Development and evaluation of knowledge dissemination methods for smallholder dairy farmers in Tanzania: With special reference to bovine mastitis

Bell, Catriona Elizabeth (2002) Development and evaluation of knowledge dissemination methods for smallholder dairy farmers in Tanzania: With special reference to bovine mastitis. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The main aim of this study was to develop and evaluate different dissemination methods for educating smallholder dairy farmers in Tanzania about mastitis. In addition, existing milking practices, and perceptions of mastitis amongst smallholder farmers were evaluated by questionnaire, whilst the hygiene of the banda, and milking equipment, were also assessed by direct observation. Results of this study showed that, on the majority of farms, cowboys were responsible for the main dairy activities, with supervision provided by the wife of the family. In addition, twelve percent of the cowboys interviewed by the study were found to be illiterate. These results have implications for the selection of appropriate targets, and appropriate methods of dissemination, for future dissemination programmes. Major aims of this study were to develop appropriate, and acceptable, materials for the dissemination of key mastitis facts to smallholder dairy farmers, and to then evaluate the effectiveness of these methods. Both of these aims were achieved, and dissemination materials developed by the project included videos, diagrammatic handouts, posters and pens. The impact of these methods was then evaluated and quantified using different approaches in two study areas. The first approach involved evaluation of the effectiveness of dissemination methods for increasing overall mastitis knowledge amongst smallholder dairy farming communities. This was based on further dissemination of information amongst smallholder farmers, following training of key individuals by a mastitis training course (MTC), village video screenings, and distribution of project-specific dissemination materials. Evaluation of mastitis knowledge amongst respondents was carried out by questionnaire, at intervals of one month (n=255), and sixteen months (n=192) after dissemination. Results of multilevel statistical modelling showed that one month after dissemination there was a significant positive association between the 'mastitis knowledge' of a respondent, and a respondent stating that they had learned about mastitis by 'attendance at the MTC' (p<0.0001), 'attendance at a village video screening' (p<0.0035), 'discussion with an extension officer (EO)' (p<0.0242), or 'from a project-specific pen' (p<0.0036), whilst the association between 'mastitis knowledge' and 'contact with key individuals' within the community was shown to be non-significant. Sixteen months after dissemination there was a significant positive, association between the 'mastitis knowledge' of a respondent and a respondent stating that they had learned about mastitis by 'attendance at the MTC' (p<0.0001), or by 'discussion with an EO' (p=0.0042). The second aspect of the study, evaluated the effectiveness of direct dissemination methods for increasing mastitis knowledge of a defined number of respondents (n=280). This involved comparing five combinations of dissemination methods to a control group, and evaluating mastitis knowledge by questionnaire both prior to dissemination, and two weeks after dissemination. Multilevel statistical modelling was used to evaluate factors associated with the overall mastitis knowledge of respondents. Results concerning direct dissemination methods, with village, farm and individual question considered as random effects, showed that the most effective methods of dissemination were 'diagrammatic handout', 'village meeting and video', 'village meeting and diagrammatic handout', and 'village meeting, video and diagrammatic handout' when compared to the control group. Significant differences between dissemination methods were also identified. A third multilevel model was used to evaluate factors associated with individual respondent's change in mastitis knowledge, defined by the 'difference between pre- and post-dissemination scores'. Results showed that respondents exposed to the dissemination methods 'village meeting and video', 'village meeting and handout', 'village meeting, video and handout' and 'handout' showed significant differences (p<0.0001) in pre- and post-dissemination scores of at least 10 points greater than those of 'control' group respondents. The unexpected success of a diagrammatic handout as a dissemination method was of interest to the author, and further work to investigate this dissemination method is recommended. A preliminary study of the 'Hawthorne effect', which investigated the impact of administration of an open ended questionnaire on a respondent's subsequent mastitis knowledge, showed no significant association. Identification of the most effective method of dissemination varied considerably according to the individual mastitis fact, and the level of effectiveness of each dissemination method also varied for each fact.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Julie Fitzpatrick
Keywords: Agricultural education, Vocational education, Sub Saharan Africa studies
Date of Award: 2002
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2002-72872
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72872

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