).
The University of Florida technical assistance team reacts positively to logistically supporting an FSSP unit if that unit is under the administrative supervision of the Chief of Party for the work in Cameroon. This is compatible with and supports the UDC administrative position. Thus, the bilateral contract and the UCD would provide office space, administrative support (accounting, money transfer capability, etc) and facilitate establishment of the standard contractor package allowable to but not exceeding that available to the UF bilateral contract team. In return the UF expects that FSSP will respond to the desires expressed by the UCD administrators.
IITA desires to cooperate with FSSP both under present operating
arrangements and if a program office is established in Cameroon. FSSP might locate with the National Research Institute (IRA) near Yaounde instead of at Dschang with the UCD. This was suggested by. Herb Miller but not supported generally by others. IITA and the NCRE would probably be receptive to such collaboration but they agree that cooperative work at UCD would be most desirable. Two NCRE technical assistance people are located at the IRA research station in Dschang adjacent to the UCD. One of the TLUs is near Dschang also so the integration of research and extension presses for the UCD location. We see full collaboration possible with IITA under all alternatives. Note that IITA/Ibadan recommended to Hugh Popenoe in his recent visit to Nigeria that Cameroon would be the place to locate an FSSP unit. Thus, we have discussed the IITA linkage at all levels and are very pleased to report that we see excellent potential for a successful working relationship. It could became a model for not only FSSP/IARC work but for facilitating and strengthening the IARC/National Research Institute linkage.
USAID/Cameroon is supportive of FSSP and desires caution in considering establishment of a caplete regional support program at the UCD. Three considerations were raised by Herb Miller: not to over tax the UCD which is undergoing major institutional development changes at present, to cooperate fully with IITA, and to integrate solidly with the UF bilateral contract. Discussions with administrators of those entities suggest that these considerations are very reasonable and that they can be accamodated for effective programming. Both Bill Litwiller and Bob Schmeding .emphasized the need for adequate financing for a complete program and optimally a four year minimum time frame. Schmeding was very enthusiastic about the regional program concept of linking bilateral contractors. together in West Africa for collaborative support and networking. Jay Johnson is to became Mission Director on June 20, 1985. Jay visited Gainesville for two days to became familiar with the university and we
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 40
spent an hour discussing the FSSP. Before I reached the point of proposing Cameroon as the location for an FSSP program Jay volunteered that he invited us to consider Cameroon. He was very supportive and will be excellent for UF and FSSP to work with.
The Program in Cameroon might then assume the following scope:
1. Establish base for regional training programs in FSR/E.
2. Establish an institutional tie (University Center at Dschang) for
long tem educational programming:
a. Short courses linked with viable FSR/E and OFR work.
b. Degree course in the UCD curriculum with viable FSR/E and
3. Establish a network support base to:
a. Facilitate national linkages through bilateral
contractors and national institutions in West Africa. b. Augment problem (commodity cropping systems, constraints etc) oriented networks of West African researchers and educators with agricultural research, training and extension responsibilities.
* B. Basic Requirements
1. Location with a national institution preferably including a
research, teaching and extension mandate.
2. Potential ties with an ongoing FS and OFR program.
3. Full regional complement multi country with bilateral contract
4. A support commitment by USAID S&T, Africa Bureau and Missions:
a. With a minimum 4 year time frame
b. With an adequate budget as specified below see budget
The stiitary budget for Africa (primarily W. Africa) would call for
$2.377m for the FY period 1986 through 1989 (see attached budget). Four years of programing would include the Cameroon base at about 25% of the total budget, a regional budget for linking with bilteral USAID contracts at about 15% of total budget and a training technical assistance and
networking activity budget at 60% of the budget.
Mission match would influence the overall program but regional training
and network activities can not be supported exclusively with mission
buy-ins. The budget would support up to six major networkshops or training activities and same training unit development support work.
The Cameroon base budget is attached. Computations cover the 21 month
period from January 1, 1986 through September 30, 1987. Projections to
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 41
cover FY 1988 & 1989.
The regional linkage budget anticipated salary only to call forth designated team members frma bilateral contracts for a portion of time to be spent in regional and national FSR/E training and networking. At capacity ('87, '88, '89) this could be four people at quarter time or three people at third time etc.
A consideration of the FSSP budget is necessary as we anticipate the Africa situation. A summary of the FSSP budget through copletion of the present Cooperative Agreement in September 1987 is attached. It includes the basis for phasing into an African regional program but does not anticipate total FSSP costs, should the project be extended.
A summary of projected costs through FY 1987 with and without the W.
Africa strategy coupled with full funding as called for in the Cooperative Agreement and reduced funding as presently suggested by S&T, is attached. Generally the data speak to the situation.
