From Citizen Security to Food Security

The high prevalence of violence in Central America is a major human and institutional development challenge that our research has identified as affecting agriculture development. Specifically, the Northern Triangle countries – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – are considered three of the most dangerous countries in the world, as evidenced by intentional homicide rates. The level of violence clearly affects development in many areas, particularly in terms of agriculture and youth’s participation in agricultural education.

InnovATE began looking at this issue to investigate why youth, and young men in particular, were dropping out of the agricultural education system at alarming rates in Central America.  Continue reading >

More AET on Agrilinks!

The third quarter of 2016 saw our partnership with Agrilinks continue to bear fruit in connecting with international development professionals and practitioners in agriculture. Following on from our pedagogy and curriculum series of events, in May we had two blogs published about agricultural education and training. Continue reading >

Design Review Blogs

The blogs on this page were written by panelists for the June 8-10 Project Design Review Workshop, with editing assistance from Keith M. Moore. The blogs are intended to introduce the issues to be discussed at the workshop. We invite you to begin your thinking and discussion on these issues a little early. You can respond to the blogs in the comments below each blog. Click on “Continue reading” to read the whole post and leave comments. We will post one or two blogs each week leading up to the workshop, so check back. We’re looking forward to the workshop and robust discussions on these important topics for agricultural education and training.

Design Review Blogs

Institutional Transformation: Leaders and Partners

Amon Mattee, Kandioura Noba, and Peter Koehn
Edited by Keith M. Moore

Institutional leaders are political agents whose success is due to mastery of a set of practices that stabilize the organization and their position within it. Bureaucratic processes and procedures guide behavior in predictable ways to negotiate institutional inconsistencies and conflicts. In this way, an organization secures its role in the environment. Good leadership is often indicated by the ability to follow institutional roadmaps that minimize disruption and assure continuity.

Institutional transformation is nevertheless necessary for healthy organizations. As the organizational environment changes, so too must an organization if it is to remain relevant and viable. Institutional transformation does not just happen. Considerable conscious effort is required to overcome organizational inertia. There are two sources from which transformational change may come. Some organizations may be revolutionized from within by dynamic leaders; others are pushed by external forces in their environment. In order to reinforce the process of institutional transformation of agricultural education and training (AET) organizations in developing countries, development projects have been initiated that organize and focus the forces for change.

Pathways to Institutional Transformation shows organizational and personal pathways, starting from the Status Quo, to Institutional Transformation. The pathways begin with identifying champions. The personal pathway goes through open dialog and new skills, then meets up with the organizational pathway at partnerships. The organizational pathway goes through intra- and inteer-institutional discussions, then meets up with personal pathway at partnerships. Both paths join together with a common vision toward institutional transformation.

Continue reading >

Assessing the Impacts of AET Project Contracts and Budgets

Dave Kraybill, Jim Foreman, and Daniel Yahba
Edited by Keith M. Moore

Contractual mechanisms and associated budgets provide the framework for project implementation. This is important for stability and control, but often limits options for effective project implementation. Furthermore, not everyone sees this foundation in the same light. Donors, implementers, and host institutions have differing interests and priorities. Identifying the proper balance for all parties is important for making progress toward achieving project objectives.

In order to better grasp the issues involved, we examine the following set of trade-offs. One can imagine a continuum with three dimensions of variation:

  • extent of partner control and accountability;
  • risk versus efficiency of project implementation; and
  • adaptability versus bureaucratic procedures and controls.

Three dimensions of contracts and budgets for project design; 3 blue double arrows representing the following continua: extent of partner control and accountability (loose and strict are extremes); effective project implementation (risk and efficiency are extremes); adaptability vs. bureaucratic procedures and controls (flexible and rigid are extremes).Each dimension variously impacts the contributions of donors, implementers, and host institutions and the overall effectiveness of project management. Continue reading >

The Challenging Pathway to Immediate Impact

Michael Parr
Edited by Keith M. Moore

The Building Agribusiness Capacity in East Timor (BACET) project targeted making an immediate impact on people’s lives. The original objectives were to quickly improve the employability of youth for the recovering, newly independent economy and introduce business concepts and market-orientation to curriculum at existing agricultural high schools.   Under post-conflict conditions, immediate impact was crucial.  This required immediate investment in infrastructure at the schools and, although recognized as important, institutional change was seen as a long-term objective outside the parameters of the project, which was originally only two years in duration. Impacts on the educational system were considered a side effect and a longer-term effort.Which target his the sustainability bull's eye? Two targets with sustainability as the bull's eye and three arrows, employable youth, curricular changes, and teacher training.

Continue reading >