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Capacity Building: Lessons Learnt from South African LandCare

Theo Nabben

Department of Agriculture, PO Box 1232 Bunbury, Western Australia, Email . Previously National LandCare Facilitator, Institutional Strengthening Departments of Agriculture (ISDA) project South Africa (2003-04)


This paper describes the experiences and lessons learnt from the AusAID funded project, Institutional Strengthening Departments of Agriculture (ISDA), aimed at strengthening of Agricultural departments supporting South Africa’s LandCare programme. The broad objective of ISDA was to support the South African LandCare Programme as a community based, government supported initiative by building the capacity of the national and provincial Departments of Agriculture in participatory Natural Resources Management. As a result of a project review, the initial focus on provision of training courses was broadened to include a wider range of capacity building efforts.

Three key learnings: (1) encourage flexibility in project design or implementation so projects can to adjust to changing circumstances; (2) gain high level political and management support early on to maximize impact, and; (3) implement and institutionalize interventions at a range of levels and across a range of stakeholders so as to maximize chances of success and sustainability.


The purpose of this paper is to document the steps taken and lessons learnt from an international development project focused on institutional capacity building. The Institutional Strengthening Departments of Agriculture (ISDA) project was funded by the Australian Government international development agency, AusAID, and managed by GRM International in South Africa between 2001 and 2004. With an initial focus on the provision of training, the ISDA project moved towards a broader capacity building and institutional strengthening approach during its Second Phase (2003 onwards). Despite its relatively small budget (A$4.7 mil) and limited time frame (39 months) ISDA is credited with setting the foundation for a sustainable impact, provided the counterpart departments follow through on recommendations and plans developed during the project period.

Given the usual constraints of competing demands, lack of counterpart staff and unexpected developments it is acknowledged that ISDA interventions have been implemented to the best of the team’s ability. However, in the interests of continuous improvement, I have chosen to ask the question “how could we do this better next time?” with the hope that further insights are gained which may assist in planning for capacity development. The paper will provide a general overview of the ISDA project, focusing on capacity building interventions and the lessons learnt with the hope that they may be applicable in other situations.

Background and context for LandCare in South Africa

As a result of visits and exchanges between South Africans and Australians interested in Landcare during the mid to late 1990s, the South African Government initiated the National LandCare1 Programme (NLP) in 1997 within National Department of Agriculture (DoA). South African LandCare is defined by the following vision:

“In summary, LandCare South Africa will be a community-based programme supported by both the public and private sector through a series of partnerships. It is a process focused towards the conservation of the natural resources…. In addition it seeks to address rural poverty by means of sustainable job creation.” Nduli, 1998.

The South African Government contributed an annual budget allocation for three years of Rand 25 million2 per year from Poverty Relief funds to support activities under the NLP, to assist in managing serious environmental problems that were exacerbating poverty in the previously poor rural homeland areas. Responsibility for LandCare was given to the technical Soil Conservation sections of the National and Provincial Departments of Agriculture (PDAs). Holt (2004) describes the consequences of this approach, resulting in a divergence between the rhetoric of LandCare as a community based movement and the reality of a top down, largely technocratic approach which saw LandCare as a poverty relief mechanism to overcome soil conservation. Understandably there was confusion over what LandCare was i.e. a community based movement, a funding programme or another name for soil conservation efforts. Despite these constraints, some projects were very successful (Prior, 2002) and formed the basis of 8 Model Projects, later documented and used by ISDA to demonstrate good landcare practices as part of its capacity building interventions.

Other issues impacted negatively on the development of LandCare and subsequent ISDA interventions. In particular a transformation agenda within the public sector promoted very high staff turnover and reduced staff motivation and corporate knowledge; in some cases resulting in senior managers with limited management skills. A new Senior Manager (in a pivotal position for LandCare) was appointed to DoA after the ISDA project was developed and his commitment needed to be gained to ensure effective ownership and support for both LandCare and ISDA. Other issues such as hierarchical and bureaucratic structures, limited resources and multiplicity of duties among departmental staff with some LandCare role, all posed challenges to adopting a participatory, community based Landcare approach. These factors were compounded in a context where local, largely black, rural communities operate within a dependency situation3.

