Programa de Agricultura Organica (PAO)

My team was involved in the socialization of the project, which basically meant we were in charge of making sure the community got involved in the project and optimized their benefits,  as well as some of the complementary capacity building workshops in areas such as leadership and communication.I think that the hardest part of this project was not having the time to plan and research the potential pitfalls and obstacles. I remember the start of the project and having to come up with an evaluation for potential communities. Even at the end of the project, it is still difficult to predict which community will work and which not. Communities are all different except for the in the fact that they are all vulnerable. Poverty is a vicious cycle that creates instability. Therefore, any minor change to a person or group can have an enormous effect on the project. Confidence levels are low, so we must constantly work them so that the group continues, no matter what is thrown at them. I think that might be the key, learning to analyze the impacts, make new decisions and adapt.Perhaps turning things around and rather than judging from the outside, asking groups to let us know why they think they should be included in the project and how they rate on different levels. It’s difficult just because groups are not used to having to compete for inclusion. Actually one of our products was to develop a checklist of criteria…which most of which became related not only to whether or not the garden would survive and would be safe, but also economic and family status.I think that another thing to learn from this project would be that activities need to be more integrated. For instance, the capacity building was divided into agriculture and non-agriculture. We basically, did everything as if we were on a separate project….but perhaps a proper planning session before the project even started would have helped to understand the different roles we would be playing and where we could complement each other. Collaboration, as usual, is difficult to encourage….and it’s not only because people are skeptical, it’s because they are too busy. For more information on the project visit: 

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