National Agricultural Extension Services are often criticised for not doing enough, not doing what they do well enough, or not being relevant. Participatory approaches can improve them by making them more demand driven and accountable. In this paper the author describes how management and field staff of the Department of Extension and Engineering Servicesin Ohangwena, a region of Namibia, have improved the efficiency and responsiveness of the services they offer by making them more participatory. The paper begins by looking at OhangwenaÆs organisational culture, examining the changes in approaches and how staff have reacted to them, with younger staff generally being more willing and able to take new ways of working on board. It then goes on to describe management innovations such as: planning and budgeting whereby farmers groups are involved in the process, and monitoring and evaluation for which the management team decided, with the help of technicians and farmers, to monitor themselves. It also looks at training, interaction with stakeholders and publicity. The paper concludes that although these types of services are seen as highly bureaucratic, they can change their managerial style to be more participatory, flexible, effective and responsive thereby empowering farmers and assisting rural communities in sustaining their livelihoods.
This article gives account for experiences from the Centre for Alternative Technologies (CTA), an NGO working on alternative futures for and with rural small-scale farmers in Zona da Mata of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. CTA staff work with a Local Development Plan (LDP) focussing on developing participatory Municipal Rural Development Plans (MRDP) in three municipalities: Araponga, Tombos, and Acaiaca. This article compares the three municipal planning processes, offering them as an exiting alternative methodology for local development in the Brazilian context. The article starts by describing the study area, CTA's evolution to municipal planning, and CTA's vision for pro-poor municipal planning. It goes on to explain the main building blocks of the CTA-supported MDRP, including participation as a learning process; planning process and methodology; working with new partners giving and giving farmer groups a more prominent role in the process; building accountability structures; non-neutral pro-poor facilitation; and finally learning from diversity, where the importance of differences between the participating communities are and how that forms the process are discussed. The key impacts and challenges are examined, with the problems of standardisation of methodologies in scaling-up of these types of processes. However despite many differences, several elements were found to be effective in all the three cases: the value of PRA (participatory visioning, problems appraisal and solution identification); the importance of some kind of supervision and decision making body; the needed for patience in conflict solving in the group (internally and in interaction with external parties); capacity-building of leadership, facilitation, and negotiation skills; and the need for clear facilitation at the onset of the process with a gradual transformation of the role of external bodies to advisory bodies.
The lake Victoria Fisheries Research Project (LVFRP) developed a long term programme in order to get agreement on a plan for the co-management of the Lake Victoria's fisheries project. This article presents the second step in this process and looks at how participatory monitoring systems were initiated at Nkombe Beach in Uganda. It looks at the problems faced, the solutions tried, the monitoring indicators agreed and how this process was replicated in communities in Kenya and Tanzania. Finally it draws a number of conclusions, such as participation requires a two-way flow of information, participatory monitoring is a slow process, context is crucial and nothing goes to plan!
The World Bank-funded Uttar Pradesh Diversified Agriculture Support project (UPDASP) in India is supporting a Farming System Approach (FSA) in 32 districts of the state of Uttar Pradesh, with the major emphasis on natural resources management, employment generation, value addition and marketing. Training is an important part of the project for both farmers and field staff. This article shares experience gained during a participatory evaluation of the training provided under the project, and focuses particularly on describing the participatory tools specifically developed for the evaluation of this training rather than the outcomes. These tools include Card Sorting, Johari's window, the Learning Matrix, the Fishbone, Tree Mapping and Ranking. It concludes with lessons learnt and emphasises that the tools and techniques used in the evaluation made it clear to participants how effective participatory methodologies are, especially in the context of monitoring and evaluation.
