This film demonstrates a participatory approach to crop research which has been developed by the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India. It aims to bring researchers closer to farmers through on-farm evaluation of pest-resistant varieties. The approach was developed to overcome the limitations of the transfer of technology approach, which is often innappropriate to the complex, risk-prone agriculture of the semi-arid tropics (07). It recognises that farmers and scientists perform complementary activities, and advocates a decentralised and participatory approach in which scientists perform a facilitating and support role (08). The research was carried out in collaboration with women farmers, who play an important role in maintaining biological diversity. First, the pest problem was diagnosed and the different varieties grown by farmers were analysed (09). In the second stage the characteristics of the farmer's varieties were matched with those of the scientist's pre-release lines. On-farm trials were then conducted in different villages (11). After harvesting the farmers carried out their own evaluation of the genetic material (14). The different varieties were ranked to elicit the farmer's preferences, according to their own criteria (16). The scientists learned that a mosaic of varieties better suit the diverse situations faced by farmers in these complex dryland environments than the uniform introduction of a standard seed (23).
Draft report of a Consumer Consultative Survey carried out by Andhra Pradesh Energy Efficiency Project (APEEP). The study used PRA methods, amongst others, to assess the behavioural aspects of power use by rural consumers, their attitudes towards various aspects of rural power supply and to determine the impact of the project in reducing power losses and improving supply. The critical issues arising from the study and their policy implications are summarised.
This article reports on an innovative secondary school environmental awareness initiative designed to complement a program to develop village level aquatic resource management. Students were provided with discussion questions on past, present and future issues regarding local aquatic resources resand encouraged to use semi-structured interview techniques to investigate the issues in their own villages with elders and relatives. Essays were then written by the students based on this research and the best essays presented at ceremonies where district government officials, village chiefs and members of the school parents committee attended. One of the best essays was also published in the Lao language newspaper. The process increased awareness levels regarding aquatic resource management not only amongst students but also amongst teachers, those who helped supply information and the village leaders and district government officials attending the ceremonies.
Local people can generate their own numbers – and the statistics that result are powerful for them and can influence policy. Since the early 1990’s there has been a quiet tide of innovation in generating statistics using participatory methods. Across all sectors from local to national, participatory statistics are being generated in the design, monitoring and evaluation, and impact assessment of development interventions. This book, by describing policy, programme and project research, aims to provide impetus for the adoption and mainstreaming of participatory statistics within international development practice. It lays down the challenge of institutional change that allows a win-win outcome in which statistics are part of an empowering process for local people and a valuable information flow for those open to it in aid agencies and government departments.
Despite many initiatives to assure food access, and growing economies, high levels of undernutrition persist in much of Asia. In this Working Paper Robert Chambers and Gregor von Medeazza explore the increasing evidence that this is due to the continuing high incidence open defecation (OD), combined with population density, which has mulitiple debilitating outcomes. With the focus on diarrhoea-related ill health, there has been a relative neglect of other often subclinical and continuously debilitating faecally-transmitted infections (FTIs) including environmental enteropathy (EE), other intestinal infections, and parasites. The authors show how institutional, psychological and professional factors interact to perpetuate a blind spot to understanding that OD affects health in many different ways and is a key factor in tackling undernutrition.