This book describes a grassroots approach to empowering people for democratic social change. It explains participatory research using exemplarly case studies on community organizing, femist theory and ecological movements from a range of locations in North America. It challenges the relevance and validity of academic social science research.
This discussion paper aims to show that PRA is able to generate information that is quantifiable, objective and as reliable as any information generated from sample surveys. The paper is split into three main sections: Quantitive Data from PRA which outlines the varied types of data and information which can be generated by using PRA; Reliability of PRA Data which looks at the advantages of using participatory approaches over the older style sample surveys; Using PRA for Regional/State Planning which shows how these approaches can be scaled up to involve the community in regional planning processes. The paper concludes that information generated by PRA is both qualitative and quantitative, and unlike questionnaire surveys should not be extractive. It generates information that strengthens the capacity of marginalised communities to meet their needs, and as such is an integral part of a community-based development process.
A compilation of four reports from the Institute for Development Research: "Ideology and Political Economy in Inquiry: Action Research and Participatory Research" by LD Brown and R Tandon; "People-Centered Development and Participatory Research" by LD Brown; "Participatory Research and Community Planning" by LD Brown; "Building Capacity Through Action Learning" by M Leach.
El Proyecto Sierra de Santa Marta: experimentacion participativa para el uso adecuado de recursos geneticos maiceros
This book narrates participatory research and experimentation with improved seeds as well as with local germoplasm in the Sierra de Santa Marta, Veracruz, Mexico, within the scope of the practical and research works developed by Sierra de Santa Marta Project for a sustainable development strategy and community development in this region of Mexico.
This second edition of the The SAGE Handbook of Action Research has been updated to bring chapters in line with the latest qualitative and quantitative approaches in this field of social inquiry. Peter Reason and Hilary Bradbury have introduced new commentaries that draw links between different contributions and show their interrelations. Contributing authors engage with the pragmatics of doing action research and demonstrate how this can be a rich and rewarding reflective practice. They tackle questions of how to integrate knowledge with action, how to collaborate with co-researchers in the field, and how to present the necessarily 'messy' components in a coherent fashion. The organization of the volume reflects the many different issues and levels of analysis represented.
Lessons from malaria control activities in urban West Africa using a research-action-capacity building approach
This paper discusses how a community-based approach - Research Action Capacity-building (RAC) - can be valuable for malaria control and more specifically for the dissemination of insecticide treated bednets (ITNs), using the case study of a bednet project in N'Djamena, capital of Chad. A description of the concepts and methods of the RAC approach is given, along with a comparison with the like-minded approach of Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) - the RAC approach emphasizing that social change is its ultimate goal. The potential of the RAC approach for mobilizing and strengthening community-based activities is discussed. In addition a report on the successes and failures occurring in the case study, of the initial stages of the net selling and impregnation centres is outlined. In conclusion, the authors propose two major points. Firstly, when promoting ITNs, technical, economic and social factors must be targeted. Lastly, collaboration and communication at local, regional and international levels are vital for a project to be sustainable.
This book focuses on the use of participatory research in poverty reduction policies and presents a series of participants reflections on recent and on going processes. Contributions from researchers and practitioners in the field of poverty reduction examine how participatory research has affected the way poverty is understood and how these understandings have been acted on in policy making for poverty reduction. The critical reflections of the authors feature various aspects of the relationship between participation and policy, spanning different levels from the individual researcher to the global institution. They highlight lessons to be learned from current practice and challenges for the future, including the balancing of knowledge, action and consciousness in participatory research processes which can influence the development of policy that reflects and responds to the needs and priorities of poor people.
This paper is a case study exploring the process of mobilising citizen action around the right to information. It documents a recent experience with a participatory social audit carried out with marginalized villages in Orissa under a less-than-transparent panchayat (local government). A campaign involving participatory action research, popular education, training and alliances among people's organisations, NGOs, sympathetic government officials and the media, led to exposure and prosecution of corrupt panchayat officials.
This paper describes a 15-year battle by a poor rural community to stop industrial pollution of their water supply, and reveals the multiple strategies used by the people of Yellow Creek to hold powerful government and corporate interests accountable. Key elements of success included the uses of participatory research (including scientific research), freedom of information provisions, and the legal system, as well as strategic alliances and genuine partnerships with supportive and respectful NGOs.
This journal, published by PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia) in New Delhi, focuses on the facilitation of citizenÆs participation in development and democratic governance. This volume presents 7 articles where of 3 are based directly on experiences from practice in case studies, and many are based on experiences from workshops organised by PRIA. Tandon and Mohanty examine the role of civil society initiatives in influencing public policy in India (Influencing public policy: civil society and governance in India). Poverty eradication and democratic governance in South Asia by Sen, is based on the deliberations and concerns that emerged out of the first module, ôUnderstanding the Macro-Policy frameworkö in the second course of Regional Advocacy Training programme held at PRIA. Sen also describes the Status of Baisis in the contemporary context: a study in the Deogarh district of JharkhandI, which is a tiered traditional system of self-governance. Dwivedi contributes with the Challenges of leadership in Voluntary Development Organisations and a discussion of Participatory impact Assessment in South Asia, a pilot project initiated by New Zeeland VASS (Voluntary Agency Support Scheme). Anand write about Experiences and lessons of strengthening citizenÆs monitoring in Jharkand: A citizenship perspective, and Mohanty analyses Research practice engagement for social development. The journal also includes four book reviews on: Internatinoal prespective on voluntary action- Reshaping the third sector edited by Lewis; Complex responsive processes in organisations- Learning and knowledge creation by Staecy; Participation of the poor in Development Initiatives- Taking their rightful place by Long; and Roles and relevance- Development NGOs and the challenge of change by Lewis and Wallace.
