Analysis and processing of the field assessment of participatory research: workshop document. Workshop held at EARO in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 17-21, 2002 uri icon

abstract

  • The participatory research assessment initiative started in early 2001 when there was an agreement on shared objectives with EARO management. This was followed by the design of anassessment frame (workshop in April 2001), a field assessment of case studies (in March 2002), and a subsequent analysis of field assessment information (part I of this workshop), and then feedback to EARO management which resulted in decisions on next steps and the way forward (part 2 of this workshop reported here). The 8 case studies for the field assessment were chosen to compare different types of research that were conventional to those using different degrees of farmer participation and associated techniques and methods. The selection of cases were also set up so as to make a comparison between NRM and variety selection types of research, and to provide practical examples that could be analysed using the performance indicators related to effective research (the impact framework designed in the first workshop.) The overall general expectations at the onset of the assessment process were to understand the potentials and constraints of participatory research in the Ethiopian context, to produce a framework and guidelines for best practice and for impact assessment of research, and formulate a strategy for operationalizing participatory research using our knowledge of success factors in Ethiopia as part of implementing effective research. The overall hypothesis that was that participation of farmers and stakeholders makes research more effective. More specifically, the 2-part workshop reported here was organized to deepen the analysis of participatory research (PR) using a synthetic assessment of a range of field experiences against the impact framework that is indicative of good general research practice (Part I ). Part I had the following outputs: a summary of the impacts, benefits, gaps, challenges and constraints of the approaches used; identification of best practices in existing work and reflections on the assessment, the guiding principles and lessons arising รข?? which we called success factors. These results were then shared in Part 2, a second workshop session that invited a wider group of EAROmanagers from headquarters and research stations. This management group provided further reactions, impressions and recommendations as well as a strategy to move forward to improve the efficiency of research in Ethiopia. Some guiding values and principles for effective, impact-oriented research were identified in the first workshop and shared with managers during Part 2 a and these were felt to be very important.Some of the important impact areas and contributions of PR identified in the synthesis included:. Enhances the development of appropriate technologies. Enhances relevance of research approach. Establishes linkages among farmers, between farmers and institutions. Engages farmers in actively searching for their own solutions to problems. Builds farmers capacity in managing their resourcesria . Changes attitudes of researchers and institutions towards farmers of the weak areas identified in current application of PR included:Inadequate competency in PR of implementing agents. Limited commitment and engagement by research staff in fieldwork with farmers. Inadequate documentation of the PR process. Limited technology options for farmers

publication date

  • 2003