The Participatory Approaches Learning Study (PALS) examined the potential for increasing stakeholder participation in DFID country programmes and at DFID's experience of delivering aid through participatory approaches. Its recommendations include proposals on staff development, on ways to make the Project Cycle Management System more flexible and accountable, and on making participation a stronger characteristic of DFID itself. The two-year research project involved separate studies of four of DFID's geographical departments - DFID-India, DFID-Bangladesh, South East Asia Division, and the Western and North Africa Department, which included India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ghana, Egypt and Nigeria. This report is a synthesis of the main findings and lessons from each of the geographical studies and includes Operational lessons from PALS, Participation and Project Cycle Management, Training Needs and Participation and Institutionalising Participation.
Training in the use of RRA for baseline data collection and target group identification was conducted in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, as part of a joint venture between the Governments of Indonesia and Canada. Nine trainees (from government agencies and NGOs) took part in the six week training, half of which was spent in a remote village area. This report describes the "set routine" of fieldwork, where a mixture of RRA (participatory mapping) and baseline data collection techniques were used. The results of the target group identification strategy are discussed in terms of successes and problem areas. The trainees' responses to using RRA techniques and "the potential for institutionalizing RRA/PRA" into official planning procedures in Indonesia conclude the report.