20 January 2007

Farmer-Led Documentation to mobilize and share rural knowledge

PROLINNOVA just released the report of an international exchange and capacity building workshop on farmer-led documentation (FLD).

The workshop aimed to:
  • increase insight in the role of local knowledge and its mobilisation and documentation by communities as part of wider development efforts;
  • share and analyse how different traditional and modern media can be used for farmer-led documentation and develop lessons learnt;
  • encourage development organisations to integrate farmer-led documentation into their regular programmes and facilitate learning between the participants and their organisations, during the workshop as well as afterwards.
The report presents FLD as "an empowering process in which local communities take the lead role in the documentation process and where the results are used by the community members for purposes of internal learning and exchange between communities, and between a community and development workers / policy makers."

Through FLD, farmers develop the knowledge required for their work through their own experience with agricultural practices and management of natural resources; they share this knowledge with others; they externalize the knowledge that is locked inside their heads; they make this implicit knowledge explicit. "FLD amplifies the voice of farmers to express knowledge in their own words and their own vision."

The breadth of the issues covered is captured in the case studies presented by six of the participants:
  • AGRECOL Andes (Bolivia) - Knowledge sharing through ICTs
  • Africa 2000 Network (Uganda) - Community libraries
  • ACDEP (Ghana) - Participatory video
  • NAADS (Uganda) - Collection Exchange on Local Agriculture Content
  • Environmental Alert (Uganda) - Farmer Field Schools
  • ARIS (Uganda) - Question & Answer Voucher Service
  • PROLINNOVA (South Africa) - Digital cameras



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