|Locally Generated Printed Materials in Agriculture: Experience from Uganda and Ghana - Education Research Paper No. 31 (DFID, 1999, 132 p.)|
|2. Background to research|
A simple division between 'producers of information' and 'recipients of information' was not adequate to explain the diversity of roles encountered as the research progressed. Three distinct subdivisions of key groups were therefore made when analysing the postal survey findings and maintained during the in-depth research. These divisions were found useful in broadly classifying their aims, resource base and access to information sources.
2.3.1 Government Organisations (GOs) and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)
This sub-division comprises larger organisations, including most government departments, training institutes, nearly all radio broadcasters and literacy programmes and many religious and development based NGOs with an annual income of over US $50,000. Some organisations are international, some national and some regional in focus. The term NGO is used for such a huge variety of organisations that it really requires further definition to be useful (Korten, 1990; Carroll, 1992; Suzuki, 1998). However, since ultimately the typology of NGOs is not the main focus of this research, the term NGO will be used for both religious and development NGOs, though wherever relevant the religious basis will be noted. The term GO will be used for government organisations.
2.3.2 Grassroots Development Organisations (GDOs)
Clark (1991) defines GDOs as 'organisations that are locally-based Southern NGOs whose members are the poor and oppressed themselves and which attempt to shape a popular development process'. Most are membership organisations and all work at grassroots level. Though some of these small organisations had an office within a town, their members were usually rural farmers. Few had enough funding for employing staff, hence work in the small offices established was usually voluntary and by members. In this research, this sub-division included small NGOs and some church based groups with a low annual income from between US $1,500 to US $50,000, which was in some cases enough to provide a salary for one or two individuals and fund a small office. These were normally registered with the government as an organisation. They differed from GOs and NGOs in terms of their income, the fact that they were all local and often indigenous in origin, and that all focused on improving the well being of local people.
2.3.3 Rural People's Associations (RPAs)
This sub-division includes local people's associations with few or no facilities, low or no income (less than US $1500 pa) and usually informal or unregistered. All of them were membership groups at grassroots level. The terms Community Based Organisations and Rural People's Organisations have been used by other researchers (Garforth and Munro, 1995; Winter, 1997). However, many of the farmer groups visited were neither registered formally as organisations nor community based. They were voluntary membership groups with no budget aside from members' contributions. The term 'Rural People's Associations' (RPAs) will therefore be used throughout as a more accurate descriptive term for these groups.