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.
As part of the Kenya Indigenous Forest Conservation Programme, staff at Kakamega forest have been involving local people in forest management. This included individual households as well as local administration. Both sustainable forest use and opportunities for income generation outside the forest were examined. Self help groups were formed, and a number of different vegetable growing methods developed. The evaluation team used PRA to discuss the benefits and problems of the programme - spontaneous development of other self-help groups, increased interest and increased awareness and concern over environmental isses, although some groups had greater problems, and groups that did well had worries for the future over marketing. It is unclear whether this had decreased the impact on the forest area.
Munguishi Christian Training Centre provides training in theology and rural development to people from rural parishes. As part of the training course, a one week PRA was conducted in Kiru-Dick village, Babati District. The team consisted of twenty people, including thirteen members of the village. This report describes briefly the organisation of the fieldwork and comments on the PRA methods used.
This paper describes reflections by a trainer after two PRA exercises in Zimbabwe and South Africa. After brief accounts of how the PRA activities worked in each context, Mascarenhas makes three points about training : i) Participants should be "vetted" beforehand to ensure that they can become trainers of trainers ii) "The exercises themselves should be conducted for real" , rather than just as a training exercise iii) PRA "has to be followed through with action... to lead to a development process".
This is a newsletter which describes the formation of the Midnet PRA group and includes a number of very short articles and thoughts on practitioners experiences with PRA in Southern Africa. Experiences shared include working with young people, in education, with periurban communities, for catchment management and for land reform. The methods used are discussed with details of venn diagrammes for community organisation, historical time lines. There are reports from trainings in Namaqualand and Namibia. The thoughts that emerged from evaluation/ reflection and planning meetings included the ideas of rapid learning and sharing and the need for more training. The final article summarises the PRA and gender workshop held at IIED in December 1993.
PRA methods and their application to participatory monitoring and evaluation: report on a course held in El Obeid, Sudan
A two week course was held for government and NGO participants in El Obeid, Sudan, to "explore some of the issues around PM&E and introduce a selection of possible PRA methods". This report briefly describes the actual course and analyses certain problem areas that arose - attitude to villagers, use of symbols and the difficulty of focusing on PM&E within a PRA course. Tools found most useful for evaluation were: impact diagrams, impact matrices and evaluation matrices (visual examples of each are given). Participants were asked to give a personal evaluation of the course using symbols only.
From participatory appraisal to participatory practice: viewing training as part of a broader process of institutional development
Training alone will not be able to promote a participatory approach in a top-down bureaucratic institution. Other factors, such as funding base, organisational procedures and institutional priorities, may also have to change. Case-studies from Production Through Conservation programme, Lesotho and Soil and Water Conservation Branch, Kenya, illustrate that "it is possible to change the operational procedures and institutional cultures of large, bureaucratic public agencies, but this transformation is "neither easily nor quickly achieved". Seven conditions necessary for such a transformation are identified from the case-studies.
A three week PRA course was run for Redd Barna, a Norwegian NGO, with twenty participants from Ethiopia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. These extracts describe the trainer's preparation, her emphasis on "approach" before introducing methods and organisation of groups for fieldwork. A day-by-day schedule lists the themes covered in theory sessions - certain activities (Chairs Game, Mapping for Mars) are described fully in the participants' words. The fieldwork activities are not described here, but available in a full report from Redd Barna, Zimbabwe.
Community Participation in Planning Resource Utilisation from within a National Park: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
The Ugandan national parks service is setting a strategy of multiple use within its parks, with community participation in the management of forest areas. The aim is to allow harvesting of non- timber forest products in a sustainable manner. 7 'pilot' communities have been identified, and PRA is to used in these areas to undertake JFM. Community committees have been set up, although they consist mostly of local leaders. A number of historical and visual techniques attempted in order to promote small and large group discussions, and collaborative forest management agreements. Both the community and the national parks board appear to be happy with the progress so far.
The benefits of using PRA at local level are described, by members of the water and sanitation team who are working with communities in Kenya. Both relevance and participation are increased, and the locals become partners in the project. However, PRA is thought to be demanding and 'very involving'.
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 article focuses on the collection and use of ethnoveterinary data in the context of community-based animal health care training programmes in Kenya. The programmes ranged from pastoral areas such as Samburu and Pokot to settled farming in Meru and Machakos and were carried out by the Kenya Livestock Programme (KLP) of the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) in collaboration with various community-based NGOs. The lessons learned in the programme and directions for the future are also discussed.