Articles & publications on FLD

  • Local innovation in the development of smallholder agriculture: a literature review and case study in the Department of Cochabamba Bolivia
    by Markus Frank, BSc thesis, University of Kassel / German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture, Witzenhausen. 2012.
    The first part of the thesis is a review of literature on different approaches to understanding and supporting local innovation, and situates local innovation processes and concepts in the context of agricultural innovation models. The case study in the second part of the thesis explores the application of methods to identify and document local innovation. It gives insight into farmers’ perceptions of the participatory documentation process. It also shows how the farmer innovators perceive the innovation process and looks into the interrelations and functions of the actors involved in this process.
    View document: PDF file; size: 1.8 MB
  • Contribution of farmer-to-farmer video to capital assets building: evidence from Bangladesh, by Ataharul Huq Chowdhury, Paul Van Mele & Michael Hauser. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 35 (4): 408-435 (2011) (

    With or without a script? Comparing two styles of participatory video on enhancing local seed innovation system in Bangladesh, by Ataharul Huq Chowdhury, Helen Hambly Odame & Michael Hauser. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension 16 (4): 355-371 (2010) (

  • Training Ethiopian farmer innovators to do their own documentation
    Farmer innovators who are piloting a Local Innovation Support Fund (LISF) in Ambo, Ethiopia, were recently trained in documenting their own experimentation and innovation. The LISF pilot is being coordinated by the Ethiopian Rural Self-Help Association (ERSHA), a local NGO that is part of the Prolinnova–Ethiopia network. The facilitators of the training were Fetien Abay, a female lecturer at Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia, and Lemlem Hailemichal, a female radio journalist, likewise from Tigray Region. Both had gained experience in farmer-led documentation (FLD) working with women farmer innovators in Tigray in 2008–09. This time, in Ambo, all of their trainees were men, who learned not only about FLD but also about innovation by women farmers. [Training local innovators in Farmer-Led Documentation in Ambo, Ethiopia; (PDF file: 505 KB)
  • Farmer-Led Documentation in Sustainable Agriculture and NRM
    An introduction to the use of FLD in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. This 8-page publication contains key findings of the FLD workshop in Kampala, Uganda (Nov 2006), some cases presented at the workshop and contact details of organisations involved.
    View document (PDF file; size : 204 KB)
  • Sistematización Liderada por Campesinos – Para la agricultura sustentable y el manejo de recursos naturales
    View document (en Español) (PDF file; size : 260 KB)
  • Participatory Video on ‘Siella’ Mineral lick: Community film viewing and observed changes in ‘Siella’ lick development in Wapuli and Chagbani, Saboba –Chereponi District, Ghana
    Bruce J; Karbo N; Nchor J and Malex A.
    Prolinnova-Ghana participated in an international training on participatory video (PV) held in Ghana in November 2004. PV is a participatory tool that seeks to ensure that people, in this case community members, control the tools of communication and not outsiders who mediate information and representation. PV was therefore used as a tool to empower innovative farmers to share their innovations with others. To this end, two farmer groups at Wapuli and Chegbani, both in the Saboba-Chereponi district, were trained in PV and subsequently shot their own films about their innovations with ‘Siella’, a salty soil that animals like to eat. Some months after the shooting of the PV and editing, the edited films were taken back by a team of Prolinnova participants to be viewed by the film makers (the farmers) and their communities.
    The aim of this paper is to share the experiences of viewing the film by the film makers and their community members. During the visit, we observed that the Wapuli farmers group had continued to improve upon their original innovation and the improvements are also captured in this paper.
    View publication (MS Word document; size : 66 KB)
  • Participatory Video: A Possible Tool for Farmer Expression in Ghana?
    Bruce, J., DORCAS Foundation, Tamale.
    The Savanna Farmer. A Magazine on Sustainable Agriculture. January–June 2007, Vol. 8 No.1 (pp.41-44)
    Publication of the Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP)

