TABLE of CONTENTS: Community outreach

1. Trust building

2. The whole to be managed

3. Community organization

4. Conflict prevention

The bespectacled crocodile

by John Hall

An illustrated manual for facilitating Holistic Management in pastoral communities.

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Introduction to the unit (5 minutes)


q       Customary greetings and placement of participants


¨      Greet community members and any local notables present in the local language, in accordance with local custom.

¨      Allow community members to respond and express themselves.

¨      Do not allow the community to start enumerating and repeating a list of demands and recriminations.


q       Introduction


¨      Start by explaining to villagers what the visitors have come to do. Establish a connection with what they were told by the person who made the preliminary contact with them. (This should be discussed with that person prior to the visit.)

¨      Alert the villagers to the fact that this program’s modus operandi is completely different from what they are probably used to with the administration and donors.

¨      Explain that, rather than having to listen to the trainer without saying anything, they will instead do most of the work. They will be involved in all sorts of training exercises that they may sometimes find surprising (e.g., meeting in small discussion groups, enacting small skits, imagining the future of their community, organizing themselves and making decisions to improve their situation, etc.).

¨      Emphasize the fact that this outreach cycle will require a lot of time and energy. Although it may be interesting, and even amusing, to look at lots of images and to play the games, stress the fact that this is a serious undertaking that is important for their future and for that of their village.

¨      You might choose at this time to present the “icon” for the outreach cycle -- the crocodile with eyeglasses – and to explain what it means. This is crucial since it will be an opportunity to present, however briefly, the very point of the outreach cycle.


q       Introducing the team


The person who established preliminary contact with the community should introduce the members of the outreach team (i.e., the facilitator, the co-facilitator, if there is one, the holistic management specialist, and any other member of the team), stating that, if possible, it would be desirable to have a community member who can read and write the local language accept the role of “secretary” and attend all the training sessions. The village chief and all members of the community are then invited to introduce themselves in turn.


q       Presentation of the instructional unit


Once introductions have been made, it is time to announce how the outreach session has been scheduled, in agreement with the community itself (or its representatives ): i.e., the duration of the cycle in days; the days of the week when sessions will take place, the duration of each session, the composition of target groups participating in the various sessions, etc.


After this, you might explain briefly that the training cycle is made up of nine different instructional units, each one dealing with a particular aspect of the question. Explain that the first unit deals with relationships between people: i.e., within the community itself, and between the community and outsiders.


The first group of training sessions will consist of four separate sessions that are interdependent, just as each of the four fingers on a hand needs the thumb and other fingers to be able to pick something up. This is why the groups of sessions will be symbolized by an open hand. You then show the “icon” of the instructional unit and affixes it to the flip chart or wall, explaining that each time a new module has been covered, its icon will be affixed alongside the others, so that it will be easy to see how much ground has been covered.








Desired situation:


                Gaining the community’s trust is the first (and decisive) step in any process of helping a group acquire new skills. If the process of establishing trust is managed properly, the following things occur:


¨      There is a balance in the dialogue between the various interlocutors within the community and with the trainer;

¨      Each socio-economic group, within the community, has a chance to express its viewpoint.


Current situation:


In reality, however, the situation is often different:

¨      There can be confusion, or at least mistrust, on the part of the community vis-à-vis the external interlocutors (including the outreach team).

¨      The power structure within the traditional community often limits the expression of all its members.

¨      Rigid negotiating strategies are used with external interlocutors (e.g., enumeration of lists of demands and recriminations), thus blocking communication.

¨      Communities have a tendency to expect the external interlocutor to tell them what to do (which does not necessarily mean that they intend to do it), rather than inviting them to take the initiative.


Disparity between current and desired situation:


Thus, the inadequacies that the module is supposed to correct are the following:


¨      The rules of the game in traditional societies do not allow all members to express themselves freely.

¨      The traditional rules also prevent communities from tapping the enormous store of knowledge and experience possessed by all of its members.





First contact between the outreach team and the inhabitants of the village of Keur Martin (Senegal): (23/01)



Objectives of the module


                By the end of the program, participants shall be able to:


¨      express themselves freely and in accordance with new rules of the game that will have been arrived at by common agreement; and

¨      describe the essential elements of their village’s situation, as well as the viewpoints of the various groups making up this community.




Target group:

                The entire community, with all constituent groups represented, e.g.:

¨      men and women;

¨      young people and the elderly;

¨      herders and farmers, etc.;

¨      representatives of other resource users (e.g., transhumants, outsiders), if they are available.


