On 25 May 2009, I (Yim Soksophors) participated in the training provided by Dr. Yang Saing Koma, the president of CEDAC. The training aimed to strengthen the quality of work and to direct the staff for effective working in the communities. Especially, the training was conducted in order to improve the participatory action research that will be conducted by farmers as we would like to build up farmers’ capacity of conducting the agricultural researches by themselves. Furthermore, the discussion on how to integrate our work to the current development context, such as decentralization to meet the changes of the government and the donor agencies.

Moreover, the ideas relating to Critical Thinking or Positive Thinking, Creative Thinking were also picked up for discussion during the training as well. It provided more ideas to the participants for improving their thinking, attitude, habit and skills in order to be an effective community development worker. I could note that the presentation on Learning Cycle by Dr. Yang Saing Koma is very important for me and the others to take into consideration and practices because i am likely have not conducted it regularly in term of self-learning, so this idea stimulated me to re-think and to enhance the regularity of my self-learning. In case of the farmers in the community, it is needed to set up the group of farmers for conduction Team Learning on particular subject, for example the farmer team learning on System of Rice Intensification (SRI), so we will discuss in-depth detail about the main techniques of SRI, we don’t just only trained the 12 techniques of SRI to farmers, but we actually need to explain and discuss deeply with them about the reasons, ex: what is good seed? why do we need to select good seed? How to select good seed? So, it generally focused on 3 main points, WHAT, WHY and HOW.

To me, I think that it is really good that we have team learning among the staff and among the community farmers. It will help to generate more ideas and something new for upgrading our knowledge and capacity of doing something. The team learning among farmers can be focused on SRI, chicken raising, vegetable growing, and pig raising, etc. At this time, SRI is the first priority because it is time for preparing rice cultivation that is coming soon for the rainy season. The staff can also set up learning team on the social topics, for example how to empower the commune monitoring committee (CMC)?

On the other hand, i have also learned about the time management skill especially how to manage the time of ourselves and to manage the time of the project staff in order to make sure that we use our time productively. It means that we must manage time and do not the time manage us. In addition to SRI, i learned about the 3 points, how to select good seed and seed purification, how to improve the top soil fertility, and improved skill of applying SRI. Many new ideas, many ways of seed purification emerged during the discussion on seed purification and i have ever never thought before. But now they are in my consideration. Additionally, the participants have also discussed about the flexibility of village based organization to deal with the current situation of development of the country.

There are many other things that we have discussed during the training, but i could not describe all and this is only my brief note. Thanks!