The ISDA project - Moving towards broader capacity building approaches

Previous visits and exchanges between the two countries, supported by AusAID, indicated Australia had relevant expertise to support the development of the South African LandCare Programme (Nabben and Nduli 2002). Following discussions with the DoA, AusAID agreed to provide limited support for the implementation of South Africa’s LandCare Programme through the South African Australian Institutional Strengthening for the Department’s of Agriculture (ISDA) project to build local Landcare capacity.

The broad objective the ISDA project was to build the capacity of the DoA and provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) staff to effectively implement and manage the LandCare Programme. This was to be achieved through placing staff in existing and appropriate short courses. The trained staff would assist in establishing LandCare as a community based but government supported initiative with a broad base of public support and involvement at local, regional, provincial and national levels. Increasing the capacity for participatory planning and management of projects at a local community level (via improved departmental capacity) with the aim of building greater community self reliance was seen as important given a previous history of top down approaches and high levels of dependency in rural communities.

Aside from the ISDA Team Leader, additional technical assistance (TA) was provided by short-term contractors, mainly international, but often working with local counterparts. Unfortunately, the DoA was only able to provide limited counterpart support. Key national positions such as LandCare Project Manager, Capacity Development Officer and Awareness Officer experienced high staff turnover and were often vacant for extended periods through the life of the ISDA project. A Training Needs Assessment, undertaken during the early stages of the project found that many of the required short courses did not exist and had to be developed. These deficiencies were mainly in the fields of participatory approaches, facilitation and group skills, community development, gender and conservation agriculture.

An independent Project Monitoring and Review Group (PMRG) contracted by AusAID provided the impetus to change the limited focus which had been placed on the ISDA project. The PMRG supported the ISDA Team Leader’s, and DoA viewpoints, that the project was unlikely to achieve its purpose of supporting a community based approach to LandCare unless increased resources and broader capacity development initiatives and institutional strengthening efforts were made. As a consequence ISDA can be seen as being implemented over two phases; Phase 1, following the original project design and Phase 2, implementing many of the PMRGs recommendations. Figure 1 below, outlines the focus, approach, resources and activities for the two phases of the ISDA project. Without the mechanism of an independent review team reporting to the donor, thereby fostering project flexibility, it is unlikely ISDA would have been as successful as it was in building capacity.

Figure 1 Description of ISDA project focus, approach resources and activities by project Phase


Phase 1 April 2001- March 2003

Phase 2 April 2003-June 2004

Geographic Focus

50% effort towards Limpopo Province, with remaining support to 4 other poor provinces (PDAs) and national DoA. Total 5 out of 9 provinces

Similar to Phase 1; LandCare seen as a national Programme so all 9 Provinces supported to varying degrees. Main focus & support to remain with initial 5 provinces; limited support to other 4.

Project Resources

1 FTE – Australian Team leader (ATL); overseeing short term contractors. A$3Mil. Assumed significant counterpart support in terms of staffing.

Same as Phase 1 with additional 2 FTEs- National and Provincial LandCare Facilitators. Additional A$1.7Mil

Project approach

Training department staff in existing courses.

Capacity building and institutional strengthening

Broad range of activities

Assessment of past experiences in natural resources management,

Documentation of 2 model projects, Training needs assessment,

Implementation of training programmes,

Landcare project management database and information system commissioned,

National strategic LandCare plan, Awareness strategies and activities.

Capacity Development (CD) strategy -including post ISDA CD strategy; study tours and development of 7 core courses supporting more participatory approaches,

Documentation of 6 model projects,

Annual national and provincial strategic LandCare planning workshops-5 provinces,

Landcare Policy and institutional arrangements documented,

National Awareness strategy,

Monitoring & Evaluation strategy.

