A Participatory Guide to Developing Partnerships, Area Resource Assessment and Planning Together

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This manual is part of a series of good practice guides describing the components of the participatory and area-based approach to rural agroenterprise development.

The manual lays the groundwork for rural agroenterprise projects by leading service providers through an asset-based analysis of the area where a project takes place, a social profile analysis of the client group(s) and the establishment of an agroenterprise working group. The output of the work from this guide is an action plan.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction and Background to the Guide
  • Overview of the Area-based Approach for Rural Agroenterprise Development
  • Objectives and Structure of the Guide
  • Section 1. Basic Principles of Livelihood Development
  • Defining Livelihood
  • Evaluating Innovation for Agroenterprise Development
  • Rural Agroenterprise Development within a Target Area
  • Section 2. Preparing the Groundwork
  • Setting Goals and a Philosophy for Community Engagement
  • Rapid Reconnaissance Survey for Planning
  • Applying the Agroenterprise Approach
  • Engaging Partners in the Process
  • Roles of the Partners
  • Building In-house Agroenterprise Capacity through Pilot Testing
  • Considerations for Scaling Up
  • Exit Strategies
  • Section 3. Area-based Resource Assessment
  • Forming the Working Group
  • Defining an Area
  • Zoning the Area
  • Analyzing Resources Available in Each Zone
  • Analyzing Social Resources in Each Zone
  • Profiling Client Groups through Wealth Evaluation for Each Zone
  • Zoning Livelihood Strategies by Wealth and Gender
  • Innovation Processes for Each Zone, Resource, and Social Group
  • Section 4. Planning Together for Joint Action
  • Reviewing the Roles of the Working Group
  • Planning for Rural Agroenterprise Development in the Area
  • Consensus Building
  • Who We Are
  • Developing a Common Vision for Agroenterprise in our Area
  • Writing a Joint Work Plan
  • Conclusion
  • Section 5. Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Designing and Building an Appropriate Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • System for the Working Group
  • Utility of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning for the Working Group
  • Tools for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Advances in the Working Group’s Action Plan
  • A Participatory Guide to Developing Partnerships...
  • Section 6. The Planning Report and Preparing for the Next Steps Outline of the Planning Report
  • Next Steps
  • Conclusions
  • Appendices
  • 1. Planning, Organizing, and Taking Action: Key Event in Rural Agroenterprise Development
  • 2. Checklist for Developing a Pilot Agroenterprise Project
  • 3. Transitional Exit Strategy with a 5-to 10-year Timeframe 52
  • Bibliography
M. Lundy
M. V. Gottret
R. Best
S. Ferris
Catholic Relief Services