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Project description

SARDEP started its cooperation in agricultural development shortly after independence in 1991. First objectives were to improve livestock and rangeland quality in the communal areas that had long been neglected by the colonial regime. For this end SARDEP chose 11 Pilot Areas with Test Areas in several parts of Namibia (SARDEP 1999:33). However, it soon became clear that there were literally no functioning communities that could meaningfully respond to the program. Therefore, in 1995, as a result of intensive evaluation and policy discussions (KEK 1994, SARDEP 1995) the main thrust of the project was directed towards community development. The SARDEP project, while continuing to be conducted under GTZ principles and by GTZ personnel, came under the wings of the Directorate of Extension and Engineering Service (DEES) of the MAWRD, on both the ministerial and the extension officers’ / agricultural facilitators’ levels. SARDEP became well integrated into the MAWRD and is recognized as one of its successful programs. Development of human resources, more specifically the promotion of communicative competences, had been explicitly identified as the major current need in view of ensuring sustainability of the positive results reached in the previous stages of the project. Improvement of communication across all organizational levels of those involved in the project was recognized as a top priority by the joint project management prior to and independently of their initial contact with the present research. SARDEP closes down its operations in March 2004. However, the results of the research shall be presented on a regular basis to GTZ as well the MAWRD in Windhoek.

The insights permitting to position the project proposal rather precisely in relation to current development activities and needs in the area reflect the concordant explicit views of the senior officers of SARDEP and of DEES who were contacted during the exploratory trip in September 2002. Contacts with government officials and with research personnel from the University of Namibia and the NEPRU allowed to confirm and complete this picture. The assessment by the development officers received abundant support by the observations made in direct contacts with the local population to the extent that this was possible.

A Project of 
Volkswagen Foundation