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".
Jos Plateau Environmental Resources Development Programme, Nigeria - Project Identification using Rapid Rural Appraisal, October 1991: Part I (interim report 21) selection of communities and collaborative workshop/ Part II (interim report 22) Marit villag
The Jos Plateau Environmental Resources Development Programme [JPERDP] (Nigeria) aims at developing a viable approach to rural development in the tin-mining region of the Jos plateau. The approach was by 1991 already moulding itself around two twin thrusts, namely, action research and capacity building. Part I of the report contains the selection process used to identify and contact cooperating communities for part of the phase two of the JPERDP, and also goes on to document the action-oriented collaborative training workshop. Two communities were selected, Marit and Wereng, according to a set of selection criteria offsetting common biases in rural development. Part II and III are village reports from the villages of Marit and Wereng.
This case book was prepared by an independent task force on 'community action for social development' as a prelude to the Copenhagen Social Summit. The 12 case studies on successful community-based social development are from a wide range of countries, such as Zimbabwe, Colombia, Tanzania, Sweden, India, Kenya, Poland, Pakistan, Tibet, Thailand and China. This casebook presents diversity of the worldwide movement towards community- based social development and defines a common process used by the successful programs. A common theme that runs through these case studies is that sustainable social development is difficult but possible; outside agencies involved in sustainable human development should respect people, their values and cultures, build trust and share power and responsibility with the people. The book also stresses the need to provide space for community action and maintain close co-operation between the state, community and NGO.
''NKASIRI'': Participatory Rural Appraisal and Planning Techniques: Workshop proceedings, Maralal, Kenya, 1996
This paper documents a workshop run by SDDP for trainees on PRA and participatory planning. The introduction to the workshop raised issues like what participatory development actually entails in practice, and introduced the '' ladder of participation'' i.e. different degrees of participation. The trainees were divided into four teams and introduced to a range of PRA tools, with a list of do's and dontÆs. Community action plans were introduced. The document concludes with discussions arising from the process and their implications for workshop participants and communities. The annexes include a discussion of the relation between PRA and rural development and workshop participantsÆ evaluation comments.
The short article starts by discussing the role of evaluation as an integral part of the project cycle and goes on to discuss the problems with the conventional approaches to evaluation. From a list of these problems a number of pre-requisites of good evaluation systems are identified. This then leads to a discussion of participatory evaluation with specific emphasis on how this can be carried out using the general philosophy of PRA techniques. Participatory evaluation as a concept within the watershed development project is then introduced and a list of both quantitative and qualitative indicators which are developed within the programme are identified as indicators. These indicators cover all the different sectors or aspects of the project. A list of potentially relevant PRA tools that could be utilised to evaluate these indicators is provided and a table illustrating the most appropriate tools or groups of tools used to measure a specific indicator is designed. The article concludes with a list of helpful points to keep in mind when carrying out participatory evaluation.
This video provides a good introduction to the potential benefits of PRA in implementing projects which benefit those normally excluded by conventional approaches. It contains interesting interviews with villagers who had previously participated in a PRA process. It also uses dramatised scenes to emphasise aspects of PRA, mostly concerning behaviour and attitudes. Which scenes have been scripted is sometimes confusing. Key points made are that marginalised people are usually not reached by conventional development approaches (03, 05, 30). The attitudes and behaviour of development workers and academics contributes to this (13, 37). PRA facilitates outsiders learning from villagers (08, 18) and overcomes conventional biases (34, 38). This is shown through the experience of Paraikulan villagers who worked with an NGO, SPEECH, to reclaim barren land. The outputs of PRA methods shown include mapping (19), wealth ranking (25), seasonality analysis (26), matrix ranking of problems (28), oral history (29), and Venn diagrams (32). Women were included in village development activities, through literacy classes and increased access to agricultural inputs (34). Villagers reflect on the subsequent activities to reclaim barren land and its impact on their lives (42), both in terms of production and increased confidence (44). A resident of another villager reports that the experience of Paraikulan set an example for other villagers (46).
This collection of articles demonstrates some of the methodological problems which may be experienced in participatory research. This is followed by examples of participatory research, which illustrate general and methodological observations from different sectors and continents. Donors perspectives are the subject of a chapter and finally there is a listing of contacts in participatory research and networking.
Analysing the deforestation narrative in the Businda Participatory Poverty Assessment Report : how was it constructed?
This paper analyses the environmental assessment of the Businda Sub-village, as part of the Shinyanga Region, Tanzania Participatory Poverty Assessment. The author argues that the perceptions of the researchers involved in the research came to prevail over those of the community and examines the reasons for this.
This book includes a wide ranging collection of papers which have been divided into sections dealing with communicating with children, gender empowerment, community interactive processes, approaches and insights, ethics and values of community participation and organizational capacity building.
This paper provides several examples of inappropriate policies and programmes in the field of natural resource management, as a basis for highlighting and reflecting on the importance of appropriate behaviour and attitudes on the part of policy makers and programm managers.
Community based sustainable human development : a proposal for going to scale with self-reliant social development
This document proposes an approach to sustainable development that includes three environmental care objectives of ecosystem management, meeting basic needs, and community empowerment. It notes a growing consensus that sustainable human development depends mainly on what people in their families and their communities do for themselves. The document argues that under any political or economic system, sustainable development seems to follow a common sequence. Projects move from pilot phase into large scale implementation. It highlights a UNICEF program, "SCALE for human development" and discusses topics such as preconditions for sustainable development, stages of action, and basic principles in sustainable human development, among others.
'Voices of the Poor' is a series of three books that collates the experiences, views and aspirations of over 60,000 poor women and men. This second book of the series draws material from a 23-country comparative study, which used open-ended participatory methods, bringing together the voices and realities of 20,000 poor women, men, youth and children. Despite very different political, social and economic contexts, there are striking similarities in poor people's experiences. The common underlying theme is one of powerlessness, which consists of multiple and interlocking dimensions of illbeing or poverty. The book starts by describing the origins of the study, the methodology and some of the challenges faced. This is followed by an exploration of the multidimensional nature of wellbeing and illbeing. Most of the book comprises the core findings - the 10 dimensions of powerlessness and illbeing that emerge from the study - and is organised around these themes. These include livelihoods and assets; the places where poor people live and work; the body and related to this, accessing health services; gender roles and gender relations within the household; social exclusion; insecurity and related fears and anxieties; the behaviour and character of institutions; and poor people's ratings of the most important institutions in their lives. These dimensions are brought together into a many-stranded web of powerlessness, which is compounded by the lack of capability, including lack of information, education, skills and confidence. The final chapter is a call to action and dwells on the challenge of change.
This overview is about promoting people's participation in the management of natural resources, with a special focus on collaborative management systems. It starts by briefly describing the type and nature of participation used in the process of promoting and supporting collaborative management. The following chapter provides an overview of this process, describing the nature and scope of the participatory process for supporting the collaborative management of natural resources. A description of the actors involved and the environment in which the process occurs is presented, providing generalisations about stakeholder groups encountered, and a summary of circumstances of the physical and social environment that can have a major influence on collaborative management. The overview concludes with a discussion about some of the practical aspects of managing a support programme.
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.