Instutionalising participation for sustainable livelihoods (IPSL): programme model and lessons learnt 1987-2000
Oxfam's interaction with Mulanje District in Malawi began in 1987/8 with an action research project into poverty in the district. This document provides a complete account of the evolution of the Oxfam Mulanje programme to date. It is based on an analysis of all the project documentation together with in-depth interviews with programme staff, extension workers, communities and other stakeholders. Over the years, a successful model - Institutionalising Participation for Sustainable Livelihoods (IPSL) - for working with institutions at the district level to promote sustainable and replicable development has been developed. This document draws out important learning points, and describes the IPSL model. It provides the background to the programme, pre-1990, both in terms of Mulanje district generally and Oxfam's involvement specifically. It then goes on to look at the first phase of the programme in the early 1990s, where training was provided to government extension staff and other key district figures in participatory approaches to development. The current programme post-1997 is then explored in detail both in terms of its structure and process. It is characterised by partnerships with government extension staff and other institutions, turning over ownership of the programme to them, as well as enabling communities to identify and mobilise to solve their problems, using principles of participatory development for sustainable livelihoods. The focus is on drawing out the lessons learned. Finally, conclusions are drawn on the overall themes and practices that have run through the programme and the overall nature of the Oxfam IPSL model in Mulanje.
Participatory approaches in animal healthcare: from practical applications to global -level policy reform
This article, as part of the special 50th edition of PLA Notes, looks at the history of the use of participatory approaches and methods in animal health care, including community-based animal health workers (CAHWs). Early development focused mainly on tools and methods, that have gradually been grouped together under the term participatory epidemiology. It describes how negative attitudes among professionals and academics have changed during the process of policy reform, and explains how participatory impact assessment and other methods have contributed to the policy process. The article focuses on experiences in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, while also describing how events in these regions have influenced change in international bodies. The article concludes by looking at future challenges, arguing that the reorganisation of government veterinary services and regulatory bodies is still a major challenge in many countries, where governments still directly control services that can be handled by others. The author recommends supporting CAHWs and private practitioners, as well as the development of enabling policies and ongoing learning methodologies to monitor and evaluate policy change.
This video explores numerous issues surrounding participatory poverty assessments (PPAs), using the example of a PPA in Tanzania. A key issue is the identification of the poor, about which appropriate information is needed to inform government policy. In contrast to traditional surveys of income-poverty, the PPA provides a way to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor and to enable this perspective to influence policy. The importance of the involvement of policy makers in the PPA is stressed at several points in the video. This involvement contributed to chantes in attitudes to the poor within government and a recognition of the need for a corresponding change in government development tactics. The findings of the PPA were presented at policy workshops and contributed to changes in thinking about the nature and characteristics of poverty in Tanzania, as well as more specific policy reforms. The PPA primarily used PRA methods and visual materials developed by local artists in the PPA. The methods shown include, mapping, discussion of well-being, wealth ranking with villagers and district officials, 'story with a gap' and seasonality analysis. Among the highlighted findings of the PPA are that: indicators of poverty are location specific; intangible indicators of deprivation are important; strong gender differences exist in the prioritisation of problems; the poor adapt to seasonality through complex coping strategies. The PPA also revealed that participatory methods could be used to construct time series price data for rural Tanzania, which had not previously existed. The links between the PPA's findings regarding the causes of poverty and the implications for policy are highlighted, including access to land, agricultural policy, lack of production inputs, environmental degradation and access to credit and savings.