Group development • Introduction Most animals ,human beings included , are gregarious in nature . They would like to stay in groups. This they do , most probably for security reasons, but also because of the synergies that comes about when they live together ie sharing of food, ideas and problems
Group formation Objectives • Define what a group is? • Participants to have common understanding of reasons of forming groups • To have common understanding of stages of group formation • To share with participants about common causes of group failures • Group conflicts and management strategies • Group constitution and structure • Group sustainability and empowerment Key activity: Role plays
The group extension approach • What is it? • Working with farmers who are organised in groups as opposed to working with individual farmers. • A group is three or more people interacting to achieve a common goal or objectives e.g. to increase food production household food security. • It can be said to be , union, co-operative , partnership of people who voluntarily come together for the purpose of pursuing a common goal. • A cluster/association is a number of farmer groups linked together and sharing common objectives.
Why chose the group approach? • Suitable for high AEW: FARMER(>1:300+) ratio. • Cost –effective in input and output marketing • Enables inexperienced extension staff to gain confidence and knowledge • New farming knowledge adopted by farmer group spreads much faster. • Group members are able to fully participate
Why chose the group approach cont.. • Helps to change participants’ attitude • Induces a spirit of competition and a sense of responsibility. • Stimulates change in behaviour • Promotes farmer to farmer sharing of information • Risk taking is higher • It is easier to get credit as a group because of group guarantor • Bargaining is made easier-farmers speaking with one voice
Stages of group development • Realization stage: The group realizes that they have something in common ie problem or common want /needs. Needs can be turned into goals • Formalization stage: The group needs to establish itself in a formal manner ie constitution, leadership selection • Forming stage/Storming: Group members quarrel and view each other as useless
Stages of group development • Norming stage: Group knows each other very well and views each other’s contribution with respect. The group agrees on norms and values • Performing stage: The group is mature and concerned about real output not petty squabbles. Project diversification and sustainability can be noticed at this stage.
Common causes of group failures • Lack of clear vision that is shared amongst all members. • Failure to hold regular meetings/trainings • Lack of binding constitution or enforcement of by-laws • Lack of accountability and monitoring of group activities ie stifled creativity, lack of innovation • Poor leadership ie corruption, lack of active participation due to undemocratic principles of leaders. The following are some forms of leadership; Natural leaders, reluctant, hidden,trained and traditional leaders
Common group conflicts and their management • Conflicts arise when opposing views emerge, whether sensible or not .The opposing views can be due to beliefs, values, attitudes, ideas, perception, expectations etc. • Lack of accountability in terms of money, • Increase absenteeism • Low morale • Unmet expectations ie decrease in production • Authoritarian/autocratic/dictatorship leadership (office infighting) • Gossiping
Common group conflicts and their management cont..... • Conflicts can cause faltering performance, lower morale, stifled creativity, lack of innovation and impaired team work • Conflicts enhance communication, increased morale, productivity, improved team work and can be catalyst for innovation • Conflicts can be managed by accommodating, Prevention, compromising, avoidance and dialogue means. • The following stages are key in conflict management; planning , facing, following up, resolving and following up again
Group constitution • Name of group • Addresses; Postal and Physical • Area of operation • Aim • Objectives • Membership • Eligibility • Assumption • Cessation
Group constitution cont.... • Term of office for executive committee • Roles of executive committee • Duties of ; • Committee members • Chairperson and vice chairperson • Secretary and Vice secretary • Treasurer • Meetings/Elections/AGM • Executive committee meetings
Group constitution cont.... • Annual general meetings • Funding and accounts • Discipline • Amendment of constitution • Dissolution of the group(What about group assets?)
Group sustainability and empowerment • The group has diversified on their projects-started new ones and has a healthy financial system. • Meeting and training plan and frequency • Presence of vertical links and less dependency on external support • The group is progressing very well along the group maturity index continuum. That is Social Capital &Human capital ,Sustainability, participation process, reach &dissemination, group organisational capacity
A check list for Establishing Viable Groups • The group shall be small • The group should be homogeneous • The group should be formed around a common issue to be addressed. • The group should be voluntary and democratic • Group membership needs to be defined. • Women’s participation
A check list for Establishing Viable Groups • Choosing name of a group • Scheduled Meetings and frequency • Building blocks of a sustainable group; • Leadership • Contributions • Group Constitution • Record Keeping
Procedures of Facilitating Establishment of Farmer Groups • Call a community meeting to explain concept and advantages • Share experiences on causes for group failure and success • Identify the need for group formation • Identify criteria and category of membership • Share broadly the concept with local leadership • Let farmers decide how to organise themselves into groups • Farmers to decide on AIM, mission statement and objectives of the group • Farmers should select their own leadership
Selecting Group Leadership • Structure is necessary for group to effectively function (constitution). • Group Leadership usually consists of the core; • Chairperson (Define roles and functions) • Secretary (Define roles and functions) • Treasurer(Define roles and functions) • Committee members • Define qualities of a leader • Define roles of group Leadership • Facilitate selection process
Role of frontline staff • Inform local and traditional leadership on the concept and ensure that they buy in to the concept. • Organise Community meeting • Guide group formation process and ensure good understanding of principles, processes involved, leadership selection criteria etc • Guide the process of planning of activities
Activity 1 • An organisation X wants to initiate livestock project in Mazvihwa ward in Chivi district. They want to use the group approach in delivering extension and training messages to farmers. You are the frontline staff in the ward .How do you facilitate farmers to be in groups for the above purpose.
Activity 2 How do you evaluate whether groups formed in activity 1 are developing towards maturity stage of group development. Activity 3 Mrs ‘Y’ the group treasurer has mis- appropriated group funds alongside with group executive and no one within the group has the guts to raise the issue and the group is about to crumble. As an extension agent how do you solve the issue?