Phase 2 saw two staff join ISDA to support the Team Leader, a National LandCare Facilitator (NLF)4 and a Provincial Landcare Facilitator (PLF). The Team Leader and NLF were housed with their counterparts in the DoA LandCare Secretariat (LCS) in Pretoria, and the PLF shared offices with counterparts in Limpopo Province. These three core staff worked very closely with Provincial LandCare Coordinators (PLCs) and the National LandCare Secretariat staff in facilitating a range of LandCare activities. PLCs acted as the first point of contact for most ISDA interventions in the provinces. Co-location of ISDA staff with counterparts was crucial in providing facilitation, technical support and informal mentoring support for counterparts.

During Phase 2 several new courses were designed and delivered to cover the deficiencies noted in the Training Needs Assessment and complement “off the shelf” courses delivered during Phase 1 (see Holt 2004 for details). The new ISDA courses adopted adult and action learning principles (Knowles, 1990; Kolb, 1984) which appeared not to have been widely used in previous departmental training. Local NGOs, commercial firms and universities were contracted to provide the training. The DoA and the PDAs paid for staff transport and accommodation costs, with counterpart staff assisting in organisational matters. New ISDA courses included a 2 day review workshop – usually 2-3 months after the course has finished, during which time participants were given relevant workplace activities to undertake. Review workshops fostered sharing of practical experience with peers and course presenters and reinforced the action learning aspects of the courses. Train the Trainer type activities were incorporated into courses to build internal capacity for future training. Capable and motivated individuals were identified in courses and offered the opportunity to support the course presenter in delivery when the course was run in other provinces.

Phase 2 activities included numerous workshops which were linked to the development of national policies or strategies (see Figure1 above). A key strength of ISDA was that during Phase 2 it operated a parallel process of institutional strengthening which supported its capacity building initiatives and that it worked with the LandCare implementation sphere at the provincial level as well as the strategic/policy sphere at the national level.

"ISDA is one of the few, if not the only donor supported programme that managed to be accepted at provincial level by influencing policy of the National Department of Agriculture on water and soil conservation practices and fostering the adoption of a reasonable degree of participatory approaches at local level…This gradual shift that has been managed at National level is, in my personal opinion, one of the greatest achievements of ISDA.” Pier Ficarelli, pers. comm.

ISDA also assisted the DoA develop a post ISDA Capacity Development Strategy which was partially implemented during 2005. The remainder of the paper will concentrate on specific capacity development interventions and lessons learned.

Adding value to reports and recommendations for capacity building

ISDA produced a number of documents (Learning Activity, Train the Trainer and LandCare Skills Development information kits) to minimize confusion among departmental staff, especially PLCs, when organizing capacity building activities and assisted in establishing procedures to smooth the way for institutionalizing capacity development interventions.

Despite this, widespread usage of the documents or procedures was limited. Reliance on PLCs as the main point of contact for most of ISDAs interventions incorrectly assumed they had the ability to drive these initiatives within their respective departments, or that they had the time to utilize the kits etc. ISDA and LCS staff needed to support PLCs and provincial training providers in the use of these kits. Effective implementation and increased sustainability of impact would have been enhanced if provincial and national training coordinators were also engaged in the development and application of these initiatives.

Informal support mechanisms

A range of activities other than formal training courses were used to develop and support capacity building within the LandCare program and are described below:

Counterpart mentoring

Much of the capacity building achieved by the project was not through courses; rather it was through informal on-the-job training by the long term and short term project TA. The ISDA team worked very closely with counterpart staff on a one to one basis, and the TA team facilitated large numbers of workshops and meetings, and at times gave direct training during these. To quote one LCS staff member who accompanied ISDA TAs on a month trip to evaluate past NRM projects, “I learnt more in the past month than I learnt in my whole Diploma”. In some other cases local staff assisted ISDA consultants deliver training workshops and were able to build their confidence and expertise in both the topic area as well as training and facilitation skills. ISDA team members also provided support to provincial staff in developing appropriate structures and plans i.e. facilitation support for Limpopo PDA staff to plan the allocation of R5 million towards activities fostering local community awareness, capacity building and ownership of projects.

