The Directorate of Extension and Engineering Services (DEES) in the Caprivi Region introduced the concept of Community Action Plan (CAP) in 2005 as a tool for implementing the Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSRE) approach. The Directorate’s main aim is to have functional Community Action Plans (CAP) in all communities in the Caprivi Region. Although CAP is a useful tool for implementing the FSRE approach in rural communities, not every stakeholder perceives it to be useful. Therefore the purpose of this study is to ascertain the usefulness of Community Action Plans as a strategy to support a bottom up extension approach. Three groups in the Caprivi Region, namely, Extension Staff, Mubiza Community and the Bukalo Community were selected to determine their knowledge and perception of CAP. The Mubiza community implements a Community Action Plan while Bukalo community does not implement a Community Action Plan. Two structured questionnaires were administered to a total of 95 respondents. Of these respondents, twenty two (22) were Extension staff, thirty seven (37) were from the Mubiza community and thirty six (36) were from the Bukalo community. There were no significant differences occurring between the two communities with regard to independent variables such as gender, age and education level. However, in respect of variables such as contact with extension staff and attendance of extension meetings there were differences. Clearly Mubiza community respondents had more contact and they attended meetings more often than respondents from Bukalo community. The majority of the Mubiza respondents 91% indicated that they planned their development activities using CAP while 75% of the Bukalo respondents indicated that they have no plans. Respondents from the Mubiza community are significantly more satisfied (p= < 0.0001) with the support they received from the Agricultural Extension Technicians than those from Bukalo. The study reveals also that there is significantly more involvement and participation in community development by members of the Mubiza community. While 92% of respondents from Mubiza community indicated quite clearly that they received appropriate support from the community leaders, only 42% of the respondents from Bukalo community indicated receiving such appropriate support from their leaders. Both, Extension staff and the respondents from the Mubiza Community, perceived the CAP as an effective tool for implementing the FSRE approach and improving the livelihood of communities. Copyright
Dissertation (MInstAgrar)--University of Pretoria, 2010.