SARAR exercises used in the module:

                Unserialized posters; (Srinivasan, p. 89)


Graphic supports:

Folder # 1


Approximate duration of the module:

                   45 minutes




1. Introduction to the exercise (20 minutes)


Begin by presenting the exercise to participants :


¨      You'll give participants a series of unserialized posters developed to stimulate reflection.

¨      Then, based on these images, you'll ask them to invent a brief story related to their daily life, and to tell it.

¨      Limit the introduction to these few words, since the idea is to avoid directing participants and to get them instead to express themselves.


2. The exercise


¨      Place the set of images on the mat in the midst of the group, being sure that women and young people are not pushed to the periphery, and reminding participants that all members of the community are encouraged to participate in the exercise.

¨      Relying on the storytelling skill of communities with an oral tradition, ask the group to select a few images at random and to invent a story, giving a name to the village where the story is occurring and to the characters in it.

¨      Remind them that the story must have a plot: i.e., a beginning, a middle and an end. Allow 15 to 20 minutes for this task.

¨      Once the preparation is finished, have the group tell its story using the selected images to illustrate the sequence of events.


3. Processing of the exercise (30 minutes)


Ask the group to take note of key questions and themes that were brought up by the presentation of their stories. If necessary, invite the group to reflect in more depth on these issues and problems. Note that, at this point, some issues can be set aside for subsequent stages of the program. The following are questions that may facilitate the discussion of the exercise:


¨      Was the anecdote presented imaginary or real?

¨      If the situation was real, how was the problem resolved ?

¨      Do similar situations still exist in real life?

¨      According to the group, was the situation a really serious one, or are there more serious problems that need to be studied?


4. Transition to the next session (5 minutes)


                This exercise will point up the fact that the community encounters difficulties, but that it has the resources to resolve them. The following session will identify the resources that the community has and will clarify how they are exploited. The aim is to define the “whole to be managed”, or the resources that are under the control of the community. In order to do that, the group will use a tool known to all: i.e., map-building, but it will be used differently this time.




q       The training session usually occurs outdoors under trees where villagers are accustomed to gathering. Make sure that there is a modicum of physical comfort, e.g., mats to sit on and water for participants to drink.

q       An essential factor that determines the outcome of the exercise is the way in which participants place themselves on these mats. No group may be marginalized if the entire assistance is to participate actively.

q       This experiment will undoubtedly confirm the observation that it can be very useful to use graphic supports that are neutral and open to various interpretations, because of the anecdotes that emerge from them and the discussions that they provoke. The choice of graphic material is very important for the success of the exercise.

q       Be careful to always say "we" or "one" in the dialogue with communities, and to avoid saying "I" or "you";

q       Caution!: The participatory process thus created can lead to some later problems, to the extent that participants are empowered to take advantage of a new-found freedom to express themselves outside the confines of the strict decorum that they observe in other circumstances. You must be conscious of this, and this is your responsibility in it.

q       As written earlier, you can take advantage of the availability, within the group, of a person able to read and write the local language, asking that person to be the community’s “secretary” and putting him in charge of writing down on paper the main points of the discussion in order to report them back to the rest of the community. In this case, care should be taken to maintain a balance between written and non-written (i.e., pictorial) material. This remark is applicable to all modules.

q       Before continuing with the following modules, be sure that all the community’s constituencies are represented in the group.

q       In addition to the questions and discussion topics suggested in the manual for each module, you must make an effort to come up with new ones based on how the outreach session goes. Ask many questions beginning with why? how? what else? what would happen if…? Avoid questions that can be answered with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. These “closed” questions require only a limited effort at a response, and put the participants in the sort of “classroom” situation that is exactly the thing to be avoided.

q       Do not hesitate to raise the bar on the community’s level of knowledge! Indeed, they know much more about their own environment than we do. Our task is not to extract vast amounts of information from them (which we would not be able to use anyway), but rather to help the group to better organize the knowledge it possesses and apply it more effectively.

q       Silence is never a bad thing. When you ask a question requiring a bit of thought and analysis, allow the group some quiet time to reflect without rushing too quickly for a reply, or jumping to the next step.

q       Always conclude exercises by helping participants apply what they have learned to their real-life situation. This is why we are working with them !

