This book is part of a process of sharing information and experience, which started when workers at the Oxford Development Education Centre (ODEC) found that they gained valuable insights and lessons from working with colleagues from Southern countries. Together with other organisations and networks that work on community development, an effort was made to cultivate better working relationships and to share lessons with each other. A survey and covering letter was devised, and distributed through various networks. The resulting replies make up this book, which is intended to support a wider process of mutual learning for social change. The general themes and observations that arise from the survey are highlighted. This is followed by detailed survey responses provided by southern grassroots community groups, northern grassroots community groups, groups working on adult education and training, national and/or international groups based in the UK and groups based in other northern countries. The responses cover information about the community activities each group is involved in, the target groups they work with, the international partnerships they have, as well as the successes and challenges faced. There is also a section that summarises research on North/South mutual work and learning. The book concludes with a statistical analysis of the survey results, identifying gaps and future areas for support.
Rural development forestry in Scotland : the struggle to bring international principles and best practices to the last bastion of British colonial forestry.
Examines the failure of the state forestry agency (the Forestry Commission) to involve local rural communities in the management of its substantial forest land holdings in Scotland. This disregard for local people is in spite of the governments declared support for the UNCED Forest Principles and the article suggests that the FC would do well to learn from the governments overseas technical assistance programmes.
The experience of three Scottish NGO's to ensure the participation of local people at all stages of forestry planning and implementation through the use of PRA is outlined. This programme is revealed to have met with some opposition from the Foestry Commission but at the same time to have acted as a catalyst for recent changes in forest policy.
Exploration of participation : possibilities and limits of a participatory training approach in volunteers' organisation.
A study examining a participatory training workshop, subsequent activities and final evaluation with volunteers working for INZET, an NGO which aims to maximise the possibilities for sustainable development in the South through influencing government policy.
The aims of the training were to restimulate the enthusiasm of volunteers, bring them and their work closer to the INZET activities and equip them with the additional skills necessary for their promotional work. The study describes and reflects on the process and examines the effectiveness of the participatory training in achieving its aims.
This book presents a participative action model to assist groups in developing the organisational, analytical and management skills required for community action to achieve sustainable use of land and water resources at the local level. Groups using this book are expected to develop participatory mechanisms for planning and implementing land and water management projects. It is aimed at developing self-learning skills by community leaders, extension officers and students in Australia. The contents are divided into short learning units in which outlines of theories, concepts and principles are followed by personal and group activities. The organisation of chapters follows the pattern of group development. It explains the philosophy of participative action in land care (Ch. 2); and discusses learning to work together, development of leadership skills and defining of roles and responsibilities (Chs. 3-5). The next eight chapters are on 'how to' aspects of group functioning: running a meeting, organising activities, planning, motivating oneself and others, effective communication, finding human and financial resources for projects. The last two chapters discuss how to keep momentum going and how to manage conflicts that accompany change.
This chapter from a guide to participatory land and water resource management, designed for community leaders and extension officers in Australia, discusses participatory planning for community action. Its main points are: the planning process consists of situational analysis, goal-setting, selection of solutions, development of implementation plans and monitoring and evaluation; seven steps are given to provide understanding of institutional planning undertaken by various agencies in the district; eight steps work through community planning by developing managerial skills; and eight techniques for improving participatory planning are described in detail. The chapter is written in a comprehensible and interactive style.
Soft-Systems Methodology for Action Research: The Role of a College Farm in an Agricultural Education Institution
This paper concerns the use of action research within a research institute both to meet immediate objectives of the staff and to learn about the research methodology. In a situation characterised by decreased funding and curriculum reform based on the concepts of experiential learning, the Checkland soft-systems methodology was adopted to manage a change in the role of university farms using a consensus approach. Two outcomes of the research process were (i) improvement in financial returns in the farms, a better working climate and greater use of farms in experiential education, and (ii) the researchers learned about the methodology and how it is able to accommodate purposeful behaviour and issues of power. Following description of the initial situation, the paper outlines the steps involved in applying the soft-systems methodology to that situation.