Insights on rural development in West Africa

Area:
Knowledge management
Published:

Experience capitalization can be useful for anyone. The diverse group of West Africans who gathered to practice with this approach demonstrated exactly this. Starting in March 2017, a group of around 35 participants from Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria engaged in a process where they selected, described, analyzed and wrote about one of their many experiences in rural development.

The “Capitalization of Experiences for Greater Impact in Rural Development” project is being implemented by CTA in different parts of the world, working together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), and with financial support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

One of the regions where we have been most active is West Africa, with participants coming from a wide range of countries. This booklet presents the first group of results from the region.

The stories come from Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and they cover different themes – from rural finance to the mainstreaming of youth and gender-friendly policies. They all present lessons and recommendations that can be adopted on a broad scale, and in this way help draft new – and better – projects and initiatives. Put together, they show that an experience capitalization process does lead to positive results and that by improving the description, analysis and documentation of rural development initiatives, it can have a very broad impact.

Another set of stories coming from Francophone West Africa, and including articles written in French, will be soon published.

One of the main objectives of the project is the adoption of an experience capitalization process as part of a broader knowledge management strategy and its general institutionalisation. It is therefore very good to see that these stories are not only leading to new projects focusing on rural finance, for example, but that they are also helping projects and institutions mainstream this approach.