Project outcomes are monitored by profiling the farmers’ organisations involved. This exercise entails evaluating strengths and weaknesses on the basis of a number of indicators. Data are collected both directly by agri-agencies and with participation from the organisations.
Besides showing the evolving strengths and weaknesses for any given organisation, the profile is the basis on which a farmers’ organisation can build its further organisational development. The indicators used cover eight areas:
- Representation = extent and relevance of external relations and alliances with other stakeholders
- Participation = degree of involvement of farmers in policy and decision making
- Accountability = leaders report to farmers – farmers control the organisation
- Strategic potential = capacity to pursue long-term goals in service provision and strategy development
- Professional capacity = expertise and implementation capacity
- Gender = women membership, participation and involvement in external relations
- Income diversification = ability to generate own income compared to external resources
- Representativity = membership base within the potential and relevant farmers’ constituency
The first six are presented in the form of a polygon or spider map. A well-balanced organisation will produce a regular hexagon. Successive profiles can be superimposed on a baseline profile, and changes can easily be seen in terms of the polygon’s changing shape.
In 2007-2009, 133 profilings were realised. The results of all performed profilings are available on Agro-Info.Net.
Through profiling activities, farmers’ organisations and agri-agencies establish and maintain clear communication channels: it has been observed that the growth processes of a farmers’ organisation are improved by constructive and open dialogue, with the supporting agri-agency.