TECA - 'Technology for Agriculture: Proven Technologies for Smallholders' - is an internet-supported tool for global technology exchange, developed since 2000 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Sustainable Development Department - Research and Technology Development Service (SDRR). Its intended users include both technology providers and technology users - not smallholders directly but the organisations that provide advisory or policy services to them.
In 2005, NR International Ltd - having managed part of the UK Department for International Development (DFID)'s Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS) for almost a decade - initiated a dialogue with SDRR with a view to disseminating the research outputs via TECA. The Communications Team of DFID's Central Research Department agreed to finance the present project - 'Repackaging proven RNRRS technologies for dissemination via TECA' - under the terms of an existing Memorandum of understanding with FAO.
The project's aim was to add value to DFID's investment in technology development under the RNRRS through a managed process of screening, repackaging, assigning metadata to and publishing the technology options for pro-poor natural resources management that were generated by some 1,500 projects between 1995-2006. It also made a commitment to document the project process, enabling the methodology and lessons learned to benefit future TECA partnerships. The project additionally agreed to record the decision-support tools and methodologies developed under the RNNRS, but not to publish them on TECA.
A workflow management tool was developed to track project progress at the level of each individual technology, to maintain the integrity of the data and ensure timely and efficient completion. A variety of tools were also developed for use by the team in reviewing the RNRRS portfolios, classifying the outputs, documenting the validated technologies using TECA 'record' format, reviewing the validation domain described in the records, copyediting and preparing the records for uploading, uploading itself and for obtaining feedback from the team. These tools are all presented in the Annexes and may be freely used by others. In this report, the process is documented in as much detail as might be needed by others if replicating or adapting it to publish their own technologies. At the end of each section, we have recorded 'lessons learned' about the methodology that we selected to identify, transform and publish this large backlog of existing knowledge.
Wilkin, K.; Rowland, T.; Campbell, K.; Farrell, G. Final Technical Report, Repackaging proven RNRRS technologies for dissemination via TECA. (2006)