Bangladesh Reality Check 2008: listening to poor people's realities about primary healthcare and primary education
'Voices of the Poor' is a series of three books that collates the experiences, views and aspirations of over 60,000 poor women and men. This second book of the series draws material from a 23-country comparative study, which used open-ended participatory methods, bringing together the voices and realities of 20,000 poor women, men, youth and children. Despite very different political, social and economic contexts, there are striking similarities in poor people's experiences. The common underlying theme is one of powerlessness, which consists of multiple and interlocking dimensions of illbeing or poverty. The book starts by describing the origins of the study, the methodology and some of the challenges faced. This is followed by an exploration of the multidimensional nature of wellbeing and illbeing. Most of the book comprises the core findings - the 10 dimensions of powerlessness and illbeing that emerge from the study - and is organised around these themes. These include livelihoods and assets; the places where poor people live and work; the body and related to this, accessing health services; gender roles and gender relations within the household; social exclusion; insecurity and related fears and anxieties; the behaviour and character of institutions; and poor people's ratings of the most important institutions in their lives. These dimensions are brought together into a many-stranded web of powerlessness, which is compounded by the lack of capability, including lack of information, education, skills and confidence. The final chapter is a call to action and dwells on the challenge of change.
The Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Process (UPPAP) is an initiative of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MFPED). Its overall aim is to bring the voices and perspectives of poor people into policy formulation, planning and implementation by central and local governments. A first participatory poverty assessment (PPA1) was carried out in 1998/99 in 36 research sites in nine districts. Its findings were used to inform policymaking. This book details the second PPA (PPA2) which has now been implemented, with two main aims: to deepen the understanding of poverty and poverty trends gained in the first PPA; and to investigate people's experiences with selected government policies. Research was carried out in 60 research sites in 12 districts. Work was undertaken in three phases, or 'cycles', between November 2001 and May 2002. The research was undertaken by seven partner organisations - NGOs or research institutions - working with local researchers, usually from the district administrations, and the overall coordinating and implementing agency was Oxfam GB. The book includes sections on: the Uganda participatory poverty assessment process; poverty, vulnerability and poverty trends; livelihoods and the plan for the modernisation of agriculture; environment and poverty; health and poverty; water and sanitation; education; taxation; and good governance and poverty reduction.
This 30 minute video explores the complexities of poverty from the perspectives of poor people themselves. It reveals that although the experiences of poor people vary widely by location and situation, there are significant commonalties in the way poor people describe their lives: sense of powerlessness and voicelessness; precariousness of their livelihoods and lack of security; isolation, humiliation, and lack of connections to resources and opportunities; and gender inequality. The result is a 'domino effect' of disadvantages and inequalities, all of which make it difficult for poor people to escape the hold of poverty. The video introduces viewers to people who are challenging these obstacles, and initiatives that are helping to empower the poor, make their lives more secure, and give them access to greater opportunities. Some of the examples depicted in the video is NIDAN, an Indian NGO empowering women to get micro credit loans to set up their own businesses; the 1997 Universal Primary Education reform in Uganda, now giving access to education to all children in the country; a research project in India giving poor people access to IT; community-based health care in favelas in Brazil; Medica, an NGO-run centre for therapy for women subject to domestic violence in Bosnia; womenÆs police stations in Brazil faciltating women to report sensitive crimes such as rape and domestic violence; the work of a community organisation in the poor community Sacadura Cebral, Brazil, influencing government to improve public services and housing.
A need exists for food security indicators, for use in targeting food security programs, to be both simple to derive and use. This document reports on research to develop such alternative indicators which combined both quantitative and qualitative approaches for identifying indicators of poverty, food insecurity and undernutrition. Participatory rural appraisal techniques and ethnographic case studies were used to identify locally determined indicators of food insecurity.
This long and detailed study describes how the mandal (administrative area) of Devikere in Jagalar, Karnataka State was selected as the appropriate site for an Action Aid anti-poverty project. A socio-economic survey was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team using mainly RRA techniques. The methodology employed appears to have much in common with farming systems research. A section of the report is devoted to health issues. This includes: nutrition and food availability; mother and child wellbeing, health practices and beliefs; the environment; housing; occupation and health services. The anthropological/ethnographic technique of using case studies of individuals adds a strong human dimension to the study. Separate sections are devoted to women, infrastructure and sanitation, and socio-economic conditions.
This report provides an assessment of the extent of and changes in poverty in Kenya during the '80s and early '90s. It uses data from different sources and of different kinds, including was a Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA) and a Welfare Monitoring Survey (WMS). Interestingly, in three out of five districts the results yielded by the two approaches were almost identical. The PPA provided critical insights on a number of issues - people's perceptions of the extent and causes of poverty, the status of women, the extent of and reasons for low school enrolment, the reasons for not using public health facilities and the ways in which poor people cope with food insecurity and drought. Methods used included social mapping and wealth ranking, interviews and focus groups discussions. The different chapters present the findings of the study, focusing on economic development and poverty; revitalising the rural economy; structural transformation in agriculture; social sector spending (education and health); food security and nutrition; and targeted programmes and institutional factors. A strategy of programmes and policies for poverty reduction is suggested.
This report is a result of the first ever Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Process (UPPAP) in which local people were consulted in 36 rural and urban sites in nine districts in Uganda. In this assessment "voices" and perspectives of the poor are brought to the fore to influence district and national planning, implementation and monitoring. The report covers perceptions of poverty and wellbeing and strategies for coping with being poor, as well as the degree to which the poor have access to, and benefit from, services and infrastructure. It goes on to look at issues of government and poverty, along with the role that security plays in development. Finally there are rcommendations and messages for policy makers. The report points to the fact that poverty is more than just income and expenditure or the lack of basic needs, it is also a feeling of powerlessness. Poverty in the eyes of the poor is location specific, multi-dimensional, cyclic and seasonal and requires a holistic approach to it's alleviation.
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.
As part of the special 50th issue of PLA Notes, this article reaffirms the fundamental value of participatory work in supporting people to gain the confidence and capacity to change their realities. The authors explore these issues through the perspective of sexual and reproductive well-being and rights, looking at lessons learnt and exploring ways in which practitioners are addressing the new challenges thrown up in changing environments. The key issues addressed in the article are participatory HIV prevention and case work in a time of crisis; sexuality, poverty and development; participation, sexuality and gender; and whose agenda counts in participatory planning. The authors conclude by looking at new directions and possibilities for sexual health and well-being, focusing on the potential of a rights-based approach to think about the importance of enabling everyone to enjoy the right to make their own sexual and reproductive choices, the right to safe and satisfying sexual relationships and the right to choose when and whether to have children. The challenge ahead appears to be how to use participatory methodologies to bring about the transformations in practice that can really begin to enable women and men to realize their sexual and reproductive rights. Recognising that participatory approaches need to be used sensitively and used well, such approaches can be a powerful weapon in the struggle for rights.