The overall budget shows an extremely low input into LA and Asia/NE
without the TtD funding shown in parenthesis for 86 & 87. There can be no W. Africa program without supplemental funding for the final two years (FY 88 & 89). If all funding in the Cooperative Agreement were available $100,900 could be carried into the next funding or project period. Even then there will be a short fall of $468,100 in FY 86 unless the funding is evened out (moved fra 87 to "16). If there is no new program in W. Africa the FY 86 short fall will be $277,800 and $967,100 in FY 87.. To sustain this reduction Africa delivery could be reduced primarily to Mission buy-ins, core staffing could be reduced and/or the program development effort reduced. Probably each would need to be cut where possible depending upon overall program priorities. The first phase of the FSSP might be forced to terminate prior to Sept 30 1987 if funding level II is implemented.
Hopefully this gives you a reasonably complete picture of where we
might go with the FSSP in Africa relative to the overall funding situation. In conclusion, our efforts in W. Africa are going very well, contrary to what many might have expected. Fanning systems work in W. Africa has become in many places an accepted way to address research and extension needs. FSR/E prerams, however, are only in initial stages of evolution. It will b, unfortunate if we reduce activity as we are most needed.
FSSP Sunnary Memos (06/85) 42
(1000s) FY 86 87 88* 89* Total
Cameroon base ** 151.1 145.1 152.3 159.9 608.4
linkages 39.2 96.6 101.4 106.4 343.6
Training, TA &
Networking 300.0 350.0 375.0 400.0 1425.0
TOTAL 490.3 591.7 628.7 666.3 2377.0
* Projected from base
** See Africa Budget (base support)
FSSP Sumnry Memos (06/85) 43
FY 85 86 87 88 89
Adm. Sal. 79.1 166.1 174.4
Support 9.4 21.3 20.8
Ind. Cost 41.6 88.0 91.7
130.1 275.4 286.9
Mgnt.: Sal. 126.8 264.7 278.1
Support 45.8 96.8 103.3
Ind. Cost 81.1 170.0 179.6
253.7 531.5 561.0 TOTAL 383.8 806.9 847.9
Core: Cameroon 151.1 145.1 152.3 159.9
Regional 39.2 96.6 101.4 106.4
Networking 100.0* 300.0* 350.0* 375.0 400.0
Total Africa 100.0 490.3 591.7 628.7 666.3 2377.0
Program Dev.& World Net
Newsletter 29.2 58.4 58.4
Symposium 18.0 18.0 18.0
Bib 21.0 43.0
B +D'B handbook 17.5 Program dev + SOA
TUD 85.0 (232)** (200)**
T C (Travel) 20.0 20.0 20.0
S.E.An Meeting-travel 25.0 25.0 25.0
Publication 20.0 40.0 40.0
Total 235.7 204.4 161.4
ASIA + L.A. NETIWORKING 20.0 30.0 30.0
TOTAL 739.5 1531.6 1531.0
* In present budget
** Desired for training program development not included in totals.
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 44
BUDGET IN AFRICA
FY 86 87 TOTAL
(9 months) (12 months) (21 months)
1. 1 CORE IN RESIDENCE 30,000 42,000
Salary 6,900 9,660
Fringe (23%) 7,500 10,500
44,400 62,160 106,560
Travel 3,400 3.400
Long term 5,400 7,200
6,750 7,200 13,950
Freight 3,950 3,950
Storage 1,450 1,950
Other 250 250 500
Total 61,700 78,910 140,610
Ind. @ 32 19,744 25,251 44,995
TOTAL 81,444 104,161 185,605
2. SUPPORT-IN AFRICA
Secretarial. 12,000 15,000
Office Equip. 15,000 5,000
Fuel & Rep. 4 4,000 4,000
Driver 4,500 6,000
Supplies 750 1,000
Total 52,750 31,000 83,750
Ind @ 32 16,880 9,920 26,800
TOTAL 69,630 40,920 110,550
3. TOTAL CORE &
SUPPORT 151,074 145,081 296,155
FSSP Suma-y Memos (06/85) 45
FSSP BUDGET AND RELEASE
FY 85 86 87
Apr 1(lO00s) Oct i
Full 1123* 680 2100
Partial 1123 680 700**
W/O Af. Based Core 739.5 1341.3 1389.3
Full 383.5 (-277.8) 432.9
Partial 383.5 (-277.8) (-967.1)
W/Af. Based Core 739.5 1531.6 1531.0
Full 383.5 (-468.1) 100.9
Partial 383.5 (-468.1) (-1299.1)
* 85 Fiscal released April 85
** Preliminary S&T/Ag request
FSSP Summary Memos (06/85) 46
94 Annex 3
LIST OF PERSONS CONTACTED
Name Position Organization
