ALNAP's Global Study on Participation and Consultation of Affected Populations in Humanitarian Action: review of French literature
This literature review is intended to complement the English and Spanish literature reviews carried out as part of the Global Study. Many of the issues and points of discussion raised in the English review were also noted or confirmed in the French literature. There are inevitable influences and overlaps between the various literatures, such that to make a clear distinction between the French, Spanish and English literature is, to a certain extent, artificial. However, it cannot be denied that there are some differences in approaches and emphasis, due to the predominance of certain schools of thought or institutional cultures. This paper emphasizes the differences by focusing on elements that were not yet necessarily covered by the other views, or that are addressed from a different angle. The objectives of the review are to clarify the concepts and definitions of terms related to participation and consultation in the French literature on development and humanitarian aid; present and analyse key debates around the concept and practice of participation; review lessons learned, recommendations, and manuals that can be useful for the elaboration of the Global Study Practitioner's Handbook and overview book; and illustrate the issues raised through case studies that are relevant to humanitarian action.
What do Buzzwords do for Development Policy? A critical look at 'participation', 'empowerment' and 'poverty reduction'
In the fast-moving world of development policy, buzzwords play an important part in framing solutions. Today's development orthodoxies are captured in a seductive mix of such words, among which ‘participation’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘poverty reduction’ take a prominent place. This paper takes a critical look at how these three terms have come to be used in international development policy, exploring how different configurations of words frame and justify particular kinds of development interventions.
It analyses their use in the context of two contemporary development policy instruments, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (prsps) and the Millennium Development Goals (mdgs). We show how words that once spoke of politics and power have come to be reconfigured in the service of today's one-size-fits-all development recipes, spun into an apoliticised form that everyone can agree with. As such, we contend, their use in development policy may offer little hope of the world free of poverty that they are used to evoke.
Using Participatory Action Research Methodologies for Engaging and Researching with Religious Minorities in Contexts of Intersecting Inequalities
This book is intended for all who are committed to human wellbeing and who want to make our world fairer, safer and more fulfilling for everyone, especially those who are ‘last’. It argues that to do better, we need to know better.
It provides evidence that what we believe we know in international development is often distorted or unbalanced by errors, myths, biases and blind spots. Undue weight has been attached to standardised methodologies such as randomised control trials, systematic reviews, and competitive bidding; these are shown to have huge transaction costs, which are rarely if ever recognised in their enormity.
Robert Chambers contrasts a Newtonian paradigm in which the world is seen and understood as controllable with a paradigm of complexity, which recognises that the real world of social processes and power relations is messy and unpredictable. To confront the challenges of complex and emergent realities requires a revolutionary new professionalism.
This is underpinned by a new combination of canons of rigour expressed through eclectic methodological pluralism and participatory approaches that reverse and transform power relations. Promising developments include rapid innovations in participatory information and communication technnologies (ICTs), participatory statistics, and the Reality Check Approach, with its up-to-date and rigorously grounded insights. Fundamental to the new professionalism, in every country and context, are reflexivity, facilitation, groundtruthing, personal mindsets, behaviour, attitudes, empathy and love.