The Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA-UNESCAP) and Network Activities Group (CAPSA’s national NGO partner in Myanmar) in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation of Myanmar organized a series of three workshops on ‘Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to Support Local Planning for Climate-resilient Agriculture’ in the country. These workshops aimed to build capacities of local stakeholders to use PRA as a tool to support participatory decision-making and enable a more responsive policy environment for agricultural sustainability and farmer welfare in Myanmar’s Dry Zone. The workshops were organized under the project titled ‘An Integrated Rural Economic and Social Development Programme for Livelihoods Improvement in the Dry Zone of Myanmar’ supported by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT).
The first workshop for stakeholders in Sagaing Region was organized from 7-9 September 2016 in Monywa, while the second workshop for Mandalay Region stakeholders was organized in Mandalay from 14-16 September 2016. The final workshop was organized in Magway from 26-28 September 2016 for Magway Region stakeholders. All the workshops highlighted the importance of PRA for engaging local communities, provided an overview of key concepts of PRA, and exposed participants to practical application of PRA tools in the field. More than 60 participants representing provincial governments, community-based organizations, private sector and farmer associations have benefited from the workshops. The diversity in the participants’ group enabled a rich exchange of new ideas and good practices and facilitated networking. In their feedback, the participants affirmed the usefulness of the knowledge gained and outlined concrete plans to apply the learning in their work as well as share it with others.
As an instance of the impact of the workshops, one of the participants from the Department of Agriculture in Mandalay has provided training to his junior staff on use of PRA tools, and his team is also reviewing earlier project plans in order to better incorporate inputs from the targeted local communities.
PRA Workshop in Monywa (7-9 September 2016)
PRA Workshop in Mandalay (14-16 September 2016)