This SEPS exchange aimed to develop a strong base of biodigester practitioners in Ecuador and to form linkages between actors with interest in the technology at local and national levels.
Exchange Need & ObjectivePrevious projects in the region had demonstrated a significant skills gap on biogas technology. This project aimed to fill that gap by working in three villages in Ecuador to develop a strong base of biodigester practitioners in Ecuador and forming relationships at local and national levels.
Participants & Target GroupsThe activities actively engaged researchers, government, civil society and farmers’ organizations, and in particular community groups and other actors able to replicate biodigester technology in Ecuador. A national-level event provided a platform to:
- Share local experiences.
- Raise awareness among public and international agencies.
- Promote existing replication capacity created through the exchange.
- Strengthen the national-level network.
Results & Impacts
- Significant progress in disseminating practical knowledge on biodigester technology and creating active and competent technicians capable of advancing the technology in their localities.
- Creation of locally and regionally appropriate training materials (written and visual).
- Participant numbers exceeded initial targets and included representatives from most Ecuadorian provinces (as well as bordering areas of Peru and Colombia).
- Most participants returned for follow-up training and discussions, which strengthened knowledge acquisition and the network’s sense of community.
- Support for pilot installations helped eight participants enhance their abilities. Informal surveys identified three additional participants who installed digesters on their farms using their own resources.
Lessons learnedPositive: The consecutive workshop format combining theoretical courses, hand-on training and field visits proved effective in building local technical capacity, raising awareness and promoting knowledge exchange between diverse actors. Negative: Reaching a more cohesive and active network of practitioners proved difficult.
Further efforts should focus on:
- Creating alliances with local and national actors to consolidate the workshops series format as a tool for building local capacity.
- Exploring ways of promoting mutual collaboration between individuals from diverse sectors, such as smallholders, academics and local authority staff.
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