This is a resource book designed primarily for development workers working within the field of the rural poor. It describes a range of first-hand experiences with participatory approaches in the context of projects funded by The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and governments in Asia and the Pacific. The book is divided into a number of sections. Part One examines poverty and participation and explains why the poor should be targeted and in what ways this is possible. Part Two describes in detail the actual participatory approaches. Part three concentrates on participation in the project planning and implementation stage. Part Four assesses the monitoring impact and Part Five examines issues in participation with regards to institutions, partnerships and governance.
The United Mission to Nepal (UMN) Animal Health Improvement Project (AHIP) has been training Village Animal Health Workers (VAHW) in Pokhara, Nepal for the last decade. During this time approximately 350 VAHWs have been trained. This article outlines some of the techniques that were used to evaluate the subsequent progress of the trainees. General village-level information was gathered using various participatory methods, including mapping, wealth ranking, production information, labour diagrams, proportional piling and annual disease calendars, transect walks and progeny histories. Semi-structured interviews were also carried out individually with male and female farmers and VAHWs to find out how the VAHWs assessed their own work and how the farmers viewed the service they received.
Participatory impact monitoring of a soil and water conservation programme by farmers, extension volunteers and AKRSP
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme supports soil and water conservation work on private land, a priority identified by villagers, as part of a watershed management project. Villagers suggested that monitoring should look at: erosion controlled; land reclaimed; moisture retention in soil (as inferred from crop growth); and productivity and income generation. The article goes through the process of participatory impact monitoring, illustrated by real results. The benefits of such monitoring are listed, most of them related to increased farmer understanding of processes and control over further experimentation.