About people's dreams and visions and how to retune our perceptions : convergence of PAR and PRA in Latin America.
This paper discusses the potential for convergence between PRA (participatory rural appraisal) and PAR (participatory action research) concentrating on ways of bridging the gap between outsiders and local populations. Using examples from different countries in Latin America, the exploration touches on complex processes within and between individuals and societies.
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.
Discusses the methods of collecting information during a field-study carried out in Brazil, in the health district of Pau da Lima. It was intended to provide a learning experience for students as well as to explore the local potential for Primary Environmental Care (PEC) and to produce a number of recommendations to local bodies. Possible actors, conditions, means and resources to promote PEC within the Pau da Lima district were investigated. PEC integrates three components: empowering communities, protecting the environment, and meeting needs. The first step was a preliminary identification of present and future potential actors in PEC in the Pau da Lima district. A Rapid Appraisal (RA) was conducted in three squatter communities within the district, focusing on felt problems; interests and priorities in PEC; forms and conditions of community organisation; and instances and conditions of community-based action. Methods used include: review of secondary data, informal disucssions with informants, direct observations, laboratory analysis of water samples collected during the observation walks, life history interviews, focus groups and ranking exercises, semi-structured interviews. While the study found the RA methods useful, it suggested that they may not be sufficient to identify community-based solutions to specific problems. The techniques in "Making Microplans" (Goethert and Hamdi 1988) provide an example of how this action-oriented phase could proceed.
Exploring the potential for primary environmental care: rapid appraisal in squatter communities in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
This paper discusses the methods of collecting information in a field study carried out in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) a suburb of Salvador. The study was part of a training exercise for students of the "International Course for Primary Health Care Managers at District Level in Developing Countries" based in Italy. The study also aimed to explore the potential for Primary Environmental Care and identify ways by which the local health district could support squatter communities. A rapid appraisal was carried out in three squatter communities. Secondary data was analysed, life history interviews were conducted, a "risk map" was drawn in which local participants geographically located problems, focus groups and ranking, key informant interviews, ten institutions with an interest in environmental issues were interviewed, and a feed-back meeting was held for all community members. It is concluded that RRA is well suited to study fast-changing environments, a potential danger of the exercise is taken to be undue expectation-raising of the local community. Finally "microplans" are introduced as a possible means of making RRA action oriented. Five pages are devoted to illustrations arising from the exercises.
Indigenous peoples, national parks and participation: a case study of conflicts in Canaima National Park, Venezuela
This paper provides a resume of a D.Phil. research project. The overall aim of the project is to study and analyse the nature of conflicts in Canaima National Park, with emphasis on their history, structural causes and power relations. It seeks to find out which forms of participation are more likely to contribute to managing conflicts in national parks established in indigenous peopleÆs territories. The paper gives a brief background and rationale to the research project; presents the main points of argument and objectives; describes the project site and existing conflicts; and explains the research methodology which combines a community case study approach with traditional qualitative research methods. The paper discusses the spread of natural resource conflict management in Latin America; present trends and gaps in analysing conflicts in national parks; and the need to go beyond perception and stakeholder analysis in order to understand conflicts. The preliminary results of the study are presented regarding the nature of conflicts over implementation of park policy with focus on the use of fire by the Pemon people; tourism development; and the building of a power line to Brazil. The role of power in shaping different forms of participation is analysed focussing on the meaning of participation for the different factors. Based on the preliminary results, the paper proposes forms of participation that are likely to contribute to conflict management in Canaima National Park, focussing on the main conflicts (as mentioned above). An attachment gives further details of the field work process.
Recent research in the field of development aid persuasively problematises aid relationships and begins to reveal their significance for the real-life application and effectiveness of international development cooperation. Until insights from such research percolate through aid machineries such as the OECD DAC and its workings, the country-level consequences of universal aid frameworks and prescriptions will continue to be insufficiently foreseen, and in some cases unexpectedly problematic. This paper is about an in-depth, qualitative study of the application of the Paris Declaration (PD) on Aid Effectiveness in Colombia. This middle-income, non aid-dependent country with a prolonged and complex internal armed conflict and a poor human rights record, hitherto on the margins of international aid circles, has fast assumed a high-profile role in them via its adoption of the PD.
The study stemmed from a conviction that PD application in Colombia has unanticipated consequences, with under-appreciated impacts on the strategies of donors and social actors. Donors are subject to an attempt to push them (back) into a technocratic corner. In this politically complex context where donors' presence owes at least as much to concerns over Colombia's international human rights performance as to classic aid donor concerns with widespread extreme poverty, this is worrying and undesirable. It also has serious implications for the tripartite aid dialogue process established in 2003, involving Government, donors and social actors. This, for all its flaws and frustrations, is unique and important in a historic context of polarised, antagonistic and violent relationships between the state and left-wing advocates of human rights and social democratic principles. It will require skilful and opportunistic responses by both donors and social organisations to turn this conjuncture to their favour, in the sense of strengthening their leverage on the Government in relation to human rights, poverty, conflict and democratic governance.
Counter hegemonic globalisation occurs today in many forms and many settings and deals with a variety of issues from land and labour rights to sexual equality to biodiversity and the environment. This paper examines one urban experiment developed to resist the social exclusion that is an undeniable result of the globalisation process by redistributing city resources in favour of the more vulnerable social groups by means of participatory democracy. The experiment was the participatory budget established in 1989 in the city of Porto Alegre.
The first part of the paper describes basic information and the recent history of the city and its government, contextualising both within the Brazilian political system. The second part details a description of the main features of the institutions and processes of the participatory budget and of participation as well as the criteria and methodology for the distribution of resources. The third part examines the development of the participatory budget. The final part analyses the processes of the participatory budget with regards to its efficiency in redistribution, its accountability and quality of representation in a participatory democracy, the notion of dual powers and competing legitimacies and its relationship with the legislative body that formally approves budget.
This hands-on workbook provides guidelines for conducting participatory rural appraisal and planning (PRAP) to identify and design community and regional level projects, based on local needs. It emphasises the "how to" of the PRAP methodology in a practical and understandable way. The workbook begins with brief descriptions of areas related to the planning and practical implementation of PRAP at the field level including: advantages and disadvantages, results, guiding principles, who applies and who participates in it, the role of the facilitator, time needed and concrete guidelines for planning the PRAP process.
The second part of the workbook explains, step by step, how to apply 22 different participatory appraisal and planning tools. More than 50 illustrations of actual field exercises, plus two complete PRAP case studies, document the process in detail. Recognising the gap between project identification and planning processes, this workbook's key strength is that it integrates participatory project identification (or appraisal) with the concrete steps needed to design realistic projects involving the active participation of community members.
Based on many years' field experience in Latin America, this guide is designed for practitioners directly involved in the identification and design of development projects in areas including agriculture, health, education and community development.