Limited counterpart support, particularly at national level, remained a critical issue for ISDA and at times meant that ISDA staff were more involved in the “doing” rather than capacity building of (non existent) counterparts. Agreements to second experienced people from the PDAs to support the LCS were largely unsuccessful and raised questions about the extent of high level support. When PDA staff were eventually seconded, after several months, they were inexperienced and placed higher demands on the limited time available to LCS staff, thereby defeating the initial purpose of secondment. Luckily ISDA staff showed flexibility in dealing with the counterpart shortage and were able to redirect some of their activities and support to the PDAs. ISDA provided limited mentoring support for key LandCare staff in the provinces with the potential to be local champions. One PDA member, who now has a significantly more responsible position, was particularly supported by this approach. More targeted support earlier on to some PDAs may have led to greater impact, however this needed to be balanced against the need to fill DoA staff gaps, risk of provincial restructuring, the need to meet other pressing demands such as project wind-up activities and milestones (and therefore receive project payments).

Recognition of management limitations among key counterparts or senior managers is often “unmentionable” even though it can severely limit project effectiveness. It may be useful to provide mentoring or coaching support via a third party where it is unwise or embarrassing to link this support too directly to project staff. ISDA was not always able to offer sufficient mentoring, or provide third party support, to overcome management limitations impacting negatively on LandCare. Third party mentoring for key mangers was discounted in one case because standard management training had been provided by a local university and it was incorrectly assumed by more senior managers that this was sufficient to overcome individuals’ limitations. In hindsight ISDA could have pursued the idea of direct or third party management support for other key LandCare players i.e. PLCs or key managers in PDAs.

LandCare Champions Network – a good idea that came too late….

Discussions between ISDA and senior management in three provinces suggested the idea of a “Champions Network” would be supported. The intent was to bring past course participants from across the province together to share their experiences and to support local level “LandCare champions” and develop a “community of practice” around participatory approaches that could be sustainable within existing (extension) structures. Unfortunately this was attempted too late to ensure implementation given last minute changes to plans, PDA restructuring and the pressure of project wind-up activities for ISDA staff. The Network was not implemented sufficiently early in the project to test it or embed it into normal practice. If this had been done, local staff may have some experience in its implementation and be more confident to work on their own in this area post ISDA. Such an initiative would have complemented the idea of ISDA staff mentoring individual LandCare champions.

Mentoring support institutionalized in courses

Mentoring support for participants was built into training contracts and provided by course presenters in an action learning process linked to formal courses and largely, but not exclusively, focussed on staff selected for Train the Trainer activity. Successful mentoring of Gender course participants resulted in significant gender related activity in some provinces, especially where high level support was secured; in KwaZulu-Natal the PDA initiated a series of regional and district gender awareness workshops across the province. In other cases internal restructuring and policy uncertainty and timeline delays meant plans were not able to be acted upon before the ISDA project finished.

“Look and Learn” tours show the way

Several local, provincial and international LandCare “Look and Learn” tours were held involving departmental staff and other stakeholders. South African tours often visited the Model Projects 5 and assisted in motivating participants, clarifying the key LandCare elements and developing a common vision for LandCare (Bhm and Mpofu, 2004). They also raised LandCare awareness and supported the recruitment of high level champions. Inter-provincial tours were so effective that they were being initiated by PDAs with limited support from ISDA towards the end of the project. The concept of such tours, specifically those also targeting community people, has been included in the DoAs Capacity Building Strategy.

