|Agroforestry In-service Training: A Training Aid for Asia & the Pacific Islands (Peace Corps, 1984)|
This segment of the report is devoted to guidelines we feel are absolutely indispensable to careful, proper planning and implementation of ISTs. The following are a few comments and recommendations that may be of assistance when planning future agroforestry workshops.
· When conducting "needs assessment" and pre-research for an IST similar to this one, it is very important that the Host Country National Counterparts and possibly their supervisors be interviewed as well as PCVs.
· When planning the design of the workshop, choose only two or three of the most commonly expressed needs to focus on during the implementation. Do not try to cover too many topics at one workshop. If expressed needs are too broad to be covered adequately in a single IST, a second workshop may be appropriate.
· Eight or nine days seems to be adequate time to implement a complete workshop. Scheudule one day in the design for free time to provide participants a recess.
· A dual purpose facility for housing the participants as well as facilitating the training sessions is highly desirable and preferred. However, if such a facility is not available, try to arrange the location of the housing and training facility in such a way that their proximity allows for the minimum travel time from one to the other. This may require the use of a bus for transporting the trainees.
· We found that daily staff meetings were invaluable. Both an initial team building session prior to the commencement of the workshop and nightly staff meetings are a must. The nightly meetings were to review the accomplishments of that day and make the necessary and appropriate changes in the subsequent sessions.
· A training session plan for each topic of training should be prepared by the instructor in advance of the IST and made available to the staff for discussion to ensure that the topics are adequately covered and that the session flows smoothly with previous and subsequent sessions.
· When making preparations for the field trip, we cannot overemphasize the importance of careful planning. It is absolutely crucial that the plans you make be coordinated with the community leaders or institutions you plan to visit so that they understand what is to take place and how they fit into the scheme. We went through the agriculture extension service when choosing the community to work with in the Solomon Islands which proved to be very advantageous.
· As much "hands-on'' (experiential learning) training opportunities as possible should be incorporated into the workshop design. This is fairly difficult in the area of agroforestry; however, if traditional or demonstration systems are available, we recommend that a short visit be arranged.
· For specific sessions: We recommend that the session on counterparts and Women in Development (WID) be scheduled as two separate one hour sessions. They are both very important issues and deserve separate attention. However at the same time, they are very much related and should be linked/bridged on the agenda.
· We recommend that the session on silvo-pastoral systems include all farm animals in general and expand on how they can be incorporated into a silvo-pastoral system. A suggestion would be to include chickens, pigs, sheep, ducks, goats, rabbits, etc. In our workshop, we dealt principally with the large farm animals. Although valuable, we felt that it was limiting; therefore the reason for expanding the scope of animals to be covered.
· Because this workshop is designated agroforestry, we suggest, depending on space availability, incorporating agriculture PCVs and their Host Country National Counterparts into the program. In some countries, we have witnessed a teaming-up of agriculture and forestry volunteers to implement very successful agroforestry projects. If people working in these two areas are trained together we feel that collaborative efforts among them could be immensely improved. Further, the added benefit of information exchange among people brought together for such a training program should serve as an additional incentive to design workshops for such a mix of PCVs.