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.
This book aims to provide a source of information on the key issues and constraints and capacity building necessary to implement participatory approaches in China today. It provides case studies from Chinese academics and practitioners in forestry, natural resource management, rural development, irrigation and poverty alleviation. It primarily aims to be about strengthening local government as a key player in the development of participatory initiatives.
This toolkit is a collection of participatory tools to assess poverty and well being among poor livestock keepers. For those readers familiar with participation, many of the tools are not new, but rather have been adapted for use within the livestock sector. As such, the overall objective is to provide a holistic to enhance understanding of the needs and the strengths of the poor, both within the livestock sector and more generally. The LPA (Livestock and Poverty Assessment) methodology was devised to inform practitioners on the importance of livestock to livelihoods and well being, in the past and present; the demographics of livestock keepers; the major issues in animal health and production. The manual is divided into five sections, with a group of complementary participatory exercises described in each section. Section 1 looks at how to set the scene for the LPA using a simplified sustainable livelihood approach; historical trend analysis; community resource mapping; livestock production and management calendar; livelihood changes diagramming; and livelihood opportunities and constraints diagramming. Section 2 focuses on profiling livestock keepers using livestock and poverty ranking; compound mapping; household resource mapping; and community rangeland mapping. Section 3 describes ways of assessing issues in animal health and production through mapping of livestock health-care providers and consumer preferences regarding animal health care; livestock disease prioritisation; livestock problem ranking; and participatory herd assessment. Section 4 concentrates on determining the feasibility of livestock aid by assessing motivation and through community values diagramming. The toolkit also includes some brief general guidelines for participation.
Voices of hunger: a desk review of issues arising from participatory analysis of poverty and food insecurity
This review aims to gather insights into the lived meaning of food insecurity, by collecting highlights from existing participatory assessments. The source materials include the published outputs and some of the original field reports from the World Banks 1999 Consultations with the Poor exercise. In addition the review covers a varied selection of participatory work on poverty and food insecurity, from a range of institutions, geographical regions, and socio-economic contexts. Common patterns and themes are identified, which recur across countries and groups:
À Hunger, in its various dimensions
À Insecurity as a material fact and a psychological element
À The day to day search for food
À Seasonality and cycles of hunger
À Social dimensions of food insecurity
À Chains of causality which link hunger, work and livelihoods
À The role of assets in food security
À Poverty trap - all income and energy spent on food
Cutting across these themes are a number of dimensions of diversity: Gender, age, rural/urban location, livelihood characteristics and geographical region
Two major policy points arise from the work:
À Hunger and anxiety about food are central to the reality of poverty, but can only be fully understood within the complex web of factors and processes which constitute that reality
À Food security emerges as above all a livelihoods issue. Improving livelihoods is therefore the most effective way of improving food security
This book is a summary of the findings of a decade of research on poverty in Zambia which has used a range of participatory research tools. Its objective is to represent the perceptions and analyses of poor people concerning their situation. It does this through analysis of the following areas: livelihoods, health, education, and institutions. It also does this by means of a compilation of policy-related insights from participatory research which applied and evolved techniques, both verbal and visual. These shed light on poor people's livelihoods and means of coping, and on health services and conditions, education, community-level participation, and other areas. Some of the findings of the research include: the pervasive significance of seasonality; the bad behaviour and attitudes of many health service providers and teachers; the abuse and discrimination suffered by many orphans; time and energy poverty of poor households due to working for other people. Overall, the book demonstrates that participatory methods can help establish a commitment among all actors in the development process, and this improves the value of the interventions.
This is a resource book designed primarily for development workers working within the field of the rural poor. It describes a range of first-hand experiences with participatory approaches in the context of projects funded by The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and governments in Asia and the Pacific. The book is divided into a number of sections. Part One examines poverty and participation and explains why the poor should be targeted and in what ways this is possible. Part Two describes in detail the actual participatory approaches. Part three concentrates on participation in the project planning and implementation stage. Part Four assesses the monitoring impact and Part Five examines issues in participation with regards to institutions, partnerships and governance.
'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.
Instutionalising participation for sustainable livelihoods (IPSL): programme model and lessons learnt 1987-2000
Oxfam's interaction with Mulanje District in Malawi began in 1987/8 with an action research project into poverty in the district. This document provides a complete account of the evolution of the Oxfam Mulanje programme to date. It is based on an analysis of all the project documentation together with in-depth interviews with programme staff, extension workers, communities and other stakeholders. Over the years, a successful model - Institutionalising Participation for Sustainable Livelihoods (IPSL) - for working with institutions at the district level to promote sustainable and replicable development has been developed. This document draws out important learning points, and describes the IPSL model. It provides the background to the programme, pre-1990, both in terms of Mulanje district generally and Oxfam's involvement specifically. It then goes on to look at the first phase of the programme in the early 1990s, where training was provided to government extension staff and other key district figures in participatory approaches to development. The current programme post-1997 is then explored in detail both in terms of its structure and process. It is characterised by partnerships with government extension staff and other institutions, turning over ownership of the programme to them, as well as enabling communities to identify and mobilise to solve their problems, using principles of participatory development for sustainable livelihoods. The focus is on drawing out the lessons learned. Finally, conclusions are drawn on the overall themes and practices that have run through the programme and the overall nature of the Oxfam IPSL model in Mulanje.
Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) in which poor and marginalized people describe their perspectives on poverty have become an integral part of the development process. This report is a review of a number of PPAs, undertaken by ActionAid Nepal, Plan International and New ERA, which took place in eleven districts of Nepal. To begin with, the research sites are described. The report then focuses on participant's understandings of the causes of poverty. The most common responses were; landlessness and dependency; inflation; natural disasters; lack of education; cultural customs; gender discrimination; and seasonal changes. There were wide variations between how poor and rich people within a community described poverty, as well as differences between definitions of urban and rural poverty.