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Communication between participants and non-participants in analytical capacity building projects: Management advice to family farms in Benin

Rouchouse M., Faysse N., De Romemont A., Moumouni Moussa I., Faure G.. 2015. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 21 (4) : p. 325-342.

Purpose: Approaches to build farmers' analytical capacities are said to trigger wide-ranging changes. This article reports on the communication process between participants and non-participants in one such approach, related to the technical and management skills learned by participants and the changes these participants subsequently made, and the outcomes in terms of non-participants' learning. Design/Methodology/Approach: In this study, we analysed the following: (1) participants' learning and changes in social practices; (2) communication between participants and non-participants regarding technical and management skills and changes in social practices; (3) non-participants' learning and changes in social practices. The case study was a management advice to family farm project in three villages in Benin. Findings: Most participants learned management skills, which led them to reassess their objectives and to reduce traditional social practices they now considered unproductive. Even in the case of frequent communication, non-participants found it difficult to learn management skills, which hindered their experiential learning. Non-participants consequently had difficulty understanding why participants changed their social practices such as reduction of their traditional gift giving, leading to limited well-argued discussion about these changes in practices between participants and non-participants. Practical Implications: This study shows that, due to the limited learning process of non-participants communicating with participants, there is a need to design and test approaches to achieve capacity-building while including more participants at a similar cost, and to stimulate explicit discussion at village level about the changes in values and social practices that these approaches may trigger. Originality/Value: The article analyses both participants and non-participants' experiential learning, and looks at the two sides of the interaction between the communication processes and non-participants' learning. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : bénin

Thématique : Economie familiale et artisanale; Economie et politique du développement

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