This publication reports on the findings of an advocacy Working Group of NGOs in the Philippines. The study documents the experiences of the NGOÆs in influencing public policy and provoked reflections on the current conduct of advocacy in the country. It identifies competencies and techniques useful in effecting policy changes, and identified the capacity-building needs of NGOs and the requirements for developing a discipline for advocacy. A case study method is employed to look at policy-influencing experiences from 1990 to the present, of advocates working on cooperatives, gender, ancestral domain, agrarian reform, labour, aquatic reform, local governance, debt and taxation, and social services. The cases examine processes and techniques for achieving policy reform and focus on the interaction between public policy makers and social actors. The study is also based on reflections and information emerging from discussion fora with key informants (academics, government, etc). Eight case studies are presented and analysed in the report, examining levels of advocacy within the organisation and action impact on policy. In conclusion, the study lists some of the reasons for success and failure in advocacy and gives recommendations for capacity building for supporting advocacy, which concentrates on: enhancing a framework; integrating research and information management; research; skills for market research; ability for negotiation; broadening linkages and networks; strengthening organisation and management; and developing the discipline Finally it proposes some general and comprehensive indicators on measuring advocacy outcomes.
This is the report from a meeting of 49 people engaged in advocacy and citizen participation efforts in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, North America and Europe. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together activists, researchers, trainers and other practitioners to discuss the challenges and successes of citizen-centred advocacy in different country contexts. This report aims to capture key lessons and recommendations to help donors and international NGOs refine their support strategies for training and action in participatory advocacy. The report is structured around the key themes of engagement in advocacy: when is a policy space strategic and when is it just window dressing?; issue-based struggle or struggle-based issues: linking social transformation and policy advocacy; whoÆs who in advocacy: identity, representation and legitimacy; and how to assess success: evaluation for learning.
Participatory research development for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management: a sourcebook
This sourcebook forms part of a wider initiative to promote easy access to systematized information on field-tested participatory research and development concepts and practices. The sourcebook aims to identify and consolidate tested practices and concepts relevant to managing natural resources for agriculture and rural livelihood. The primary audience for the sourcebook are field-based research practitioners in developing countries. The sourcebook is divided into 3 volumes: Understanding, enabling and doing participatory research and development. Volume 1, understanding participatory research and development, looks at typologies and concepts (such as indigenous knowledge, property rights, monitoring and evaluation), approaches, participatory technology development and natural resource management. Volume 2, enabling participatory research and development, looks at capacity building, networking and partnerships, scaling up and institutionalisation. Volume 3, doing participatory research and development, looks at technology development, strengthening local organisations and multi-stakeholder based natural resource management.
In recent years the "development" industry has began to incorporate into its vocabulary notions about the "empowerment of the poor," "participatory democracy," "gender in development" etc. as part of a strategy for poverty alleviation in the developing world. This paper critically examines the notion of participation as the basis of empowerment in the context of a joint CanadianûGhanaian financed rural development project in the Northern Region of Ghana, NORRIP (Northern Region Rural Integrated Programme), including aspects of the IVWP (integrated Village Water Project. The paper argues that because of the inherent goodness of the notion of participation, it has become a substitute for the structural reforms needed for social change. The paper raises questions not just about the terms and mode of participation but further points out that reference to the term "village" or "community" as the basis of participation is simplistic and problematic. The paper also questions the feasibility of the institutional and administrative structures within which such concepts may be realized and makes the case that a focus on local participation and empowerment can provide the state with a legitimate opportunity for shirking its responsibilities by dumping them on local areas, even though those areas lack the resources needed.
How participatory is participation in social funds?: an analysis of three case studies from the Malawi social action fund, (MASAF)
The majority of the evaluations looking at community participation in social funds (SFs) have tended to generalise about the nature of community participation. As a result, there does not appear to be an adequate analysis of the participatory process itself to assess the depth and scope of community participation and whether such participation can generate the benefits associated with the new approach. This paper attempts to contribute to this existing knowledge gap by analysing the nature and type of community participation in three Social Fund projects from Mangochi district of southern Malawi. The paper examines the concept of and different levels of community participation (from passive participation to self-mobilisation), and community participation in social funds worldwide. Community participation in three case studies from the Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) are analysed. The case studies included the Chilipa Community Day Secondary School, the Ngao School for orphans, and a construction of a road linking Mbaluku and Nalikolo under the MASAF Public Works Programme. The author examines community participation in practice of needs assessment and project selection, project planning, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation and maintenance. The concept of community participation in each of the three case studies is examined. It is concluded that the definition of community participation in the three MASAF projects was very narrow and limited, takin on a passive and indirect nature. Consequently, the projects are found to fail to generate the benefits that are attributed to community participation in development initiatives while at the same time failing to empower the local community to take charge of decisions that contribute to their well-being and social advancement.
