CASE STUDY OF A DEVELOPMENT WORKER

  1. Read the Appropriate Technology chapter 7 (School-Based Issues and Appropriate Technology). Parts of it may relate to the Hillville situation. And take an idea from my AT Yearbook Chapter and expand on it, analyze it, or adapt it for your use. Write a solid paragraph.

 

  1. Respond to Part Three of the Case Study. Please write a paragraph and show evidence of thought about this complicated situation.  Try to keep track of the half dozen major characters.

 

  1.  I’m sendind you case 1 and 2, you worked in this before. I don’t know if you have all the files of the cases 1 & 2, is why I’m sending all the information, I’m also sending you what you wrote about the cases 1 & 2

Case Study

In the first part of the case study, the Volunteer has made some good contacts with the agricultural officials and other important persons. Although he is a biased Volunteer, he seems to be making progress in the one project that he has concentrated. Biasness is evidenced in the Volunteer because he only prefers to concentrate on only one project even though he is supposed to focus on other ventures too. As stated, a number of reasons may have led to such biasness. It may be because this particular project was in the agricultural minister’s home area, encountering gas problems, amongst others. Some decisions made in this part of the study are not good. For example, if the Volunteer had distributed his concentration, he might have asked for some help from the other cooperatives and thus aiding in diverse issues (Australian Aid, 2004).

However, the Volunteer’s good spirit in terms of socializing with many people including the other Volunteer is very commendable. This is because the Volunteer needed all the help he could get, including psychological, physical and financial assistance, in order to make the project(s) successful. His spirit of interaction also makes it easier for him to interact and convince other residents to take up the project (Australian Aid, 2004). If the Volunteer had not been that interactive, it could have probably taken longer than the four months to convince the funders to get involved in the project and a high likelihood is that they may not have even have accepted the project at all.

After the letter was sent to the agricultural programmer, it was speculated that the director would take the project with more urgency than before. Furthermore, it was contemplated that a direct conversation with the executive would have made an impact. However, it is commendable how the Volunteer employed various approaches and intellectual assistance needed to make the project successful (Collett, & Gale, 2009). With all these efforts from the people involved in the project, including the cooperative members and the Volunteer, the project will most probably succeed.

In the second part of the case study, the seeds had not arrived even with the expiry of the waiting period. Like in any other project, some people gave up and went ahead with replacement strategies being planting their own seeds. However, with all these challenges, the determination of the Volunteer was very commendable; he enquired for a meeting with the cooperative board of directors in order to appraise the given situation and analyze for replacement options. Nevertheless, both parties should have earlier forecasted such issues during the planning period to lessen the period spent on the project. Either they should have ordered for the seeds much as a contingent approach to lessen such delays as encountered. Alternatively, the parties should have created a quick approach for the situation to avert farmers from using their own alternative techniques (Collett, & Gale, 2009).

On the other hand, the Volunteer should have spread his concentration on all the projects that he was initially supposed to undertake. This would have come in handy at this challenging instance. Creating a colossal order placed by the cooperative on behalf of all the other stakeholders for equitable allocations would have been quite useful. Maybe the ministry had challenges in packing all the different orders. The decision to make a personal appearance after all the methods had failed should have been implemented as the first option. There is no guarantee that the agricultural programmer actually saw the director. The Volunteer and the members should have had a first hands experience with the project for effectual management. The same would have aided with effective monetary handling in the project.

Therefore, some decisions made by the Volunteer were less favorable. However, most of them were a positive contribution to the project. An individual earns people’s trust through his/her character. The Volunteer’s decision of ascertaining that the people would be successful in this project is commendable. He demonstrates this by the extent that he uses his personal money to settle both his own and the chairperson’s fare expenses, a liability that was clearly not pegged to him. Through his hard work, the project bore very high chances of succeeding.

 

Part I.

This is a case study of a PCV working in cooperatives.  He viewed his position as an important one, working in the beginnings of the country’s cooperative Movement.  The Minister of Agriculture, whom the Volunteer met during training, reinforced the importance of the job he was about to begin.  Since the Minister’s home area was the same as the Volunteer’s working area, the Minister explained in detail to the Volunteer what he knew of the people, their interest in starting a cooperative, and his expectations of the Volunteer’s performance.

After nine months on the job, the Volunteer found that he was concentrating on one rice cooperative.  It had taken a good part of the first nine months of his stay to settle into a lifestyle that he was comfortable with.  Although he had made a sincere start in trying to learn the local language, he gave it up after a few weeks.  He said that he didn’t need it on the job and had a perfectly adequate interpreter through whom he could communicate to the cooperative members.  Much of his time was spent moving into his town and building relationships with the townspeople he considered key to his success as a cooperative worker.  He applied the same process to the job, establishing contacts and building relationships with those in the Ministry of Agriculture on whom he would eventually have to rely.  This he did on both the headquarters and district level.  This work was slow and frustrating, but within nine months the Volunteer felt he had established some very strong relationships with many people in the Ministry and town.  Needless to say, he knew most of the agriculture volunteers in the country and often spent time with them, talking over their frustrations.

While all this was happening, the Volunteer was in the process of defining his job.  Although he was supposed to work with six budding cooperatives, he found himself spending more and more of his time with the one cooperative in his town.  This partly due to the difficulties he had in obtaining gas from the Ministry, partly due to the Minister’s interest in the project, and partly due to the high visibility of the cooperative (it was on the main road).

