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                                                                         (Oct-Nov 2000  issue)              MANAGE Bulletin

Participatory Watershed Management

MANAGE organised a four-day Workshop-cum-Training Programme on "Participatory Watershed Management" for the functionaries of Yug Nirman Yojana, an organisation under Gayatri Parivar, a socio-cultural organisation involved in developmental activities, at Norozabad, Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh during October 3-10, 1999. There were 311 participants from four districts and included functionaries of Yug Nirman Yojana, farmers, and officers of South Eastern Coals Ltd. (SECL).

Programme Objectives

  • To improve understanding and promote the concept of watershed development
  • To orient about participatory approaches in watershed management, and understand the relationship between Human, Social and Natural resources.
  • Focus on the important role of women in planning watershed projects and rural development works and prioritise them.
  • To highlight the importance and role of various functionaries associated with watershed development and to understand the process of participatory watershed programme in Madhya Pradesh and other areas.
  • To emphasize the role of villagers in preparation, implementation, supervision, evaluation, maintenance and sustainability of participatory watershed projects.

This programme was conducted by Shri. A.K. Goel, Director General, MANAGE

In his inaugural address, Sri A.K.Goel, Director General, MANAGE touched upon the relationship between nature and women, and presented different aspects of social resources management.

International Extension Training Programme

A 21 member delegation from Michigan State University came for a four-day programme at MANAGE as part of their International Extension Training Programme (India field visit) on October 19, 1999. Shri. A.K. Goel, Director General, MANAGE, in his inaugural address presented a picture of Agricultural and Rural Development scenario in the country with specific reference to the silent revolution taking place in rural parts of Andhra Pradesh. The Director General explained the process of rural empowerment, where groups of women are transforming the rural economy and the social structure from perpetually poverty ridden, feudalistic to self sufficiency and educational awakening; success stories with reference to the white revolution, green revolution and watershed development with peoples’ participation.

The programme included visits to Kurnool, and institutions like ICRISAT and NIN. The participants were happy with the exposure at Kurnool. "The village visits were a life changing experience", "tremendous experience", "I learnt something that I plan to use in US" and "I think we can empower people in our urban, low economic areas much as you have done with the village ladies" were some of the responses of the participants. The Kalwa village visit was an eye opener where participants interacted with women organization members, notably, Ms Fatima Bee and Ms Zubeda Bee who shared their success stories of making the village women self-reliant and socially aware about their rights and responsibilities. The activities of thrift and credit particularly attracted the younger participants as they show a commonality with their working situation among rural youth.

An interaction with university research scientists at Regional Research station, Nandyal was very helpful in highlighting the contribution of university research extension system in transferring the research findings to farmers. The visit to KVKs helped participants to understand the Research-Extension-farmer linkages in the current agricultural system. The broad-based activities undertaken by KVKs particularly by the NGO KVK at Yagantepalle were appreciated. The Programme was coordinated by Dr. VP. Sharma, Deputy Director, MANAGE.

Participatory Research Management

A Programme on "Participatory Research Management" was conducted during November 11 – 16, 1999 by MANAGE in collaboration with CSAU, Kanpur. The venue was CSAU, Kanpur and participants included 28 scientists representing various disciplines.

The objectives were to sensitize the scientists to demand driven research in partnership with farmers; understand the mechanism and techniques relevant to plan and conduct the research in participatory mode and to appraise the scientists’ group about the value of man management in research teams.

The coverage of the programme included Project management techniques with special reference to LFA; Participatory Rural Appraisal Techniques; and Man Management in research teams.

This course created the scope for greater relationship building between MANAGE and the University. The course was directed by Dr. Vikram Singh, Deputy Director MANAGE.

Orientation Course for People's Representatives

Two Orientation Course for People’s Representatives from Uttar Pradesh were organised at MANAGE during August 23 – 28, and November 1-5, 1999. The first programme had 28 participants representing District Panchayat, Village Panchayat and Nagar Panchayat from Bulandshahar, Unnao, Barabanki and Hardoi districts; of this group, 20 participants were associated with the Gayatri Parivar- a socio-cultural organisation involved in developmental activities. It was observed that the Gayatri Parivar participants had a unique combination of training in facilitation skills to work with rural community and the legitimacy to influence the decision for village development by virtue of being the office bearers in the village Panchayat. The commitment at the individual level (through training) clubbed with political power at whatever level, probably would succeed in any developmental effort. This becomes all the more relevant in a state like Uttar Pradesh where the decentralization of power, authority and finance has already been done at Panchayat level. This course provided some unique experiences and lessons: -

Training People’s Representatives cum farmers’ enriched the knowledge of MANAGE faculty by improving awareness of the problems at the village level and the role of Panchayats’ at different levels.

Employing a methodology in this course where the emphasis was laid on learning by creating laboratories viz. social laboratory for women development, Cyber laboratory for agricultural extension development, laboratory on farm based enterprises at farmers level to understand the concept of agri-entrepreneurship and Ryuthu Bazar, apart from a few classroom sessions was a learning experience. More than 60% of the time was spent in these laboratories. Seeing is believing and learning by experience was the core principle in designing this course keeping the nature of the participants in view.

