Evaluation of RIPAT Dissemination
In 2012 the Rockwool Foundation launched two pilot projects. The aim of the pilot projects was to test cost-efficient project models for implementation and spreading. The aim of the first pilot project was to test whether it was possible to implement a RIPAT Start project within one year by targeting the most competent farmers. The other pilot project was a one-year spreading project. The aim was to test a model for spreading RIPAT groups after implementation of a RIPAT Start project. The facilitation was done by local super-farmers who had been part of the RIPAT project, working in collaboration with local government Extension Officers.
A process evaluation was launched together with the pilot projects. The aim of the evaluation was to assess how and to what extent the cost-reducing features promoted and/or hindered the spreading of ‘the ‘basket of options’ and of groups. The evaluation consisted of two field visits. The first evaluation exercise was conducted in April-May 2013 with the purpose of looking at project progress and assessing the potential for the spreading of the ‘basket of options’ and groups. The second field mission was conducted in March-April 2014 and focused on the short-term sustainability and effects of the implementation and spreading projects. The evaluation was based on qualitative data collection methods such as focus group discussions, workshops, formal and informal interviews, observations and documentation studies.
In terms of the formation and sustainability of groups, the one-year setup had been successful in both pilot projects. In terms of the adoption of the ‘basket of options’, the one-year project period constituted a challenge for both pilot projects: 1) there was only one planting season to convince farmers that they should adopt and spread the components contained in the ‘basket of options’, and 2) many of farmers did not have the resources to try out many of the components in the basket of option within one year. Super-farmers were generally less skilled and had less authority compared to professional RECODA facilitators. This made groups facilitated by super-farmers more vulnerable to conflicts and to other unforeseen obstacles. However, in terms of facilitation of groups, the super-farmers were generally competent and highly valued by the group members.
Rural Initiatives For Participatory Agricultural Transformation (RIPAT)
Beyond the Field: Impact of Farmer Field Schools on Food Security and Poverty Alleviation