RESCAP applies PaViDIA Approach as a main tool to facilitate rural development.

PaViDIA stands for "Participatory Village Development in Isolated Areas". 

You can read a story about PaViDIA Approach.



1.  A Story from a Village


                  “Grinding maize used to be very…very hard job”, said Mrs. Stembile Matabire, a village woman who lives in Kwale village, one of the typical villages in Zambia.  She used to walk nearly 3-4 hours for carrying her maize for grinding for her family.  Her job is not only maize-grinding, but also many things to do such as fetching water, cooking, caring children, farming her own field, etc. like other women in her village.  “But after we implement PaViDIA Micro Project, I can say my life becomes bit easier”, Stembile happily giggled and pointed her finger to the Hammer-mill standing in the center of the village.  Zambians eat grinded maize nearly every day, and people need to visit the Hammer-mill to grind maize twice per week on average.  It is surely tedious if the Hammer-mill is far from home.  She continued “I also thank PaViDIA Micro Project to provide a teacher’s quarter (a small house).  It enables our village to host a good teacher to teach our children in the nearby school. ”  

              Her husband, Mr. Felix Matabire, appreciated PaViDIA Micro Project by saying “Sir. I didn’t believe such a good thing came to our village, Kwale.  People visit the Hammer-mill and pay their usage fee.  So the Hammer-mill gives our village good money every day!  We use this money to operate other projects.  For example, our village invested the money from the hammer mill project into a community garden project.  Now I can use ADP (Animal Draft Power) for my cultivation and the cattles are a part of the PaViDIA Micro Project.  I am also a member of goat rearing project of the PaViDIA Micro Project.  The best thing is that the government extension officer comes very often because of PaViDIA Micro Project, and we can learn from her.”

Besides Mr. and Mrs. Matabire, Mrs. Christine Iseki, the extension officer explained that PaViDIA Micro Project surely changed the villagers’ life and even her working environment.  “After implementation of PaViDIA Micro Project, the villagers become more united and cooperative for working as a village” said Christine.  She continues “Because of the success of the project, I am welcomed by villagers and it gives me confidence to be a good extension officer.  So I thank PaViDIA Project for giving us this opportunity.”  She smiled and shook my hand, a sign of happiness.

Kwale village is not the only village to implement PaViDIA Micro Project. Currently, there are more than 80 villages which implement PaViDIA Micro Project and more than 70,000 villagers benefit from it in Zambia.  

What is PaViDIA Micro Project?


2. Background of PaViDIA


        PaViDIA Micro Project is a tool to improve villagers’ life in a rural area.  PaViDIA Micro Project consists of several small-scale projects such as hammer-mill operation, livestock, etc. which are managed by villagers.  But PaViDIA Micro Project is not a simple donation project; rather, it is a part of PaViDIA Approach, which has been developed as one of the extension approaches for extension officers of Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MACO) in Zambia.  PaViDIA Approach was developed by PaViDIA Project.  By the way, what is PaViDIA?  “PaViDIA” stands for Participatory Village Development in Isolated Areas.   

                       Why were topics of PaViDIA such as “Participatory”, “Village Development” and “Isolated Areas” needed to be addressed?  In the 1990’s, Zambia implemented a structural adjustment program to revive its economy, which was characterized by copper monoculture.  However, the economic reforms did not produce the results in terms of expected employment creation and economic growth. Moreover, several social indicators show that the quality of livelihoods and access to public services has worsened, and that poverty has become more severe.  According to poverty indicators, people living below the poverty line account for about 70% of the total population, and about 70% of these people reside in rural areas.  Small-scale farmers, who account for 90% of the total agricultural population, are suffering from poverty the most.