A word about trust: The establishment of trust occurs at two levels: on the one hand, within the community itself and among its various constituent groups, and, on the other hand, between the community and its external interlocutors, e.g., immediate and remote neighbors, administration, technical services, etc..Trust does not develop immediately. The important thing is to initiate the process.








Desired situation:


                In order to be able to manage its resources, a community must be able to identify the "whole to be managed”, including:


¨      the space constituting the community’s environment (e.g., soils, vegetation, etc.), its village lands, as well as spaces outside its own lands that it uses episodically (e.g., when engaging in transhumant herding);

¨      all users (e.g., residents, neighbors, gatherers of straw and wood, transhumant herders, nomads, etc.), their traditions and culture; and

¨      resources (in the form of money, livestock, infrastructures, equipment) or, in short, everything with an comercial value.


Current situation


In reality, however, the situation is more often the following :


¨      There are often conflicts about the demarcation of territory.

¨      The rights of all users, and particularly those of rightful users who are not part of the community (i.e., outsiders), are not acknowledged.

¨      It is impossible to know where livestock is and to predict herd movements.

¨      The situation is essentially an “every man for himself” juxtaposition of individual usage strategies.


Disparity between current and desired situation:


Thus, the inadequacies that the training module must address are:


¨      the absence of a consensus on the logistics governing access to natural resources (e.g., the lack of a rational grazing program);

¨      the failure to take the needs of all users into account; and

¨      the lack of transparency and scheduling in the driving of herds, and the uncoordinated exploitation of grazing areas.





A woman suggests some changes and additions to information recorded by the men on the map of the village of Keur Martin (Senegal). (22/14)



Objectives of the module


:               By the end of the session, participants shall be able to:


¨      identify all the resources (pastoral, agricultural, infrastructural, etc.) upon which the community relies for its survival;

¨      identify all users (both constant and periodic) having access to these resources;

¨      explain the reasons why all users must be involved in decisions concerning these resources (e.g., rational management, conflict prevention, etc.); and

¨      draw up, or at least sketch a village map for subsequent use.




Target group:

                The entire community, with all constituent groups represented, e.g.:

¨      men and women;

¨      young people and the elderly;

¨      herders and farmers, etc.


SARAR exercises used in the module:

                Map building (Srinavasan, p. 99)


Materials required

Folder # 2

Bristol paper, 50x65 cm

Pencils, erasers, felt-tip markers


Approximate duration of the module

                   2 hours     




1. Introduction to the exercise (10 minutes)


¨      Introduce this exercise by explaining that, before one can imagine solutions for the obstacles raised during the previous exercises, a good way to start is an inventory of the totality of resources that the community must manage.

¨      However, before talking about the creation of a village map, ask the group how one might go about compiling such an inventory.

¨      In addition to ideas presented, note that this inventory can also be compiled by drawing a map of the village, and that you would like them to try this.

2. The exercise (60 minutes)


¨      Reassure the group that the point of the exercise is not to produce a work of art. The important thing is to represent things that are really valuable resources in the eyes of the participants.

¨      Hand out poster paper and felt markers to the group, taking care once again that women and young people (and other groups, if there are any) are not relegated to the periphery.

¨      Make it clear that all those present are invited to participate in the exercise by sharing their observations and knowledge of the environment.

¨      Insist that the map include all the elements they consider important: i.e., space (or the landscape, as it will subsequently be referred to), users (whether members of the community or not), and resources (structures, wells, etc.).

¨      Be sure that the group has identified a few good “points of reference” for the drawing of the map.

¨      If the group cannot finish the map within the planned timeframe (i.e., one or two hours), the exercise may resume later or the next day. Indeed, since this exercise is the source of precious information and can provide important clarifications, it is best not to rush the participants.


3. Presentation of the map by the group (20 minutes)


                When the map is finished, have the participants conduct a “tour” of their map together and comment on its elements. Aside from topographic features, resources and the distribution of population within the village, the participants' explanations may have to do with the following :


¨      living conditions of the inhabitants, especially things that, in their view, are positive (such as equipment and supplies), and things that are problematic;

¨      the nature of the relationships between the community members represented.


                Don’t forget to congratulate the group for a job well done. (Applause.)


4. Processing (20 minutes)


In order to foster reflection after the participants’ presentation of their map, the following questions might be asked:


¨      Did participants learn things they hadn’t known before from other members of the group? What things?

¨      Did the preparation of this map provide them with answers to questions they had previously been wondering about?

¨      Did the exercise clarify who makes the decisions about the utilization of resources, and about who actually uses them?

