Progeny histories are essentially livestock histories which describe the fate of all the offspring of a given female animal. They can be used to collect information on a large number of animals in a short period of time. This article describes how the progeny history technique was used, in conjunction with a variety of other data collection methods, in Samburu District, Kenya. The study set out to assess the nature of animal health problems, as well as existing levels of veterinary knowledge among pastoralists, and availability of existing animal health services. It was found to be a useful method for collecting accurate information in a culturally-sensitive way, and complemented other data collection techniques.
This paper is based on socio-economic research on the Isiolo Livestock Development Programme in Kenya. It describes a ranking game which was played by the research team with the inhabitants of Isiolo. The game was based on a well-known and commonly played board game. The aim was to get groups of farmers to identify and rank their own problems, and then suggest ways of solving them. Even though the groups were entirely free to select their own problems and allocate their own priorities, a high degree of consensus emerged. This was based on differences in wealth rather than on differnces between production systems or geographic areas. Livestock management problems were the overwhelming concern of the rich while the poor were more concerned by their lack of livestock.
This film was made during a PRA training workshop in Zambia organised by the NGO World Vision. The first few days were classroom based, followed by a week in the field. The workshop concluded with a two-day session in which participants shared their experiences and the lessons they had learned. The DVD mixes shots of classroom training and field experiences with reflections from participants. The importance of attitudes and behaviour is emphasised throughout. Trainees came to realise the extent of villagersÆ knowledge and their own limitations.
This book brings together writings on the discourses, politics and practice of participation in development. It explores the conceptual and methodological dimensions of participatory research and the politics and practice of participation in development. It brings together classic and contemporary writings from a literature that spans a century and in doing so offers a unique perspective on the possibilities and dilemmas that face those seeking to empower people affected by development projects, programmes and policies.
The Participation of resource poor farmers in technological change in the Gambia: a village level examination of the farmers innovation and technology programme [FITT]
The study examines the Farmer Participatory Research approach to technology generation for resource poor farmers, and how it compares to other approaches to agricultural technology generation. The Farmers Innovation and Technology Testing [FITT] is a farmer participatory evaluation method. Through FITT the Gambian Department of Agricultural Research has attempted to establish a 'technology link' with farmers groups that have been 'set-up' by NGOs. The core of this study is an evaluation of the FITT programme using PRAs in two villages. Although the report is perhaps too large for mailing as a whole, it does contain some extensive discussion of these 'PRA based evaluations': Chapter 4 covers the PRA methods employed, which included wealth ranking exercises, preference ranking of crops and the drawing of seasonal calendars. Chapter 7 provides some useful discussion concerning some of the limitations and problems encountered in this PRA exercise. Finally the appendices include some detailed description of the PRA exercises mentioned above.
The Impact of the Catchment Approach to Soil and Water Conservation: Summary of an Impact Study by the Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya
A Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture team used PRA to assess the impact of its Catchment Approach in six catchments, focusing on community level changes. This impact analysis linked differences in the implementation process with differences in results. It was clear that increased levels of community mobilization and involvement led to greater, quicker and replicating changes. One page summaries for each catchment include: process of implementation; changes in productivity; changes in resource degradation; changes in local resilience and vulnerability; changes in self-dependence of local groups; replication; and operational procedures. Two further impact studies are planned; the full report should be finished in November 1994.
Synthesis of the methodology and techniques used in the research and planning of the Chivi food security project. Techniques included primarily wealth ranking and needs assessment. The project has been monitored and evaluated by the farmers themselves. Critical reflections on impact and sustainability of the project are also made.
A district-based framework for health promotion and health care provision is advocated in this video produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It promotes a participatory and community-led approach which is responsive to the needs and demands of the community. The video focuses on examples of District health provision in three different regions: promoting health care among at risk groups such as the unemployed in the UK; mother and child health in Indonesia; and child immunisation in Zimbabwe.
Field observations have led many people to believe that beneficiary participation in decision making can contribute greatly to the success of development projects. When people influence or control the decisions that affect them, they have a greater stake in the outcome and will work harder to ensure success. But the evidence supporting this reasoning is qualitative so that many practictioners remain skeptical. Three questions need to be addressed: to what degree does participation contribute to project effectiveness? which beneficiary and agency characteristics foster the process? and, if participation does benefit project outcomes, how can it be encouraged through policy and project design? To answer these questions, researchers studied evaluations of 121 completed rural water supply projects in forty-nine developing countries around the world. The results show that beneficiary participation contributes significantly to project effectiveness, even after statistically controlling for the effects of 17 other factors. The basic conclusion of this study is that rural water projects must be fundamentally redesigned in order to reach the one billion rural poor who lack a sustainable water supply. Redesign must encompass a shift from supply-driven planning to demand-responsive, participatory approaches to ensure beneficiary participation, control, and ownership.
A two-year project investigated modes of conflict management in a pastoral society in north-western Kenya, and tried to find causes for successful or non-successful (that is, non-violent or violent) conflict behaviour. PRA methods were used in an effort to speed up the normally lengthy process of obtaining data on conflict management. The study found that internal conflict was managed fairly successfully despite being thoroughly informal. This stood in sharp contrast to violent inter-ethnic conflicts. The reasons for these differences were many and complex. The paper concludes that although an appreciable amount of descriptive data may be gathered by using PRA methods, they are more limited when it comes to identifying the causes of conflict behaviour.
The Agro-Forestry Project in Burkina Faso: An Analysis of Popular Participation in Soil and Water Conservation
This is a brief summary of the well-known Projet Agro-Forestier (PAF) in Burkina Faso, which has had much success promoting rock bunds as a soil and water conservation and harvesting method. One reason for success is considered to be the strong involvement of farmers in the design and building of the bunds, which are basically an improvement of a traditional technique. Another factor is the strength of the bunds. The fact that a few women have also been trained is mentioned, but also that more attention should be given to them considering their important role in agriculture.
The author had to field test alley cropping in Nigeria with limited-resource farmers. There was much resistance to a concept which did not translate well into any local language, thereby creating confusion. Alley cropping also promoted tree planting when local practice required clearing them; women were especially reluctant to plant trees on their land as it could lead to repatriation of their land by their men. Together with several villagers and teachers, the author came up with a play about the 'Fertiliser Bush' which could be performed by community members. The fertilizer idea was locally well- understood and the use of drama was traditionally respected and enjoyed.