Lessons learned with an integrated approach for capacity development in agricultural land drainage

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Capacity development plays an essential role in improving irrigation and drainage practices in existing agricultural areas. Capacity development is a knowledge-creating process, in which the more concrete or explicit aspects such as training and institutional strengthening are linked to local or tacit knowledge and aspects of ownership. In this process, three elements, i.e. research, education and advisory services, have to be applied in an integrated manner. Research is required to link local knowledge with lessons learned elsewhere and serves to make knowledge explicit. Education is required to disseminate this explicit knowledge and, at the same time, to make the tacit knowledge of the students explicit. Advisory services are needed to assist with the application of the newly acquired knowledge, thus to complete the transformation from explicit to tacit knowledge. This approach is successful when those involved have the opportunity to go through the knowledge-creating process several times. This will lead to mutual trust between the cooperating partners and it is much enhanced when there is long-term partnership
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-365
JournalIrrigation and Drainage
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • subsurface drainage


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  • ESS-CC

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