Action Research in Agricultural Development Projects: Case Study of a Dairy Project in Ethiopia

Augustine A. Ayantunde*, Abule Ebro, Tinsae Berhanu, Demewez Moges, Jan van der Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

For development projects, an action research approach is often encouraged to enhance participation of end-users or beneficiaries at various stages of the project to realize the desired social transformation in the target communities. The project under consideration in this study adopted action research for some of its activities. A review of the project action research activities was conducted as part of the strategic reflection for lesson learning and to inform modification where necessary. The objectives of this study were (i) to assess the relevance of action research approach to implementation of project activities and, (ii) to draw lessons for agricultural development projects applying participatory approaches. Fifty-one participants involved in the project action research activities were interviewed on their understanding of action research, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and level of participation in action research activities. The perception of the participants interviewed regarding action research approach was that it is relevant and important for the project, and that it has provided a good platform for learning by all participants. Some key lessons from this study for development projects when applying action research approach include the need to focus on a limited number of issues or activities that can produce social transformation in the target communities, and the necessity of adequate planning for monitoring and documentation of learning by participants. From our study, action research is a pertinent approach in community development projects, but it should be well-planned to achieve the desired objective of social transformation in the target communities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSystemic Practice and Action Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2024

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