           Then why “PaViDIA?”.  One of the critical issues was how to develop and support people live in such “isolated areas”.  Most of the poverty-ridden people live in the areas called “isolated areas” or “remote areas” where the public and social services are not easily accessible.  In such areas, one of the sustainable units of intervention is “a village”.  In rural areas even where there is no social service such as a hospital and a school, there are always “villages”, which are traditional but very sustainable groups.  There are more than 9000 villages in Zambia.  The needs of the village are diverse and therefore it should be tackled by multi-sectors of development.  Rather than concentrating only on a particular sector such as agriculture, “development” of several aspects including their capacity development should be addressed.  For education of the people and its sustainable effects, we need to involve the people from the beginning, i.e. a “participatory” approach should be developed and adopted.  This will further enhance ownership of the projects by the villagers. 

              In this context, in 1999, the Zambian Government submitted a request to the Government of Japan for technical cooperation for isolated area development with emphasis on the participatory development approach.  In response to the request, the Project for Participatory Village Development in Isolated Areas (PaViDIA) in the Republic of Zambia was planned and signed between the Zambian government and the Japanese government.


3. Progress of PaViDIA Project

              The Project has been jointly implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MACO).  The Project has two Phases. Phase I ran from June 2002 to May 2007, then Phase II from June 2007 to May 2009.

              Geographically, the Project has been successfully expanding its target areas in Northern, Luapula, North-western and Western Provinces. Currently, more than 80 villages hosting more than 70,000 villagers are direct target groups.  The number is expected to swell into more than 200 villages at the end of the Project.

       Institutionally, PaViDIA Project is considered and managed as a part of MACO’s activities.  The MACO extension officers are field facilitators of the Project.  The command line of the Project to the extension officers is the same as MACO.  In other words, PaViDIA Project is a part of MACO’s national extension system.  PaViDIA Operation Room (POR: a management body of the Project) is located in Headquarter building of MACO.  Each province of the targeted four provinces has its regional POR and each targeted district has its district POR.  All the staff are MACO’s staff, i.e. government officers.  No one except Japanese experts and their drivers is paid by JICA.

              Financially, PaViDIA Project received several funds from different schemes. KR2 counter-value funding (a fund originated in a Japanese funding scheme) is one of the key funding sources, from which PaViDIA Project expanded its approach in Northern Province.  World Food Program (WFP) funded a PaViDIA expansion project to expand PaViDIA Approach in Western Province and Luapula Province.  An EU-funded program funded an international NGO to apply PaViDIA Approach in Western Province and North-western Province.  A local NGO (NAPS) started PaViDIA Micro Project with own resources.  MACO also budgeted for implementation of PaViDIA Micro Projects.

           PaViDIA Project seems to be very successful, especially on financial aspects.  Generally, JICA’s technical cooperation projects face financial difficulties, i.e. there is a shortage of money to continue the project activities, when JICA’s funding ends.  But PaViDIA Project overcomes the financial difficulty.  It is because of many other agencies such as WFP and EU are attracted to fund PaViDIA Project which implement PaViDIA Approach.

Why is PaViDIA Approach so attractive?


4.  Features of PaViDIA Approach

              PaViDIA Approach was developed by project’s 5-year’s field experiment.  From the field experiences, the PaViDIA Approach has been reviewed and modified to be more practical. 

              The life-cycle of the PaViDIA Approach can be summarized into 6 steps as described in the next page.

1)      A trained MACO extension officer visits his/her village to conduct a village workshop.

2)      Together with the extension officer, villagers find their own local resources to plan PaViDIA Micro Project.

3)      By mobilizing local resources together with funds from funding agencies, villagers work together to implement PaViDIA Micro Project, which consists of several small-scale sub-projects such as goat-rearing, irrigation, hammer-mill operation, storage-shed, etc.

4)      From experience of implementation of PaViDIA Micro Project, villagers learn and build own capacity together with their extension officer.

5)      The village continues and expands the PaViDIA Micro Project. The target village is strengthened economically and socially at levels of individuals, groups and a whole village.

6)      The successful village even helps their extension officer to visit own village by giving fuel and lunch.


