Research, Community, and Organizational Development (RECODA)is a non-Governmental Organization (NGO) rooted strongly in Tanzania. It was established in 2000 to bridge the technology gap in development through research, consultancy, capacity building, and facilitation of community-based projects. In the beginning, RECODA’s main activity was consultancy work carried out for various development organizations engaged in implementing community development projects. Currently, the organization has extended her works into research and development specifically technology transfer to rural farmers.
The organization aims to make poverty and food insecurity history in Tanzania by ensuring that the poor communities have developed socially and economically sustainable livelihoods that can uphold their living.
The organization envisions a prosperous, strong, sustainable, and enlightened community free of ignorance and poverty.
RECODA’s mission is to bridge the technology gap in poverty reduction initiatives through socio-economic research, community-based programs (CBP), capacity building of CSOs, and provision of consultancy services. In fulfilling her mission, RECODA in collaboration with the Rockwool Foundation (RF) from Denmark developed an Agricultural extension approach called Rural Initiatives for Participatory Agricultural Transformation (RIPAT- www.ripat.org).
– Core Values.
The core values of the organization are Transparency, Accountability, Creativity, and Teamwork (TACT)
– Organizational Structure.
Structurally, RECODA is a membership organization with a board of directors headed by a chairman. The organization’s executive director (ED) is the board’s secretary. There is a program leader (PL) who heads three departments i.e. Research and Development (RD), RECODA Academy (RA), and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). Under RD there are project managers (PM) and project officers (POs).
RECODA collaborates very closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Local Government Authorities (LGA), grassroots communities, Help to Self Help (PULS), Foundation for Civil Society Organizations (FCSOs), Tanzania Agricultural Research Institutes (TARIs), World Vision Tanzania, Islands of Peace(IDP), McKnight Foundation, Compassion International–Tanzania, Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM), African Conservation Tillage (ACT), Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA), Hort/LITA – Tengeru, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), and Arusha NGOs Network (ANGONET). Others include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC)–Soil and water management department. The main areas of cooperation include sharing of experiences, sourcing improved inputs, project implementation, the establishment of trial plots for studies (experimental learning), and technology transfer. The Organization has formalized agreements of partnership with SUA, TARIs, World Vision, PULS, IDP, and various district councils.
RECODA conducts her activities with the view of national interest especially focusing on the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP1 & ASDP2) and Tanzania vision 2025. Using the RIPAT approach, RECODA has been collaborating with international Organizations in other countries. Such projects have been implemented in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Nicaragua.
RECODA started implementing agricultural development (community economic development) projects with a pilot project, funded by the Danish organization i.e. Projekt Ulandshjælp til Selvhjælp(PULS in 2003 – 2006 whereby the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years were titled “an eye opener to Rural Sector Development, “The dream becoming true” and “Roadmap to Rural Sector Development” respectively. The pilot projects were followed by the series of RIPAT projects in 2008 in collaboration with Rockwool Foundation which aimed at addressing two research questions:
I. Why so many agricultural development projects have generated so little impact among rural farmers?
II. Why so many improved agricultural technologies are developed – but not adopted by small-scale farmers?
Based on the above questions, the RIPAT approach was developed to bridge the agriculture technology gap and ensure farmers take full charge of their own development (Jens et al, 2013).
RECODA has a vast experience in project designing, starting from situation analysis using Participatory Research Appraisals (PRA) to come out with an appropriate basket of technologies to suit a specified (earmarked) project area. Through the RIPAT approach, there is an enormous experience in community mobilization and sensitization while building the capacities of farmers to utilize locally available resources and opportunities for self-reliance in livelihood improvements.
– Sources of Funds.
RECODA receives funds through diversified sources but mainly through grants for research and development projects while consultancy is used to generate revolving funds. In addition to consultancies, the organization is in the process to start income generation activities that can be part of the source of funds to reduce the donor decency to ensure sustainability.
1. Lilleør, H. B. and Sørensen, L. (2013). Farmers’ Choice: Evaluating an Approach to Agricultural Technology Adoption in Tanzania. Practical Action Publishing and Rockwool Foundation Research Unit, Denmark, pp. 134 – 140
2. RECODA (2019) Annual RECODA (Research, Community and Organizational Development Associates) report, Arusha. 52pp.
3. Ringo D.E, C. Maguzu and J. Ng’ang’a (2013). An alternative extension approach to technology transfer for poverty reduction and food security to small-scale farmers in Tanzania; Journal of Continuing Education and Extension (JCEE); Vol. 4; issue no. 1 – Sokoine University of Agriculture.
