Propelling Change from the Bottom-Up: Institutional reform in Zimbabwe
Participatory approaches to extension and innovation development are increasingly being seen as the way forward for agricultural development. Yet the challenges arising when trying to reform conventional government bureaucracies to make all the changes this approach requires are many. This paper describes how just such a reform process was undertaken in Zimbabwe. Scaling-up of this approach through institutionalisation into the agricultural extension department required a complex and multi-pronged strategy. The development of 'learning cases', and the exposure of officers to these case studies helped raise awareness and commitment for change. An informal network of initiatives pursuing participatory development as a lobby group strengthened the influence and brought participatory approaches into mainstream thinking.