OL 333 Assignment One Homework
Online Learning: OL 333 Climate Smart Agriculture.


Assignment One Discussion

Download Class Documents
Magee Example Project Assignment One
Field Guide: Participatory Mapping of Soil and Water Resources
Lesson Plan Template: Participatory Mapping of Soil and Water Resources
How to Card: Participatory Mapping of Soil and Water Resources
Field Guide: Participatory Capacity and Vulnerability Assessment
Lesson Plan Template: Participatory Capacity and Vulnerability Assessment
How to Card: Participatory Capacity and Vulnerability Assessment
OL 333 examples of general information discovered in the initial farmer assessment

CARE. Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook. CARE.
IFAD. Good Practices in Participatory Mapping, IFAD.
IIED. Participatory Learning and Action 54: Mapping for change: practice, technologies and communication,

Please note: this is essentially a six-week course. However, we are allowing an additional two weeks at the beginning for those students joining the course who have not done a Participatory Capacity and Vulnerability Assessment with the Community—bringing the total length of the class up to eight weeks. If you already have done a PCVA assessment, then the first two assignments will be fairly easy for you—they might be a time for you to fine tune some details about your project which can be done quickly.

Assignment One. Identifying Smallholder Agricultural Risks, Vulnerabilities and Hazards.
Part 1. Identifying Student Involvement in the First Two Assignments

1. Course Participants who have already conducted a participatory vulnerability and capacity analyses and/or participatory mapping with their communities.
We’re not trying to expand upon your activities list in this course. We’re simply trying to focus our attention on the agricultural component of your project and further clarify the most highly critical challenges to the farmers are facing.

Scan the list in the Download Documents Page: OL 333 examples of information that might be discovered in the initial farmer assessment. This list can help you determine if you already have uncovered the types of challenges in your initial assessments that we will be trying to prioritize over the next couple of assignments.

If you feel that your initial assessments from OL 343 and OL 344 are appropriate you can just mention that in your homework that you send in. This will be a simple week for you! You do not need to send in anything more than that—no lesson plans—no how-to cards.

However, in this assignment, within these challenges, we are looking for the very specific descriptions of the challenges that we are trying to solve.

For example, on the download document “Examples of general information from the initial farmer assessment”, Where It Says “Eroded Topsoil—Wind/Water” what we are really looking for in this assignment is this more specific type of definition:

The farmer’s fields are on sloping land (with a 2 foot drop for every 10 horizontal feet). Because they burn crop residue the soil is very exposed. When it rains, water runs downhill without soaking into the land and carries soil with it which silts up the village stream. Small gullies are beginning to form on the sloping fields. The depleted soil has become less productive over time.

This is the level of description that were looking for in these first two assignments. Again, let me stress that we’re not looking toward expanding your project or necessarily changing your activities were just looking for greater specificity in the description of the challenge.

If you feel that your assessments did a pretty good job of identifying highly specific agricultural challenges—but only uncovered what you feel is 50% or 75% of what you need for the next two assignments, I would suggest that you sit down and look at the results from your seasonal calendar, your historical timeline, participatory mapping exercise and your vulnerability matrix.

From these assignments that you did in OL 343 and in OL 344, you might find the additional information that you need—either on the sheets themselves or in your notes. If you still sense that you don’t have the information you need, determine if you would like to hold another workshop to try and uncover it—or if perhaps meeting with a few of your committee members might be able to fill in the blanks. Again, we’re not trying to expand your original project—but were trying to identify the very specific top priorities in your community faces.

Also, look and see if your community has come up with any solutions to these challenges—coping strategies—like the examples that we see in the right column of this document. You might find that the community has not come up with any coping strategies—but this list of potential solutions could prove useful to you. You might also discover that the solutions are very similar to the ones in your project outline.

We’re doing this so that you can identify the top challenges and over the next eight weeks explore in great detail potential solutions that you will be able to introduce to the community and provide them with training and capacity building. For example, you might have soil restoration and conservation as an activity in your project—but do you actually have the information that you need to go out and begin training? This is we’re going to do it in this course.

2. Course Participants who have not conducted a participatory vulnerability and capacity analyses and/or participatory mapping with their communities.
If you’re joining us from OL 342 and have not yet done these assessments, then these two assignments are perfect for you because they will give you the opportunity of doing them.

I would begin by downloading the CARE. Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook. It gives simple and very good instructions for leading a six hour workshop that will provide you with the majority of the information that you need. However, I would edit and modify their workshop presentation to focus on agriculture rather than on the broader issues which they are analyzing.

Then, you can pick and choose from the field guides, lesson plans, and how-to cards that are available for download and modify them to best fit the context of your community. Then you’ll have everything that you need to lead a workshop in the next 10 days or so. So follow the assignment instructions below in order to become fully prepared for leading a workshop.

So you will need to send in the full assignment which is the actual homework sheet itself modeled after my example, and a lesson plan and how-to card— both of which can be simply modified from the download documents.

Part 2.
Developing a lesson plan and a how-to card for this skill set

I would like you to take a lesson plan that I’ve provided you as an example, or modify one of your own lesson plans into a lesson plan for facilitating a workshop for identifying vulnerabilities, risks and hazards that farmers in your community are facing.

Scan OL 333 “examples of general information discovered in the initial farmer assessment” to get an idea of the challenges that your farming community may be facing—and design your workshop so that the participants can begin expressing these types of challenges in a more specific way.

Then, I would like for you to hand draw (very simple—no need to spend much time—or feel free to use one of the ones I’ve provided) a how-to card for your workshop, or download one from the Internet, or paste drawings from something you found on the Internet onto your how-to card.

Part 3.
Planning the workshop and touching base with your point person at the community committee

I would begin organizing the workshop itself a week in advance. If you arranged the workshop for the Saturday of next week, then now you really have almost 2 weeks of preparation time.

This would be a good time to also check and make sure that you have all of the supplies and materials that you’re going to need for your workshop—like large sheets of paper, and pens and markers for doing drawings and taking notes. If you’re planning on providing a snack, make sure that that is well organized and that you will have staff or volunteers to prepare and serve the snack so that you can fully concentrate on your participants.

Even though you spoke to your point person at the last committee meeting—it might not hurt to touch base with them one more time to make sure that everything is OK.

Since this will be your first mapping workshop in the community, it would be a good idea, prior to the workshop, to have a tour led by a knowledgeable villager. You may learn some things that you didn’t know, you may have your memory refreshed about things that you did know once, but most importantly the information will be fresh in your mind for when you begin the workshop.

Be sure to take photographs
Put someone in charge of photos. Have them take:
close-up detailed shots of participants
close-up detailed shots of the materials that you use
photos of interesting drawings that you might have done on the newsprint
shots of the whole group
a few shots if you facilitating the workshop

Please note: the example field guides and lesson plans that I provided are taking a more integrated approach to agriculture, water and ecosystem— they have a broader basis then you may need to find out specific information about the farm fields. Feel free to simply focus yours strictly to the farmer’s field if you like. You will have a chance in OL 332—Water Conservation and Management—to expand upon your findings at a future date.

The homework to turn in will be:
1. A brief description of the preparation that you have gone through for developing the workshop.
3. A simple lesson plan presenting the skill set in a workshop
4. A simple how-to card

Go to Magee’s Example Project Assignment One to see what this could look like.

See you next week.