In 2006 oil was discovered in Uganda. With the country’s economy highly dependent on fuel imports, national oil production could make a long-term contribution to poverty alleviation. But for sustainable development to occur, participatory governance must ensure that people are involved in the decision-making processes affecting their lives. This paper, therefore, first analyses the adequacy of the existing legal framework on access to information and participation. Its findings show that although law and policy in Uganda indicate certain efforts to open up environmental decision-making processes to public influence, this is not the case in the oil production sector. On the basis of interviews and focus group studies it further examines the main practical barriers to better public participation. The author finds that in practice, public participation is subject to several financial, technical and political constraints. The culture of secrecy within government bodies, weak civil society structures as well as the politics of patronage remain substantive challenges for the fair and equitable management of natural resources in Uganda.
The Qomolangma National Nature Preserve (QNNP) was established in 1989 and covers 34,480 square kilometres that is home to 90,000 ethnic Tibetans. The conservation programme (QPC) was designed to conserve the Mount Everest ecosystem, improve the livelihoods of the people in and around the reserve and conserve cultural heritage. This paper looks at how QPC supports village level projects that are participatory, conservation friendly and which improve the livelihoods of local people. The author describes how village conservation and development projects are selected by the local communities using a project planning approach that includes Appreciative Planning and Action (APA). A renewable energy project is then examined in more detail: in the village of Labug a micro-hydropower plant was planned and built by QPC and the villagers. Joint responsibility also included finance and the management of the plant. The paper goes on to look at monitoring and evaluation and the lessons learnt from this experience, including what makes this particular intitiative special.
This paper shares experiences of a participatory land management approach Gestion de Terroirs developed from 1986 by the Burkinabe government. The approach is based on rural community based management, and is multisectoral, multidisciplinary, village based, and flexible. Although the National Programme for Gestion Terroirs (PNGT) was implemented in 1992-1996, Burkina is only now developing a system for local government, which should come into place in 2005. Meanwhile it has a well developed system of legally recognised community structures called Village Committees for Area Management (CVGT). These can receive funds and manage development in their area. The article describes the approach of the PNGT including establishment of and support of the CVGTs, coordination of actors at different levels, promoting decentralisation, and participatory assessment of community issues using MARP (the Accelerated Method for Participatory Research). It presents the results of PNGT which covered 8 provinces and ca. 150000 people with the main investments including: social and economic infrastructure; land management strategies; agricultural support; and forest management. MARP was used to study the impact of the project, including wealth ranking, giving positive response with 73% of beneficiaries estimating improved production and 80% improved food security. There was also improved soil fertility, increased vegetation cover, increased biodiversity, increased yields, better and more community organisation, improved community capacity, and a strengthened community role in development.
This paper describes a 15-year battle by a poor rural community to stop industrial pollution of their water supply, and reveals the multiple strategies used by the people of Yellow Creek to hold powerful government and corporate interests accountable. Key elements of success included the uses of participatory research (including scientific research), freedom of information provisions, and the legal system, as well as strategic alliances and genuine partnerships with supportive and respectful NGOs.
This report by the National Centre for Advocacy Studies, India, presents the finings of a participatory analysis of land distribution in Madhya Pradesh, India. The study was undertaken by trained villagers with 1078 families in the regions of Chambal, Bundelkhand, Banghelkhand, Mahakoushal and Malwa. The introduction of the report gives an overview of issues within land distribution, livelihoods and land reform with focus on social hierarchy and Dalits and Adivasis in India; struggles for land; promises of land reforms; broken promises; escalation in land alienation; campaign for land rights, renewing the agenda; and the methodology of the study. The findings of the study are presented in two sections. The first section focuses on land reform in Madhya Pradesh examining land profile and reform, agricultural land ceiling acts, entitlement without possession, laws and alienation of Adivasi land, and land alienation because of conservation acts. Section two looks at landlessness, land alienation, entitlement without possession, possession without entitlement, and encroachment on forestland. The final chapter presents a summary of the findings, conclusions and recommendations. Some of the main findings are that the land reform process in Madhya Pradesh is very tardy; Dalits and Adivasis continue to be alienated from control of natural resources; there are innumerable cases of land entitlements without possession; in conjunction with the land reform big land holders make efforts to snatch away land from the poor and marginalised; with the enactment of the Wildlife Sanctuaries Act and the Forest Conservation Act, original inhabitants of forests have been declared intruders and their customary rights violated. The proposed policy implications and action plan gives recommendation on how to deal with these shortcomings.
This paper examines the challenges and proposes an approach for monitoring and evaluating participatory research (PR) for community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) projects. It outlines some of the key issues and constraints facing PR, and to provide guidance to researchers, programme and project managers interested in monitoring and evaluating PR projects. The focus is on using monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as a tool for adaptive learning and project improvement, for integrating social theory into participatory methods, and for understanding the links between participatory processes and outcomes. The paper also explores the importance of using participatory M&E methods for bringing in the perspectives of local people whose lives are being influenced by the research. The first part of the paper provides a background for understanding PR in CBNRM projects. The paper goes on to describe the rationale and present a framework for M&E PR within the context of supporting quality and relevant applied development research while at the same time strengthening institutional and individual research capacity. Key considerations are highlighted for developing an appropriate and learning-based approach to M&E of PR projects, and options for integrating M&E into the different stages of a project cycle are proposed. The paper concludes by presenting the issues and questions to be considered in M&E of the process and outcomes of PR for natural resource management. This is based on characteristics indicating validity and quality of the PR process and methods, as well as the potential of the methods used to contribute to reaching the general goals of CBNRM. The ideas are geared both for the programme level and the project level, to be used by researchers during the project to help inform the research project, and provide guidance for interim or post project assessments.
This paper describes an action-research approach that extends participation from the village level to national policy-making processes. Villagers were able to contribute to the Malawi Government policy on rural energy and natural resource management. Video was used as a tool with communities to research, reflect and analyse their own problems, and to represent themselves directly with policy-makers.