This is a report on research undertaken with the objective of gauging real and perceived human insecurity among civilians affected by social violence in South Asia. The project drew on qualitative methodologies to measure æriskÆ and ævulnerabilityÆ in four communities in South Asia affected by small arms-related violence. In determining whether participatory research had any added value to uncover qualitative dimensions of arms related insecurity, it became clear that there is a strong case for expanding participatory action research in the security and disarmament fields, especially in relation to the monitoring and evaluation of violence reduction programmes and security sector reform. The main finding was that most communities felt threatened by the excesses committed by security forces and were particularly worried about being caught in the crossfire between armed forces. Almost without exception, they believed that a political solution to armed violence is the only workable option for redressing insecurity and that preventative and reactive military responses would yield few positive results.
This report is a synthesis of outcomes and findings of a five-day workshop that was the initial activity for the project "Human Security and the Threat of Firearms: Perspectives from South Asia", co-ordinated by the Small Arms Survey and The Regional Centre for Strategic Studies. The project aims to measure how people themselves experience security and the relationship between small arms and human security, and to appraise the impacts of small arms on people and vulnerable groups in four communities via a combination of development tools and methodologies. Participatory research, particularly Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Participatory Urban Appraisal (PUA) are being used as a way of evaluating people-centred security where the focus is on the subjective experience of fear and insecurity, rather than on "objective" criteria and data on small arms related insecurity, which the literature is characterised by. Participants of the workshop in June 2001 were researchers from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They came together to define and prioritise research objectives for pilot studies in these countries. The report defines PRA and links it to security and small arms, and to human security, outlines the pilot projects and concludes with the research agenda.
This document presents the proceedings from the three-day National Workshop on Network management organised by the Eastern Region Participatory Action Network (ERPAN) in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), under the Pathways to Participation project. The main objectives of the workshop were to exchange ideas and practices of network management existing in national and international contexts, and to formulate future strategies. A brief analysis is made of the lessons learned from the workshop procedure and structure, and the document goes on to present the daily proceedings of the workshop. The first two days of the workshop were focussed on sharing, concept, history, and present situation of the networks with experiences from Nepal, Bangladesh and Tanzania. On the third day the discussions of the previous two days were summarised by dividing the participants into four groups discussing monitoring, quality and linkages, membership issues, function, and sustainability of networks. The proceedings are followed by 14 annexes comprising some of the presentations made, including: evaluation and feedback; review of the workshop; notes on workshop facilitation; a letter from the ERPAN chairperson reflecting on the workshop; an overview of international participatory networks and their present status; experiences of ERPAN, ActionAid, NEPAN (Nepal Participatory Action Network), PANDA (Participatory Analysis of Needs and Development Action), PARENT (Participatory Resource Network Tanzania); promotion of peopleÆs participation in Bangladesh and the role of PPS (PRA promotion Society); an analysis of networking of civil society, development and capacity building, and challenges encountered by networks and future perspectives; a daily programme schedule; and a list of the participants
This paper discusses community exchange programmes as a powerful mechanism for increasing the capacity of community organisations to participate in urban development. By enabling communities to share and explore local knowledge created through livelihood struggles, a powerful process is triggered, whereby community exchanges transform development. Through a cumulative process of learning, sharing and collective action, strong sustained and mobilised networks of communities emerge. Central to this has been the sharing of experiences between communities, first at very local levels, then in the city, then nationally and internationally. The development of this methodology by the National Slum Dwellers Association, SPARC (an NGO) and Mahila Milan (a federation of women's cooperatives) in India is described. Exchanges are located within a broader approach to community learning and people's empowerment. Benefits of the exchange process are examined, and the paper reflects on why exchanges are an effective methodology for supporting a process of people-centred development. The necessary conditions for the exchange process to be fully effective are reviewed, which consequently point to the distinct characteristics of the exchange process vis-Ó-vis other participation methodology. It concludes by drawing together some of the wider implications of this approach.
