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The RAAKS (Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Knowledge Systems) methodology, in combination with PRA tools, was used successfully in the CARE-Macina integrated rural development programme in Mali. The methodology enabled the agency team to produce relevant information concerning community-based organisations at village level, and thus highlighted some of the strengths and weaknesses of its efforts to reinforce their organisational capacity. This led to several major changes in the agency’s strategies. The details of the methodology used by the Macina team, some results of the exercise, and changes in programme strategies concerning the strengthening of community-based organisations, are discussed.

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