Gloria Steele Agr. Economist AID/AFR
Dale Harpstead Advisor BIFAD
Bill Judy ADO AID
Harlan Davis Deputy Director AID/ST/AGR
Phil Church Division Chief AID/ST/AGR
Ken McDermott Agr. Economist FSSP
Marc Winter Division Chief AID/AFR/T R/ARD
Ken Prussner Deputy Division Chief AID/AFR/TR/ARD
Ken Swanberg APMT member, FSSP AID/S&T/RD
Ed Rice ADO AID/ANE/TR
Don Wadley Deputy Agency Director AID/S&T/FA
Ralph Cummings, Jr. Special Assistant AID/S&T/FA
Wendell Morse APMT member, FSSP AID/S&T/AGR
Jeryis Oweis Advisor BIFAD
Chris Andrew Project Director FSSP
Peter Hildebrand Agr. Economist University of Florida,
Susan Poats Associate Director FSSP
Dan Galt Associate Director FSSP
Lisette Walecka Assistant Director FSSP
James Jones Associate Director FSSP
Ken Tefertiller Vice Pres., Agr. Affairs University of Florida
Hugh Popenoe Director, Int'l. Programs University of Florida
Larry Zuidema Chairperson FSSP Adv. Council,
Cornelia Flora Chairperson FSSP Technical Committee,
Kansas State University
Don Osburn Project Manager, FSSP AID/ST/AGR
95 Annex 4a
FSSP SUPPORT ENTITY SURVEY
(Administrative Coordinators and Program Leaders Combined)
Check the response that best reflects your judgment.
1. Technical assistance implementaton activities of the FSSP have been
effectively carried out.
Strongly agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree
Number: S.A. 3 A. 18 N.O. 12 D. 2 S.D. 2
Percent: 8.1 48.6 32.4 5.4 5.4
2. Domestic training activities of the FSSP have been effectively carried
S.A. 4 A. 23 N.O. 5 D. 5 S.D.
10.8 62.1 13.5 13.5
3. Training workshops in developing countries have been effectively
S.A. 3 A. 9 N.O. 22 D. "3 S.D.
8.1 24.3 59.4 8.1
4. Networking activities in developing countries have been effectively
S.A. 3 A. 11 N.O. 15 D. 3 S.D.
8.1 29.7 40.5 21.6
5. FSSP slide tape modules are useful.
S.A. 4j3 A. 18 N.O. 11 D. 5 S.D.
- 8.1 48.6 2-'.7 .--f.5
6. Our contribution to the overall success of the FSSP has been consistent
with our original expectation.
S.A. 3 A. 13 N.O. 4 D. 12 S.D. 5
8.1 35.1 10.8 32.4 13.5
7. Our contribution to FSSP has been in accordance with the Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) between our institution and the University of Florida.
S.A. 7 A. 16 N.O. 4 D. 9 S.D. 1
18.9 43.2 10.8 24.3 2.7
8. Our institution has contributed to the success of FSSP.
S.A. 8 A. 18 N.O. 3 D. 5 S.D. 3
21.6 48.6 8.1 13.5 8.1
9. Our institution has considerable expertise and capability in FSR/E
S.A. 17 A. 19 N.O. D. 1 S.D.
45.9 51.3 2.7
10. The FSR/E methodologies identified by the FSSP are comprehensive and
S.A. 2 A. 14 N.O. 4 D. 17 S.D.
5.4 37.8 10.8 45.9
11. Training support materials for FSR/E are appropriate.
S.A. 3 A. 18 N.O. 7 D. 9 S.D.
8.1 --.6 .9 24.3
12. Have representatives from your institution provided assistance in any of
the training workshops in developing countries?
Yes 14 No 23
13. Have representatives from your institution participated in FSSP technical
Yes 22 No 15
14. Has your institution had representation on the technical committee?
Yes 17 No 20
15. Has your institution had representatives on task forces?
Yes 24 No 13
16. Have you attended domestic workshops?
Yes 19 No 18
17. Have representatives from your institution attended domestic workshops?
Yes 33 (Approximate No. ) No 4
18. Has your institution provided leadership (organized, served as a trainer,
or hosted) in domestic workshops where FSSP provided major support
(workshop where FSSP personnel, materials, etc. were utilized)?
Yes 15 No 22
19. Has anyone from your institution participated as a "participant add-on"
for any FSSP activity?
Yes 4 No 33
If yes, evaluate the experience (pro and con).
20. What do you Sonsider the most positive feature(s) of the FSSP? (If more
than .one response, please rank in importance).