The aim of this study was to reveal the reasons that extension officers and farmers give for participating in successful capacity development projects, and to categorize these reasons into motivation types defined by self-determination theory, drawing from the "why questions" approach of Chandler & Connell (1987). Field officers and farmers from two successful projects, - namely, the Life Improvement Approach in Japan and the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion approach in Kenya - participated in semi-structured interviews regarding the reasons they participated in their projects' activities. The concordance rate of the independent ratings of the reasons by the two authors was high, verifying the reliability of the coding procedure. A large proportion of the reasons were coded as identified/integrated regulation, the most autonomous type of motivation, supporting the hypothesis that participants of successful aid projects would primarily be autonomously motivated. Other implications of the interview transcripts are also discussed.
Keywords: development aid, capacity development projects, motivation, self-determination theory