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Establishing Learning Alliances for Extension ~ Key Learnings from Laos. Establishing Learning Alliances for Extension: Key Learnings from Laos. evaluating. identifying & adapting. training staff/ implementing. About the ‘EASLP’ Project….

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Establishing learning alliances for extension key learnings from laos l.jpg

Establishing Learning Alliances for Extension

~ Key Learnings from Laos

Establishing Learning Alliances for Extension: Key Learnings from Laos


About the easlp project l.jpg

evaluating

identifying

& adapting

training staff/

implementing

About the ‘EASLP’ Project…

‘Extension Approaches for Scaling out Livestock Production

in Northern Lao PDR’

Fostering further adoption of improved livestock production by adapting extension methods and

staff development approaches

across five northern provinces.

Action Research:


About northern laos l.jpg
About Northern Laos…

  • Ethnic minorities, poverty, subsistence, swidden agriculture, rugged, remote, poor infrastructure…

  • Extension in Laos – NAFES - new and evolving extension system, lack of well educated extension staff (especially women and ethnic), lack of funds, lack of infrastructure…


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About Learning Alliances…

(CIAT) : Africa, Latin America and southeast Asia since 2001.

partnership between research, development and other organizations, which jointly implement a set of activities in an area of mutual interest and begin a process of learning from the activities

  • Develop and share approaches,

  • Share knowledge,

  • Expand learning opportunities,

  • Promote synergy,

  • Flexible, adaptable mechanism.


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Presentation Outline

  • Background – EASLP, Lao extension, Learning Alliances

  • Case Study: Evaluation of the Legumes for Pigs Alliance

  • Successful Learning Alliances/Partnerships

  • Transferring the learning


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The Legumes for Pigs Learning Alliance

2006: ‘Forage legumes for supplementing village pigs in Lao PDR’

  • CIAT Asia, NAFRI, QDPI, ACIAR .

  • Research component: options for feeding systems

  • Scaling out component via learning alliance ~World Vision Laos, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, German Agro Action, Lao Department of Agriculture and Forestry offices.


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2008: EASLP Evaluation of the Alliance

Evaluate the partner’s experiences of the L4PP learning alliance, including perceptions of the benefits, constraints, limitations and strategies for improvement.

17 Interviews with 2 pairs of interviewers Project Leaders & Field Staff

CIAT L4PP, L4PP Provincial, L4PP District, World Vision, CRWRC, GAA

Aim

Method


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Research findings…

  • Numerous benefits of working in partnership and positive outcomes for all partners.

  • Limitations: staffing, bureaucracies – far outweighed by benefits.

  • Improvement strategies: Improve extension capacity, strengthen the network, scale out.


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“We have the stylo, we have theextension materials,we have the guidelines, the rules…

When we need support we get support, if not from CIAT then from another project…

No! I have never seen done what CIAT have done. Never seen that. It was very nice.”

(NGO project leader)


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Partnerships: Keys to success

1. Maximise ‘mutuality’:

  • Focus on commonalities

  • Ensure equal benefit

  • Engage appropriate staff

  • Build capacity

  • Promote understanding and trust

  • Equal input.


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Mutuality within the Alliance

  • Common aim, mode of operation and interests,

  • Goals mutually negotiated,

  • Capacity building,

  • Opportunities for feedback, reflection and evaluation.

  • Staff: increased confidence - enthusiastic - valued - new friendships.

  • Desire for increased mutuality: technical improvements to boost capacity, exploration of project sites, pooling of data and resources, increasing planning and evaluation


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2. Maintain ‘organisational identity’

  • Articulate missions, aims, values, stakeholders,

  • Articulate unique contributions,

  • Formalise processes,

  • Formalise commitments,

  • Document successes.


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Organisational Identity within the Alliance

  • Large, well established organisations,

  • Processes negotiated and agreed by all parties,

  • Formal articulation of the unique contributions of each partner


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Transferring the Learning

  • Relationships are vital,

  • Conscious attention to the business of forming and maintaining the partnership – not just the goals of partnership,

  • Reinforce mutuality and organisational identity.



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