Participatory approaches in animal healthcare: from practical applications to global -level policy reform
This article, as part of the special 50th edition of PLA Notes, looks at the history of the use of participatory approaches and methods in animal health care, including community-based animal health workers (CAHWs). Early development focused mainly on tools and methods, that have gradually been grouped together under the term participatory epidemiology. It describes how negative attitudes among professionals and academics have changed during the process of policy reform, and explains how participatory impact assessment and other methods have contributed to the policy process. The article focuses on experiences in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, while also describing how events in these regions have influenced change in international bodies. The article concludes by looking at future challenges, arguing that the reorganisation of government veterinary services and regulatory bodies is still a major challenge in many countries, where governments still directly control services that can be handled by others. The author recommends supporting CAHWs and private practitioners, as well as the development of enabling policies and ongoing learning methodologies to monitor and evaluate policy change.
The lake Victoria Fisheries Research Project (LVFRP) developed a long term programme in order to get agreement on a plan for the co-management of the Lake Victoria's fisheries project. This article presents the second step in this process and looks at how participatory monitoring systems were initiated at Nkombe Beach in Uganda. It looks at the problems faced, the solutions tried, the monitoring indicators agreed and how this process was replicated in communities in Kenya and Tanzania. Finally it draws a number of conclusions, such as participation requires a two-way flow of information, participatory monitoring is a slow process, context is crucial and nothing goes to plan!
This paper describes experiences from East Africa and elsewhere where coalitions of different agriculture-related organisations at different levels have been using a learning process for collective planning and innovation. The learning process follows five phases:
À Defining future agroecosystems
À Matching farmer demands with the services needed to create those agrosystems
À Negotiating new partnerships
À Taking action and assessing the actions taken
À Assessing the performance of the new partnerships
These are all part of a continuous cycle, with all stakeholders constantly monitoring agroecosystem and partnership performance, identifying weaknesses and taking new action to improve performance further. The emphasis of the approach is on joint learning, since no single organisation can come up with all the solutions required and everyone stands to gain from improved co-ordination. After an introduction the paper asks what is the learning process, then goes on to describe how to develop one, and lastly looks at initiating and sustaining such an approach. Finally, the paper presents the conclusions.
Instutionalising participation for sustainable livelihoods (IPSL): programme model and lessons learnt 1987-2000
Oxfam's interaction with Mulanje District in Malawi began in 1987/8 with an action research project into poverty in the district. This document provides a complete account of the evolution of the Oxfam Mulanje programme to date. It is based on an analysis of all the project documentation together with in-depth interviews with programme staff, extension workers, communities and other stakeholders. Over the years, a successful model - Institutionalising Participation for Sustainable Livelihoods (IPSL) - for working with institutions at the district level to promote sustainable and replicable development has been developed. This document draws out important learning points, and describes the IPSL model. It provides the background to the programme, pre-1990, both in terms of Mulanje district generally and Oxfam's involvement specifically. It then goes on to look at the first phase of the programme in the early 1990s, where training was provided to government extension staff and other key district figures in participatory approaches to development. The current programme post-1997 is then explored in detail both in terms of its structure and process. It is characterised by partnerships with government extension staff and other institutions, turning over ownership of the programme to them, as well as enabling communities to identify and mobilise to solve their problems, using principles of participatory development for sustainable livelihoods. The focus is on drawing out the lessons learned. Finally, conclusions are drawn on the overall themes and practices that have run through the programme and the overall nature of the Oxfam IPSL model in Mulanje.
This book arose out of a workshop held in 1999 as part of a programme entitled "Promoting Farmer Innovation in Rainfed Agriculture" (PFI), which was developed by UNDP and piloted in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The book is a joint effort of all those who attended and participated in the workshop and it seeks to examine the lessons of the programme so far. It explores the background to working with farmer innovators; looks at the PFI programme; analyses 74 farmer innovators who have been identified under the programme; looks at issues such as identification, partnership, gender and monitoring and evaluation; looks in depth at scaling up; and finishes with the conclusions to the workshop.
'Say it with pictures': an account of a self assessment process in a dairy sector support project in Tanzania
This article offers an account of a self-assessment process in a dairy sector in Tanzania. It discusses the work of the Southern Highlands Dairy Development Project in re-orienting their dairy support sector approach towards one that works with households involved in dairy work in a more participatory manner.
Towards a participatory and demand driven Training and Visit (T & V) agricultural extension system : a case of Tanzania.
This paper argues that the blanket recommendations currently extended under the T & V system are rarely adopted because they fail to be responsive to individual farmers situations. Hence, a decentralised system of decision-making in the extension service and a participatory system of supervision and in-service training is argued for. The difficulties involved in bringing about such a change are outlined and discussed, including the need for time, training and organisational change.
Conserving resources and increasing production : using participatory tools to monitor and evaluate community-based resource management practices.
This case study presents examples of field uses of participatory tools for monitoring and evaluations of community-based resource management. The study is based on the premise that analytical tools developed through the rapid and participatory appraisal process (PRA) have applicability for monitoring and evaluation. It further builds from the assumption that by helping local communities select and monitor indicators, devise and record baseline data systems, there is a greater likelihood that local projects will increase sustainability, productivity, and transparency. Data is derived from field work carried out in 1996 in three communities in Kenya. Findings of the study concluded that participatory methods can help identify community-based indicators to measure impacts of resource management effectively and at low cost, which can have meaning both for the local community as well as for regional/national policy and decision makers (such as NGOs or government units). A summary of indicators used in all three communities is provided, including the tools used, where and how they were applied, and their effectiveness. The study further concluded that participatory methods were useful in developing effective baseline data which may be used by the community to inform district and regional policy and planning staff about more effective ways of implementing local development. The study highlights the need for building and strengthening two way linkages of information based on partnerships between local and national institutions, viewed as essential for achieving sustainability in livelihood production and resource conservation. Final sections discuss the factors that seem most influential in the adoption of resource management practices, and identify key areas for future research.
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.
The article is a concise explanation and illustration of the use of RRA, especially focusing on livestock related issues such as disease, production, marketing etc. It suggests possible techniques to be employed in the investigation of these issues.