¨      Do users confer amongst themselves on resource management? Are users organized in any way? If so, how?

¨      Apart from the elements that the group represented, what are some other important community resources that were not or could not be pictured? (A common answer is "the grazing area located outside the village").

¨      Aside from the users identified during the exercise, are there others who need to be taken into account? Who are they? Where do they come from? When do they come?

¨      What is the relationship between the community and outside users?

¨      Is there a system for communicating with them? Are villagers alerted in advance of their arrival ?

¨      Does this provoke conflict? What kind of conflict?

¨      Are there resources (in the case of community members engaging in transhumance) that are not represented on the map but that are part of the “whole to be managed”? (e.g., salt licks, etc.)

¨      When the community temporarily exploits such resources that are far from its own village lands, does this cause problems? What problems? How severe and how frequent are they?






q       This exercise is particularly useful initially, for giving the group a feel for the specificity of the approach, as well as during later scheduled activities.

q       In order to be effective, of course, the exercise must be done by the entire community. As usual, you should therefore be careful not to let the best educated people (e.g., schooled children or compliant traders) to control the drawing of the map.

q       The main objective of the exercise is, of course, to allow the community to perceive the organization of village lands and the problems that may be encountered in exploiting resources. In this respect, the community should be convinced of the need to involve all actors in resource management.

q       If a decision is made to prepare a single village map for the entire community, then all village constituent groups must participate in the exercise, either together or in turn. In the latter case, the map is first prepared by the men and then subjected to examination by the women. The men must, however, continue to participate by listening attentively to what the women have to say.

q       Important point: where should the map be kept, and by whom? How can one ensure that it is a tool that will continue to be utilized (particularly in the course of subsequent modules).

q       Caution! This exercise must not be conducted like a rapid rural appraisal activity aimed at allowing the outreach team to extract information from the group, but should instead be thought of as a way for the community to compile its own inventory of resources.

q       Therefore, the exercise is a means of encouraging villagers' self-expression. It is important to avoid criticizing the group’s work. If the participants choose, for example, to represent something decorative, or not to scale, let them do it!

q       Variant 1: A few flexi-flans (Srinavasan, p. 83) characters can be provided to be included in the map.

q       Variant 2: The group may also choose to begin drawing the map on the ground, in the dust, and then transpose it to paper. This allows shy group members to participate more effectively. Since it is not necessary to hold a felt marker, errors can be easily corrected, and it is thus easier to chose the scale of the map, and decide whether the village alone should be represented ?. should the surrounding lands be included? should it cover all village lands?

q       Variant 3: Village walk-through. If time permits, the production of the village map can be followed by a transect (or walk-through) of the village, during which the group can point out the elements rendered on the map. Do not forget that the walk-through is not intended to extract information. You will, therefore, remain on the sidelines, allowing yourself to be guided by the group and refraining from any comments or recommendations. Clarifying questions only are allowed.








Desired situation:


¨      A functional resource management organization exists within the community.

¨      Interlocutors within the community are properly targeted (i.e., all constituent groups are represented).

¨      Organizations are functional, and the roles and responsibilities of these interlocutors are clearly defined and accepted.


Current situation


¨      There is confusion as to the respective roles of various members of the community .

¨      There is frequent conflict between new organizations and traditional structures.

¨      Village notables often control and manipulate the decision-making process.

¨      New organizations do not always function as they should.

¨      Channels of communication with those who should be the interlocutors are weak or non-existent.

Disparity between current and desired situation


¨      Resistance to change;

¨      New structures that do not fulfill their functions;

¨      Under-estimation of resources existing within the community in terms of knowledge, experience and organization.


Objectives of the module


By the end of the session, participants will be able to describe current and envisaged community organizations: i.e., their composition, role and functioning.



Target group:

The entire community, with all constituent groups represented, e.g.:

§         men and women;

§         young people and the elderly;

§         herders and farmers, etc.


SARAR exercises utilized in the module:

§         Venn diagram

§         Unserialized posters (Srinavasan, p. 89)

§         Brainstorming


Graphic supports

§         Folder #3

§         Bristol paper, poster format

§         Markers, pencils

§         Unserialized posters: people involved in decision-making

§         Unserialized posters: required tasks


Approximate duration of the module:

2 hours





It is actually a mistake to speak of "organizing" communities that have always been organized! (Shown here: herders from the Fadjé Djékiné site in Chad). (41/08)






1.    Identification of individuals and groups whose decisions can affect the community:

(20 minutes)


Begin the session by referring to the village map created during the preceding exercise, in order to define the “whole to be managed”. Emphasize the importance of the upcoming exercise, and explain that it will involve presenting to the group ways of organizing itself so that it can implement actions according to the community’s goals.


