'Say it with pictures': an account of a self assessment process in a dairy sector support project in Tanzania
This article offers an account of a self-assessment process in a dairy sector in Tanzania. It discusses the work of the Southern Highlands Dairy Development Project in re-orienting their dairy support sector approach towards one that works with households involved in dairy work in a more participatory manner.
This is the report of a study designed to reach some broad conclusions about social, economic and cultural change in rural and peri-urban communities of mainland Tanzania. It draws on previous accounts and on group interviews and other RRA methods. Substantive findings concern the responses of members of rural communities to the process of economic liberalisation and their reception of constitutional reforms leading to the adoption of a multi-party political system. Regarding methodology, the study confirmed the value of combining existing literature with fresh fieldwork, although problems of generating generalisable conclusions from location-specific material are acknowledged. Focus-groups were found to be particularly useful, when combined with the possibility of drawing on the long-term field experience of researchers.
In order to obtain detailed information about project participants's daily tasks, particularly in a gender context, 139 calenders were constructed for one specific day. The timeline focused on all the activities undertaken during that day, including agricultural work. Men did more agricultural work than women, although women worked harder overall. Of the 103 agricultural workers surveyed, the men spent more time with livestock, both were involved in nursery work, and men carried out slightly more work in the fields. The other projects studied were water and santitation, women's income generating projects and education. The gender difference in perception of agricultural tasks is noted, which relates closely to time spent talking, resting and in 'reproductive' chores.