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.
This is the report of a study designed to reach some broad conclusions about social, economic and cultural change in rural and peri-urban communities of mainland Tanzania. It draws on previous accounts and on group interviews and other RRA methods. Substantive findings concern the responses of members of rural communities to the process of economic liberalisation and their reception of constitutional reforms leading to the adoption of a multi-party political system. Regarding methodology, the study confirmed the value of combining existing literature with fresh fieldwork, although problems of generating generalisable conclusions from location-specific material are acknowledged. Focus-groups were found to be particularly useful, when combined with the possibility of drawing on the long-term field experience of researchers.
The aim of this video is to show the critical role that the poor can play in identifying the real issues of poverty in Uganda. It examines the capacity of the poor to define their present situation and analyse and express their problems concerning poverty. It also shows how existing household data can be complemented with data from participatory consultations with the poor done through Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs). This enables solutions to poverty to be found at the community level. The video includes the voices of poor people, and shows how these voices have been listened to and included in macro planning, budgeting and the formation of the Poverty Eradication Plan, a process that is seen as critical to any committed attempt to tackle poverty.
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.
This paper argues for participatory approaches as a sound basis for sustainable rural development. It focuses on how the government plans to institutionalise participatory approaches in the development process of Singida Region, Tanzania. The discussion first looks at participatory development ideas at national and regional levels of government. The author critiques the national Poverty Alleviation Policy Paper and instead calls for true participatory development, whereby the role of the government is to empower people, as opposed to the top-down mobilisation and education rhetoric that is often imposed. The paper then proceeds to review the participatory ideas and practices of regional and outside NGOs. (See also 3599)