This introductory paper defines the most commonly used development terms - participation and empowerment. The theoretical and ideological roots of these concepts and the use, abuse and misuse of these terms in the policy and practice of developmental organisations are reviewed. Drawing on various theoretical and more specific case studies presented in the book, a clear gap is shown between institutional rhetoric and the practice of participatory development. The paper suggests a shift in power within the community and institutions and appeals to both researchers and practitioners involved in participatory development to create an enabling environment in which participatory values are institutionalised.
This article argues that PRA, in its brief history, has helped community groups to make remarkable achievements throughout the developing world. Moreover the article highlights the lessons learnt from the application of PRA, such as the importance of participation, accountability, partnership and ownership and its impact on planning and management of development programmes. The article also outlines four key areas where additional field research, assessments, and dissemination are needed with a view to making PRA a more structured and operational approach to development planning and implementation. The paper concludes with recommendations for strengthening capacities of community institutions, developing methodologies and conducting research on devising new applications of PRA.
This book is the outcome of a workshop on participation organised by Duryog Nivaran, a South-Asian network of individuals and organisations concerned with large scale disruptions in society due either to natural disasters or conflicts. This introductory chapter gives a glimpse of papers included in the above book. The papers come from a group who have not only encountered the notion of participation in different capacities but have also understood it in different ways. Four of the seven papers included in the book look at participation primarily in the context of development and development projects; two of the papers look at the link between participation and political process at the macro level and raise questions about the relationship between development projects and political processes in wider society. Finally, one paper attempts to straddle these two worlds. The book contends that it is important to promote healthy critical debates on the concept and the experience of participation in various contexts. However, the emergence of participation as a new development orthodoxy needs to be questioned.
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.
This reflection on a training workshop covers a number of issues, including the ritualisation and homogenisation of PRA, and the quantitative and categorising orientation while ignoring other forms of expression. Much of the note concerns the need to highlight empowerment elements of PRA: how do you bring villagers together? How do you bring women together? What processes can enable the poor to articulate? How can empowerment through PRA be sustained and nurtured? It touches on the issue of PRA as 'empowerment' or 'research tool'?
Neighbourhood Action Packs have been developed with the help of 'professionals' and other 'local experts', to facilitate decision-making about the neighbourhood. They can be used to work out step by step what has to be done and who is best placed to do it, drawing on the knowledge of 'experts' of both kinds. This guide explains the methodology underlying the approach and some of the applications in the Neighbourhood Action Packs. These concern relations between locals and council or government representatives, education for neighbourhood change in schools, finding out about local needs and resources, doing local research and planning action. The Neighbourhood Action Packs are aimed at 'northern' country settings, but most of the issues involved are common to other settings as well.
This paper describes the process of training field researchers in PRA methods as part of the PD2DT community development project in Indonesia. The project's approach is to use participatory methods for investigation and analysis with villagers, providing communities with information about the IDT poverty alleviation programme, and allowing outsiders to learn about the nature of poverty in isolated villages. Section 1 describes how the training plan evolved over time to take account of unforeseen factors. Major problems and constraints encountered in the training process are acknowledged. These included time constraints, large training groups, and lack of involvement of local community due to poor coordination by training committee. Section 2 discusses the contribution of training to project results, in terms of levels of satisfaction with the PRA trainers and with the skills gained by trainees. The trainee selection process is given considerable attention. Overall, training in participatory methods is a key to the PD2DT approach. A recurring theme is that training did not alter the attitudes and behaviour of many trainees. This may limit the impact of PRA training on the project's success. It is noted that trainees may also apply these skills in their other employments, making them potentially valuable resource persons for the future. Section 3 summarises recommendations derived from the findings of dialogue with villagers. It is also suggested that the gains in participatory skills can be used in other stages of the IDT poverty alleviation programme, and follow-up issues are discussed. The paper ends with a short summary of some of the key lessons learned.
This paper reports on recent developments in the rural-issue based research programmes of the Gandhigram Rural Institute (GRI) in Tamilnadu, India. This has involved the consolidation of its village community development programmes. Emphasis has shifted towards the needs of special groups, with whom PRA meetings have been held. Some problems with such meetings are noted, including time constraints, tendency for some individuals to dominate, constraints on multi-disciplinary team, problems in group formation and discussions, and little documentation. Three-day PRA workshops were held to derive an action plan by and for villagers. The programme of workshops is outlined, discussing the extent of community participation, the methods used, and the specific projects and proposals which emerged. Strategies to support these processes beyond the workshops are also considered, and some weaknesses acknowledged: little attitude and behaviour change, dependency syndrome and internal conflicts.
