This book reviews contemporary campaigns for community participation and empowerment with examples from all over the world. It critically assesses developments in the 'mixed economy of welfare' in terms of their relevance for self-help and community participation. It also considers the concept of empowerment and its relation to public policy and development within social movements.
This article gives an overview of housing and environmental problems in the metropolitan area of Mexico City. It describes the history of attempts to encourage participation in two particular cases, and discusses the basic elements of the methodology used to conduct these processes.
Discusses the methods of collecting information during a field-study carried out in Brazil, in the health district of Pau da Lima. It was intended to provide a learning experience for students as well as to explore the local potential for Primary Environmental Care (PEC) and to produce a number of recommendations to local bodies. Possible actors, conditions, means and resources to promote PEC within the Pau da Lima district were investigated. PEC integrates three components: empowering communities, protecting the environment, and meeting needs. The first step was a preliminary identification of present and future potential actors in PEC in the Pau da Lima district. A Rapid Appraisal (RA) was conducted in three squatter communities within the district, focusing on felt problems; interests and priorities in PEC; forms and conditions of community organisation; and instances and conditions of community-based action. Methods used include: review of secondary data, informal disucssions with informants, direct observations, laboratory analysis of water samples collected during the observation walks, life history interviews, focus groups and ranking exercises, semi-structured interviews. While the study found the RA methods useful, it suggested that they may not be sufficient to identify community-based solutions to specific problems. The techniques in "Making Microplans" (Goethert and Hamdi 1988) provide an example of how this action-oriented phase could proceed.
The economic and political empowerment of women continues to be a central focus for development agencies worldwide; access to medical care, education and employment, as well as women’s reproductive rights, remain key factors effecting women’s autonomy. This book explores what women are doing to change their own personal circumstances, and it provides an in-depth analysis of collective action and institutionalized mechanisms aimed at changing structural relations.
Recent efforts by the Chilean government to promote civic education are seen to have contributed to social exclusion of the poorest people of the population. This paper was developed as part of a thesis, and evaluates the participatory model developed and implemented by the Chilean government. It attempts to determine the failures and possible areas for improvement by considering: who benefits, what is being offered and how, and what role should the beneficiaries play?
An analysis of over 100 communities was undertaken to test the hypothesis that the participation of the poorest people is possible given certain geographical and social conditions, local opportunities of the communities, and wider responses to community demands and political goals.
The following findings emerged and are put forward as considerations for improving project efficiency:
" Interventions are more successful in areas where inhabitants have secure land rights, and where basic services are present or are quickly provided;
" Larger communities tend to be more successful;
" Diversification and an increase in the programme's scope will attract poorer groups.
Recent research in the field of development aid persuasively problematises aid relationships and begins to reveal their significance for the real-life application and effectiveness of international development cooperation. Until insights from such research percolate through aid machineries such as the OECD DAC and its workings, the country-level consequences of universal aid frameworks and prescriptions will continue to be insufficiently foreseen, and in some cases unexpectedly problematic. This paper is about an in-depth, qualitative study of the application of the Paris Declaration (PD) on Aid Effectiveness in Colombia. This middle-income, non aid-dependent country with a prolonged and complex internal armed conflict and a poor human rights record, hitherto on the margins of international aid circles, has fast assumed a high-profile role in them via its adoption of the PD.
The study stemmed from a conviction that PD application in Colombia has unanticipated consequences, with under-appreciated impacts on the strategies of donors and social actors. Donors are subject to an attempt to push them (back) into a technocratic corner. In this politically complex context where donors' presence owes at least as much to concerns over Colombia's international human rights performance as to classic aid donor concerns with widespread extreme poverty, this is worrying and undesirable. It also has serious implications for the tripartite aid dialogue process established in 2003, involving Government, donors and social actors. This, for all its flaws and frustrations, is unique and important in a historic context of polarised, antagonistic and violent relationships between the state and left-wing advocates of human rights and social democratic principles. It will require skilful and opportunistic responses by both donors and social organisations to turn this conjuncture to their favour, in the sense of strengthening their leverage on the Government in relation to human rights, poverty, conflict and democratic governance.
This paper describes the field-test of the Twenty Points of Progress Programme (20PPP) presently being implemented by an NGO called Choice Humanitarian in Guanajuato, Mexico. This is a participatory methodology for systematically measuring and assessing the impact of village development programs, which is participatory in nature, has a specific commitment to community action planning and encourages network development between communities governments and NGOs. Having described the development and implementation of the programme it goes on to look at outcomes and lessons learned, concluding that the 20PPP provides a short, simple, inexpensive and flexible approach to measuring village progress and mobilising community action.
Counter hegemonic globalisation occurs today in many forms and many settings and deals with a variety of issues from land and labour rights to sexual equality to biodiversity and the environment. This paper examines one urban experiment developed to resist the social exclusion that is an undeniable result of the globalisation process by redistributing city resources in favour of the more vulnerable social groups by means of participatory democracy. The experiment was the participatory budget established in 1989 in the city of Porto Alegre.
The first part of the paper describes basic information and the recent history of the city and its government, contextualising both within the Brazilian political system. The second part details a description of the main features of the institutions and processes of the participatory budget and of participation as well as the criteria and methodology for the distribution of resources. The third part examines the development of the participatory budget. The final part analyses the processes of the participatory budget with regards to its efficiency in redistribution, its accountability and quality of representation in a participatory democracy, the notion of dual powers and competing legitimacies and its relationship with the legislative body that formally approves budget.
This document comprises three sections: an overview of the literature, discussion and reflection on the wider issues relating to participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) in Latin America, and an annotated bibliography. The overview provides a broad scan of the literature, which is divided into references that look at case study examples and conceptual issues, tools and methodologies, reviews of experiences in PM&E, and documents that look at PM&E in a broader sense. It then outlines the gaps in the literature. The second section discusses the more important issues as they relate to Latin America, the trends in PM&E work currently observed and some reflections on the methodologies employed. The bibliography sources and abstracts literature relating to PM&E in Latin America.
Women the world over are being prevented from engaging in politics. Women’s political leadership of any sort is a rarity and a career in politics rarer still. We have, however, begun to understand what it takes to create an enabling environment for women’s political participation.
In this pioneering collection, writers from Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are brought together for the first time to talk explicitly about women’s participation in the political scene across the global South. Answering such questions as how women can get political apprenticeship opportunities, how these opportunities translate into the pursuit of a political career, and how these pursuits then influence the kind of political platform women advocate once in power, Women in Politics is essential reading for anyone interested in what it means to engage politically.