This guide outlines an approach for monitoring and evaluating participatory research (PR). It is intended to provide support to people involved in research and development projects using a PR methodology, in particular at the community level dealing with natural resource management issues. The guide is not a blue-print, but addresses issues that are at the heart of making an art of monitoring and evaluating PR. Chapter one gives a general introduction to issues that influence PR, focusing on the nature of knowledge and information, types of participation, influences on the results of PA, social issues in natural resource management, attitudes of researchers, community perceptions of the research, and project characteristics. The guide is then organized around six basic, interrelated questions that need to be answered when doing monitoring and evaluation (M&E). It examines the reasons for M&E of PR; who benefits from M&E; what to monitor and evaluate; who should monitor and evaluate; when to monitor and evaluate; and how to monitor and evaluate. Examples of tools for M&E of PR are given in each of the five preceding chapters, and a list of these tools with page references is presented at the beginning of the guide. The guide also contains a selected bibliography for references to more detailed information on the subject.
Design Paper for the impact evaluation of the Root and Tuber Improvement & Marketing Program (RTIMP)
This document, jointly authored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Participatory Development Associates (PDA), lays out the design of the impact evaluation of the Root & Tuber Improvement and Marketing Program (RTIMP) in Ghana. Aiming at improving rural poor people’s livelihoods in Ghana through the development of commodity chains for Roots and Tubers (R&T) supplied by smallholders, the RTIMP consisted of three main areas of work: a) linking of smallholders to old and new markets; b) enhancing smallholder R&T production; and c) enhancing smallholder R&T processing.
The content of this design paper is as follows. The first section briefly describes the impact evaluation approach called PIALA. The second section presents the RTIMP Theory of Change (ToC). The third section continues with the Data Collection Matrix (DCM) laying out the assumptions, evaluation questions and methods. The fourth section presents the multi-stage sampling strategy. The fifth section provided an overview of the methods used to inquire the various populations at different levels. The sixth section outlines the approach taken for data collation, quality monitoring, contribution analysis and rating. Finally, the last section shows the timeline for the evaluation. A bibliography, list of references and annexes are added at the end. The annexes include the desk review note, the sampling frame and procedure, the field research schedule, the district data collation table, and finally, the approved budget.
The Paper was primarily sponsored by IFAD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Government of Ghana).
This paper presents the experiences and lessons obtained in conducting on-farm participatory research in North Omo, Ethiopia, by an foreign NGO. It highlights how PRA techniques are used in the on-farm trials programme. The objective of the project Farmers' Research Project, is to raise incomes of resource-poor households by improving agricultural technology. Farmers' participatory research is the key approach adopted. To achieve this, the agricultural and extension staff on the project were trained in participatory approaches to enable them incorporate farmers participatory research (FRR) into their own work programmes. The paper discusses how farmers are involved in the decision making process about the research which in itself, is an innovation of farming systems research. The paper mentions that one of the ways farmer participation is achieved is through conducting on-farm trials by going through the stages of diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation, using PRA. Each stage is discussed in the paper. In conclusion, the paper mentions the mutual respect of both staff and farmers as experts, close contacts and cross visits as approaches that played an important role in raising the level of understanding.
This article provides an overview of the relatively recent developments in participatory research, action and extension projects in China and the work of the Yunnan PRA network. Participatory approaches adopted in the region are discussed and examples are provided. In reviewing the work, the article also identifies what is needed in terms of attitudinal and institutional change to make participatory research more successful.