This short paper describes some lessons learnt during training workshops conducted for capacity building in participatory approaches (PA) at Ha Giang in Vietnam. Two further goals were identified in addition to capacity building. These were to learn ways of influencing the conventional 'top-down' planning, and to learn participatory methodology for community-based planning in areas of both low and high literacy. In areas of low literacy, tools were utilized such as symbols to represent issues in the community; pictorial plans with scoring/ranking according to priorities; picture cards; a literate villager acting as a scribe. Both literate and non-literate plans were presented at the commune level. The authors concluded with a number of limitations, including problems due to village size and the difficulties of accurately translating pictorial plans into official reports.
International Institute for Environment and Development