This report gives an overview of the work of ActionAid-Pakistan in 1992. The general section on programme work notes that a process is envisaged where PRA is used to facilitate the initial introduction to a community, leading to preliminary ideas from which to begin immediate entry point activities, to provide a basis for developing the programme further. An example is given of a PRA study whose aims were to elicit information about an area unfamiliar to staff and to develop understanding between ActionAid and the communities. The benefits of undertaking the introductory PRA are elaborated, which included community participation in project choice and facilitation of communication of ActionAid's ideas about proposed projects to villagers. The report includes a description of the programme area, local problems defined in the PRA and the initial programme objectives. The need to develop community management structures and monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure continuing community involvement is elaborated.
This report concerns a conference involving a network of academics and NGO representatives involved in development issues in Southeast Asia. The network is committed to an alternative development paradigm, the advancement of people-centred development, associated with the work of David Korten. The report discusses the development of the network, and discusses themes which emerged in the conference: the failure of conventional development strategies; the evolving paradigm and action research; partnerships between universities and NGOs; and the importance of reversal in learning in development education curricula.
''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.
This handbook is an exhaustive and practically oriented guide to carrying out evaluations internally and externally. The booklet is divided into five main sections. The first section explains why built in 'naturalistic' everyday evaluation is valuable and introduces the familiarity of it's process. The second section includes a lengthy discussion on the matter of who the evaluation is for and a discussion of the pro's and con's of internal and external evaluation. Section three begins by questioning whether there is a need to do more evaluations and two different approaches to evaluation are highlighted; an open inquiry approach and an audit review approach. The next section examines how evaluation can be built in as part of an institutions daily routine and the idea of a 'culture of evaluation' within an institute. The final section in the booklet is described as a 'toolbox for evaluation purposes' and constitutes different models of evaluation processes, some associated techniques of evaluation i.e. methods of gathering data and some well known methodologies or paradigms of knowledge. The paper concludes with a list of reference material for evaluation.
A Field Methodology for Participatory Self- Evaluation of P.P.P. Group and Inter-Group Association Performance.
The introductory section of this brief paper discusses the importance of developing an evaluation methodology that is practical and flexible enough to be carried out by the community in the Peoples Participation Programme of the FAO. Uphoff reiterates that in fact the answers arrived at by the evaluation are in themselves not as important as what is learnt from the process of reaching consensus on such answers. An illustration of what the methodology utilised actually constituted is described in the first section of the paper. In the second section, however, the potential benefits of the methodology are discussed and these are categorised as being; i) that the process is self educative ii) the process is self improving iii) the process allows members of the programme to monitor progress and iv) it has the potential to improve training. Each of these potential benefits are discussed in some detail. The third section of the paper outlines a process for introducing the system in a rural setting in a number of steps. The last section, however, concludes by discussing a variety of issues related to the process of participatory self evaluation including problems of objectivity, comparability of numbers and use of appropriate language. Attached to the end of the document is an extensive section that includes an inventory of questions for group self evaluation and a list of questions for self evaluation. (Shorter version published in Community Development Journal Vol 26 No 4 )
Using Appreciative Enquiry As An Evaluative Tool: A Case Study on an African Project for Street Children.
This interesting article describes how the author sought to show how an appreciative inquiry technique can be used to embed a self evaluation process in an organisation that caters for the needs of street children in Africa. The paper describes using a narrative style the findings of a three day workshop using this methodology. Appreciative Inquiry works by highlighting the organisations best practice which is then used as a bench mark for all the practitioners to assess their own performance. Several problems existed within the specific context in which this workshop was held which would influence the evaluation. These problems were promptly identified by the author and listed as being as follows; i) the contrast between the rhetoric of democracy and participation on the one hand and the reality of an authoritarian style leadership on the other, ii) the great diversity in the formal education and training levels of the participants, iii) the bias that existed in the organisation which favoured the caring/counselling role but left a gap in the administrative and finance functions and iv) what was described by the author as a kind of 'corporate introspection' where the organisation and it's participants felt undervalued by the donor communities because of the nature of their work. The key technique utilised by the appreciative inquiry methodology was that of story telling and PRA style mapping. The events of the workshop are clearly described in this paper which is generally refreshingly simple in it's style.
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.