This edition of the IDS Bulletin features papers by researchers and practitioners associated with the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability (Citizenship DRC), an international research partnership dedicated to exploring the new forms of citizenship which are needed to make rights real for poor people.|The Citizenship DRC brings together over 50 researchers from research institutions and civil society groups based in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and the U.K. It encourages collaborative work across national, institutional and disciplinary boundaries. Researchers have formed thematic working groups, and each group has its own website to share experiences.|This issue is split into the following sections:|1. Meanings and Expressions of Rights and Citizenship: - Citizenship, Affiliation and Exclusion: Perspectives from the South - Agendas in Encountering Citizens in the Nigerian Context - Making Rights Real in Bangladesh through Collective Citizen Action - Citizenship, Science and Risk: Conceptualising Relationships across Issues and Settings|2. Concepts and Practices of Participation: - Locating Citizen Participation - Linking Citizenship, Participation and Accountability: A Perspective from PRIA - Deliberative Fora and the Democratisation of Social Policies in Brazil - Citizenship and the 'Right to Education': Perspectives from the Indian Context - Participation of Indigenous and Rural People in the Construction of Developmental and Environmental Public Policies in Mexico|3. Dimensions of Accountability: - From Responsibility to Citizenship? Corporate Accountability for Development - Who speaks for Whom? A look at civil society Accountability in Bioprospecting Debates in Mexico
Malnutrition remains a serious problem in most developing countries today. Experience has shown that when a community is fully involved in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition and other development projects, these are likely to be more effective and sustainable. These guidelines for participatory approaches to nutrition projects are designed for use by professional staff from different institutional and technical backgrounds, working with development at a community level. They describe different aspects of participatory nutrition projects through four parts: The preparatory phase where existing information is reviewed, links are established to other development organisations and institutions, community relationships and dialogue are initiated and strengthened; The rationale and implementation of participatory appraisal of community food and nutrition presenting different visualisation and analysis techniques; Design and implementation of participatory projects an activities and how to find funding for micro-project proposals; The rationale and implementation of monitoring and evaluation. All the parts include boxes with case-studies from different parts of the world (e.g. Kenya, Tanzania, Guinea, Mexico, Philippines) and are concluded with an analysis of potential constraints and the role of the developmental worker described in steps.
This is the second volume of the series 'Learning to Shareà' in which development practitioners continue to share lessons learnt from the field in the area of community participation. The experiences described in this book are all based in India and cover such topics as participatory eco-restoration, women's food calendar, participatory livestock development, participatory forestry, participatory village profile, bio-diversity monitoring, participatory need assessment, children's perceptions of livelihood and participatory impact assessment. See also, Volume I, shelf location 3171
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.
By the end of the 1990s good governance (GG) was the new catch phrase in development and public policy circles. Good governance is increasingly viewed as a panacea to persisting problems of development and government. Donors, governments (central and local), academe, NGOs and other civil society groups are calling for GG as a requisite for making development programmes and interventions successful. This review examines indicators of local GG. It gives a historical background to GG and overviews the GG agenda. Emerging concepts of good governance are presented with specific references to different literature; and the way forwards towards a framework for defining GG is discussed, with focus on means toward good governance and decentralisation. Key measures of good governance are examined such as participation; new styles of leadership; accountability and transparency; capable public management in economic management, service delivery, sustainable natural resource management and fiscal administration; and respect for law and human rights. The author goes on to propose a manner of constructing a data base of indicators of GG: describing methodology and how to classify the indicators. This is followed by a discussion on who develops and who uses indicators of GG, and emerging issues in defining good local governance. The paper is concluded with some final remarks on the processes of measuring and defining GG.
Participatory methods and approaches are being adopted by many conservation-development organizations within the Central African sub-region. This paper details some of the limitations and challenges of participatory methods in light of the authors ten years of experience of working for agricultural and conservation organizations in Cameroon. One difficulty encountered is whether participatory processes actually revealed genuine community problems. Often, the true priorities of the community would lie beyond the scope and mandate of one development organization. Another major impediment is the minimal participation of women, whom, even when present at PRA sessions, are limited in participating due to social conventions. In conclusion, the author urges caution in the use of participatory methods and approaches.