The document is in three parts. Part I reviews some definitions and concepts of participation in situation analysis and planning. Some field experiences with more-or-less rapid approaches to planning, including monitoring and evaluation, are presented and the difficulties and responsibilities which these entail are discussed. A number of recommendations are made regarding methods which can be used during different stages of the planning process, and regarding training in participatory methods. In Part II the methods used and their purpose in participatory planning are briefly described. Reference is also made to field experiences with these methods. Part III consists of an annotated bibliography, of which the main part is devoted to works on participatory planning with pastoralists, with a smaller sample of general works on PRA methods. The abstracts highlight the methods related to participatory planning. Finally, further information on relevant contact organizations and periodical sources of information are provided in the Annexes.
Pictorial Modelling: A Farmer Participatory Method for Modelling Bio-Resource Flows in Farming Systems
Shot on a small-holder farm in Malawi, this short video presents the process of pictorial modelling. This is a method for researchers or extensionists and farmers to visualise farming systems, by diagramming input-output flows. The example given here is of resource flows between aquaculture and other farming activities, but the method can be applied to other integrated farming systems. The DVD can be used in training workshops, as it divides the process into 3 stages, with pauses in between to allow for discussion. In phase 1 (01) farmers are encouraged to draw a fish pond using locally available resources. In phase 2 (03) they elaborate on inputs into the fish pond, and in phase 3 (05) they draw the outputs. The values of the method (07) include eliciting indigenous knowledge, encouraging a joint learning process between farmers and researchers, building farmersÆ confidence, and allowing farmers to discuss new ideas introduced by extensionists within the context of the farming system.
This case study examines gender roles and rural livelihood systems in Pwani, a recently populated resettlement village on the western edge of Lake Nakuru Park in Kenya. The objective of the research was to understand the ways in which natural resources are managed in the community and within the household, with emphasis on the institutions and individuals who make and carry out management decisions, particularly as distinguished by gender. PRA was one of several methodologies used to carry out the research. Spatial data was obtained through transects, village sketch maps and farm sketches. Time lines, trend lines and seasonal calendars provided time-related data. Social data was gathered through household interviews and diagrams of village institutions. By linking gender-focused research and PRA it was possible to learn about gender within the context of the community's history, its future aspirations and its resource management and development problems.
Participatory Rural Appraisal: a significant step forward in understanding relationships between poor people and their environments.
This article describes ACTIONAID's experience using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) in researching people's environmental perceptions, natural resource management and conservation problems in African countries such as The Gambia and Ghana.
This bibliography identifies literature which focuses on participatory research methodologies with a view to providing support for research into food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Much of the material contains participatory research in a general context - what it is, its evolution, underlying epistemological and theoretical issues - but the emphasis is on the use of participatory research tools and techniques with reference to research in rural Africa, in particular in the fields of local agricultural and environmental knowledge. The material is listed alphabetically, also categorised according to subject and region in a subject index.
This paper raises issues around PRA as an empowering process. For the poor, product matters more than process and "it is the functional, material gain which is the entry point, not the empowerment". PRA can be seen as "Orwellian manipulation" from the point of view of "elaborate processes imposed to secure participation". In practice, those "least familiar with Western cultural processes will be the most excluded and manipulated" - usually the women of a community. Any approach or technique has "differing meanings in differing geographical, cultural and temporal contexts", so PRA should also be seen as "context limited and context enhanced".
Participatory Rapid Rural Appraisal in Wollo: Peasant Association Planning for Natural Resource Management.
The first section of this report comprises an introduction to the area in relation to its natural resources with particular emphasis on trees, and perceptions of trees by residents. The background to, and use of R/PRA is discussed, in the context of a workshop held on focusing on participation and trees. The methods used in RRA are discussed and a checklist of important issues given. In example case studies, local attitudes towards woodlands, private and communal tree planting, trees on arable lands, firewood and environmental problems were detailed, and linked to livestock and cropping constraints. From the R/PRA, a discussion of different problems and potential solutions was encouraged, and 'best bet' project actions worked out, although these were formulated away from the field, and taken back for further discussion. The report concludes with an evaluation of the workshop and the methodolgy (generally favourable comments although problems of expectation-raising and excessive focus on trees were mentioned). There was a felt need for further training and follow-up work.
The article describes a participatory appraisal and needs assessment (PANA) training workshop run by the NGO CARE Zambia in August 1994. The training was part of a strategy to reorient CARE's activities away from infrastructure improvement through food-for-work towards a more holistic livelihoods approach. Two important initial strategy decisions had to be made: how to reorient project staff; and how to generate greater participation by the communities concerned. The article outlines the methodological approach adopted, which was a combination of Training for Transformation (TfT) and PRA, and discusses some early trends and lessons.
Participatory Modelling in North Omo, Ethiopia: Investigating the Perceptions of Different Groups Through Models: Training Course Report
The paper deals with the subject of participatory modelling. It asks how such a process can portray a picture of a community that does not merely reflect the view of the dominant group. The paper reports on efforts to compensate for the effects of an often dominant group - men. While on a training course in northern Omo, Ethiopia, a group of women and children were asked to make their own model on the ground adjacent to the men. The issue of water availability, a subject not brought up the men, appeared to be key. As result, the paper concludes by highlighting the need for participation to encompass all groupings within a community.
This report and bibliography is intended to provide ACORD programmes with information on the literature concerning participatory development methodologies in Africa. The report provides an overview of the literature and identifies key documents and methods, as well as outlining ACORD's experience in four countries. The bibliography includes ACORD reports relating to participatory techniques, and annotations of easily available selected materials which would be of most interest to ACORD programmes. A list of institutes and organisations that specialise in the development of participatory techniques is also provided.
Participatory Land Use Planning: towards a conceptual outline for a practical approach to land use planning in Sahelian countries
This paper is a critique of conventional (FAO) approaches and practices in land use planning in the Sahelian zone of Africa. The need for land use planning in Africa (particularly the Sahel) is outlined in the first section. The second section describes the evolution of land use planning systems, and the process involved in conventional systems. The fourth section discusses problems with the application of land use planning in Africa, the main critiques being the weakness of a hard systems/top-down approach. these are contrasted with the value of a soft systems/insiders' view approach. The fifth section outlines the principles for participatory land use planning (PLUP), that it: produce advice for farmers in a short space of time, which is easy to understand, and which is widely applicable to varying communities in the Sahel. PLUP should be based primarily on local needs, involving land users in the whole planning process, and providing advice which is not prescriptive but facilitative, and which solves specific problems. PLUP should strengthen village level capacities for land resource analysis and structures for management, combining top-down and grassroots information. Suitable advice should be given in a non-prescriptive way, and feedback and monitoring mechanisms should be established. The final section discusses alternatives to conventional/FAO LUP, and a tentative framework for PLUP is outlined.