Mid-term evaluation of CATIE's program on ecologically-based participatory implementation of IPM and agroforestry in Nicaragua and Central America (CATI-MIP/AF) Phase III
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Braun, Ann; Covault, Mariela; Peters, Dal; Mercado, Julio. 2002. Mid-term evaluation of CATIE's program on ecologically-based participatory implementation of IPM and agroforestry in Nicaragua and Central America (CATI-MIP/AF) Phase III. Cartago, Costa Rica: CATIE.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/76142
CATIE-MIP/AF is a well-conceived and well-managed program that has capitalized on lessons learned in previous phases and from other programs. It developed in response to the weakening of the extension function within national agricultural systems in Central America and has contributed to the reorientation of the linear transfer-of-technology model prevailing in Nicaragua and other Central American Countries into a participatory extension approach that links farm families, extensionists, researchers and trainers, and decision-makers. The participatory methodologies developed by the program are a major strength in addressing challenges posed by modern-day complexity, uncertainty and dynamism in agriculture and natural resource management by farmers. The Program has catalyzed the establishment of a field-based multi-level, multi-institutional platform for participatory development and extension of technology for three important Central American farming systems, coffee, vegetables and basic grains (maize and beans), combining these with a broad array of ecological practices based on principles of agroforestry, integrated pest management, and natural resource conservation. The participatory capacity-building supported by the program develops powers of ecological reasoning, and incorporates a gender and family focus. The program has supported participatory training of 19,964 farmers, 861extensionists, 133 trainers (specialists) and has involved 380 decision-makers in joint planning and public monitoring of the process. Benefits to participating farmers of at least US$3.7 million have accrued during the first three years of the program. High priorities during the remaining two years of the program include Sustained effort in: systematization of program experience, promotion of institutional learning in CATIE about the MIP/AF experience; capacity-building to develop ecological reasoning; development of the regionalization process for scaling-out the work of the program to pilot areas in other Central Amercian countries capacity-building work on basic grains, The mission also recommends formulation of a plan to ensure devolution of the field based, multi-level, multi-institutional process in Nicaragua and elswhere when appropriate. This could occur by establishment of a process for promoting proposal development by counterparts, and by the program, that will ensure the future integrity of the multinstitutional platform and of the integrated MIP/AF focus. The review mission recommends further sustained funding counterpart organisations and to the program. The mission sees a need for developing empresarial reasoning as a complement to the current focus on ecological reasoning. Combining the two within a new cycle of funding involving both counterpart organisations and CATIE will increase the sustainability of achievements and the chances of significant impact on poverty alleviation in the future.