FAO: Focusing on resilience

Maud Oustry

Last August, FAO organized a workshop on “Capitalization of Experiences and Good Practices on Resilience” in Burkina Faso, bringing together more than thirty participants from government, NGOs, UN agencies and several unions of farmers and herders. This workshop aimed to strengthen capacities to capture and share good practices that increase resilience; using the experience capitalization methodology.

The two and a half day workshop was entirely designed according to the experience capitalization cycle, in order for the participants to initiate their own process step by step. Facilitation is key to achieve good results; so the workshop was also an opportunity to use facilitation techniques that participants could adopt and reuse for their own capitalization process.

Participants tried to analyse and explain how and why were all activities successful

First day: Setting the mood, introducing the basics, and preparing the process

It is crucial to initiate the workshop with an activity that will bring all the participants together and make them feel comfortable and free to share their experiences and views with each other. Here, facilitators decided to break the ice through a dynamic and participative “Bingo” game, rather than a traditional round of presentations. It was worth investing a bit more time as it set the mood for all the workshop!

Getting to the heart of the matter, participants learned about what experience capitalization is and discussed about its importance through role-play. Then, participants went through the first phase of the experience capitalization process: Preparation. By addressing key questions – What is the good practice you will focus on? Why do you want to capitalize this practice? Who for? With whom? And When? – participants framed their process. They also planned approximatively how they will proceed by specifying the actions to be taken, who will be in charge, a timeline and any budget that may be required.

Second day: Implementing the process in four steps

On the second day, participants were divided into groups in order to work on four topics of importance to resilience in Burkina Faso: 1) adaptation to climate change; 2) protection of natural resources; 3) small-scale livestock and pastoralism; and 4) food security and nutrition. In each thematic working group, experience holders presented the resilience good practice they had identified for their capitalization project; for example, supporting vulnerable households with small-scale livestock, the agro-pastoral field school approach, restoring degraded land with direct seeding, etc.

First step: Collect and organize. When capturing a good practice, it is important to collect all the required information to document it (e.g. context, objective, stakeholders, methodological approach, results, success factors, constraints, etc.). During this second day, participants used the good practice template as a check list to verify the information already available and the missing data they will have to collect once back to their office.

Second step: Analyse. Then, using participatory methods, such as SWOT and AAR, participants not only described the good results of their practice, but tried to analyse and explain how and why the activities were successful. Analysing the practice is a critical step as it helps others to understand the key success factors and how to replicate the good practice in their own context.

Third step: Document. Before starting the documentation of their good practice, the participants were invited to think about what message they would like to convey and which audience they would like to reach, in order to define the most appropriate product (e.g. good practice factsheet, short video, radio programme, etc.) and channel (e.g. radio, social media, share fair, etc.). Participants have initiated the writing in groups, interviewing the experience holders and using the outputs from the analysis in order to fill in the different categories of the good practice template.

More than thirty participants from government organizations, NGOs, UN agencies and farmer unions

Fourth step: Share. To share and receive feedback on what they had already documented, experience holders were asked to present their practice to their targeted audience (donors, farmers, technicians, etc.) role played by other participants. It was quite a challenge, as they had only few minutes to convince their audience on why their practice was good and why it should be adopted by others.

Third day (half day): Generating change and mainstreaming the process

On the third day, participants were invited to think about how the good practices could be adapted, and adopted by others. For that, experience holders were asked to remain seated, while participants could come to their table and ask them specific questions to understand if they could adapt and replicate the practice in their context and how.

After going through the different steps of experience capitalization, participants brainstormed in group on how to institutionalize this process in their organizations. Through a carousel, groups listed both the favorable conditions and the barriers to institutionalization.

Through this workshop, participants learned the experience capitalization methodology step-by-step. As learning by doing is usually more efficient, participants initiated their own experience capitalization project. At the end of the workshop, participants planned the next steps to finalize the documentation and sharing of their good practices. Follow-up support will be provided according to this planning.


For more information
Practical tool: How to capture and share good practices in order to generate change
Capacity Development story: Improving people’s resilience through documentation and sharing of good practices in Burkina Faso
E-learning Course: Experience capitalization for continuous learning
KORE Knowledge Sharing Platform on Resilience:   www.fao.org/in-action/kore/background/en/


© 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

CTA is a joint institution operating under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement between the ACP Group of States (Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific) and the EU Member States (European Union). CTA is funded by the European Union.