This short paper describes some lessons learnt during training workshops conducted for capacity building in participatory approaches (PA) at Ha Giang in Vietnam. Two further goals were identified in addition to capacity building. These were to learn ways of influencing the conventional 'top-down' planning, and to learn participatory methodology for community-based planning in areas of both low and high literacy. In areas of low literacy, tools were utilized such as symbols to represent issues in the community; pictorial plans with scoring/ranking according to priorities; picture cards; a literate villager acting as a scribe. Both literate and non-literate plans were presented at the commune level. The authors concluded with a number of limitations, including problems due to village size and the difficulties of accurately translating pictorial plans into official reports.
The paper is a case study of the way that World Neighbors used PRA in a process of community development in one sublocation in Kenya. The paper gives some background as to the practices of World Neighbors, the conditions in the community, and the role of government in the area. It then explains how PRA was used with a representative body at the sublocation level for analysis and planning. The PRA discussions led to development activities that had impacts on the physical well-being of community members, as well as less tangible social effects. The social effects included new modes of operating for the village leadership, changed relationships between community members, and supportive attitudes of local government officials for community led development strategies. The case study raises a number of general strategic choices facing non-governmental organisations using PRA and presents the strengths and weaknesses of the strategies chosen by World Neighbors.
This is the first of four distance learning courses (other courses are: Advocacy, Barangay Administration, and Barangay Development Planning and Enterprise Development) that have been prepared by the Education for Life Foundation as distance learning modules. This first course is organized in four five units as follows: You and Your Barangay (village); Democratic Participation in Local Governance; Power, Engagement and Development through Local Governance; The Progressive Barangay û an Instrument of Development; and Leadership in Barangay Governance. The main material is the workbook for course enrollees which is user-friendly, with helpful illustrations and tables. There is enough space for enrollees to work on for most exercises making it possible for the enrollees to refer back to material that they had already covered.|For each of the five units in this course, the learning objectives are clearly spelled out as well as the total time required to complete the unit. Each unit is further broken up into readings with clear discussion guides, and exercises and assignments that intend to help bring the readings into a more practical understanding of the workings of the barangay. While most of these exercises and assignments are intended to be individually completed by the course enrollee, there are some exercises that will involve group efforts with other course enrollees. These group activities are to be organized and faciliated by a Learning Guide, to be identified by the enrollees themselves. The course workbook also includes very clear reflection guides after exercises and assignments, and at the end of every unit.|Three cassette tapes with accompanying audio material recommended for listening throughout the course come with the course book. Also, there is a Guide to Learning for the course student that explains the distance learning approaches adapted, the structure of the course, and suggestions for effective learning. There is also a Guide for the Learning Guides who are expected to help organize and facilitate the group learning sessions with other students as recommended in the course. The Guide for Learning Guides clearly spells out the roles of the Learning Guide in the distance learning process and includes practical pointers on how the Learning Guides can help facilitate learning. All material is in Pilipino.
This paper discusses community exchange programmes as a powerful mechanism for increasing the capacity of community organisations to participate in urban development. By enabling communities to share and explore local knowledge created through livelihood struggles, a powerful process is triggered, whereby community exchanges transform development. Through a cumulative process of learning, sharing and collective action, strong sustained and mobilised networks of communities emerge. Central to this has been the sharing of experiences between communities, first at very local levels, then in the city, then nationally and internationally. The development of this methodology by the National Slum Dwellers Association, SPARC (an NGO) and Mahila Milan (a federation of women's cooperatives) in India is described. Exchanges are located within a broader approach to community learning and people's empowerment. Benefits of the exchange process are examined, and the paper reflects on why exchanges are an effective methodology for supporting a process of people-centred development. The necessary conditions for the exchange process to be fully effective are reviewed, which consequently point to the distinct characteristics of the exchange process vis-Ó-vis other participation methodology. It concludes by drawing together some of the wider implications of this approach.
