The benefits of participatory methodologies to develop effective community dialogue in the context of a microbicide trial feasibility study in Mwanza, Tanzania
During a microbicide trial feasibility study among women at high-risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in Mwanza, northern Tanzania we used participatory research tools to facilitate open dialogue and partnership between researchers and study participants.
A community-based sexual and reproductive health service was established in ten city wards. Wards were divided into seventy-eight geographical clusters, representatives at cluster and ward level elected and a city-level Community Advisory Committee (CAC) with representatives from each ward established. Workshops and community meetings at ward and city-level were conducted to explore project-related concerns using tools adapted from participatory learning and action techniques such as listing, scoring, ranking, chapatti diagrams and pair-wise matrices.
Key issues identified included beliefs that blood specimens were being sold for witchcraft purposes; worries about specula not being clean; inadequacy of transport allowances; and delays in reporting laboratory test results to participants. To date, the project has responded by inviting members of the CAC to visit the laboratory to observe how blood and genital specimens are prepared; demonstrated the use of the autoclave to community representatives; raised reimbursement levels; introduced HIV rapid testing in the clinic; and streamlined laboratory reporting procedures.
Participatory techniques were instrumental in promoting meaningful dialogue between the research team, study participants and community representatives in Mwanza, allowing researchers and community representatives to gain a shared understanding of project-related priority areas for intervention.
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.
The lake Victoria Fisheries Research Project (LVFRP) developed a long term programme in order to get agreement on a plan for the co-management of the Lake Victoria's fisheries project. This article presents the second step in this process and looks at how participatory monitoring systems were initiated at Nkombe Beach in Uganda. It looks at the problems faced, the solutions tried, the monitoring indicators agreed and how this process was replicated in communities in Kenya and Tanzania. Finally it draws a number of conclusions, such as participation requires a two-way flow of information, participatory monitoring is a slow process, context is crucial and nothing goes to plan!
L'immense plaine sableuse de Wajir, bordÚe au nord par 'Ethiopie et Ó l'est par la Somalie - isolÚe, sujette Ó la sÚcheresse et rÚguliÞrement soumise Ó l'insÚcuritÚ - compte 300.000 Ó 350.000 Somaliens, dont la plupart sont des pasteurs nomades. La sÚcheresse et les conflits sont les dangers qui les menacent le plus: si des mesures effectives ne sont pas prises, ces menaces peuvent chasser les populations hors des zones rurales et les 'jeter' dans les petites villes des districts ou les zones de commerce, o¨ ils doivent affronter un avenir incertain. La pauvretÚ Ó Wajir n'est cependant pas uniquement une consÚquence de la malchance; elle rÚsulte Úgalement de la nÚgligence et de dÚcennies de choix politiques inadÚquats de la part due pouvoir.
Le WPDE (Wajir Pastoral Development Project) s'emploie Ó changer cela. Ce programme prÚvu sur neuf annÚes, financÚ par le DFID (DÚpartement britannique pour le dÚveloppement international), Comic Relief et l'Oxfam, a dÚmarrÚ en 1994. Il traite Ó un niveau pratique d'une large variÚtÚ de thÞmes relatifs aux moyens de subsistance. Son objectif central est toutefois de renforcer les capacitÚs institutionnelles et le leadership au sein du district - par un travail commun avec les organisations communautaires, des organisations non gouvernementales et des organismes d'Etat au niveau du district.
Le projet a atteint sa troisiÞme phase de trois ans Ó prÚsent et Ó tirÚ des leþons importantes de dÚfis que l'assistance Ó l'organisation sociale et au changement politique reprÚsentent en un lieu tel que Wajir. La premiÞre partie de cet article relate le processus dÚveloppÚ au niveau communautaire, et la seconde fait Útat des tentatives menÚes pour influencer les politiques et les pratiques au niveau du district. La derniÞre partie rÚsume certaines des leþons essentielles que l'on peut tirer de cette expÚrience.
This paper describes experiences from East Africa and elsewhere where coalitions of different agriculture-related organisations at different levels have been using a learning process for collective planning and innovation. The learning process follows five phases:
À Defining future agroecosystems
À Matching farmer demands with the services needed to create those agrosystems
À Negotiating new partnerships
À Taking action and assessing the actions taken
À Assessing the performance of the new partnerships
These are all part of a continuous cycle, with all stakeholders constantly monitoring agroecosystem and partnership performance, identifying weaknesses and taking new action to improve performance further. The emphasis of the approach is on joint learning, since no single organisation can come up with all the solutions required and everyone stands to gain from improved co-ordination. After an introduction the paper asks what is the learning process, then goes on to describe how to develop one, and lastly looks at initiating and sustaining such an approach. Finally, the paper presents the conclusions.
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.
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 book arose out of a workshop held in 1999 as part of a programme entitled "Promoting Farmer Innovation in Rainfed Agriculture" (PFI), which was developed by UNDP and piloted in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The book is a joint effort of all those who attended and participated in the workshop and it seeks to examine the lessons of the programme so far. It explores the background to working with farmer innovators; looks at the PFI programme; analyses 74 farmer innovators who have been identified under the programme; looks at issues such as identification, partnership, gender and monitoring and evaluation; looks in depth at scaling up; and finishes with the conclusions to the workshop.
'Say it with pictures': an account of a self assessment process in a dairy sector support project in Tanzania
This article offers an account of a self-assessment process in a dairy sector in Tanzania. It discusses the work of the Southern Highlands Dairy Development Project in re-orienting their dairy support sector approach towards one that works with households involved in dairy work in a more participatory manner.
This video is based on the first five episodes of the Baraza ya Mji Mkongwe TV series from October-December 1999. The purpose was to facilitate public debate on the need for conservation of thousands of unique buildings in Zanzibar's historic Stonetown. The programmes were produced in a participatory way on the streets and in people's homes. They were broadcasted weekly by TV Zanzibar, each programme building on ideas from the previous one. The TV series is part of an on-going community based rehabilitation programme. The video demonstrates how local television was used in participatory urban planning in Zanzibar's Stonetown.