Sunday, February 12, 2012


30th Jan-1st Feb 2012

1. What is Aatmmanthan: LEARNING CYCLE MEET?
Learning cycle meet represents experience sharing of “community based project implementation’ from the project partners of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS project team (including community members would be). Sharing of learning would be entirely based on the result of the project and its process part”

1.2 Objective of the meet:
  • To enhance the effectiveness & the quality of programme through cross learning amongst the teams of LIFE, HARIT PRAYAS, Caritas India and community members from the field are of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS.

  • To review both the LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS project in terms of result achievement and process adoption

  • Both the project teams LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS have shown the desired result achievement and get capacitated for better performance of the project.

2. Where and how it has organized (process part)?
Aatmmanthan-Learning Cycle Meet has organized at SSSS-Satna from 30th Jan to 1st Feb 2012 where in representatives from 5 partner organizations partner’s organizations-SSSS-Satna including directors, all the project staff of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS and community members (two from each partner) along with Caritas india staff, resource person from ASK and PGSSS have involved and made the learning cycle meet more worth for the purpose being it was organized.  It has started with the inauguration by VG Fr. Joseph (from Satna) and welcome of all the learners i.e. participants in the learning cycle meet. It moved ahead with the different steps of learning’s as:

  • Clarifying the concept of meet in the beginning
  • Sharing of the project progress and learning at different level
  • Mixed group interactions ( inter team and inter- team interactions)
  • Field visit to feel the progress and learning
  • Consolidation of learning’s
  • Adoption of learning’s

2.1 Day- wise process
Learning cycle meet was a three days process from 30th Jan-1st Feb 2012.

1st Day: 30th Jan 2012
Day one has initiated with the following process:

  • All the 5 teams of (2 of LIFE & 3 of HARIT PRAYAS) presented and shared the progress of the concerned project and learning from the same: This has given a clear cut picture of project progress of both LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS project at the concerned partners. From the presentation it has come out that  HARIT PRAYAS team at Sagar has made 300+ community members to submit written application for MGNREGA, at Satna team has come out with organic  at Jhansi team has good progress in community mobilization , with LIFE team at Banswara team has achieved 2nd best award in District for the promotion of organic cultivation, where as at Ajmer team has done quite well CBOs strengthening and linkages with other stakeholders.

  • Members from other teams and communities from other part raised the queries and good discussion & sharing has taken place. Few of the key queries are related with: SOIL TESTING REPORT RECEIVED BY THE FARMERS, IMPORTANCE OF APPROVAL OF FARMER’S CLUB BY NABARD, AMRITPANI-a only substitute for DAP & UREA, IMPORTANCE OF OTHER LIVELIHOOD OPTIONS (especially for youth-female) and on MGNREGA wage rate.
There was a good discussion on “livelihood options for youth-female” Fr. Tony after his presentation raised query that in field it is quite difficult to find livelihood options for females youths and after an hour of discussion with the forum it has came out that not only female youth, infect both male and female youth could be promoted to involve in the promotion and cultivation of sustainable agriculture. As sustainable agriculture have much better options for income generation. Also involvement of youth in agriculture doesn’t mean that they should be denied from education.

  • Community members shared the impact of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS project in their concerned villages: Hardeen ( a farmer  from Majhota village-HARIT PRAYAS project at Satna) has shared  that with HARIT PRAYAS he is able to reduce more than 90% of input cost in agriculture, Angoori devi ( a female farmer from Jhansi) has shared about his selection as farmers club secretary, Bhairia ( a farmer from LIFE project village of Banswara) has shared the importance of sustainable agriculture and has compared SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE WITH MOTHERS MILK, Meera devi  ( a SHG member from LIFE project village of Ajmer) has shared about how with SHGs she has moved from a member to an entrepreneur and Luxman Singh ( Farmer club president from the HARIT PRAYAS village of Sagar) has shared about the formation of farmers club.

