Rapid changes are taking place in international development. The past two decades have promoted the ideals of participation and partnership, yet key decisions affecting people's lives continue to be made without sufficient attention to the socio-political realities of the countries in which they live. Embedded working traditions, vested interests and institutional inertia mean that old habits and cultures persist among the development community. On this premise, the authors of this book describe the need to recognise the complex, non-linear nature of development assistance and how bureaucratic procedures and power relations hinder poverty reduction in the new aid environment. The book begins with a conceptual and historical analysis of aid, exposing the challenges and opportunities facing aid professionals today. It argues for greater attention to accountability and the adoption of rights based approaches. In section two, practitioners, policymakers and researchers discuss the realities of power and relationships from their experiences across 16 countries. Their accounts, from government, donors and civil society, expose the highly politicised and dynamic aid environment in which they work. The book then explores ways forward for aid agencies, challenging existing political, institutional and personal ways of working. Breaking the barriers to ensure more inclusive aid will require visionary leadership and a courageous commitment to change. The authors show how translating rhetoric into practice relies on changing the attitudes and behaviours of individual actors. The book aims to present a contribution to the understanding of how development assistance and poverty reduction can be most effectively delivered by the professionals and agencies involved.
This book focuses on the use of participatory research in poverty reduction policies and presents a series of participants reflections on recent and on going processes. Contributions from researchers and practitioners in the field of poverty reduction examine how participatory research has affected the way poverty is understood and how these understandings have been acted on in policy making for poverty reduction. The critical reflections of the authors feature various aspects of the relationship between participation and policy, spanning different levels from the individual researcher to the global institution. They highlight lessons to be learned from current practice and challenges for the future, including the balancing of knowledge, action and consciousness in participatory research processes which can influence the development of policy that reflects and responds to the needs and priorities of poor people.
Participatory policy analysis questions conventional policy-making procedures, challenges the behaviour and attitudes of policy makers and influences the style and substance of policy itself. This book examines the implications and issues of participatory policy-focused research through case studies and discussions. One section concentrates specifically on participatory poverty assessments as a means of bringing local poverty and policy analysis into the policy process.