The African Highlands Initiative (AHI) based in Kampala, Kenya, was started in 1995 to address complex livelihoods and integrated natural resources management issues. AHI set out to develop participatory research methodologies and integrated, systems approaches as ways of implementing research and development processes. The work aims to empower smallholder farmers, foster innovative development, and positively influence practices used by research and development organisations. This work was collaborative involving national agricultural research institutions from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Madagascar, agricultural extension personnel, and a number of local Kenyan NGOs. The paper discusses the barriers encountered during the process, such as, the elite status encouraged in university graduates, the development of the learning approach to participatory research methodologies and concludes with challenges for the future.
International Institute for Environment and Development