Explain that, just as they drew the village map and showed the physical resources that existed, it is also important to identify human resources. Conduct a mini brainstorming session aimed at identifying the individuals and groups (whether formal or informal) whose decisions can affect the community itself in one way or another.


As these individuals and organizations are mentioned by the group, ask the group to choose, from among the Unserialized posters in the “decision-makers” series in Folder # 3, the most appropriate representation. Once all the “decision-makers” have been identified, be sure that there is a specific image available for each of them. If an image is missing, ask a participant to sketch one, or make some other representations on a card. These can include:


·        Women’s groups

·        Manager of the tontine (if there is one)

·        Management committee for watering point/well/borehole, etc., if there is one

·        Person in charge of village infrastructure: e.g., granary, mill, etc.

·        Chief of the village or encampment

·        Farmers’ representative

·        Cattle herders’ representative

·        Shepherders’ representative

·        Representatives of hunters, fishermen, etc.

·        Representative of transhumant herders (if there are any)

·        Rural Council

·        Technical extension: livestock, agricultural extension agents

·        Administrative authority, e.g., district commandant, sub-prefect, etc.

·        Other.


2.    Processing: Analysis of centers of decision-making (30 minutes)


It is then possible to use each of these images as the point of departure for a “living” Venn diagram. One can, for example, affix each of the images to the village map prepared under the previous exercise. This makes it possible to distinguish between individuals and groups that are within the community and those that are outside it. Provoke a fairly detailed discussion of each of the “centers of decision making”. The following points may be covered for each one:


·        What does this individual or group do? How is it important for the community’s functioning?

·        In the case of a committee, who are its members?

·        How did this individual or group acquire the right to make decisions affecting the rest of the community?

·        Which members of the community are affected by decisions made by this individual or group “decision-maker”?


Ask the group to express what the “decision-makers” do for their community, and how they operate: i.e., do they compete with one another, or do they complement each other? A point will be reached in the discussion where the group will be able to judge whether the community’s needs are being met, or whether there are still tasks not being performed from the standpoint of community resource management.


Do not talk about what exists in theory or “on paper”. Encourage the group to reflect on the efficacy of “decision-making” in their community. It is essential to be clear from the outset that the idea is not simply to talk about adding a new “committee” to those that already exist. Try to help the group to think about past experience with regard to decision-making and organizations, so as to learn from past mistakes. The following questions (but not necessarily all, or in this particular order) may be useful in moving the discussion along:

·        Are there different individuals or groups that seem to be in charge of the same task? What are the results of that?

·        Are any members of the community active in more than one group? Why? Do they have particular skills that make them valuable to these groups?

·        Are there groups or needs that are not represented, but that should be?

·        Are there any needs or groups on behalf of which some sort of organization has been envisaged, but without success? Why?

·        Are there decision-makers or groups that are more active than others? Which ones are they? Why?

·        Are there decision-makers or groups that do not function well? Which ones? How did that come about?

·        Why are certain decision-makers and groups more effective than others?


3.    Brainstorming: Roles and functions to be fulfilled (20 minutes)


After the above exploration, introduce the notion that decision-making about community resource management is all the more effective if the role and authority of the person or group in charge of deciding are clearly defined.

It is in this spirit that participants might envisage creating structures responsible for managing the community’s pastoral resources (again, not just another "Committee"). They therefore need to think about ways to organize themselves. Changes may subsequently prove necessary as the community acquires experience and discovers new tasks that should be taken into account, but it would be a good idea to start right away.


Ask the group to conduct a mini brainstorming session aimed at imagining the various tasks involved in managing the village’s resources properly. Use the same approach as that followed at the beginning of the module, i.e., for each idea emerging from the brainstorming, ask the group to choose the appropriate image from among the “tasks to be performed” series in Folder # 3.


The following is a list of tasks that the group is likely to identify. If the group does not cover all of them, do not “force feed”. The list can be revised once the group has acquired a clearer idea of what is needed for holistic resource management.