  • Input on organic certification by a resource person from PGSS-Gorakhpur: This has able to give a basic clarity on organic certification process and strengthening organic cultivation.
  • Consolidation of learning’s and impact of project has shared at the end of the day.    
From the first day of process following are the important results concluded by entire team:

  • Organic Farming - Use of organic manure and pest repellent has been extremely useful – gives life to land & cost effective
  • Confidence and trust of farmers on Organic agriculture has increased – critical factor for development (role of facilitators)
  • It takes time but sustainable in future
  • Farmers are not only learning and practicing organic & improved agriculture but also making others to learn
  • Farmers club & SHG – Community institutions has been instrumental in grounding of intervention and towards ensuring RESULT
  • Some partner have done excellent in context of gender whereas some partners still needs to strengthened involvement of women
  • Linkage with various stakeholder becomes extremely essential when our results are dependent on other stakeholder such as KVK, banks, government department
  • Banswara has received district award for best agriculture promotion
  • Organic certification is essential for getting adequate price of produces at various level and farmers needs to follow systematic & adequate practices
  • All partners have started using RBM framework – Implementation focused on RESULTS
  • Use of monitoring systems has been very useful to know actual progress of the projects
  • Integrating systematic project management systems – leads towards better implementation of the project and achievement of results
  • It important to invest on human resource to get better RESULT

2nd Day: 31st Jan 2012
  • Field visit to three HARIT PRAYAS project villages ( Majhota, Kanwar & Motigarh): Three teams were made to visit the pre-decided thre HARIT PRAYAS project villages at Chatarpur-Khajuraho. HARIT PRAYAS project villages are around 200 kms from Satna and  to reach the mentioned villages  we have started our journey early 6.30 and reached Majhota by 9.30, there we had a welcome from the community and as per the team division one team stayed there and other two teams left for the other two villages.
  • In villages there were discussion on organic cultivation (especially amrit Pani),,caste system , MGNREGA, farmers club and IGA activities in Mahila Mandals. Team members visited the field, interacted with the community members, farmers club & Mahila Mandal members.
  • Discussion with the LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS coordinators on individual skill development: After returning from the field there was a meeting with all the coordinators of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS and discussion on individual skill development on presentation and other aspects related with the project. Apart from this there was few work division for coordinators.

From the field visit of the 2nd day following are the key learning’s  ( these learning’s are based on the visit of three teams to the three villages and later on their sharing on learning’s)

Sustainable agriculture
        Complete organic agriculture is possible in less cost– it gives proper yield in long term. Infect in Satna even in the first year it has given better yield in some of the farmers ( like in Hardeen-a farmer from Majhota village has two times better yield from organic in compare to inorganic)
        We learned how to compare or differentiate organic with chemical farming.
        Amrit Pani[1] – One of the ways to bring life in agriculture.
        Community mobilization and excellent rapport building– through local friendly activities such as participating in their village activities, cultural activities, folk song etc.
        Need to be demonstrating complete process of improved methodology such as…weeding, sowing practices….as it can reduce the input….
        The comparison of action and results need to be documented well to prove….and learn…. There were good examples of change happening in the field of HARIT PRAYAS at Satna but some where team failed in documenting the whole thing. If it would be documented well, it could also be shared as an IEC material to other villages and  other villages ( from near by) could also be bring to see the change and learn from it.
Community mobilization
        Winning trust of community is extremely essential. At Satan we are able to see that community have developed a trust on the project and its various components, which results in better intervention and making communities’ life much better.
        Capacity building of staff through field exposure is vital.  This gives staff and community to think beyond the existing situation and probably they get many ideas and thought process from the same.
        When we work with the specific target community we need to look into the issue of inclusion – respect of women/SC/Adivasi.
        Demonstration of any organic product before promoting is essential method….as it would give us the better understanding affects ( positive & negative) on the crop
        Always try to be facilitators and never try to be doers in the field. It has been observed in the field that Satna team has done quite good role of facilitator and especially in promotion of sustainable agriculture and hence the better result it is there in Satan in the form of entire villages adopting organic cultivation.
        Farmers guiding other farmers – most effective strategy for change - Farmers are not only learning and practicing organic & improved agriculture but also making others to learn
Forest & Livestock
        Forest residual can be used for preparation of organic manure. It would be better that there would be a proper contract with the forest department where in community could use the residuals of forest for the organic cultivation and teams working there could facilitate the same. Forest residuals have good source of organic components.
        Livestock needs to be promoted – upgrading quality of livestock and it’s also lifeline for organic agriculture.
        Extent focus on other project component such as alternate livelihood and entitlements…
Project villages/context
        Selection of right project area and target people….
3rd Day: 1st Feb 2012
  • Sharing of field learning’s ( by the team of Directors, Coordinators , field staff and Community members): all the team members did group exercise to compile the field level learning’s.
  • Sharing of monitoring tools by HARIT PRAYAS & LIFE team and discussion on making monitoring tools short, time saving and economically

