Contents - Previous

This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at

Appendix H:course outline in training for arid lands management proposed by H-U.Thimm

Permanence of cultivation-41/2 months

Environment (90 hours). Climatic conditions and influence of changes; climatology and hydrology; soils and soil fertility; soil surveys and practical assessment of soils for permanent cultivation; resource development and conservation of suitable land areas; principles of protection of the environment; desert encroachment and erosion threats; reforestation; wildlife.

Water (90 hours). Water sources for arid land-use; rain-fed cultivation; methods of rainwater harvesting; irrigation from streams and wells; reducing evaporation and seepage losses; selecting and managing efficient water-use systems; engineering aspects; tapping additional water supplies; problems of salinity.

Crops (90 hours). Natural vegetation of arid lands; introduction to subsistence and commercial crops; optimal land-use systems; shifting cultivation; mechanized farming practices; plant breeding; crop protection; crop rotation and fertilization; improved grassland use; feed crops; harvesting and post-harvest storage; fodder crops.

Livestock (90 hours). Animals in arid lands; livestock systems; carrying capacities of natural and re-seeded grasslands; integration of nomadic livestock in other land-use systems; range development planning; livestock-breeding programmes; animal health aspects; livestock take-off rates; marketing aspects; problems of livestock around large irrigated crop production schemes; over-stocking problems; improved husbandry methods.

Project organization-11/2 months

Planning and evaluation (60 hours). Public policy analysis and decision-making processes; development strategies and landuse policies; integrated rural development; planning methods; project targets and instruments; project institutions; project exploration; feasibility studies; data collection accompanying evaluation; criteria for evaluation; cost benefit analysis; private and social profitability; employment generation; settlement schemes.

Implementation (60 hours). Management and administrative principles; personnel and labour management; budgeting and financial management; time and risk factors involved; central or decentralized management; participation of the local population; additional services and infrastructure; implementation of specific projects such as irrigation schemes, block grazing, etc.; self interest of the participants.

Social acceptance-11/2 months

Social structure (60 hours). Social structure of African societies; language, race, ethnics, and stratification; population geography; demography; political and religious geography; historical development leading to present social structure; methods of social investigation; interactions of economic and social change; interactions of urban and rural change.

Local participation (60 hours). Theory and methods of political enquiry; public and development administration; public decision-making processes; conflicts and vested interests; social actions; institutions for self help; extension and community development; methods to organize the local population for development programmes; motivation incentives; responsibilities and risk involved.

Economic viability-11/2 months

Macro-economics (60 hours). International and national demand for products supplied; commodity agreements and international trade; prices and price policies; marketing structure; national and regional development plans; statis. tics and data availability; social targets; GNP and balance of payments aspects; selection of appropriate technologies; employment aspects; multi-lateral and bilateral aid programmes; international funding.

Micro-economics (60 hours). Principles of cost-benefit analysis; cost-effectiveness approach; budgeting and financing; investment decisions; accounting and cash flows; finance control and financial planning; profit and loss accounts; credit and securities; income and cost distribution between project and local participants.


Contents - Previous