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Realilty and analysis: personal and technical reflections on the working lives of six women

A group of development analysts had a dialogue about labour market, trade and poverty issues in 2004. They preceded the dialogue with exposure to the realities of the lives of six women from the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) in Gujarat, India. The struggles faced by these women provided the frame for the technical dialogue that followed. This is a compendium of personal and technical reflections of the analysts involved in the exercise.

Empowering children through visual communication

This research project explores how visual means could be used to improve communication amongst children and between children and adults in the primary school. Drawing on a methodology known as PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal), the project encouraged children and teachers in three Norfolk primary schools to experiment with visual ways of enhancing communication, participation and decision-making within school council meetings.

The use of participatory three-dimensional modelling in community-based planning in Quang Nam province, Vietnam

Vietnam has set a course for political and economic change. Decentralisation has allowed individual provinces in Vietnam significant autonomy to interpret national laws and policy. These changes are opportunities to harness the legal framework for change into community-based planning and participation in natural resource management. The MOSAIC programme in Quang Nam province, central Vietnam, has adopted innovative planning tools at the local community level, such as participatory three-dimensional modelling (P3DM).

Some experiences from the Philippines in urban community development planning

This article describes the participatory method æBarangay Development Planning through Participatory Situational Analysis, Planning, Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation (BDP-Participatory SAPIME) used by ECPG (Empowering Civic Participation in Governance), an NGO working on village-level with local governance in the Philippines. The article gives a brief background to legislation and structures related to peopleÆs participation in governance, and goes on to explain the methodology the work of ECPG in Quezon City to improve urban participatory local development planning.

Empowering communities through CBP [community-based planning] in Zimbabwe: experiences in Gwanda and Chimanimani

This article briefly describes the experiences and lessons of community based planning (CBP) in two pilot districts (Gwanda and Chimanimani) in Zimbabwe. The CCP process created the need to revitalise the planning and development structures in the pilot districts and engaged government throughout the process, which resulted in the mainstreaming of community empowerment principles in the decentralisation of the government of Zimbabwe.

Planning with the area council: experience with CBP [community-based planning] in Ghana

The concept and practice of participatory planning is not new in Ghana, however the link to the national planning system is either weak or non-existent. This article highlights the experiences of two projects which aim to deepen community participation in planning and link it to the existing planning system of the country. It also discusses GhanaÆs experience in planning at the sub-district level, reviewing approaches by the communities, NGOs, project interventions, etc.; and outlines GhanaÆs local government system, CBP (community based planning), and the way forward.

Experiences of CBP [community-based planning] from Uganda

This article gives account of experiences from a community based planning (CBP) project in Uganda, which was part of DFID funded action research project covering Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and South Africa. After a steering group was formed, a review of the diverse approaches to CBP applied in Uganda was commissioned and a national workshop was held to discuss the lessons emerging form the study.

Experiences of CBP [community-based planning] in South Africa

This article outlines the overall approach to community based planning (CBP) in South Africa ( part of DFID funded action research project covering Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and South Africa) as well as some of the experiences of using CBP in Mangaug Municipality in South Africa, one of the early partners in the project. The article takes this further, describing this experience in some detail, as well as the lessons that have been learnt as CBP has been rolled out to eight municipalities during 2003-4.

Institutionalising participation in Eastern Africa research institutes

The African Highlands Initiative (AHI) based in Kampala, Kenya, was started in 1995 to address complex livelihoods and integrated natural resources management issues. AHI set out to develop participatory research methodologies and integrated, systems approaches as ways of implementing research and development processes. The work aims to empower smallholder farmers, foster innovative development, and positively influence practices used by research and development organisations.

Participatory evaluation with pastoralists in Sudan

The Red Seas Hills Programme (RSHP) team began working with Village Development Committees (VDC's) in the costal zone of Sudan in 1989. The VDC's plan, implement, and monitor a range of projects prioritised by each community. This article presents the process of a participatory mid-term evaluation by the team, external reviewers and the Beja communities. The articles describes these methods and looks at how the communities perceived the benefits of certain projects and to what wealth class. Each village evaluation culminated in a feedback workshop.