This book is intended for all who are committed to human wellbeing and who want to make our world fairer, safer and more fulfilling for everyone, especially those who are ‘last’. It argues that to do better, we need to know better.
It provides evidence that what we believe we know in international development is often distorted or unbalanced by errors, myths, biases and blind spots. Undue weight has been attached to standardised methodologies such as randomised control trials, systematic reviews, and competitive bidding; these are shown to have huge transaction costs, which are rarely if ever recognised in their enormity.
Robert Chambers contrasts a Newtonian paradigm in which the world is seen and understood as controllable with a paradigm of complexity, which recognises that the real world of social processes and power relations is messy and unpredictable. To confront the challenges of complex and emergent realities requires a revolutionary new professionalism.
This is underpinned by a new combination of canons of rigour expressed through eclectic methodological pluralism and participatory approaches that reverse and transform power relations. Promising developments include rapid innovations in participatory information and communication technnologies (ICTs), participatory statistics, and the Reality Check Approach, with its up-to-date and rigorously grounded insights. Fundamental to the new professionalism, in every country and context, are reflexivity, facilitation, groundtruthing, personal mindsets, behaviour, attitudes, empathy and love.
This book reviews contemporary campaigns for community participation and empowerment with examples from all over the world. It critically assesses developments in the 'mixed economy of welfare' in terms of their relevance for self-help and community participation. It also considers the concept of empowerment and its relation to public policy and development within social movements.
Listen deeply. Tell stories. This is the mantra of the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) in California, USA who have recently updated this popular guide. Detailing the history and methods of digital storytelling practice, it uses the “7 Steps” approach to encompass everything from seeing the story to assembling and sharing it. This new edition also includes explorations of the applications of digital storytelling as well as updated appendices that provide resources for storytellers. More information is available at the CDS website.
Facilitators are being called upon to work in international and cross-cultural arenas more than ever before to help groups identify and achieve their goals and resolve differences in areas including governance, education, health and community development. This book provides a practical approach for facilitators needing to enhance their skills when working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Using a step-by-step approach, it takes the facilitator through ideas, processes, models and frameworks that are designed to assist with the preparation, facilitation and evaluation of workshops. Based on research and facilitator experiences, it advises how to adapt learning materials to suit specific situations and offers techniques to deal with conflict.
This chapter describes the process of institutionalising a gender-oriented participatory extension approach in Siavonga District, Zambia.