Targetting the right people - departmental and community

Initially selection of staff for LandCare training appeared either adhoc or not considered in a strategic sense i.e. “do we spread the training equally to be fair to all or do we develop a group of skilled people? ” Insufficient attention was paid to targetting middle or higher management levels. ISDA eventually provided guidelines assisting PLCs select participants for capacity building events. By maintaining course records ISDA developed a database of trainees and was able to share this with the provinces setting the stage for more targeted training. Overall the ISDA courses and various interventions assited in the development of a cadre of well trained staff with a shared vision for LandCare (Bhm and Mpofu, 2004). During 2004, ISDA developed and ran a 2 day course 6 for middle level managers so that they would be sensitized towards the value of particpatory training and support their staff trial new approaches to working with the community. Introducing new concepts, such as particpatory approaches or more critical thinking, to lower level staff may result in difficulty and frustration with in the workplace if senior management and organisational cultures operate under different paradigms. A more strategic approach to participant targetting earlier on may have significantly strengthened capacity building efforts and LandCare generally.

A design limitation of the original ISDA project was the primary focus on building departmental capacity as the major way to support a community based LandCare approach. Despite this, several ISDA workshops and tours included other stakeholders. Inclusion of community members in two ISDA courses, despite some initial concerns about their ability to “keep up”7 , proved invaluable in creating shared understandings with staff and empowering community members – essential ingredients for a community led movement. This experience suggests that designs relevant to participatory and partnership based projects should explicitly target key stakeholder involvement in projects to strengthen capacity within relevant systems.

Importance of high level support and engagement

The various tours and high profile visits to Model Project sites provided an excellent opportunity to involve senior managers and enlist their support for LandCare initiatives. These techniques to ensure appropriate involvement and gain support among powerful champions was especially important in strengthening PDA commitment towards LandCare in at least two provinces. A Chief Director of Agriculture in Limpopo province stated that his visit to a Model Project was “inspirational” and he has since supported several initiatives to strengthen LandCare in Limpopo (Holt 2004). ISDAs involvement in the Mandela Scholarships also promoted LandCare in a positive light among senior departmental managers.

A major stumbling block to greater uptake of initiatives which supported the community led philosophy of LandCare was a lack of understanding and engagement at strategically significant levels within various PDAs and nationally. Despite ITCA LandCare Working Group support for a broad based National LandCare Forum, little action seems to have occurred over the past year and a half in moving this forward. Having high level champions with strategic influence would most likely see greater adoption of generally agreed policy frameworks or institutional arrangements. Whilst there were some successes, as noted above, greater effort in targeting and following up with key people earlier in the project would lead to more influential LandCare champions (i.e. Heads of Departments and Divisions, Ministers etc) providing greater leverage for ISDA efforts. Within the hierarchical systems that existed, high level support was needed to turn policy and strategy into action. Many of the difficulties faced by LandCare and ISDA could have been dealt with more effectively by higher level commitment within departments. Greater success in developing influential champions among other stakeholder groups (NGOs, research organisations, community movements) would also enhance the institutional uptake and sustainability of LandCare as a broad based movement.

Institutionalizing good practices for capacity building

Link with the VET sector

Though initially unplanned, an opportunity arose for ISDA to link with an AusAID Vocational Education Training project to accredit courses. A number of ISDA courses are accredited or in the process of being accredited, resulting in the first Learnerships within the DoA. This directly links LandCare courses into departmental and whole of Government training initiatives and the DoA can now attract funds from the Department of Labour for accredited courses, resulting in a sustainable source of external funds to supplement training costs. It was also planned that the ISDA courses will form part of a planned Extension Learnership, thereby institutionalizing LandCare within a mainstream training activity of Agricultural departments nationwide. If the DoA or PDAs were to actively promote these accredited courses it would significantly impact on LandCare in South Africa.

