Bangladesh Reality Check 2008: listening to poor people's realities about primary healthcare and primary education
This is a longer version of the paper by Lily in Koning (ed.) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Participatory Research in Health Promotion (1994). The paper outlines the background to the evolving Women's Development Project (WDP) in Bangladesh. It focuses on a health education component of the project, and gives an example of community mapping in a Bangladeshi village, conducted with village-based volunteer health educators (VHEs). The process of the exercise is reported, as are the reactions of the VHEs. The mapping exercise led to a discussion of the achievements and challenges faced, illustrating the potential role of mapping in enabling women to look at their own work in a new way. Other potential uses of PRA in the WDP are listed.
In 1994 Redd Barna Uganda started developing an approach to community-based planning using PRA (PRAP) that placed children and their issues at the centre of the planning process and that also aimed to recognise differences within communities. This report is based on discussions involving project staff, members of three partner organisations and villagers from seven communities. The discussion reflected on the PRAP process to examine which aspects were proving beneficial and for whom and those that were proving problematic with an aim of identifying areas for improvement.
Strategies for scaling up the work are also examined and prospects for encouraging more community based monitoring of the PRAP process as a strategy for strengthening impact.
This article describes how forest user groups have been involved in designing and adapting a monitoring and evaluation system that enables the involvement of both literate and non-literate people. The system is linked to goal development, analysis of local resources and institutions and action plan formulation.
This paper examines a participatory procedure of self-assessment of irrigation system performance by farmers in the Philippines. The procedure was aimed at improving system performance through strengthening irrigators associations' (IA) managerial capacity in planning and decision making regarding operation and maintenance, communication and conflict resolution. The assessment was part of a longer intervention to organize farmers in small groups based on water and task distribution. The first phase involved self-assessment by the original groups of the process of organizing smaller groups and catalysing collective action. In one-day workshops, farmers used symbols and maps to assess the situation. The second phase used a self-assessment questionnaire filled out monthly by IA group leaders, to assess their own performance in a range of management tasks. The experiment showed that participatory self-assessment was quite successful in eliciting candid appraisals of the existing situation. Pictorial analysis was a learning experience in which farmers identified unexpected causes of problems. These problems lay within the farmers' ability to resolve them, so the assessment facilitated follow-up actions to address them, which are listed in a table.