Presentation by all the team on different learning’s they have from the meet and what they would be taking as the learning for their entire organization: At the end of the learning cycle meet all the consolidated learning’s have been presented in front of all the team members by the resource person and all the five teams have asked to go through all the learning’s and select those learning’s which team would take it for their organization. Project organizations of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS have also decided the time line for the implementation of learning’s at their organizations. Following learning’s are taken by different teams for the development of their organization and strengthening of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS project:

·         Learning’s on sustainable agriculture ( especially Amrit pani)
·         Learning’s on strengthening women collectiveness through IGA
·         Learning’s on strengthening linkages with other stakeholders of development project.
·         Learning’s on strong community mobilization
·         Learning’s on strengthening entitlements amongst the community

3. Something special about LEARNING CYCLE MEET:
Learning cycle meet was unique in itself with number of innovations and special learning’s. Some of the special aspects of the meet were:

  • Gallery presentation on various components of HARIT PRAYAS & LIFE project by all the five partners
  • Cultural evening on 30th Jan 2012; presenting various culture of Rajasthan & Bundelkhand region
  • Release of first ever project based newsletter of HARIT PRAYAS by community members. The news letter has been worked out by HARIT PRAYAS JCSS-Jhansi team
  • Release of CD of documentary films on Organic cultivation revolution in Satna. The CD has been developed by HARIT PRAYAS SSSS-Satna team
  • Active involvement of community members, where every community member spoke like the owner of the projects.
  • Passion amongst the team to  go beyond limits of development. The team has shown its all creativity and passion to do the things in highly professional way and get maximum learning from the meet for the betterment of the projects as well as the concerned organizations.
  • Use of bio-degradable products in meet e.g. Banners are of cloth rather than on plastic/flex
  • Taking back learning’s at organization level.
  • All communication in Hindi
  • Launch of e-learning programme of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS (e-LHP)

4. What people said about the meet?
People’s voice….

It’s an interesting experience with learning cycle meet and it serves the purpose of its name. I prefer this should continue in other projects also. Fr. Tony & Mr. Mansih ( RCDSSS-Ajmer)

I would practice sustainable agriculture in such a way that it would generate hungerness amongst the other farmers to do the same. Mr. Harideen ( Farmer, Majhota village, Chatarpur-HARIT PRAYAS project village)

I am happy that I am able to learn on organic cultivation and meet with the community members from other parts country. Ms. Angoori ( Farmers club secretary, Jhansi, HARIT PRAYAS project village)

With LIFE project I have became and entrepreneur with initiating my own poultry farm, with this meet I have learnt the best practices of sustainable agriculture and would replicate the same in my farm field. Ms. Mira Devi (SHG member, Ajmer, LIFE project village)

I have not only learned the things from the meet, I have also enjoyed the evry moment of the meet. Mr. Sunil (LIFE project Field staff, RCDSSS-Ajmer)

The process of learning cycle meet was unique and I find it successful in every aspect from its design to its learning. Mr. Ratan (HARIT PRAYAS Coordinator, JCSS-Jhansi)

I have seen a unique blend of learning happening through this whole process of learning cycle meet. Mr. Prakash ( ASK, India)

I am bit surprise to see the clarity and understanding of sustainable agriculture amongst the community and staff within short period of time. Mr. Vijay ( PGSS-Gorakhpur)

It’s an interesting process of learning. Fr. Emanuel ( MVSS-Sagar)

We are taking many learning’s at organization level. Fr. Sebastian ( JCSS-Jhansi)

5. Outcome of the Aatmaanthan-Learning Cycle Meet

In terms of key achievement of the learning cycle meet, it could be concluded that the capacity of each and every member associated with both the project has increased in terms of clarity on result and working towards the change process in the context and amongst the community. In both the project there has been good result and change happening in sustainable agriculture, entitlement ( especially MGNREGA & FRA) and community mobilization in the form of CBO formation.


[1] Its an organic substitute for urea and DAP and being easily made with cow urine, jaggery, gram flour, water and neem leaves


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