Innovation platforms, participatory video and WAT-A-GAME for participatory NRM: Experiences from Ethiopia

Presented by Beth Cullen at the Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture (IRSTEA) Workshop, Montpellier, 17 December 2013
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  • 1. Innovation platforms, participatory video and WAT-A-GAME for participatory NRM: Experiences from Ethiopia Beth Cullen International Livestock Research Institute Presented at IRSTEA, Montpellier 17 December 2013
  • 2. Applied anthropology Anthropology: the study of human beings, their culture, behaviour, beliefs, and ways of living. ‘Applied anthropologists use the knowledge, skills and perspective of their discipline to help solve human problems and facilitate change’ (Chambers, 1985). Anthropology for development: what do ‘they’ want?
  • 3. Participatory action research Involves people who are concerned about or affected by an issue taking a leading role in producing and using knowledge about it. •Driven by participants who have a stake in the issue being researched •Democratic knowledge sharing: all participants can contribute, produce, own and use knowledge •Collaborative at every stage, involving discussion, pooling skills and working together •Intended to result in action, change or improvement •Iterative- action and critical reflection takes place throughout
  • 4. My work so far has focused on... •Gathering knowledge about communities through participatory approaches •Using and developing participatory research methods to involve participants in research and development processes •Working with participants to apply knowledge to practical problems/challenges •Documenting and analysing the results collaboratively •Using the findings to influence interventions and policy
  • 5. Overview of NBDC project... Nile Basin Development Challenge aims to improve the resilience of rural livelihoods in the Ethiopian highlands through a landscape approach to rainwater management.
  • 6. Focus on policies and institutions (not just technological interventions) Historically NRM interventions in Ethiopia have been topdown leading to limited sustainability of interventions. Base-line research conducted in three NBDC sites at the start of the project identified the following issues: •Isolated technical interventions •Lack of cross-sector collaboration and coordination •Weaknesses in technical design •Poor follow up and monitoring •Lack of relevance to local priorities •Lack of voluntary collective action
  • 7. Development of a working hypothesis... • Development of integrated strategies by a range of stakeholders which consider technologies, policies and institutions will demonstrate an alternative approach to top-down implementation and lead to improved NRM. But how do we achieve this?
  • 8. Or...
  • 9. Innovation Platforms... A need-based network bringing together stakeholders from different interest groups, disciplines, sectors and organisations to exchange knowledge and resources, generate innovation and develop joint action. Established in Fogera in July 2011. Participants include: •Woreda administration, •Bureau of Agriculture (Natural Resource, Water, Women, Cooperatives, Land Use, Livestock) •Adet Agricultural Research Center, •Andassa Livestock Research Center, •Ethio-Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (NGO), •Community representatives
  • 10. First steps... Joint identification of common NRM issue to ensure collective action NRM Issue? But this raised a series of challenges...
  • 11. Stakeholder representation: Community members often dominated by more powerful actors with significant implications for both entry point selection and subsequent pilot interventions
  • 12. Conflict Lack of common understanding about NRM issues between the different platform members, leading to competing agendas and conflicting perspectives about potential solutions.
  • 13. Need for facilitation ‘Innovation brokering’ required to address issues of representation and power and work with actors to change these dynamics. Questions about who should act as broker- ‘internal’ or ‘external’ actors.
  • 14. Community engagement: Participatory Video
  • 15. Issue Identification Fogera Actors IP members Community Main issue Related issue Unrestricted grazing Land degradation Restricted grazing Shortage of grazing/fodder Water scarcity Shortage of water Soil conservation Organization of campaign work
  • 16. Restricted grazing prioritised as an issue but different views about how it should be addressed. Farmers concerned about a number of issues: •HH without livestock unable to collect dung for fuel •Inability for livestock to breed without AI services •Insufficient fodder production to meet livestock needs, particularly for those with less land •Greater burden of labour with cut and carry system •Limited access to communal areas for funerals/wedding etc. due to enclosures Range of interventions needed over longer time frame.
  • 17. Participatory Video screened to Innovation Platform members
  • 18. Innovation Fund • 80,000 ETB was allocated to the platform to fund action research activities • Proposals and action plans were developed by IP members according to defined criteria • Actions should be cross-sectoral, participatory, designed to address RWM issues and targeted to suitable area • A site was selected within the designated NBDC watershed • Fodder interventions chosen due to common concerns around the issue of grazing • Action to take place at household level, farmland and communal land
  • 19. Fodder interventions complement SLM campaign - but small scale
  • 20. Stakeholder Capacity Building A lot of talk about ‘participatory planning’ but difficult to put it into action. WAT-A-GAME as a way forward?
  • 21. Aims to develop tools and operational frameworks for Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) that can be applied at meso-scale in a variety of environmental and socio-economic conditions in Africa. Also to provide participatory management options for INRM which are embedded in local traditions and culture, and are scientifically sound. Fogera is one of the Afromaison case study sites.
  • 22. NBDC and AfroMaison researchers worked together to model the Fogera catchment and simulate RWM issues and dynamics identified by stakeholders: water availability, run-off, soil erosion and the impact of different land-use practices The aim was to use the model to: • Improve stakeholder understanding about natural resource challenges and the needs/priorities of different social actors • Nurture critical discussion, about linkages between upstream/midstream/downstream actors and potential conflicts associated with the use and management of natural resources, • Facilitate collective exploration of alternative strategies which could lead to more sustainable and effective NRM interventions
  • 23. WAT-A-GAME: not just about the tool, process is important too...
  • 24. 1st WAG workshop Fogera 1st workshop (Dec 2012) aimed to develop strategies which capture the priorities, knowledge and perspectives of farmers and decision makers, and make commonalities and differences visible.
  • 25. Farmers Decision makers
  • 26. 2nd WAG workshop Fogera 2nd workshop (April 2013) reviewed strategies developed during first workshop and created a merged strategy. Potential challenges to implementation were discussed and ideas for solutions were generated, including incentives for different actor groups.
  • 27. Creation of a merged strategy
  • 28. 3rd WAG workshop Fogera 3rd workshop (September 2013) explored equity issues in more detail through micro game. Discussed roles and responsibilities of different actor groups and developed concrete plans for taking the strategy into action through pilot implementation.
  • 29. Micro game to explore equity issues
  • 30. Outcomes •Participatory process resulted in the identification of ‘wicked problems’, which led to very different research questions and outcomes. •Greater understanding of power dynamics and equity issues, and their impact on multi-stakeholder processes (including NRM interventions). •Development of a joint strategy focusing on a ‘common issue’ which is tailored to different socio-economic and biophysical niches •Some changes in knowledge, attitudes and practice among IP members but may not lead to wide-scale change •Need for continued work at different scales, i.e. a ‘nested’ innovation platform approach
  • 31. Future efforts •Workshop to finalise concept note with committee members - to be held in January. CN will be used to seek funds for pilot interventions - potential donors already identified •Explore ways of linking WAT-A-GAME process to biophysical modelling - scenarios for discussion with stakeholders •Asses potential for upscaling WAT-A-GAME as a decision support tool - explore ways of making it more user friendly •Follow up work to assess the impact of the process to date on stakeholder understandings of key issues •Develop better methods for monitoring and evaluating impact of participatory processes
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