·        Dissemination of information within the community

·        Communication with other communities (adjoining and transhumant)

·        Communication with the administration and technical services

·        Participation in training

·        Programming (i.e., development of the management plan)

·        Authority over herds (i.e., ownership)

·        Driving herds over the grazing area

·        Milking of female livestock and raising of young animals

·        Watering of livestock

·        Monitoring of changes in their environment

·        Protection of cultivated plots

·        Surveillance / protection around the site

·        Recording of events

·        Health monitoring

·        Petty cash management

·        Other.


4.    Brainstorming: Who does what? (40 minutes)


Explain that all of us now need to imagine who is to be placed in charge of performing which tasks. Arrange the images chosen to illustrate the tasks (step 3) in a vertical column, and ask the group to agree on which person or group of persons should be associated with that task. Be very clear about the fact that the idea is not to indicate “who should supervise”, but instead who should be concretely involved in decision-making and in the implementation of these decisions.


¨      Could the tasks identified be performed entirely by the existing decision-makers? If not, who else could/should be involved in the decision-making process for tasks not yet assigned to someone?

¨      When a given task can be performed by a person or group identified during the first stage of the exercise, place the image corresponding to this task opposite the image of this person or group.

¨      When, on the contrary, no-one seems to be in charge of a given task, or able to assume it, ask the group which person or committee could be assigned the task.

¨      At this stage, images can be offered that were not used previously and that represent other persons or groups that could/should be involved. The list might look like this:



Persons/Committees involved

Dissemination of information within the community

Social aspects: village chief

Technical aspects: auxiliary

Communication with other communities

Oversight and reception committee

Communication with the administration and technical services

Rural advisor at the site or village lands level

Participation in training (agree on target groups)

Village chief, pastoral management committee, auxiliary

Programming of resource management (development of the plan)

"Core” pastoral actors: management committee, women, herdsmen

Authority over herds

Representative of herders and owners

Driving herds over the grazing area

Representative of herdsmen

Milking of females and raising of young


Watering of livestock

Women, water management committee

Monitoring of changes to the grazing area

Environmental auxiliary

Protection of cultivated plots

Farmers’ representative

Supervision and protection of the site

Management committee/ oversight and reception committee

Recording of events occurring in the community and on the site


Monitoring of livestock health

Animal husbandry auxiliary

Petty cash management





¨      Once the group seems satisfied with the list thus drawn up, ask the “secretary” of the session to commit it to paper and read it back to the group.

¨      Note that this is a way of recording information that emerges in the course of the outreach cycle, but that in most of the upcoming sessions, participants will not need to be able to read or write in order to participate effectively.

¨      Explain that this recording is only essential when participants want to remember and revise something that has been done.

¨      One can, however, also use images to record the ideas emerging from the brainstorming and the discussion. It is essential that the information be available to anyone during the discussions, and this is why the program will continue to give pictorial representations precedence over written ones.


5 Applications/ transition (10 min)


Congratulate participants on having identified the “core” of their pastoral organization, and ask them to take note of these ideas in order to discuss them with the rest of the community. Ask them how they intend to go about including everyone (for instance: transhumants) in these discussions.


        Alert the group to the fact that this subject will be revisited subsequently so that the list of tasks can be revised and the responsible parties identified. The aim will, in fact, be to initiate the process of “programming” resource management, which will take up the second half of the whole training program.








Desired situation


                All users are aware of potential conflicts. They set up mechanisms to prevent and resolve them.


Current situation


¨      Although users are aware of the existence of conflicts and of the threat of potential conflicts, they have no strategies for preventing them.

¨      They are helpless to resolve them when they do occur.


Disparity between current and desired situation


¨      Inadequate power, means, strategies and procedures for preventing and resolving conflicts.


Objectives of the module


                By the end of the training session, participants will be able to identify potential conflicts, designate the relevant interlocutors and devise appropriate prevention strategies.




Target group :

The entire community, with all its constituent groups represented, i.e.:

§         men and women;

§         young people and the elderly;

§         herders, farmers, etc.


Exercises utilized in the module :


Story with a gap (Srinavasan, p. 119)


Graphic support

Folder # 4


Approximate duration of the module :

About 1 hour

Caution: Although this module comes at the end of the instructional unit on community outreach, it is suggested that it be introduced at the very end of the outreach cycle, i.e., after module #38 on re-planning.





Participants sort images of the village’s interlocutors according to whether they intend to involve them in community decisions or not. (40/14)





1.    Introduction :


Introduce this module by observing that this is the last one in the instructional unit on community outreach. Point out the fact that in the course of the outreach cycle, there have been and will be frequent allusions to conflicts about access to natural resources. Potential conflicts must be predicted so that they can be better avoided, and resolved when they do happen. This will mean working closely with all actors in order to achieve the goals that the community has set for itself.


