Submitted by Eddie Addo-Dankwa on Wednesday, 1st December, 2010 — Blog entry
Today has been very exciting and informative, says the co-management team for day 2. The activites for the day has been very involving and insightful. The presentations on Platforms brought up very interesting issues. Some of the key issues that run through all the presentations was the need to consider what the users require when developing any platform. It was very clear that for any platform to be successful, one will have to consider the users' requirement and not what you think they will need. The issue of sustainability also came up several times. The co-management team think that the ideas harvested from the presentations will be very useful for the projects and they think some of them could be replicated. The Peer Assist session has been very interesting and interactive. They gave better insights into the projects that were presented. Some of the interesting part of the session was the part of contributing possible solutions to identified challenges. It made you think through the challenges presented and try to think offer possible solutions to the challenges.
They think that the time for the Peer assist was short and the three cases presented was not enough. They think that more time could have been alloted to the session and more cases could have been presented for peer assistance. It was suggested that to make more time for the Peer-Assist session, a full day should be devoted to that exercise so that more cases could be presented. Another thing that did not go very well was the way people handled the microphone. They also complained about the issue of writing questions on papers during the presentations instead of asking directly. They think participants should be made to ask questions directly.
... and yes, they think the lunch was much better today than yesterday.
What do I think?
The issue of demand-driven services came up strongly. Projects should understand that whatever service they are offering should be what the users need and demand for, and not what they think the users will need. There is also this issue about middlemen (intermediaries). A lot of the times, people see the middlemen and women as cheats who only aim is to cheat the farmers and make unreasonable profits off them. They fail to see the usefulness of these people. I think projects should move from looking for the bad sides of these people and see what good they can put these people to. The middlemen are very critical to the process if they are integrated very well into the process. Analysis have shown that they don't often make the profits that they are supposed to be making. Maybe we should conduct a study into the activities of the middlemen and their impacts on the farmers we are dealing with. I am sure with that, we can plan what strategies to employ to make them useful to our projects. You don't ELIMINATE the middlemen, you use them. Anyway, we can't eliminate they even if we tried.
One other issue to think about .... there is always a confusion between being gender sensitive and being women sensity. We will discuss more about these later on this platform.
The final day promises to be very interesting. The idea of the end coming will make everyone want to put in their last bit ... infact I am sure everyone will want to push in his or her last bit and I am sure there is going to be a lot of pressure on the facilitators to accommodate everything.