The success of the course design could be attributed to its flexibility as it was like a story line, which kept building during the course.

Creating and facilitating a learning environment, employing the right methodology and material, demonstrating good relationship skills, commitment of time and effort were some of the key factors which could be attributed to the success of this course.

There was an encouraging response from the participants who appreciated the practical knowledge provided.

In the second course in the series 26 memberss representing Jhansi and hamirpur districts of Bundelkhand region participated.

The design and methodology of this course was similar to that of the earlier course. In addition there were the visits arranged to vermicompost units, poultry units and an interface with a man and a woman sarpanch of Andhra Pradesh in their respective villages. The participants also interacted with Mr. V.K.Taori, Managing Director and CEO, The A.P. Mahesh Co-operative Bank Ltd., Dr. A.Soma Sekhar, Founder President, Society for Participatory Development & Research (SPDR), Hyderabad and representative of LIC alongwith Dr. Kamal Taori and discussed about enterprise development at the village level. This meeting culminated in fetching an assignment of installing Gobar Gas Plant by one of the participating Pradhans who had done extremely good work in his own village.

Finally, two representatives of this group addressed a press conference in A.P. Chamber of Commerce along with Secretary, Rural Development, Govt. of India and Dr. Kamal Taori, emphasizing the need to mobilise resources from various financial institutions to villages on partnership basis, and / or as loan and not as subsidy to promote entrepreneurship / agri-preneurship. The role of MANAGE in the promotion of the concept of agri-preneurship, at farmers level through the conduct of these courses was appreciated and highlighted.

The course ended on an oath taken by the participants committing themselves to promote entrepreneurship in their own families / villages.A video film on this course is available. The course was directed by Dr. Vikram Singh, Deputy Director MANAGE.

Study and Research

Extension Education Institutes: role, status and future needs

The Directorate of Extension, Ministry of Agriculture Govt. of India, has established four Extension Education Institutes (EEIs), at Nilokheri, Anand, Jorhat and Hyderabad, for imparting training to middle level extension personnel of the state departments.

In order to improve effectiveness of these institutions, the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India entrusted the assignment to conduct a study on the role, status and future needs of EEIs as "Regional Institutes" to MANAGE.

Terms of reference

  • To study and evaluate the existing functions and activities of the institutes with reference to the role of EEIs as regional institutes in transmission of available technology to its clients.
  • Determine role of EEIs as regional institutes in organizing courses in areas of upgradation of communication skills, managerial skills, management of training programmes, training methods, video production techniques, Monitoring & Evaluation, distance learning, management of agricultural information systems, behavioral skills, project management, PRA techniques for extension workers.
  • Determine the extent of overlap or duplication in the activities of SAUs, MANAGE vis--vis those of other agencies engaged in the training programme of field functionaries.
  • Make recommendations about the role that EEIs should play as "Regional Institutes" for organising training programmes in communication and allied areas.
  • Make recommendations about the future set up of EEIs taking into account the role envisaged for these Institutes for transfer of relevant information to the extension functionaries.

A team of MANAGE faculty and facilitators conducted four diagnostic workshops at Extension Education Institutions in Nilokheri, Hyderabad, Anand and Jorhat and visited line departments of states of Punjab, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

The study is coordinated by Sri B.D.Tripathi, Deputy Director, MANAGE. The contribution of Dr.R.K.Saxena, Additional Director of Agriculture, Jaipur, Govt. of Rajasthan, and Dr.O.P.Agnihotri, Secretary, U.P. Council of Agricultural Research, Lucknow, MANAGE facilitators in this assignment is acknowledged.

Collaborative Research Project

Future of India’s Grain Supply and Demand

MANAGE is involved in a collaborative research project with Iowa State University, and University of Nebraska, on "Future of India’s Grain Supply and Demand". Principal Investigators are Dr. E. Wesley, Dr. F. Peterson from Nebraska and Dr. J.P. Singh from MANAGE India. The survey will cover 1200 households from Haryana state to represent thenorthern region and Andhra Pradesh for southern region.

Organisational Management Skills for Development Personnel

This course was conducted at MANAGE with 12 participants comprising 2 from department of Agriculture, Govt. of Maharashtra, 2 from Syndicate Bank and 8 from NGOs representing OXFAM, MYRADA, WOTR and OUTREACH.

The objectives of the programme were to sensitize development mangers to acquire the requisite managerial skills to improve the organisational systems eventually meeting organisational goals by improving individual performance and to understand integrated approach as a management strategy with emphasis on its application into the organisation.

The contents of the programe included Goal Setting; Analysis and Problem solving; Motivation; Leadership; Decision-making; Delegation; Communication and Feedback Mechanism.

The course was directed by Dr. Vikram Singh, Deputy Director, MANAGE.

 

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