Integrate with existing structures and opportunities

A number of ISDA’s capacity interventions were either not being implemented by the PDAs or were reliant on an individual’s drive and connections to either be implemented, or sustained, over the medium to long term. In order to strengthen institutional support for these initiatives, ISDA worked via existing LandCare structures such as the Inter- governmental Technical Committee on Agriculture (ITCA) LandCare Working Group8 for these reports to be tabled. Significant Capacity Building reports have been accepted by the ITCA LandCare Working Group, providing a mechanism to lock provinces and the DoA into implementing relevant capacity building recommendations. However it is unclear at the time of writing if these recommendations were sufficiently supported to be put to, or accepted by ITCA; or, even if they were accepted, if there was any support for implementation or monitoring to ensure implementation. Having a powerful champion willing to consistently promote LandCare initiatives at the national level and within the appropriate institutions is important in institutionalizing LandCare and maximising the benefits from project interventions.

The Mandela scholarships, available under a separate AusAID Program, provided an unplanned opportunity for 20 South Africans to undertake Masters studies within Australian tertiary institutions. The ISDA project proactively targeted these scholarships as a way to develop high level and valued skills in LandCare. ISDA staff developed a paper outlining how to “institutionalize” and optimize multiple benefits for individuals and their respective departments, arguing that institutional and individual capacity would be enhanced if these students were able take on higher level LandCare duties on their return to South Africa9. The paper was accepted by the ITCA LandCare Working Group. These ideas were also passed on to the national managers of the Mandela Scholarship program in the hope that there would be multiple pressures for institutionalizing such support.

Support other institutional players

By utilizing local service providers, and providing training and relevant accreditation for them, ISDA was able to build the capacity of local providers thereby enhancing the likelihood of sustainability in this area. Similarly, the selection of local counterpart consultants to work with Australian experts assisted in building local service provider capacity. Provided they were involved in, or generally available for future LandCare work, this would support longer term capacity within the relevant sector.

Documentation of learnings and approaches

ISDAs documentation was very good and copies of all reports were stored with the LCS. For people to benefit from project documents, approaches and learnings need to be widely accessible and though much of this was contained in the final report to AusAID this was too “donor centric” for a wider audience. AusAID funded an easy to read booklet, Towards Sustainable Landcare Practices in South Africa (Holt 2004), with key reports in an attached CD. The booklet was made widely available at the South African Landcare Conference in 2004. Reprints, with additional information, have been recently organized by the LCS for broader distribution. Experience suggests a shared history of information development and implementation with counterparts enhances corporate memory, increasing the chance of the information being used in the future. Again, the issue of high staff turnover and limited counterpart support within the DoA were limiting factors.

Evaluation of capacity building efforts

Both the PMRG and an evaluation undertaken by ISDA appointed consultants, suggest the approaches taken in the ISDA project had a significant impact on strengthening the use of participatory approaches and understanding of LandCare.

“The ISDA project has clearly helped inspire a vision for Landcare … the impetus for LandCare along with the institutional foundations and capacity that the ISDA project has brought about is most likely to result in a significant impact on South Africa’s approach to sustainable livelihood development and natural resources management” PMRG report June 2004 cited in Holt (2004, 25)

Participants rated over 30% improvements in their performance10 as a result of the training in all but 9 of 49 targeted competencies related to working with communities and groups, gender and development, managing LandCare projects, communication skills and soil conservation (Bhm and Mpofu, 2004). Key course competences that were identified by trainees included the following: different ways to approach and involve the community, learning how to manage group situations and team work, an ability to get communities involved and owning the initiative, engaging in decision making and getting motivated.

Key aspects that contributed to the value of courses included the way concepts were explained, the use of small group work, the interactive nature of the course activities, the linking of the course work with relevant and practical work situations, project management and facilitation. The following quote captures the power and value of some of the courses offered: `I have been transformed completely and things will never be the same with me’. Participants claimed that the course experience would go a long way in addressing some of the key issues they had to grapple with in their day to day work. Participants remarked that the training was relevant to their work, enabled them to deal with issues of change, improved their capacity to work with communities, led to improvement of Landcare service delivery, increased understanding of human behaviour in general and that it broadened the their mental horizons. Participants said that the benefits from the courses they had attended were so significant that they felt that many more people, including community members should be exposed to the training (Bhm and Mpofu, 2004). All courses undertook evaluations which were used for processes of continuous improvement, reporting and evaluation purposes.


