This is a selection of letters and memos from FAO offices sent in reply to an IDS request for information on the use of PRA in policy research. Most replies indicate little such application of PRA. the last letter, however, concerns the use of PRA in a fisheries programme in Guinea. 45 fisheries department staff were trained in PRA. This resulted in a series of reports, prepared by national staff without requiring any further outside assistance, being one of the reasons why the reports seem to have had an impact on policy decisions at the ministry level.
This is a resource book designed primarily for development workers working within the field of the rural poor. It describes a range of first-hand experiences with participatory approaches in the context of projects funded by The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and governments in Asia and the Pacific. The book is divided into a number of sections. Part One examines poverty and participation and explains why the poor should be targeted and in what ways this is possible. Part Two describes in detail the actual participatory approaches. Part three concentrates on participation in the project planning and implementation stage. Part Four assesses the monitoring impact and Part Five examines issues in participation with regards to institutions, partnerships and governance.
The Participatory Approaches Learning Study (PALS) examined the potential for increasing stakeholder participation in DFID country programmes and at DFID's experience of delivering aid through participatory approaches. Its recommendations include proposals on staff development, on ways to make the Project Cycle Management System more flexible and accountable, and on making participation a stronger characteristic of DFID itself. The two-year research project involved separate studies of four of DFID's geographical departments - DFID-India, DFID-Bangladesh, South East Asia Division, and the Western and North Africa Department, which included India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ghana, Egypt and Nigeria. This report is a synthesis of the main findings and lessons from each of the geographical studies and includes Operational lessons from PALS, Participation and Project Cycle Management, Training Needs and Participation and Institutionalising Participation.