He became the key advisor to the cooperative, working closely with the chairman of the cooperative and the board of directors.  He spent a considerable amount of time with each of the twenty members of the cooperative as well, visiting their homes with his interpreter.  The result of his work was a group of very enthusiastic farmers who he had taken from skepticism to active participation in nine short months.  They had agreed to start a communal pilot rice scheme of some 40 acres, using one piece of land that they had obtained from the clan chief.

Since this was the first project that the cooperative was working on, both the members of the cooperative and the people of the area were watching it very closely.  (One measure of their wariness in spite of their enthusiasm was that each cooperative member made sure that his own traditional plot of land was prepared for the upcoming rice season.)  During the time that the Volunteer was building up the member’s enthusiasm, he had to cope with many periods of depression, when he felt that he would not be able to bring the members to a state of readiness in time for his first full season.  In fact, it took a full four months for the members and their leaders to decide that the project was at least viable with a fair chance of success.

To reach that point, the Volunteer and the chairman of the cooperative had together arranged for certain commitments from the Ministry of Agriculture.  The Ministry carried out a soil survey to determine if the plot of land was indeed suitable for rice cultivation.  The Ministry promised fertilizer and helped to arrange a loan with which the members of the cooperative bought the fertilizer.  The Ministry promised to supply improved rice seed, and the members had raised money for the seeds by holding a dance, a beauty contest, and by raising their fair share of membership fees.  This money they sent to the Ministry via the Volunteer (when he was going down to the capital for his gamma globulin shots) some two months before the seeds were due to arrive.

By the end of April, the members and the Volunteer were fairly satisfied with their progress.  A plot of land had been selected and it had been cleared and prepared by the members.  The fertilizer had arrived and was stored in a shed attached to the Volunteer’s house.  A number of technical advisors from the Ministry and UNDP had visited, each giving a lecture or demonstration which the members felt worthwhile.  The money for the seed was with the Ministry, and the Director of the Division had promised that the seed would be available by the mid-April.  All things considered, the Volunteer was quite pleased with the progress of this work, and had been suggesting to a number of other volunteers, Ministry officials, and cooperatives that they might want to visit his cooperative during the next months in order to use it as an extension demonstration in cooperative work.

By the middle of May, four weeks late, the seeds had not yet arrived.  The Volunteer and cooperative members were becoming worried.  People were expecting the first rains by late May or very early June, and the rice had to go in just after the first rains or the yield would probably be severely reduced.

Finally, the chairman of the cooperative and the board of directors met in a special session to talk over the tardy seeds.  After several hours of palaver, they decided to send an urgent message to the Division of Director in the capital city inquiring about the seeds.  The chairman, whose brother worked for the Ministry in the nearby county seat, suggested using the Ministry radio network to send a message to capital city.

The Volunteer, who had returned the previous day from the county seat, mentioned that the radio was not in good working order, and it was quite difficult to communicate clearly with any assurance that the message was properly understood in capital city.  By chance, the Volunteer knew that the Peace Corps mail truck was due to pass through the town that afternoon on its way to the capital.  The members agreed and the meeting ended with the chairman and Volunteer drafting the letter to the Director of the Division.

As the Volunteer and the chairman composed the letter, the Volunteer decided to send the letter to the Peace Corps Agricultural Programmer, asking him to take it by hand to the Division Director. He felt the situation was serious enough to ask for the agricultural programmer’s help.  If nothing else, he felt that the letter might carry a little more weight if the agricultural programmer discussed it with the Division Director personally.

The Peace Corps mail truck arrived a half an hour later and the letter was sent off.

PART II

Three days later, when the Peace Corps mail truck was returning up country, the Volunteer received a letter from the Agricultural Programmer in the capital city.  The agriculture  programmer had visited the Division Director, and had obtained an assurance from the Director that the rice seeds were just being arranged and should be on their way within the next ten days.  The Volunteer visited the chairman and board of directors and the group was considerably reassured by the ag programmer’s findings.  They adjourned to a local bar to celebrate their good fortune.

 

Ten days later, the first rains fell, good soaking rains which promised a good year if only the seeds were on hand for planting, however, they had not arrived yet.  The Volunteer and the chairman called another meeting of the board of directors (although they had some difficulty in contacting some directors because they were out on their own lands planting their own rice crops).

 

During the meeting, the group decided that they had at the most another 2-1/2 weeks to get the seed in the ground.  After that, it would be almost too late.  They decided that more urgent action was needed, and began to make plans to send a delegation to the capital to trace the missing seeds and to try to bring them back with them back on their return.  Plans were made, but when they began to talk about transport, it was found that no one could afford the trip out of their own pocket.  The treasurer of the cooperative was consulted, but it was found that almost all the cooperative’s funds had been sent almost two months earlier to pay for the seeds.  They had no cash on hand.

 

One of the members then asked the Volunteer if he could go down himself, using his own vehicle.  The Volunteer’s vehicle was not in working order, and so that option seemed to be useless.  The Volunteer began to feel the pressure build, for he knew the next ten days were going to be crucial to the success of the cooperative.  After giving it some thought, he decided to pay for taxi fare out of his own pocket for the trip.  The Volunteer also wanted to involve someone else from the cooperative, so he asked the chairman if he would accompany him and agreed to fund his trip for just this one time.

 

The next morning, the Volunteer and the chairman left for the capital.

 

 

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