Meet Syphachan ‘TouLee’ Vannasy – NIF from Laos
“Changing our way of thinking gives us better understanding to analyse problems in order to deal with them and move forward, leading to behavioural changes”
Hello, who are you?
I am TouLee and am 34 years old. I have a BSc in livestock science from the Faculty of Agriculture, NUOL and an MSc major in business management from Vietnam. I have worked at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences since 2008 where I teach soil science, agriculture and the environment, especially organic and good agriculture practices, also calculation of production costs in comparation with common agriculture practices. It involves both theory and practice, including use of liquid fertilizers and making compost from agricultural waste. I then became a NIF for CDAIS to facilitate the integrated ricefield aquatic animal niche in Nongkhamhat village, Outhoumphone district, Savannakhet province.
What are your role and responsibilities as National Innovation Facilitator?
My main responsibility is to build up the capacity of niche stakeholders and their ability to implement their action plan by themselves, to contact technical service providers that farmers are interested in to increase their knowledge and agricultural skills, production cost analysis, and access to financial support.
What has CDAIS changed for you?
CDAIS uses new methods working with people by using tools: problem tree, net mapping, CNA questionnaires, and the most interesting are simulation games for information gathering and finding problems and solutions that made me and other NIFs clearly understand issues. It is the only project that does not provide per diems to niche members which is the most challenging for such kinds of development project. This may not big problem for many projects but in my opinion is the core indicator to measure the interest amongst farmers and could be a key indicator and driver to progress with agricultural innovation systems. After I became a NIF several training topics made me change my way of thinking, because it helped me understood that it is not finding the right or wrong answer but a way to think for a better understanding on what it are the main causes, and problem analysis to move toward future behaviour change. Therefore, the biggest challenge of a NIF like me is to facilitate niches to make them to understand what is happening, influencing factors, and then to strengthen capacities that support technical and functional skills.