4. Vesterager, J.M., Ringo, D., Maguzu, C. W., Ng’ang’a, J.N. (2013) The RIPAT manual – Rural Initiatives for Participatory Agricultural Transformation, Copenhagen: The Rockwool Foundation, Denmark.
5. Ringo D.E, C. Maguzu and J. Ng’ang’a (2008). Sustainable Agriculture and livelihoods improvement through Soil and Water Management in drylands; Paper presented at SADC Land and water management applied for research program scientific symposium– Lusaka Zambia. Theme: towards meeting the challenges of climatic change.
6. C. Maguzu, Ringo D.E, and J. Ng’ang’a (2008). Improved socio-economic development and food security through land and water management practices; Paper presented at SADC Land and water management applied for research program scientific symposium – Lusaka Zambia
7. Ringo D.E., C. Maguzu, A. Mariki, and M. Owenya Land management and crop selection – a case study of the experiences of conservation agriculture in Karatu district; paper presented at SADC scientific symposium on Land and Water Management – Garberon Botswana
8. Ringo D.E. C. Maguzu, M. Owenya and W. Mariki (2007). Conservation agriculture as practiced in Tanzania: case study of Karatu district; Centre de Cooperation Internationale de Recherche Agronomique pour le Development (CIRAD) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
9. Tarmo, T., Msuya, D.G., Njau, Paul. and Ringo, D.E. (2018). POST-HARVEST HANDLING PRACTICES OF PIGEON PEA SEEDS USED BY FARMERS IN NORTHERN TANZANIA AND RELATION TO QUALITY OF THE SEEDS, Vol. 3, No. 06; pp 65-79
10. Tarmo, T., Msuya, D.G. and Njau, Paul. J (2018). Physical quality of farmer used pigeon pea seeds and record of production characteristics of the crop about seeds in Karatu and Babati Districts of Northern Tanzania
11. Tarmo, T., Msuya, D.G. and Njau, Paul. J (2018). Fungi associated with pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp] seeds in northern Tanzania and relation to quality attributes of the seeds, Vol. 8(7), 9-14, July (2019)
– Staff & Structure.
Currently (2022), RECODA has 30 staff members.
Executive Director (ED) is the overall leader of the Organization; he is responsible for the employees and project activities. The ED must constantly take time to nurture the organization’s relationship with the local government authorities and other partners. These activities should be supplementary to the local advocacy work carried out by the Programme Leader (PL), the Project Manager (PM), and the Project Officers (POs).
The Programme Leader (PL) has overall responsibility for the project(s). An important task for the PL is to educate and guide the PMs and the POs so that they can provide quality training to the groups. Furthermore, the PL has the task of monitoring the progress of all projects and the work of the PMs and POs, upgrading their competencies as necessary, and dismissing any personnel who are not performing well. The PL is fully responsible for the logistics of the procurement of project inputs (seeds, tools, animals), for allocating POs with the right knowledge to the different assignments, and for planning the visits and training sessions in all the groups in the project. He/she conducts training and regular staff meetings with the PMs is responsible for the development and administration of project policies and ensures that all grant requirements are met promptly.
Project Managers (PM).
The PM has the overall day-to-day responsibility for project support and training for the groups in the villages under the individual project. He/she functions as the site manager if the project is operated from a local branch office. The PM coordinates the work of the POs who have been assigned to the project. He/she supervises project activities and personnel, conducts regular (weekly) meetings with the POs, prepares project reports to the PL, administers the local project budget covering, for example, travel and meetings, ensure daily feedback sessions on fieldwork, and liaises with the PL on potential villages for spreading the RIPAT approach, working closely with the local government and extension officers.
The Project Officers (POs) are the people in direct contact with the participating farmers. Their work is to teach about and give practical training in new farming technologies, and to facilitate participatory learning by the members of the groups established for the project. Having the right personality and attitude is often more important than the person’s educational background and level of qualifications for the POs. Some POs may have university degrees; some may be diploma holders.