This article is a case study of the author's participatory research with the Annette Lomond garment workers' co-operative in the North East of England. It discusses the relationship between the researcher and the participants, power imbalances, accountability, empowerment, effects of the research project, and presentation of findings. She concludes that the aim of uniting research with action and education is not always possible within one project. This alters the balance of the relationship and the nature of accountability.
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 newsletter looks at development and other activities in the villages in the Upper Kahayan area of Indonesia. It is the newsletter of Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta (YTS), an organisation established by a mineral exploration company to facilitate community development in the villages close to the exploration area. YTS has recently been shifting to using PRA approaches with local villages, and the newsletter describes some of the findings from these processes. Main issues covered include insights gained from specific villages as well as more general information about field activities on broader themes such as education, health, economics and governance. The newsletter also contains general updates and news items concerning YTS, and is published quarterly.
Community participation has become an ambiguous umbrella term under which a huge diversity of practices may occur, ranging from 'true' participation to the rhetorical participation, which serves merely to legitimize external interests in a development project. One variable within the participation process that may differ enormously is that of who participates. The tendency to assume that communities are homogenous entities has meant that many people within the community have been excluded from participating. The first section describes some determinants of who participates, which include socio-economic and socio-cultural factors. The remainder of the paper focuses draws on the case study of a rural development project undertaken in a Guatemalan Mayan Community. The local environment and history are described followed by characteristics of the participants, including an exploration of the characteristics of the project staff. The author concludes that participation in voluntary community development projects is largely dependent on socio-economic factors. In addition, geographical access, external social links, age, personality and cultural values all played a part in distinguishing who participates.