    Participatory Video (PV) seeks to provide a participatory methodology which could, on its own, empower the needy to be involved directly in the statement of their own issues and concerns. It ensures that the people who control the tools of communication are community members and not outsiders who mediate information and representation. The audience and the producers are therefore, often the same people working in the same local context where the viewing is taking place. Since its introduction in Canada in 1967, PV has been used in different countries to provide insight and a voice to the voiceless. Despite its reported success in some parts of the world, it is only fairly recently that most participatory research and development workers have been made aware of its many uses. This has become possible, most likely, as a result of the advances in technology which now provide video as a flexible and versatile medium which can be handled by anyone regardless of age or gender. This paper documents the first introduction of PV into Ghana as experienced by a group of researchers and development workers in northern Ghana. It also provides information and hints at the way forward with the use of this participatory tool.

    Visit ACDEP website:

  • Building the capacity of rural communities to document and share experiences
    Jonathan Bakama
    Published in Tumaini (The Hope) – An Africa 2000 Network newsletter
    Volume 8, No 10, March 2008 (Capacity Development for MDG attainment) / pp 6-8
    In November 2005, Africa 2000 Network-Uganda (A2N) took part in a 5-day international exchange and capacity building workshop on FLD for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management (NRM) which was organised by PELUM-Uganda, Oxfam Novib and Prolinnova. The purpose of the workshop was to increase insight into the role of local knowledge in agricultural development, its mobilisation and documentation by communities, and to share and analyse how different traditional and modern media can be used in FLD. After the workshop, A2N was one of three organisations selected to be supported by PELUM-Uganda/Oxfam Novib to pilot FLD. The pilot was implemented in Kabale District in 2007 with the aim of mobilising and empowering farmer innovators supported by A2N to share their innovations in order to generate and preserve a pool of indigenous knowledge. The following is Jonathan Bakama’s experience of participating in the FLD pilot, written in his own words.
     View document (Africa 2000 Network website, PDF file; size : 794 KB)
  • Insights into Participatory Video: a handbook for the field
    Chris and Nick Lunch, Insight (2006)
    This 125-page booklet is a practical guide to setting up and running PV projects. It draws on experience in PV in several countries. Helpful tips for the facilitator clarify how to use video to encourage a lively, democratic process. Descriptions of games and exercises to introduce PV and case studies are illustrated with cartoons and photographs. A selection of video films made by local people and a training film are included in the accompanying CD-ROM.

    The preparation and publication of this booklet and CD-ROM were supported by the UNDP Small Grants Programme of the Global Environmental Fund (GEF), HURIST (Human Rights Division) and CSO (Civil Society Division), also by Prolinnova, COMPAS and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex in the UK.

    Order a copy (with CD-ROM) or obtain a PDF version of this booklet at Insight

  • Documentation for change
    Edited by: Jorge Chavez-Tafur, Karen Hampson, Wilma Roem, Rik Thijssen and Anita Ingevall.
    LEISA Magazine, Volume 22, Issue 1 (March 2006)

    “More than just describing a case, the aim of a documentation process is to build new knowledge. There is still a lot to learn about the techniques, methods, interactions and science involved in ecological agriculture. LEISA, as a concept, is constantly evolving and changing as a response to changes in the natural, social and political environments. Documenting new developments is therefore very important for the further development of LEISA. The articles in this issue show that the purpose of documentation is not only descriptive: the process needs to examine closely what results and impacts are achieved in a given case, and why. Going through this process is an opportunity to learn and to discover interesting and useful links, opinions and learning points. These can then lead to adaptations of the activities and feed into planning, whether planning large projects or cropping patterns on small scale farms.” (Editorial.)

  • Participatory Video: Rural People Document their Knowledge and Innovations
    Lunch, Chris – Insight (2004)
    IK Notes, No. 71, August 2004 (Worldbank)
    View article (Insight website, PDF file; size : 128 KB)
  • Eyes see; Ears hear
    By Donald Snowden, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada (1984)
    This paper is an introduction to some techniques in improved communications which have been used successfully in a number of countries. The paper describes these techniques and the technology of portable videotape recording that provides the vehicle for them. The paper is written as a companion to the documentary film Eyes see; ears hear which is available in English and French and has been placed in libraries in a number of countries.

