The purpose of this assessment was to take stock of the implementation of Pastoralist Field Schools (PFS) in Kenya, including impact at individual and community level, challenges and opportunities in implementation etc. Apart from review of existing literature and reports field visits were undertaken to most of the implementation sites in Northern and North-eastern Kenya, followed by a workshop among implementation partners to discuss the findings.
Results from the assessment show that PFS provide an excellent entry point and platform for improved livelihoods among pastoral communities and has provided an innovative and ground breaking step towards a more participatory and beneficiary driven support system. Impacts observed include uptake of improved technology options especially related to animal (sheep, goats and cattle) health, feeding and management and to a lesser extent alternative livelihood options such as crop farming, poultry etc. PFS has also contributed to empowerment especially among women including increase self-confidence, group cohesion and a collective spirit.
In relation to the management and implementation modalities of PFS there are big differences observed between various actors and a strong need to harmonise and coordinate activities across sites and partners, particularly in relation aspects such as group grants and payment of PFS facilitators. Too little backstopping at field level, low level of expertise on PFS among project managers, low funding for group activities has jeopardized quality of implementation. Training of Facilitators has often been rushed and not adequately covering some key aspects of the approach leading to weaknesses in implementation, for example in terms of lack or weak comparative experimentation and application of tools such as the PESA.
Recommendations include more exchange and coordination among actors, re-thinking of the TOF process and selection / remuneration of facilitators, increase of the PFS learning duration, mainstreaming of PFS group grants, increased diversity of learning topics applied, particularly increased attention to HIV/FGM etc., more attention to gender dynamics generally, exchange and networking among groups and improved coordination and harmonisation of the approach among implementation actors.