This manual presents methods by which the poor and the poorest can be identified so that they can be reached by the services of microfinance institutions - and so that the non-poor can be excluded from them. Whilst poverty targeting has long been regarded as difficult and costly, the authors argue that these methods, developed through field experience, are practical and cost-effective. The CASHPOR (Credit and Savings for the Hard-Core Poor) Network has developed a House Index that is adapted to the house styles of all countries in Asia where the Network programmes are operating. The Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) has taken the methodology of Participatory Wealth Ranking and developed it to become an effective and cost effective means of identifying the poor. The manual gives practical details of these two methods for use by microfinance practitioners and others.
Forestry for sustainable rural development : a review of Ford Foundation supported community forestry programs in Asia.
Of particular interest in this review maybe a chapter on the development and application of new social science methodologies by some of the community forestry programmes. Examples of the ways in which participatory research methods and specifically PRA have been used are given. The use of Process Documentation, a research methods for institutional change, is also described briefly.
Report of a situation analysis of primary education carried out in the District of Sidharthanagar to assess the constraints and opportunities of the system, reasons for the alienation of target children from the basic education system and possible measures to be taken to achieve universal education. PRA exercises were carried out in 4 villages as part of the study to examine the perception of villagers towards various aspects of primary education and the availability, accessibility and applicability of teachers training opportunities.
Field observations have led many people to believe that beneficiary participation in decision making can contribute greatly to the success of development projects. When people influence or control the decisions that affect them, they have a greater stake in the outcome and will work harder to ensure success. But the evidence supporting this reasoning is qualitative so that many practictioners remain skeptical. Three questions need to be addressed: to what degree does participation contribute to project effectiveness? which beneficiary and agency characteristics foster the process? and, if participation does benefit project outcomes, how can it be encouraged through policy and project design? To answer these questions, researchers studied evaluations of 121 completed rural water supply projects in forty-nine developing countries around the world. The results show that beneficiary participation contributes significantly to project effectiveness, even after statistically controlling for the effects of 17 other factors. The basic conclusion of this study is that rural water projects must be fundamentally redesigned in order to reach the one billion rural poor who lack a sustainable water supply. Redesign must encompass a shift from supply-driven planning to demand-responsive, participatory approaches to ensure beneficiary participation, control, and ownership.
Based on training excercises carried out in four different countries and brought together in Thailand, at Khon Kaen, the aim was to discover if there were common patterns in wood use throughout the region, and to examine implications for sustainability and policy. While the focus is singly on the "problem" of wood use for energy, generalisations are made across country, and the methods used are entirely within the arena of RRA (predominantly informal interviewing), this is a comprehensive study of the energy situation in these countries. For each country, a brief background is given to the area and to previous studies and commercial implications of energy use are examined including supply, transportation and processing. The emphasis is on the movement of wood, particularly rural - urban flows, in both wood and charcoal forms. There is little emphasis on methods used.