This issue of Compas magazine focuses on the main controversies that individuals, communities and agencies involved in endogenous development are experiencing, and to show examples of methodologies to handle these controversies. Many of the articles presented show that the experiences of development agencies in consciously and systematically dealing with controversies are still few. The issue focuses on four controversial issues dealt with in separate sections: traditional leadership and governance, gender roles, agriculture and health care. Some of the main questions dealt with are how controversies between traditional leadership and formal government can be bridged; how to build on the strengths of both traditional and modern health care systems; how to understand culture-based gender concepts and support women in traditional cultures who face suppressive gender-related taboos; and how understanding between scientists and traditional farmers can be increased to help agriculture adapt to changing conditions. The issue includes articles on traditional ways of dealing with controversies; challenges between African, Asian and western philosophy; contexts, concepts and controversies between Andean and western cosmovisions; potentials and questions regarding indigenous institutions in Ghana; blending governance systems in Ghana; revitalising traditional leadership in Andhra Pradesh, India; conflict transformation between pastoralists and settled farmers in Sudan; dealing with land conflicts in Zimbabwe; livestock controversies in Europe; traditional leadership and gender in Kenya; rituals, taboos and gender in Sri Lanka; lessons from Buddhism on equality and diversity in Sri Lanka; ancient farming and modern science in Sri Lanka; changes and controversies in Uganda; controversies between farmers and scientists regarding grain storage n Nepal; and integrating different healing practices in Cameroon. The magazine also contains book reviews relating to the subjects discussed and descriptions of future issues. Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, Europe, the Andes, Uganda, Nepal
Recent development theory and practice has placed the concepts of participation and empowerment at its core. Despite vast experience across the world in translating these theories into practice, the sharing and systematising of this experience still has far to go, especially in the area of evaluation. Evaluations carried out in traditional ways tend to come up with over-inflated claims while missing out on a wealth of evidence of real changes and achievements, many of which may not have been anticipated by the project managers and planners. This briefing is based on a detailed study of Reflect (an approach to adult learning and social change pioneered by ActionAid) projects in Uganda and Bangladesh published by DFID in 2003. The study explores in depth how participation and empowerment translate from theory and rhetoric into practice, and how the concepts are understood by the different people and groups involved in such projects. Of particular interest for development practitioners, planners and theorists are the insights into the complexity of evaluating projects with soft or intangible outcomes such as empowerment. This briefing pulls out some thoughts and conclusions from the study in order to further promote and provoke debate in this important area.
This information pack from the Exposure and Dialogue Programme (http://www.exposure-nsd.de) contains instruction materials for immersion and exposure and dialogue programmes (EDPs). In EDPs participants share the life of poor, in order to get better insight in their life. The main aim of the EDP is to transform the existing structures in favour of the poor and underprivileged by encouraging key individuals form diverse sectors to make use of their respective competence and their possibilities to act in favour of the poor. ôGuidelines for Reflection and Dialogue in Exposure and Dialogue Programmesö are concerned with the two phases that come after the exposure phase. They cover the time spent in reflection of the experiences of exposures and in deepening these experiences in dialogue. The guidelines go throw five steps of dealing with this process including individual reflection; telling key stories, communicating the main experiences of the exposure; thematic deepening of experiences to feed into policy development; north-south dialogue and networking; and reflecting on consequences and follow-up. ôGuidelines for Facilitators of Exposure and Dialogue Programmesö goes through all the phases of the EDP and looks specifically at the role of the facilitator. It gives thirteen key recommendations on how implement an EDP. The ôHand-out for shaping the Immersion Process: Exposure, Reflection and Dialogueö is directed at participants of an immersion programme, and gives practical tips for shaping the phases of a programme, and the individual steps that participants should take during the course of the programme. The ôHand-out for shaping the process of Immersion and for analysing the findings about vulnerability, life cycle risks and the risk management strategies of women workersö is directed specifically at participants of an EDP undertaken with the Self Employed WomenÆs Association, SEWA, in Gujarat, India. It contains tolls for shaping the phases of exposure and reflection, and for the analysis of life cycle risks and for writing life stories focussing on risk management strategies. The booklet öDevelopment has got a faceö gives an overview of EDP process, and presents experiences from EDPs conducted by the Association for the promotion of North-South Dialogue in Brazil, the Philippines, India and Bolivia. The pack also contains an example of a brief report from an EDP conducted with SEWA, India.