Coping with cost recovery: a study of the social impact of and responses to cost recovery in basic services (health and education) in poor communities in Zambia
The report deals with the social implications of the cost-recovery measures adopted in the Zambian health and education sectors since 1989. The focus of the study is on the impact of the charges on access to basic health care and primary education among the poorest sections of the urban and rural population. The report is also concerned with the way poor communities, and the most vulnerable households within them, cope with demands to contribute more. It concludes by reviewing alternative ways of ensuring that the poorest are able to maintain access to basic services. A mix of approaches were used, including a range of standard RRA methods, focus-group work and anthropological insights from more traditional sources. The study also drew on a baseline survey and intensive household studies which had been carried out over several years.
This is a newsletter which describes the formation of the Midnet PRA group and includes a number of very short articles and thoughts on practitioners experiences with PRA in Southern Africa. Experiences shared include working with young people, in education, with periurban communities, for catchment management and for land reform. The methods used are discussed with details of venn diagrammes for community organisation, historical time lines. There are reports from trainings in Namaqualand and Namibia. The thoughts that emerged from evaluation/ reflection and planning meetings included the ideas of rapid learning and sharing and the need for more training. The final article summarises the PRA and gender workshop held at IIED in December 1993.
"Investing in education for girls is the single most important thing a country can do...it leads to faster economic growth, higher family incomes, lower infant deaths and in many, many ways a better life for this generation and the next." Yet in most parts of the developing world girls receive much less education than boys. The film shows a PRA exercise which was carried out in a village in Gambia to investigate the constraints to female education and what might be done to improve access to education for girls. The methods used during the PRA included village mapping to establish which households had children attending or not attending school (06); pi-charts to show village income and expenditure (08.30); matrix ranking of problems and solutions (09); and card sorting to identify rich and poor households (12). Information from the ranking and the map were then compared and checked for discrepancies (13). However, it was only discovered by accident that 25% of girls did not appear on the map. These were girls who had never been to school or were about to get married (15). It was found that two of the major constraints to educating girls were the expense and demands for their labour at home. Cost was an important deterrent, particularly as the largest school expenses occurred just before harvest when people had no money. In addition, the demand for girls' labour in the fields was heaviest at the busiest time of the school year, while the demand for boys labour at that time was light (16). All the problems the villagers had identified were then ranked in pairs by different age-groups of women and men (18). An inventory of village associations was also made using venn diagrams to show the relationship between them (20). Having identified the problems and the resources available within the village, in the last phase of the PRA the villagers met to decide what action to take (23). The video concludes by discussing some of the wider applications of PRA (25) as well as some of the dangers (26).
This manual has been developed for facilitators working on ActionAid's pilot literacy programme in Bundibugyo, Uganda. Following on from the Freirian model of literacy teaching, the programme has introduced PRA techniques to strengthen the discussion stage. Rather than having a literacy primer, the course is based on thirty units each of which uses a specific PRA technique (eg Hungry Season Calendar) together with visual "symbol cards" to generate discussion. Each unit includes an information section (eg how to build a maize store) and details on how to teach the key word. Practical teaching tips, such as timing and what to do about drop-outs, are covered as well as the theoretical questions, what is literacy? and why teach literacy? The appendices include illustrated examples of PRA activities and "symbol cards", ideas for post literacy, indicators for monitoring progress and criteria for recruiting facilitators.