Potential Stakeholders Pleased with RISE Model
Swiss College of Agriculture and the ICARE foundation organized a seminar in Ani Plaza hotel on June 5, 2009 to present the Response-Inducing Sustainability Evaluation (RISE) model of farm sustainability assessment to a focus group representing farmers, NGOs, international agencies, and other interested stakeholders. Director of ICARE Vardan Urutyan and Tigran Hakhnazaryan of FAA facilitated the workshop. Measurements according to twelve RISE indicators on many farms in deferent marzes of Armenia have provided a comprehensive picture due to the results aggregated in a polygon that reveals strengths and weaknesses on farm level. This computer-based tool thus depicts the sustainability picture of production covering at the same time ecological and social dimensions.
This seminar, as compared with the previous RISE events, indicated understanding among the audience and readiness to pursue practical implementation goals in farms and farmer organizations within the networks or within the technical assistance coverage of the participating stakeholders. Some of the participants were already aware of the RISE model but wanted to learn more information about how the model was implemented in the country and what modifications were made accordingly. They asked many more questions and made suggestions themselves. The interest among the group overall was exceptional.
Armine Babayan, World Vision, thanked the organizers for both the model and the workshop saying that this is a unique tool to upgrade the farm level evaluations in general. According to Hrachya Zakoyan, ACDI VOCA, RISE model is a wonderful tool for monitoring. Mr. Zakoyan suggested to add the legal aspect to the existing three aspects (economic, environmental and social) of the model. Sergey Meloyan, Millennium Challenge Account-Armenia, welcomed the initiative of Swiss College of Agriculture and ICARE and joined the suggestions of others to present the RISE model to many more stakeholders like the Ministry of Agriculture, donors, extension, regional Ag Support Centers, researchers, and others. The participants agreed with Dr. Meloyan in evaluating the RISE as the first model that clearly covers all necessary directions and provides in-depth evaluation of any farm in a systemized approach.
The quality of evaluation is largely responsible for the quality of development. This is something that the authors of RISE have always kept in mind while creating and implementing the model in Armenia and in other countries.