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 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.
"Participation" has three uses and meanings: cosmetic labelling, to look good; co-opting practice to secure local action and resources; and empowering process, to enable people to take command and do things themselves. Its new popularity is part of changes in development rhetoric, thinking and practice. These have been shifting from a standardised, top-down paradigm of things towards a diversified, bottom-up paradigm of people. This implies a transfer of power from "uppers" - people, institutions and disciplines which have been dominant, to "lowers" - people, institutions and disciplines which have been subordinate. The many labels and schools of participatory approaches in research and development tend to hide underlying changes in philosophy and practice. Rapid rural appraisal leading to participatory rural appraisal (PRA) is one example of a shift from data collection to data sharing and empowerment. With PRA, poor people have shown far greater capabilities to appraise, analyse, plan and act than professionals have expected. Empowerment of the poor requires reversals and changes of role. Some of the new approaches and methods, especially of PRA, make reversals less difficult and improbable than they used to be. PRA faces many dangers. For it to be used on any scale in an empowering mode implies widespread changes in bureaucratic procedures and culture, including more participatory management. This Working Paper explores these ideas, looking at Participation, The Paradigm Shift from Things to People, Power Relations: Uppers and Lowers, Change and Spread, The Paradigm Shift in Practice and the Implications (of the paradigm).
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.
Participatory action research is presented as a social research method and process and as a goal that social research should always strive to achieve. This paper describes the key features and strengths of participatory action research, and briefly analyses its role in promoting social change through organisational learning in three very different kinds of organisations. It is argued that participatory action research is always an emergent process that can often be intensified and that works effectively to link participation, social action and knowledge generation.
With this pioneering book introducing participatory approaches in rural development, the author challenges preconceptions dominating rural development at the time. The central theme of the book is that rural poverty is often unseen or misperceived by outsiders, those who are not themselves rural and poor. The author contends that researchers, scientists, administrators and fieldworkers rarely appreciate the richness and validity of rural peopleÆs knowledge, or the hidden nature of rural poverty. He argues for a new professionalism, with fundamental reversals in outsidersÆ learning, values and behavior, and proposes more realistic action for tackling rural poverty. The book is divided into eight chapters focusing on rural poverty unperceived (i.e. as perceived by outsiders); two cultures of outsiders, negative academics vs. positive practitioners; how outsiders learn; power structures and knowledge; integrated rural poverty including deprivation, vulnerability and powerlessness; making priorities for action; reversals in professional values and bridging gaps between disciplines, professions and departments; and recommendations and discussion of practical actions.
Disability continues to remain at the core of underdevelopment, and yet has failed to attract due space in mainstream development processes despite the paradigm shift in conceptualizing disability from the bio-physical medical model to a social model with work premised in a rights-based approach. Recognizing the need for mainstreaming disability within development by building wider alliances within the development sector, a participatory action research (PAR) project was initiated in Gujarat, India. Using self-reflexivity, the article examines the experiences of participatory approaches from a disability perspective. It discusses the potential of participatory approaches in: revealing a community’s own and distinctive definitions/conceptions of disability, invisibility of persons with disabilities at the village level, unequal access to essential services and creating an educational space, both for persons with disabilities and others. It further outlines the limitations in failing: to ‘accommodate’ persons with disabilities owing to methodological inadequacies in field level exercises and in providing space for persons with disabilities to resist domination, themselves. The article identifies the re-emphasising of the researcher-subject power differential in participatory approaches from a disability perspective and calls for research strategies which are emancipatory for persons with disabilities.