Community to community exchanges, which enable poor people to plan, control and negotiate their own development strategies, are the focus of this paper, particularly in the context of squatters/slum dwellers. These exchanges, which spread to international exchanges amongst the urban poor, have birthed a people's movement of global proportions. The paper begins by summarising the urban context in which these organisations emerged, and the scale and nature of the development challenge they face. The emergence of Mahila Milan - a network of women's savings collectives formed by women pavement dwellers in India - is described as a precursor of the initiative, while the need for new models of urban development led to a search for ways of enhancing community learning and hence, exchanges. The ways in which the network can support its members through international exchanges are identified and discussed. A concluding section considers some of the wider implications of the work of Shack/ Slum Dwellers International for people-centred development
Participatory methods are frequently extremely good at gathering huge amounts of information, but are often less helpful with the question of how to deal with the information. This article relates some methods that were used to deal with this issue in India, by SPEECH (Society for People's Education and Economic Change), a small field-based NGO, in examining sustainable agriculture. It describes a simplified example of the process, which includes narrowing down the information, interpreting the information, as well as making it relevant for a policy audience. Also crucial are explicit plans for an iterative process of discussion and feedback/ review of the emerging results, in order to validate the research results.
This article discusses how the new participatory approach of social network analysis (SNA) can be used to understand social capital (the quality of relationships among and between people). It also describes how strong social networks and capital can influence policy at the local level. Drawing from a case study in Nepal, it illustrates the use of SNA as a potential tool for participatory monitoring and evaluation.
Swimming against the current : an experience from Sri Lanka in upscaling and mainstreaming participation of primary stakeholders : lessons learned and ways forward
This paper describes an experience from Sri Lanka in scaling-up and mainstreaming participation of primary stakeholders. It first offers a typology of participation and discusses the participatory methodologies promoted in Sri Lanka. The process and strategy adopted in scaling-up and mainstreaming participatory processes in the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka are discussed, along with its successes and failures, drawing from experience with a project on rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure.
Document prepared by a group of 26 participatory trainers and practitioners from NGO's and Government, mainly in South Asia, which highlights the issues surrounding the rapid spread of PRA which has taken place. The problems encountered from this scaling up are highlighted, including a lack of sufficiently experienced PRA trainers, such that there has been much poor quality training , with most notably a lack of emphasis on behaviour and attitudes and also a failure for the necessary internal change in culture and practice of the organisations adopting the approach to take place. The types of bad practice which have come about at the field level as a consequence of this are outlined, such as rigid procedures with little thought to the appropriateness of different tools. Finally, recommendations are made for dealing with some of these consequences of rapid scaling up of PRA.
Report of an International Workshop held in Calcutta, May 1997 which examined the challenges to PRA training in view of the rapid expansion of PRA. The report includes the workshop proceeedings, articles on the subject and also a joint statement by the participants.
This article provides a summary of the major challenges currently facing PRA, as well as the changes implied by some of these challenges. The challenges are considered at six different levels, namely the individual, community, organisational, project and programme, donor and policy levels. The challenges identified are drawn from the literature on PRA, as well as from a recent series of workshops held by the author with the staff of six NGOs that are promoting PRA in South Asia. The article concludes by attributing these challenges to five cross-cutting factors: differences in power, culture, knowledge, money and time.
This is a workshop report in Hindi, which discusses the use of PRA methods with Dalits and women in India, focusing on three major themes. The first is the need to involve the people who are the 'target' of PRA approaches. Despite the emphasis on 'bottom-up' approaches, this has not been the reality, hence the call to revise and refocus on people. Secondly, PRA practitioners are urged to re-examine their roles and change themselves as part of returning to the roots of PRA. They need to become more helpers and facilitators and less teachers and leaders of PRA projects. Finally, literature on PRA should be in a range of local languages to be more accessible
This article explores constraints encountered when using PRA on an ODA-funded natural resources project in a tribal area of Western India. It was particularly evident that women's participation in the PRAs was minimal. The reasons for this were practical (women were not available collectively for long periods of time & there were few women fieldworkers as the project had just begun), social (PRA activities tended to take place in public places where women felt awkward) and methodological (women respond to PRA activities in different ways, sometimes feeling bored and "communicating by singing instead"). The author argues that an organised PRA "gives privilege to certain kinds of knowledge and representation and suppresses others" : the emphasis given to formal knowledge and activities tends to "reinforce the invisibility of women's roles". However, once the formal and public nature of PRA is perceived as a problem, it can become a means by which "women's knowledge and activities.. can be transferred from the informal to the formal arena of project planning", thereby increasing women's profile. Suggestions for encouraging women's participation in PRA include: making non-public contexts (since women are more used to the "private sphere"), using women's knowledge and ways of communicating (songs, sayings, proverbs). There are constraints: the "production of observable outputs (maps, diagrams of PRA) have more status for fieldworkers" than scribbled songs or informal interview notes and women's expressed needs (eg a flour mill) "don't fit easily into established categories of natural resource development".