'PA for all?' Issues concerning the use and development of participatory appraisal in UK

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This report covers the main outcomes of a workshop held by Oxfam on its UK Poverty Programme's (UKPP) participatory appraisal (PA) approach. Two practices that are commonly used overseas by Oxfam have been applied to the UK: increasing the participation of people experiencing poverty in decision making processes; and increasing awareness of how poverty impacts differently on men and women. At the workshop there was much enthusiasm for PA due to its fun, different, inclusive, flexible, challenging, and empowering characteristics. This was also matched by concerns about PA and its use:
" that PA tools are becoming separate from the PA process;
" problems in establishing and maintaining standards and quality without compromising PA's ability to be flexible, complex and responsive;
" changing attitudes and beliefs of decision makers requires a major, long-term strategy, requiring time, resources and will on the part of participants;
" that PA is presented as a consultation tool and not as an empowering process.

Source publication information
A summary of discussions at the Oxfam UKPP's Partners' Participatory Appraisal Review Workshop, 18 - 19 April, 2001
Oxfam UKPP
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Shelfmark in IDS Resource Centre
E : United Kingdom 4407