This paper introduces the work of the project introduces the work on the project Action Research on Community-Based Planning (CBP), providing both the background to the topic and findings after two years. How community involvement in planning and management can link to decentralised delivery systems has formed the basis of this DFID funded action research project covering Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and South Africa. The CBP project was developed as a response to two challenges: an analysis of the institutional issues in trying to implement a sustainable livelihoods approach; and a realisation of the limitations of efforts to promote decentralisation, where these concentrated on local government itself, and not also on how local government serves citizens. The paper begins by looking at the challenges of implementing a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach on micro (community) and macro (local government) levels. It goes on to describe the purpose and approach of the action research on community based planning project. An approach was adopted addressing all the focuses of CBP in a manner that is implementable and sustainable using the resources available to local governments and in local communities. The principles underlying this approach to CBP are described together with the main challenges of the approach. The core methodology of the approach involved the use of a variety of PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal)/PLA (Participatory learning and Action) tools, combined in a three to five day strategic process. In the first year of piloting two million people were covered by the methodology. The paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges of upscaling CBP projects.
This paper shares experiences of a participatory land management approach Gestion de Terroirs developed from 1986 by the Burkinabe government. The approach is based on rural community based management, and is multisectoral, multidisciplinary, village based, and flexible. Although the National Programme for Gestion Terroirs (PNGT) was implemented in 1992-1996, Burkina is only now developing a system for local government, which should come into place in 2005. Meanwhile it has a well developed system of legally recognised community structures called Village Committees for Area Management (CVGT). These can receive funds and manage development in their area. The article describes the approach of the PNGT including establishment of and support of the CVGTs, coordination of actors at different levels, promoting decentralisation, and participatory assessment of community issues using MARP (the Accelerated Method for Participatory Research). It presents the results of PNGT which covered 8 provinces and ca. 150000 people with the main investments including: social and economic infrastructure; land management strategies; agricultural support; and forest management. MARP was used to study the impact of the project, including wealth ranking, giving positive response with 73% of beneficiaries estimating improved production and 80% improved food security. There was also improved soil fertility, increased vegetation cover, increased biodiversity, increased yields, better and more community organisation, improved community capacity, and a strengthened community role in development.
Challenging and changing the big picture: the roles of participatory research in public planning policy
This article examines the guiding ideas and ultimate realities of government-led participatory research in Tanzania and Uganda. It considers the extent to which research results have influenced meso- (e.g. district) and macro- (e.g. national) level planning for poverty reduction and why; the degree to which research processes have contributed to democratisation and citizen empowerment and implications for the future of participatory approaches to policy oriented research. The article reflects over the consequences of recent initiatives from development aid donors to streamline development assistance and improve the performance of sector ministries, leading to unprecedented pressure for poor countries to generate up-to-date, detailed socio-economic data. It looks specifically on how this has affected East Africa. It goes on to give a background to the development and role of Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) in Africa, and looks specifically at the Tanzania PPA (TzPPA), 2002-2003, and the Ugandan PPA Process (UPAP), 1998-2001. It compares the methodological differences of the two projects, where the bad experiences with Community Action Plans (CAPs) in UPAP led TzPPA; and UPAP focussed more on involving as many individual community members as possible while TzPPA only sought large community-wide. Finally an analysis is made of the benefits of participatory approaches in UAPAP and TzPPA on policy and empowerment, and it concludes with the potentials and pitfalls of PPAs.
Rapid changes are taking place in international development. The past two decades have promoted the ideals of participation and partnership, yet key decisions affecting people's lives continue to be made without sufficient attention to the socio-political realities of the countries in which they live. Embedded working traditions, vested interests and institutional inertia mean that old habits and cultures persist among the development community. On this premise, the authors of this book describe the need to recognise the complex, non-linear nature of development assistance and how bureaucratic procedures and power relations hinder poverty reduction in the new aid environment. The book begins with a conceptual and historical analysis of aid, exposing the challenges and opportunities facing aid professionals today. It argues for greater attention to accountability and the adoption of rights based approaches. In section two, practitioners, policymakers and researchers discuss the realities of power and relationships from their experiences across 16 countries. Their accounts, from government, donors and civil society, expose the highly politicised and dynamic aid environment in which they work. The book then explores ways forward for aid agencies, challenging existing political, institutional and personal ways of working. Breaking the barriers to ensure more inclusive aid will require visionary leadership and a courageous commitment to change. The authors show how translating rhetoric into practice relies on changing the attitudes and behaviours of individual actors. The book aims to present a contribution to the understanding of how development assistance and poverty reduction can be most effectively delivered by the professionals and agencies involved.