    View paper (FAO website, HTML webpage)

  • Farmer-led documentation
    Anne Piepenstock, AGRECOL Andes Foundation and Dorine Rüter-Noordzij, ETC Foundation / Prolinnova (September 2008)

    This 3-page article was written for a GTZ newsletter published November 2008. It gives a general description of FLD, as well as some case examples. Specific focus of the newsletter, and thus of this article, are the opportunities and threads of using ICTs in context of grassroots communication.

    “FLD has great potential to empower and build capacity of local communities. When exploring the opportunities of new ICTs to realise this potential, it is essential to also realistically address the challenges that come with applying these technologies.”

    View article (adapted from original GTZ publication, PDF file; size : 379 KB)

    View full GTZ publication: The participatory web (PDF file; size : 1.6 MB)

    View article (Word file; size : 43 KB)

  • Gazing at the cradle of the dust storm: a photo story of humans and environment in Alxa
    Pingjun, Ding
    Academy Press, Beijing, China, 2008. ISBN: 978-7-5077-3071-5
    The following book review — and, even more so, the book itself! — may interest especially those of you who are involved in farmer-led documentation (FLD) activities — whether you are trying to support local people to document their own innovations and experiments under the PROLINNOVA “umbrella” or whether you are otherwise involved in supporting local people to express their achievements and concerns in their own way and to make their voices and images more widely heard and seen. It is about a book made together with people living in Alxa, the “Land of Camels” in Inner Mongolia, describing the people’s lives, hopes and fears in their own photographs and words.

    View book review (Word file; size : 89 KB)

    If you are interested in obtaining this book, contact either the publisher (; or the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology of Alxa (SEE;, one of the local NGOs that was involved in implementing this “Photo Story” project with the support of the Ford Foundation Beijing Office.”

  • Recent online resources on Farmer-led Documentation

    Assessment of scripted and scriptless participatory video on usefulness for local seed innovation system in Bangladesh
    Paper by Ataharul Chowdhury and Michael Hauser as presented during Innovation Asia and Pasific Symposium (Nepal, May 2009)
    The Participatory Web
    GTZ publication (coordination Christian Kreuz). Includes the FLD article of myself with Anne Piepenstock (Agrecol Andes) on farmer-led documentation in an ICT context.
    Web 2.0 in Africa – Agriculture and New Technologies – Web2forDev | dotSUB
    Thought I had bookmarked this already. Apparently not. Comes in via numerous channels. Familiar faces. km4dev, euforic, and so on.
    Reunión en Pachitulul, Guatemala on Yahoo! Video
    Via Max – “Encuentro de experiencias a través de la sistematización liderada por campesinos en el paraje de Pachitulul, San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala”
    An interview with Fred Campbell / Part 2 – The eloquence of the ordinary human being / In Motion Magazine
    “I work with Ryakuga, a grass roots communications company. We help people take control of the media process to facilitate communication with communities and develop self esteem among the community members. We work a lot with youth. “
    An interview with Fred Campbell / Grass roots communications from Canada to Appalachia / Part 1 – Communication for Survival / In Motion Magazine
    “I work with Ryakuga, a grass roots communications company. We help people take control of the media process to facilitate communication with communities and develop self esteem among the community members. We work a lot with youth. “
    The first mile of connectivity: Eyes see; ears hear (Donald Snowden)
    This paper is an introduction to some techniques in improved communications which have been used successfully in a number of countries. The paper describes these techniques and the technology of portable videotape recording that provides the vehicle for t
    Radio Research Gardens (Story Workshop)
    Scroll down – “As the groups experiment with new methods ? such as using model gardens to test manure and fertilizer side-by-side ? they then report on their experiences to other farmers through the radio shows.”
    Documentation for Change (ILEIA)
    ILEIA’s web page about Documentation/Systematization. With manual and case descriptions. Contact person Jorge Chavez.
    FLD exchange meeting – 28 Sept 2007, Rome Italy
    “Prolinnova, FAO and IAALD are organizing a half a day exchange meeting on farmer led documentation. This event is planned for Friday 28 September 2007, and will take place in Rome, Italy, during the e-agriculture week.”









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