Despite the limitations of project design weaknesses, over ambitious expectations given project resources and timeframe, ISDA is credited with setting the foundation for a sustainable impact on LandCare in South Africa. To build on this foundation the counterpart departments must follow through on recommendations and plans developed during the project period, with leadership from the DoA. For various reasons their capacity was limited during the ISDA project, including the critical Phase 2 and wind-up period. An evaluation of post ISDA implementation has not taken place (and it is too early to do so) but anecdotal evidence suggests some limitations within the DoA still exist. This is counterbalanced by numerous positive efforts and impacts at the implementation end - the PDAs in the provinces. Fortunately ISDA was able to engage more broadly with provinces than initially planned and was able to enlist the support of some senior managers and champions who were able to positively influence the development of LandCare. ISDA also linked national policy support with provincial implementation and attempted to institutionalize capacity building interventions by a diversity of means.

It is not unusual for projects to have over ambitious outcomes and output targets compared to their resources or time frames. The challenge is how to improve project effectiveness in a less than ideal situation. Experiences gained from working in the ISDA project suggest that cultural change was required at all levels to foster the development of participatory, community based approaches to natural resources management in South Africa. Capacity development projects need to specifically focus on supporting and managing initiatives which foster cultural change within organizations if they are to be successful. This requires high level support and a range of interventions operating at different levels to reinforce change.


Bhm , L and Mpofu, A (2004) Review of Capacity Development Strategy and Its Implementation. ISDA Milestone report 19

Holt, R (2004) Towards Sustainable LandCare Practices in South Africa. Department of Agriculture, South Africa internal publication

Knowles, M (1990) “ The adult learner; a neglected species’ 4th Edition. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston

Kolb, D (1984) “Experiential learning. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs. NewYork

Pier Ficarelli, (pers.comm.) German Development Cooperation (GTZ) Manager, Broadening Agricultural Services and Extension Delivery project, Limpopo Province

Prior, J (2002) Assessment of Past Experiences in Natural Resources Management, 2 volumes. ISDA Milestone report 1a & b

Nabben, T and Nduli, N (2002) "Lessons Learned in International Landcare Partnerships: The Landcare Partnership between Western Australia and South Africa" in Workshop Proceedings, "Vegetation Recovery for Degraded Lands: Capacity Building Workshop for the Asia Pacific Region", Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, 27Oct-3Nov, Promoaco Conventions.

Nduli, N (2000) Implementation framework for the LandCare programme. National Dept. Agriculture, South Africa (revised – First version 1998)

1 In the South African context LandCare is the correct spelling for the Programme or for departmental initiatives; when a more general reference is made the spelling Landcare is used.

2 At the time of writing an Australian Dollar, $A1 was equivalent to approx. 5 South African Rand R5.

3 In the apartheid era policies often fostered a culture of dependency among black communities. In the post apartheid era the rhetoric of many departments is often about service delivery and “doing [positive] things for the previously disadvantaged” which may unwittingly reinforce dependency.

4 The author was the National LandCare Facilitator from August 2003 until project completion in June 2004.

5 Model projects were local community projects that received NLP funds and demonstrated good Landcare practices and principles (Prior, 2002); they were documented by ISDA as part of its LandCare awareness strategy.

6 Building Effective Teams for LandCare

7 Some issues relevant to shared courses between staff and community members in the South African context include: low levels of literacy among general community, perceived higher status of departmental staff (by both groups) and budgetary support for community members costs etc.

8 The ITCA LandCare Working Group comprises PDA and DoA representatives, forwarding recommendations to the Intergovernmental Technical Committee on Agriculture.

9 Some returned students were soon frustrated because they were relegated to their old positions, often marginal to LandCare.

10 for 15 key competencies ISDA specifically targeted, a score of over 70% improvement was recorded.

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