              PaViDIA Approach has several features as follows.


1.      A Village as the target group

A village is one of the smallest traditional units, on which people support each other. Strengthening a village as a social capital can lead to sustainabile development 


2.      On-the-Job Capacity Development through Micro Project

Capacity is only developed through “real” experiences. The villagers participate in all processes of Micro Project to learn how to develop their village and livelihoods.

3.      Investment of Money

The village is given money as a budget in their bank account rather than given materials. The village learns how to manage money by purchasing materials and it has ownership and responsibility.

4.      Resource-based Development Project

Development is not “given” from outside. The villagers are encouraged to find their resources to formulate a project. Sustainable agriculture techniques are promoted.

5.      Agriculture and IGA as Core of Activities

Agriculture is a core of the Micro Project and main sub-projects must be IGA (Income Generating Activities).  It gives more sustainability of Micro Project for maintenance and operation.

6.      Utilization and Enhancement of Government Structure

The villagers are facilitated by CEOs (Camp Extension Officers) who live nearby. District agric-officers are also involved. The government extension service is also strengthened through this system.

7.      Strengthened Monitoring System: After-care for development

The villagers need to be facilitated in the long-term development process. Monitoring system is no longer a side-dish. Monitoring is executed as a main-stream of the approach.

               Some of these features are not different to other participatory approaches.  But there is nothing like PaViDIA Approach which has been reviewed and developed in the number of field experiments for more than 5 years in Zambia.  PaViDIA Approach has been modified so many times, and in some of them, it has been changed drastically.  These flexibility and practicality might be the most evident features of PaViDIA Approach.


5.  Challenges and A Way Forward

              Of course, PaViDIA Approach is not the almighty approach.  It also faces with a lot of challenges.

                The overall goal of PaViDIA Approach is to build capacity of the villagers to develop independently in future.  Building capacity for self-development is related to the mind-set and attitudes of people.  However, some villages and villagers never change in a better way and sometimes even get worsen even after implementing PaViDIA Micro Project.  For some villagers, PaViDIA Micro Project is no difference to other donation program.  For these people, PaViDIA Micro Project is stimulating their dependency syndrome.  It is, indeed, difficult to change the mind-set and the attitudes of people.

           To avoid such dependency syndrome, the villagers need to be facilitated frequently by the extension officers.  However, extension officers are having other duties beside PaViDIA Micro Project, so it is not possible for them to concentrate only on PaViDIA Micro Project villagers.  This means that the frequency of facilitation service is not intensive compared to other full-time based approach such as a NGO-operated project, in which a full-time staff can concentrate only on a village, although the latter is not sustainable.  Moreover, extension system of Zambia, under which extension officers are working, is not strong enough for strategic implementation of PaViDIA Approach.  For example, communication between the field extension officers and the headquarter office is weak.  It is very hard and time-consuming to link-up different stakeholders on the MACO extension system.  

              Harmonization and integration of different donors’ programs is also tedious and cumbersome.  Every donor agrees on the word of “harmonization” in theory, but it is not certain how much everyone is serious in practice.  While one donor’s program teaches how to cultivate crops in a rural area, the other donor’s program “distributes” relief foods in the same area.  PaViDIA Approach’s philosophy of self-development is sometimes disturbed by other donation based approach.  There is a need to link-up different donors’ program for integration.

              PaViDIA Operation Room (POR) is certainly playing such a role.  POR is a part of MACO, but it can also operate beyond MACO structure.  POR is working as a coordinator to link-up different stakeholders such as field extension officers, provincial officers, etc. in the MACO extension system.  POR is also making effort to invite other donors to participate in expansion of PaViDIA Approach.  POR is a hope for practical harmonization and integration which is surely benefiting Zambian villagers.



If you want to know more about the PaViDIA Approach, please download the manual

PaViDIA Field Manual (Volume1)



inserted by FC2 system