Change to Ukrainian interface versionChange to English interface versionChange to Russian interface versionHome pageClear last query resultsHelp page
Search for specific termsBrowse by subject categoryBrowse alphabetical list of titlesBrowse by organizationBrowse special topic issues

close this bookAgricultural Extension: Guidelines for Extension Workers in Rural Areas (SKAT; 1994; 298 pages)
View the documentPreface
View the documentA few words on this English edition:
View the documentImpressum
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction to the Guidelines
View the documentCommon Difficulties
Open this folder and view contentsQuestions List
close this folderTheory Chapters
View the documentA Definition of Extension
View the documentB Communication
View the documentC Value Concepts - Value Systems
View the documentD Functions of Extension
View the documentE Animation / Organizational Development
View the documentF Adult Education
View the documentG Transmission of Information
View the documentH Problem Solving Assistance
View the documentI Developing Extension Topics
View the documentJ Extension Approaches
View the documentK Farming Systems Research (FSR)
View the documentL Goal Oriented Project Planning
View the documentM Dialogue in Extension
View the documentN Recommendations for the Writing of Reports

E Animation / Organizational Development

1. What do we mean by Animation?

In extension work animation can:

· encourage people to act on their own initiative
· bring people together in existing and new forms of organization to co-operate in solving problems.

Considering the following forms of animation, we have chosen to use this definition:

a) Animation as a strategy for socio-economic development - e.g. Animation Rurale (AR) in West Africa and Community Development (CD) in India.

b) Animation as a means of bringing rural people into contact with the governmental institutions. The extension service helps the local people to recognize and assert their legal claims on state institutions.

c) Socio-cultural animation is applied in the fields of youth work, health, social welfare, housing, recreation activities and the environment: People are encouraged to take a look at their own habits and behavior, to participate in joint decisions and to implement common projects and campaigns.

d) Animation as organizational development is aimed at increasing the problem-solving capacity of existing groups: People working in an organization are given further training and the organizational structures are adapted to new requirements.

We distinguish between animation and the following activities, even if there is some overlapping:

· moderating

to ensure a measured, well-ordered course of events

· organizing

to build up, arrange according to plan

· managing

to guide, conduct

· activating

to canvass, incite, set in movement

· manipulate

to use, deliberately steer, influence someone against their own interests


2. The Nature of Animation Work

Animation really means

and so involves:

· to liven up

· talking with each other

· to encourage

· working together

· to quicken

· living together


· celebrating together


· supporting each other


· providing contacts


· encouraging each other

Animation lies in a field of tension between life and structure


The actual art of animation involves stimulating and chanelling enthusiasm in existing or newly-created organizational structures without suffocating it, without paralysing existing initiative.

In other words - the task of animation is to bring together dynamics and structure and to make good use of both.

3. A Portrait of the Animator


4. The Person of the Animator

The following "dialogue" story introduces two animators, Cheerful Charlie and Helpless Ernie.

It is evening in Korisambela. It has been a hot day and the villagers are sitting under the trees outside their houses. Young people are wandering along the village street. A cyclist approaches the first group of people, gets off his bicycle and leans it against a tree. The animator and the villagers start a conversation.

Hello, good evening, this is Korisambela, isn't it? Oh, I'm so tired. I've been on the road all day. I've cycled all the way from the town, just stopping to eat something in Gombodugu and then carrying straight On. Now I'm thirsty and would like a drink. Can anyone tell me where the village shop is?



Good evening, where have you come from ? Not from the town! All the way from town?


Er - yes


But that's a long way. I went to the town once, too by bus.- How did you get here?

Yes, just along there. May I ride your bicycle?


Hm .. there ... by...

Of course you can.


Ah, yes - I see - by bicycle. That's a fine bicycle. How much did it cost?

(In front of the village shop) Now what have they got here to drink? - Aha! This is my favourite lemonade. You've got a very pretty village here - it reminds me of my own village. There's always a lot going on there. What do you do in the evenings?

Well was


I know, bicycles are expensive. Only two of the villagers here have one - the teacher and a youngster who once worked in the town. Where were you thinking of going to today? Would you like a drink?

We have a football club.


Hm I don't know ... perhaps

A football club, eh? Jolly good. I'd like to play with

The village shop is along there. There are all sorts of things to drink. I'll show you the way if you like. It's not far. May l push your bicycle?

you sometime. Where do you play, then? Ah, yes - over there; I can see the goal posts and when I see goal posts my legs get all itchy. Today it's too late.


By the way, where can I find a bed for the night?



It's just along here - down there across the square. Can


Right along there in the schoolhouse.

You see the goal posts on the football field ? They're a bit crooked, aren't they? We play football almost every evening. Can you play football, too?

Fine, thank you very much. Incidentally, my name is Tubanga Nyabisan but everyone calls me Banga. I'm already looking forward to a grand match tomorrow.

Yes .. I used to

Tell the others - tomorrow we'll be playing football.

You can't forget how to play football. We shall play again tomorrow. By the way, where are you sleeping tonight?



Both young men applied to the government extension service for a job. Which of the two would you have employed?

Both portraits are exaggerated to make it clear that there is not just one ideal type of animator but that anyone who feels they would make a good animator must be natural and committed to the work; only then they really encourage others.

Rather than being people who do things themselves, animators aim to get things slowly moving and, step by step, to withdraw from their initially-central role. An animator has done a good job when s/he can leave the ongoing project to others to carry on, making himself/herself redundant. In this extension function the work goes on behind the scenes and usually earns little or no public recognition.

