Using Participatory Action Research Methodologies for Engaging and Researching with Religious Minorities in Contexts of Intersecting Inequalities
This newsletter is a special issue on trying to bridge the gap between donors' resources and their effective use in targeting the poor, through the use of community development funds. Community development funds function like banks, but can work more flexibly and at different levels. Several case studies are presented from countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and southern Africa, and a number of tips and advantages in setting up a community development fund are outlined. Some of these are that they: " Set new standards of transparency and accountability; " Make multiple, small-scale investments in many community-initiated urban development projects; " Support tangible outputs of value to the urban poor, in different sectors and areas; " Help establish and strengthen long-term partnerships between community organisations, municipal authorities and the private sector, while stimulating new working practices; " Provide poor communities and their organisations with opportunities to learn by doing.
This document presents the proceedings from the three-day National Workshop on Network management organised by the Eastern Region Participatory Action Network (ERPAN) in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), under the Pathways to Participation project. The main objectives of the workshop were to exchange ideas and practices of network management existing in national and international contexts, and to formulate future strategies. A brief analysis is made of the lessons learned from the workshop procedure and structure, and the document goes on to present the daily proceedings of the workshop. The first two days of the workshop were focussed on sharing, concept, history, and present situation of the networks with experiences from Nepal, Bangladesh and Tanzania. On the third day the discussions of the previous two days were summarised by dividing the participants into four groups discussing monitoring, quality and linkages, membership issues, function, and sustainability of networks. The proceedings are followed by 14 annexes comprising some of the presentations made, including: evaluation and feedback; review of the workshop; notes on workshop facilitation; a letter from the ERPAN chairperson reflecting on the workshop; an overview of international participatory networks and their present status; experiences of ERPAN, ActionAid, NEPAN (Nepal Participatory Action Network), PANDA (Participatory Analysis of Needs and Development Action), PARENT (Participatory Resource Network Tanzania); promotion of peopleÆs participation in Bangladesh and the role of PPS (PRA promotion Society); an analysis of networking of civil society, development and capacity building, and challenges encountered by networks and future perspectives; a daily programme schedule; and a list of the participants
This report is about innovative ways of strengthening local governance in India. Drawing from various case studies, the conceptual underpinnings of participation in local governance are highlighted. In particular, the report explores the potential of community-based indicators and social auditing techniques to help India to work from below. It highlights techniques that enhance local governance through participation, while examining where techniques work in encouraging participative local governance and why. The authors recognise a huge 'scaling-up' challenge and acknowledge the need for robust guidelines to help new practitioners choose and use appropriate participatory techniques that might play a part in changing governance in India.
In this Feedback section, barriers to the institutionalisation of PRA in NGOs in Nepal are discussed. Concerns are raised about the quality and follow-up of PRA training, in particular that PRA is not used on a systematic basis within organisations that have received PRA training. The lack of process-orientation of many PRA trainers may be a possible cause. Suggestions are made as to how to improve this situation in order to ensure more effective use of PRA in Nepal. In response to this, the second section focuses on NGO and donor roles in institutionalising participation in development, as the issues raised are not only confined to Nepal, but are of wider relevance to the development debate. Whilst good personal practice of trainers is essential, the process should be supported with affirmative action from the NGO and donor communities to institutionalise good practice. Recommendations are made to this effect.
This paper describes an experience from Sri Lanka in scaling-up and mainstreaming participation of primary stakeholders. It first offers a typology of participation and discusses the participatory methodologies promoted in Sri Lanka. The process and strategy adopted in scaling-up and mainstreaming participatory processes in the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka are discussed, along with its successes and failures, drawing from experience with a project on rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure.
Document prepared by a group of 26 participatory trainers and practitioners from NGO's and Government, mainly in South Asia, which highlights the issues surrounding the rapid spread of PRA which has taken place. The problems encountered from this scaling up are highlighted, including a lack of sufficiently experienced PRA trainers, such that there has been much poor quality training , with most notably a lack of emphasis on behaviour and attitudes and also a failure for the necessary internal change in culture and practice of the organisations adopting the approach to take place. The types of bad practice which have come about at the field level as a consequence of this are outlined, such as rigid procedures with little thought to the appropriateness of different tools. Finally, recommendations are made for dealing with some of these consequences of rapid scaling up of PRA.
Report of an International Workshop held in Calcutta, May 1997 which examined the challenges to PRA training in view of the rapid expansion of PRA. The report includes the workshop proceeedings, articles on the subject and also a joint statement by the participants.
This article provides a summary of the major challenges currently facing PRA, as well as the changes implied by some of these challenges. The challenges are considered at six different levels, namely the individual, community, organisational, project and programme, donor and policy levels. The challenges identified are drawn from the literature on PRA, as well as from a recent series of workshops held by the author with the staff of six NGOs that are promoting PRA in South Asia. The article concludes by attributing these challenges to five cross-cutting factors: differences in power, culture, knowledge, money and time.
The report aims to evaluate the structures and organisational systems associated with effective water user groups, analysing the factors that hinder or support their role in the management of water supply schemes. Although the study is termed participatory, no direct mention of the methodology used is made. However, the study provides some very structured and detailed information on different aspects of water management collected in a survey of 69 villages. Volume I provides information on organisational issues in water management. Volume II instead illustrates five case studies covering a range of issues including social impact of technological choice and community level subsidisation.
This provocative article criticises participatory training for having become 'reduced to a pre-planned technique-happy mass of simulations and role plays without any contribution to critical thinking.' A model of training for participatory trainers is given, based on the experience of PRIA (Society for Participatory Research in Asia) and UNNATI (Organisation for Development Education) in India. Issues addressed in the seven training modules developed by UNNATI are summarised in a box : the role of training, how adults learn, group process, self-development of trainer, training methods, training design and facilitation. This kind of training leads trainers to understand why people do not participate and to 'realise the dangers of the 'imparting' model of educating people'.
A description of using PRA to get to know Hazara in the North West frontier of Pakistan where ActionAid was doing work. PRA methods are used to establish population levels, lifestyles, ethnic groupings and poverty levels of the people within the area. ActionAid used PRA in this area as a first stage in assisting people to establish their own criteria and needs for development in the area.