Farmers’ experiences and reflections during the Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) process of the National Agricultural Advisory Services in Uganda
MetadataShow full item record
Despite the fact that M&E has for a long time been part of the program planning and development process, the element of beneficiary participation is relatively recent, and the knowledge about farmers’ experiences and reflections is not yet well known in most organisations. Recently, the Uganda’s agricultural extension system has also adopted PM&E to be piloted by the National Agricultural Advisory Services. Therefore, farmers’ experiences and reflections on the PM&E process need to be captured in order to improve on the design and implementation of the PM&E process in general, for sustainability of the process. Therefore, this study largely sought to establish farmers’ experiences and reflections during their participation in the PM&E process of NAADS. The study was carried out was carried out in Mukono district; Kasawo sub-county, from September 2003 to January 2004, in order to describe the design of PM&E process, to determine the nature and extent of participation of various stakeholders in the PM&E process, and also to establish the farmers’ experiences and reflections during their participation in PM&E. It was a qualitative descriptive study that involved collection of data that was gathered in three phases of the PM&E pilot process of NAADS; i.e. (1) methodology design which was done through consultative workshops with stakeholders at the district and sub-county level, (2) capacity building of various stakeholders of PM&E, and (3) actual implementation of PM&E pilot through data collection and recording, data analysis, report writing, and feedback to the community. The sample involved 26 people; 22 farmers, 2 district local government staff, and 2 sub-county technical staff. The data was collected using participant observation, individual conversational interviews, and individual farmer’s feedback using flash cards, and the results were analysed using thematic analysis. From the experiences and reflections of farmers during their participation in PM&E, the study reveals the problems and challenges the farmers faced during the process, as well as their opinions about PM&E in general. Among the problems that affected the majority, were the problems of the checklist for evaluation being hard (noted by all the 22 farmers) and having similar questions (noted by 14 out of 22 farmers), the respondents being very difficult to interview (noted by 20 out of 22 farmers), and the time not being enough to do all the tasks as required (noted by 11 out of 22 farmers). However, despite those problems cited, some of the farmers appreciatd through their opinions and suggestions that the training had been very good (noted by 9 out of 22 farmers), as well as the PM&E process in general, and recommended that the PM&E process should continue (noted by 9 out of 22 farmers) mainly because it was the only way their ‘voices’ as farmers could be captured. Therefore, the study concluded that those farmers’ experiences and reflections about the PM&E process are important, if PM&E is to be sustainable. Their problems need to be solved in the shortest time possible so as to be able to solicit the farmers’ participation in future and for it to have impact to the rural poor farmers. The study recommends, therefore, that the checklists for monitoring and evaluation be revised by simplifying the questions and making them short in order to suit the farmers’ standards. The PM&E process also requires more time than the time that was scheduled for the pilot process, in that the data collection process which lasted three days, needs to be extended to at least one week, data analysis that took two days needs a least ten days (5 for monitoring and 5 for evaluation), and finally report writing requires at least two weeks (1 for monitoring and 1 for evaluation).