'Voices of the Poor' is a series of three books that collates the experiences, views and aspirations of over 60,000 poor women and men. This second book of the series draws material from a 23-country comparative study, which used open-ended participatory methods, bringing together the voices and realities of 20,000 poor women, men, youth and children. Despite very different political, social and economic contexts, there are striking similarities in poor people's experiences. The common underlying theme is one of powerlessness, which consists of multiple and interlocking dimensions of illbeing or poverty. The book starts by describing the origins of the study, the methodology and some of the challenges faced. This is followed by an exploration of the multidimensional nature of wellbeing and illbeing. Most of the book comprises the core findings - the 10 dimensions of powerlessness and illbeing that emerge from the study - and is organised around these themes. These include livelihoods and assets; the places where poor people live and work; the body and related to this, accessing health services; gender roles and gender relations within the household; social exclusion; insecurity and related fears and anxieties; the behaviour and character of institutions; and poor people's ratings of the most important institutions in their lives. These dimensions are brought together into a many-stranded web of powerlessness, which is compounded by the lack of capability, including lack of information, education, skills and confidence. The final chapter is a call to action and dwells on the challenge of change.
"Voices of the Poor" is a series of three books that collates the experiences, views and aspirations of over 60,000 poor women and men. This first book of the series gathers the voices of over 40,000 poor women and men in 50 countries from the World Bank's participatory poverty assessments. Using participatory and qualitative research methods, the study presents very directly, through poor people's own voices, the realities of their lives; these voices send powerful messages that point the way toward policy change. The book explores the common patterns that emerged from poor people's experiences in many different places. It starts by presenting the conceptual framework, elaborating on participatory poverty assessments and the study's methodology, including its limitations. It then articulates definitions of poverty from the perspective of the poor, stressing its multi-dimensionality. State institutions and civil society institutions are assessed critically, with their impact on reaching the poor deemed ineffective and limited respectively, forcing the poor to depend primarily on informal networks. Gender relations in the household are then analysed, as is how these affect and are affected by larger institutions of society. The issue of social fragmentation is also explored, including a discussion of social cohesion and social exclusion. The book concludes by proposing the way forward, while elaborating the elements of a strategy for change.
The challenge of inclusion in Albania 2000. Participation in Albania: current practice, best practice and challenges for the future
This document is the result of a series of three national workshops on participation attended by over 120 people which took place in Albania between May and July 2000. Participants came from national and international NGOs, community based organisations, the Government of Albania and international donor organisations. They produced this document, not as a training manual but as an accessible reference for as wide an audience as possible. It aims to enable readers to gain a better understanding of why participation is essential to development in Albania and how it can be used within the project cycle, as well as learning about participatory approaches and methods. It also seeks to explore ways in which participatory development approaches have been applied in Albania and what the issues are in increasing their use in development. Finally it hopes to encourage organisations to find improved ways of engaging with the people they serve, and donors, government, NGOs and communities to network together to improve participation in Albania. It does this by looking at a series of challenges: of empowerment, of making reversals, of quality and good PRA, or attitude and behaviour change, of putting theory into practice, of a participatory project cycle, of inclusion in Albania, and finally, the challenge to change
This book is part of a process of sharing information and experience, which started when workers at the Oxford Development Education Centre (ODEC) found that they gained valuable insights and lessons from working with colleagues from Southern countries. Together with other organisations and networks that work on community development, an effort was made to cultivate better working relationships and to share lessons with each other. A survey and covering letter was devised, and distributed through various networks. The resulting replies make up this book, which is intended to support a wider process of mutual learning for social change. The general themes and observations that arise from the survey are highlighted. This is followed by detailed survey responses provided by southern grassroots community groups, northern grassroots community groups, groups working on adult education and training, national and/or international groups based in the UK and groups based in other northern countries. The responses cover information about the community activities each group is involved in, the target groups they work with, the international partnerships they have, as well as the successes and challenges faced. There is also a section that summarises research on North/South mutual work and learning. The book concludes with a statistical analysis of the survey results, identifying gaps and future areas for support.
It has been recognised that education is a powerful way of fighting poverty, and an empowering process, particularly with regards to the most marginalized groups of people such as poor women and girls. As a result, in Bangladesh, a literacy project is underway, with participants being poor women and girls. It is an ActionAid project, using the Reflect approach, which draws on the Freirean philosophy and facilitates a participatory learning process aiming to empower and promote social change.
This document is a review of the project so far. The first part describes the Reflect process and the perceived strengths of this approach to learning. The bulk of the document then consists of the review outcomes. The project is assessed on its impact on and benefits for participants, in terms of becoming literate, less marginalized and empowered to strive towards social change. It ends with a number of recommendations as to how the project can improve.
Robert Chambers argues that central issues in development have been overlooked and that many past errors have flowed from domination by those with power. Through analysing experience - of past mistakes and myths and of the continuing methodological revolution of PRA - the author points towards solutions. He argues that personal, professional and instiutional change is essential if the realities of the poor are to receive greater recognition.