2.    The actors : inclusion/exclusion exercise :


You should have already selected, from folders corresponding to previous modules, about a dozen images representing the various interlocutors of a herdsman (e.g., transhumant herders, civil servants, farmers, etc.).

Then, draw a vertical line down the middle of a sheet on the flip chart, dividing it into two equal parts.


Ask participants to choose, from among the images proposed, those that represent everyone who is already involved in grazing land management, as well as those who are not currently involved, but who should, and of those that they think would be unhelpful, or even harmful, in this process.


Next, ask them to affix to the left-hand column the images of people that they intend to work with, and to put the images of people they would want to ignore or avoid on the right-hand column.


Once all the images have been attached to the flip-chart, cover the left-hand column with a piece of paper and ask participants: "What would you think if I told you that the people you considered useless or harmful (i.e., the ones in the right-hand column) were precisely the ones with whom you should seek to work first and foremost? What would be your reaction?” Observe the participants’ reaction.

Finally, ask a series of questions to clarify the reasoning behind this “surprising” proposal .


§         Why is it necessary to try to work with these people?

§         What is the danger in avoiding or ignoring them?

§         What problems might be encountered or created if they are excluded?


Follow this discussion up with a brainstorming session on potential conflicts.


3.    Brainstorming session on concrete examples of conflict


Ask participants what types of conflicts they have already experienced in their village.

Each time a type of conflict is put forth, hand the participant who suggested it the image that represents it, marked with a lightning bolt (expressing the idea that this is a “hot button issue”!). For example:


§         destruction of crops;

§         destruction of trees;

§         competition for water;

§         competition for grazing space;

§         excessive physical proximity of strangers in the village;

§         brush fires;

§         contagious diseases, etc.


Once the main types of conflicts have been identified, get participants to discuss the negative consequences of these conflicts.


§         What are the impacts of these conflicts? (in terms of production; in terms of the atmosphere in the village; in terms of time wasted in resolving a conflict once it has occurred; long-term deterioration of relationships with neighbors, etc. )

§         Then ask participants if they have strategies for preventing these conflicts. What are these strategies ? The following story deals with ways to predict conflicts and prevent them before they happen.


4.    The story of the village of Mardjandafack


Using about a half-dozen images selected from folders corresponding to previously-covered modules, tell the story of the village of Mardjandafack:


Mardjandafack was a prosperous village, with a dynamic organization of herders that had made it possible to increase agricultural production considerably. Livestock, milk, millet, sorghum and sesame were so abundant that the weekly market in Mardjandafack was the most heavily frequented one in the region.

The women of Mardjandafack could be easily distinguished from those of other villages, because of their lovely jewelry and clothing, which they bought with money earned from the sale of agricultural and livestock products. Mardjandafack was the envy of all the neighboring villages, in terms of its organization, its rational resource management and the profits derived from its products.

One market day, all the talk was of a large group of transhumants who were driving their herds towards the grazing area that the villagers of Mardjandafack had devoted so much effort to improving. The head of the neighboring village hurried over to the village chief of Mardjandafack as a gesture of solidarity and to offer his help in repelling the outsiders.

The chief of Mardjandafack did not seem too concerned, however, by this news. Indeed, he had already been informed by intermediaries of these transhumants, who were in the habit of camping on the village lands of Mardjandafack every time they visited their salt licks to the north. The Management Committee of Mardjandafack had been in contact with them since the previous year, and together they had drawn up an agreement binding the village and other users of the grazing area. The chief knew that there was not really a problem, since the management plan was as clear to the transhumants as it was to the villagers.

In fact, the village chief agreed with his pastoral management committee that, provided that the transhumants would mix their herds with the villagers’ herds and, therefore, would follow the rules that the villagers themselves followed, the transhumants’ stay in the grazing area was beneficial. Indeed, the passage of a large number of animals had a salutary effect on the soils and vegetation of their grazing area.

In sum, everyone was satisfied with this arrangement. The transhumants and their intermediaries knew that, as long as they exerted a modicum of control over their herds, they were always well received by the village. The local authority (i.e., the sub-prefect), weary of having to resolve constant quarrels in other villages over tranhumants, also took a favorable view of this arrangement.

