This video is based on the first five episodes of the Baraza ya Mji Mkongwe TV series from October-December 1999. The purpose was to facilitate public debate on the need for conservation of thousands of unique buildings in Zanzibar's historic Stonetown. The programmes were produced in a participatory way on the streets and in people's homes. They were broadcasted weekly by TV Zanzibar, each programme building on ideas from the previous one. The TV series is part of an on-going community based rehabilitation programme. The video demonstrates how local television was used in participatory urban planning in Zanzibar's Stonetown.
The aim of this video is to show the critical role that the poor can play in identifying the real issues of poverty in Uganda. It examines the capacity of the poor to define their present situation and analyse and express their problems concerning poverty. It also shows how existing household data can be complemented with data from participatory consultations with the poor done through Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs). This enables solutions to poverty to be found at the community level. The video includes the voices of poor people, and shows how these voices have been listened to and included in macro planning, budgeting and the formation of the Poverty Eradication Plan, a process that is seen as critical to any committed attempt to tackle poverty.
This video explores numerous issues surrounding participatory poverty assessments (PPAs), using the example of a PPA in Tanzania. A key issue is the identification of the poor, about which appropriate information is needed to inform government policy. In contrast to traditional surveys of income-poverty, the PPA provides a way to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor and to enable this perspective to influence policy. The importance of the involvement of policy makers in the PPA is stressed at several points in the video. This involvement contributed to chantes in attitudes to the poor within government and a recognition of the need for a corresponding change in government development tactics. The findings of the PPA were presented at policy workshops and contributed to changes in thinking about the nature and characteristics of poverty in Tanzania, as well as more specific policy reforms. The PPA primarily used PRA methods and visual materials developed by local artists in the PPA. The methods shown include, mapping, discussion of well-being, wealth ranking with villagers and district officials, 'story with a gap' and seasonality analysis. Among the highlighted findings of the PPA are that: indicators of poverty are location specific; intangible indicators of deprivation are important; strong gender differences exist in the prioritisation of problems; the poor adapt to seasonality through complex coping strategies. The PPA also revealed that participatory methods could be used to construct time series price data for rural Tanzania, which had not previously existed. The links between the PPA's findings regarding the causes of poverty and the implications for policy are highlighted, including access to land, agricultural policy, lack of production inputs, environmental degradation and access to credit and savings.