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.
This paper considers an initiative in Kenya to use PRA to integrate local level participation into division, district and provincial data sets in order to scale up from village to regional participatory plans. PRA is used to provide a village plan, a village based data sets and a list of village based actions. The scaling up approach seeks a methodology to integrate the village information into a regional data set, and through analysis based on geographic information systems, to determine the feasibility and scale for different options which villagers have proposed. This paper describes the methodology and presents findings from the first six months of trials, discussing potential difficulties. Appended are eight pages of comments by Robert Chambers.
This describes a Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA) undertaken by the Government of Kenya and the World Bank during Febuary-April 1994. It had three primary objectives; to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor, to start a process of dialogue between policy makers, district level providers and the poor and to address the issue of the 'value added' of the PPA approach to understanding poverty. Methods used included mapping, wealth ranking, seasonal analysis, trend and price analysis, focus group discussions, key informant interviews; visual card methods, gender analysis, understanding health seeking behaviour; and incomplete sentences. Statistically the findings of the PPA and the Welfare Monitoring Survey based on an established poverty line were strikingly similar. The study also found a gap in the perception of poverty between the poor themselves and district officials. Separate chapters look at poverty in urban Nairobi and Mandera district.
This paper is about the practice and the potential of immersions. Immersions are occasions when professionals learn directly from encounters with poor and marginalised people by living with them and reflecting on the experience. Those taking part may be the staff of bilateral and multilateral agencies, diplomats, parliamentarians, government officials, NGO staff, academics, or other development professionals.|Aims were to:|describe types and purposes of immersions;|review practical experience with immersion design, logistical organisation and the host community;|assess the rationale and impact of immersions, including better awareness of the realites of poor and marginalised people, personal and institutional learning and change, reinvigorated commitment, and influence on decision-making and policy;|identify enabling conditions for making immersion experiences a normal, regular and expected activity for development professionals, together with good practices.|Authors' summary
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.