The chief of Mardjandafack confessed to his neighbors that the village had indeed experienced conflicts in the past, but that experience had shown that such conflicts were harmful and easily avoided. It is not always easy to be a good neighbor, but the effort pays off! The chiefs of the neighboring villages took their leave of the chief of Mardjandafack, feeling a bit less envious and quite eager to figure out how they, too, could adopt the same approach and avoid conflicts with transhumants.


5.    Processing: lessons to be learned :


Encourage participants to reflect on this story and to draw some conclusions about the need to have a conflict-prevention strategy. Here are some sample questions:


·        Do you recall one of the first modules in the training session, which was about the “the whole to be managed”? Are the transhumants part of this whole? What are the implications of that?

·        Do you think that Mardjandafack has a real conflict-prevention strategy?

·        If so, what does the strategy consist of?

·        Why do you think this village adopted this strategy instead of, for example, resisting the arrival of the transhumants?

·        What happens when the transhumants arrive in the vicinity of the village?

·        Do you think that things would have turned out the same way if the villagers had not had their strategy? How would they have turned out?


6. Creating a conflict-prevention strategy


Go back to the story about the village of Mardjandafack and ask participants to try to reconstruct the strategy that was described, so that they can apply it to their own community.


Instead of imposing the strategy’s various steps upon the participants, create a situation in which this emerges from questions and discussion. Each time the idea of a thing to be done is put forth, take out the corresponding image.


·        First, identify the actors with whom conflict could occur (groups of transhumants, traders, neighbors, etc.). How can they be identified?

·        Find the circuits of communication that could be used to communicate with them before a crisis erupts (i.e., before their arrival). How can they be contacted?

·        Come to an agreement on ways to prevent the emergence of conflicts and on the potential reasons for such a conflict: e.g., access to water, pasturage, camping sites, etc. How can one talk about these things?

·        Devise an explicit, concrete mutual agreement, either informally or with the support of the administration, setting out the rights and responsibilities of all parties. How can such an agreement be reached?

·        Make a commitment to the implementation of this agreement, for example by creating a supervisory committee that would take charge of visitors upon their arrival in order to explain the management rules. How can one ensure that this agreement will actually be enforced?

·        In the event that conflict occurs despite these efforts, pre-arrange a system to resolve conflicts once they have happened. How can conflicts be resolved amicably with the least possible involvement of the administration?


At the conclusion of the exercise, ask someone to summarize the steps that have been identified during the discussion.


7. Application


Once participants seem convinced of the need to handle conflicts before they occur, instead of afterwards, and once they have come up with concrete suggestions for implementing such a strategy, conclude the session by observing that this reflection needs to continue after the outreach cycle ends. If participants have no further questions or comments on the content of the module, show them the icon representing “conflict prevention” and place it next to the three other icons of the instructional unit on “community outreach” that were studied at the very beginning of the training program.


8.: Conclusion using unserialized posters


Caution: the following paragraph is only applicable to this module if the module is covered at the end of the outreach cycle. If this is not the case, use this information at the end of the last module covered by the cycle.


Thank participants for having participated to the outreach cycle through to the end. Tell them that the cycle will end as it began, i.e., with images. Place the images on the mat (images from other modules, icons, etc., can be added) and ask participants to use them to create a story that expresses what they are feeling at the end of the outreach cycle. They may use any images and can visualize any scenario, from the most serious (e.g., a summary of the holistic model) to the silliest (e.g., mimicking the quirks and behaviors of the facilitator and resource persons).


Withdraw for a few minutes, leaving participants at liberty to fashion their story. Be sure that women and young people are involved and that their feelings are also reflected in the story.


Have participants tell their story. Applaud at the end. Invite participants, including women and young people, to comment on what has happened over the program’s many days, and to make recommendations for similar programs that could be organized in the future, either for them or for other communities.




q       This is the sample conflict-prevention strategy setup by pastoral communities under the WAPPP in Chad :

·        Identify other users

·        Inform other users, if possible through those who vouch for them or mediate for them

·        Explain to transhumants, upon their arrival, the community’s goals, procedures, obligations, and rules;

·        Establish a "Gentlemen agreement" within the community, to be open to anyone who want to be a part of it. The agreement may be oral or written, informal or approved by the administration.

·        Incorporate herds belonging to outsiders into the Management Plan;

·        Pay fees for the use of water and the remuneration of water haulers;

·        Decide on remedies to be used if a conflict erupts despite implementation of the strategy.