PO-NGO-LGU partnership in natural resources management: Landcare experiences in the Philippines
Catacutan, Delia C.
Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.
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Landcare is a movement of farmer led organizations supported by local governments with backstopping from technical service providers - that share knowledge about sustainable and profitable agriculture on sloping lands while conserving natural resources. The success of Landcare stemmed mostly from the strength of a tripart relationship of three key actors: the farmers and other community members, the Local Government, and Technical Facilitators. These three actors depend on each other, finding strength in working together - thus, forming an interdependent relationship to form a solid base for participatory program management. Participation in the triadic approach is fundamental in Landcare, but we also recognized that utopian participation is far below from reality. The triadic approach, as has been effectively applied in Landcare is largely applicable to any development program, because the essential elements comprising this approach are simple and basic. Following broad participatory principles, right motivation, trust, identification of common issues and partnership building, are fundamental elements that enhance participation in Landcare. What is perhaps, unique in Landcare, is its flexibility and openness to range of issues and the members ability to adopt alternative approaches and methods that suit local conditions. Participatory project management requires a great deal of hard facilitation work. It is often costly at the beginning, but the perceived benefits can be much higher. It is an investment requiring much human capital, commitment, trust and relationship building. These are basic requisites to participatory project management. Foremost, it should be aimed to address the participants needs rather than, the needs of project management and donors.