Rural Development – some questions answered

What is “wholistic development”?

Wholistic describes development work  that deals with all the needs of man. Also called integrated or multi disciplinary development..  Thus the development will not deal exclusively with agriculture, say, but agriculture within context so would have to include element such as health and education as well

What are the main objectives of farm households?

Primarily to feed their families and sell a bit of surplus crop for cash.

But also include:

  • Productivity
  • Security
  • Continuity
  • Identity or status

 What is a “Transect Walk”?

A way of getting to know a community is to walk through it with a guide. A transect is a depiction of the landscape divided up for example, into sectors describing terrain and condition of soil, crops and livestock.

Describe “needs analysis”

Needs analysis  is the summary of research into a project(or program) to determine the needs of the potential beneficiaries of a project before it commences.

What is a facilitator?

A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan to achieve them without taking a particular position in the discussion. Some facilitator tools will try to assist the group in achieving a consensus on any disagreements that preexist or emerge in the meeting so that it has a strong basis for future action.  * Wikepedia definition

Choose 6 qualities which would be desirable in a facilitator and 6 that would be undesirable:




Analytical Naive
Competent Incompetent
Hard-working Uncommunicative
Responsible Lazy
Efficient Confused
Skilful Apathetic

What is ‘capacity building’?

Capacity building also referred to as capacity development is a conceptual approach to development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations from realizing their developmental goals while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.

The term capacity building emerged in the lexicon of international development during the 1990s. Today, “capacity building” is included in the programs of most international organizations that work in development, the World Bank (World Bank), The United Nations (UN) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Oxfam International. Wide usage of the term has resulted in controversy over its true meaning. Capacity building often refers to strengthening the skills, competencies and abilities of people and communities in developing societies so they can overcome the causes of their exclusion and suffering.

Organizational capacity building is used by NGOs to guide their internal development and activities. * Wikipedia definition

How can results from farmers experiments best be spread to other farmers?

  • Farmer to farmer training
  • Study tours
  • Innovator workshops
  • Visits to other villages/sites

For other articles on Rural Development click here

Written by Fiona Johnson

March 2012