The workshop was conducted at the KENVO office, which is situated fairly centrally in the landscape. Participants had been invited the week before by KENVO leadership. They were informed that morning tea and mid-day lunch would be provided.
- Participants. Participant-informants in the landscape scoring exercise included ‘innovative’ farmers who have emerged from KENVO’s various activities as enthusiastic about trying agricultural practices that are presumed to be nature-conserving; KENVO volunteers who primarily are young people from the area who have been active in advancing KENVO’s agenda to conserve and rehabilitate designated forest areas in the landscape; personnel from public agencies in the area that represent crops and livestock, forestry and social services sectors. The proportions of the foregoing categories of participants were approximately 20%, 60%, 20% respectively. Twenty people completed the exercise and turned in their scorecards. All were considered by KENVO leadership to be deeply knowledgeable about the area.
- Introduction/orientation. The context for the exercise and its purpose were described to participants by the President of KENVO. He stressed its anticipated value in helping KENVO to orient its program from principally a forest conservation perspective toward an integrated (multifunctional) landscape perspective and to broaden its geographic focus. He also stressed the value of their judgment/opinions as particularly well-informed and active people in the dynamics of landscape change. A map of the area was presented, to which participants appeared to pay little attention. The landscape of interest for the exercise was described as Lari Division which appeared to make sense to all.
- Scoring procedure. Directions to the participants about what to do were provided by KENVO’s program leader for ecoagriculture (and other related projects), who facilitated the exercise. The facilitator had become familiar with the instructions for the exercise through discussion with EPs advisor before the workshop began. A key role that the facilitator played involved reading aloud to the group, in the local language, the descriptions of each of the 20 landscape performance criteria that provide the basis for the Landscape Performance Scorecard. Her capacity to understand in English the meaning of the criteria and to convey it in the local language in a way that made sense to the participant-informants clearly was important to the validity of the exercise and the scores. Once the scoring was completed, participant-informants were asked to use the margins of their scorecard to compute an average score for each of the four landscape elements (conservation, production, livelihoods, institutions). About an hour was used for the scoring, including the reading aloud of the criteria descriptions and the computation of the four mean scores per scorecard.
- Analysis. While participant-informants had tea, the EP advisor entered the mean scores in the data analysis form, which was coded to perform the analysis. The resulting radar diagram and mean scores where drawn on a flip chart for all to view. Click here for the analysis of the scores.
Mean scores for the respective landscape dimensions are presented below. See the analysis form, above, for depiction in radar diagram format. Following the presentation of the scores, the KENVO project leader and EP advisor jointly facilitated discussion about what they may mean for the landscape. Discussion lasted for 15-20 minutes. The key points that were made and conclusions that were generated from the discussion are presented below.
- Scores (scale 1-5; 9-point scale)
Conservation — 3.60
Production — 3.15
Livelihoods – 2.63
Institutions — 2.43
Participant-informants felt that the scores ‘made sense’ – they reflected the reality on the ground. No one argued that they seemed out of line with what they would have expected in this landscape at this time. The reason why conservation scores high, they stated, is that the emphasis on programming to affect change in the landscape for the past 5 years or so has been on forest conservation. This activity has been successful in rehabilitating forest areas and in limiting further encroachment into forest environments, thus improving habit and the reliable provision of ecosystem services, particularly water flow. They stated that the emphasis on conservation is now out of balance, that it has been at the expense of livelihood improvement to some extent, and it is time to put more emphasis on livelihoods and production….though not at the expense of loosing the gains in conservation.
Participant-informants attributed the noticeable difference in scores between production and livelihoods to the fact that most of the value of production goes to external markets; not a great deal of it is retained locally. They also stated that population growth has been `too much’ so that productivity gains are not translating into livelihood gains since they have to be more widely distributed. Furthermore, most organizations in the landscape that have outreach/extension programs are concerned about conservation or production, but generally not about livelihood improvement. Farmers especially are getting a lot of information about conservation…what they need now is more about production strategies that improve local livelihoods. Some commented that they are glad that this is the direction that KENVO seems to be taking, with its current plans to move into direct marketing and eco-tourism activity.
There was also a comment that small farm agricultural methods are not efficient structures for matching promising crops to the practices that people can use, which affects the capacity to further improve production (productivity).
There was a comment also, that institutions add value to the production of farms – that they are concerned with adding value to what is produced. So those who do not produce well are not well positioned to get this added value, which has implications for livelihood improvement. (Those who have, get; those who do not, get left behind).
A final comment was made that the scores seemed logical, and that the exercise seemed theoretically coherent.