5. The work of the Animator

An animator would do well to find out the following things before starting work:

· whether the extension topic involved is in the best interests of all those concerned;

· whether the solution to the problem is realistic and within the reach of the individuals involved;
whether those concerned would prefer to deal with the matter individually or would be willing to co
operate in a communal effort;

· whether there are existing (traditional or new) forms of organization to perform the tasks involved!

6. The Position of the Animator


The animator is often ...

... in a role between the village community and the government;
... the intermediary in between conflicting interests;
... the one who gets things started
... the one who provides support.

Phases in Animation:

- set up contacts
- bring together opposing interests
- help set up or revive structures
- make yourself unnecessary or withdraw into the background

7. Animation and Organizational Development (OD)

Wherever people live together they organize themselves to tackle problems.

Organizational development means co-operating with those concerned to understand why difficulties exist and to develop new, effective forms of organization and co-operation.

In this way there is a connection between organizational development and animation.

The four principles of extension are also found within the organizational development. In this context they have following characteristics.

Problem-solving approach:

The difficulties of existing organizations are analyzed and new, effective forms of organization suggested. The choice of an organizational form will depend largely on the purpose to be fulfilled (fire-fighting requires a different form of organization than a festival committee).

Focus on the target group:

Here it is the target group's problems which determin the content and organization of the work. And it is their own suggestions for solutions and their ability to carry these through, which affects the work.

Participation of the target group:

In any organization-development process those concerned play an active part from analyzing the problem right through to the introducing of the changes.

Step-by-step approach:

Organizational development is an on-going process which allows for change in little steps as well as big ones.

There are six conditions for successful OD work which are explained below in the "organization iceberg":

The Organization Iceberg

Formal, structured, \\clearly visible aspects \

- Aims of the organization
- Structure of the organization
- Types of activities
- Techniques and methods used
- Knowledge and skills of the staff
- Teams
- Co-ordination
- Achievements

Informal, hidden, invisible aspects

in the personal sphere

in the group sphere

- Attitudes

- Group norms

- Values

- Communication

- Feelings

- Co-operation

- Motives

- Division of labour

- Preferences


- Personal work methods


- Wellbeing


3x2 Requirements for Successful Organizational Development

- > of the participants

· A "problem awareness" in those involved in OD work.
· A competent OD adviser is essential.

- > of the work method

· A thorough problem analysis must be carried out.
· There must not be to much time pressure during the OD process.

- > of the attitudes of the participants

· They must seriously want to make changes and have clear aims for the changes which must be made.
· Openness, honesty, confidentiality and transparency are essential to guarantee that the OD work will not suffer from manipulation.


Weaknesses and problems in the formal sphere often lie in deeper, hidden areas. It is the task of the OD counsellor to look at the problem from the point of view of the people working in the organization and to develop with them an analysis of the problem which also takes into account the underlying aspects.

In this way the links between organizational structure, objectives, motives, work methods, group norms and communication can be revealed and channelled towards an analysis of the causes and effects of the problems.

The iceberg shown above is a valuable aid in achieving this.

8. A Few Tins For Animators and Organizational Developers

Plan in little steps and guarantee early successes by using well-tested methods!

· Remain alert "on the ball" - do not ask too much (or too little) from your partners!

· Make your role and your intentions perfectly clear to all concerned! Avoid the role of judge and referee! Make sure that everyone involved knows exactly why a common action is being initiated! Build up good relations with all the people involved! Avoid losing people's confidence by unfair tactics!

· Start at the level of those who are involved and avoid demanding too much from them at first by aiming too high!
Make sure that as many as possible of those involved can take part in the project; don't forget those who might feel they are concerned!

· Remove the obstacles before stimulating any change!
· Get important people on your side! Test your own ideas by discussing them with competent people!

9. Difficulties in Animation Work


Possible ways of solving them

Hierarchic structures are barriers

- Tact and sensitivity are needed when dealing with the authorities.


- Break down old patterns of behaviour by using new and unfamiliar ways of working.


- Let the new idea develop its own attractiveness


- Give officials a role in the work.

The animator makes enemies

- Be aware of the groups that form among the participants.


- Seek and offer discussion.

The animator is forced into the role of the "Mr. Fix-it"

- Do not accept the role of "doer" voluntarily.


- Clearly define your own role and do not change it without good reason.


- Consider the consequences of an action long before doing it.


- Never manage money belonging to the local population!

The planning of the activities divides the population into two opposing groups

- Examine the aims of the project and redefine them.


- Find out whether total agreement is desirable/necessary.


- Try and encourage ways of uniting the population.


- Ask leaders to cool down matters and to seek agreement among everyone.

The project gives rise to political action

- Either show your solidarity or create a suitable distance between you and this political action.


- Clarify your own responsibilities.


LBL: Unpublished papers on Animation/Organizational Development, LBL, Lindau (CH)

Akademie fur Erwachsenenbildung Luzern: Unpublished papers on Organizational Development. AEB, Luzern.

Written and compiled by:

Ernst Bolliger, Tonino Zellweger

Related Keywords

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

1.1 The Role of Extension Workers

Volume 1:

3.6 Organizational Development

73 Groups and group processes

H Problem Solving Assistance

86 Organisation and management

J Extension Approaches

110 Group extension


Volume 2:


25 A3, A4, A5, A7, A8, B4, D4, D7, case studies


363 F8: Farming village committees

to previous section to next section

[Ukrainian]  [English]  [Russian]