How can ordinary citizens - and the organizations and movements with which they engage - make changes in national policies which affect their lives, and the lives of others around them? Under what conditions does citizen action contribute to more responsive states, pro-poor policies and greater social justice? What is needed to overcome setbacks, and to consolidate smaller victories into 'successful' change? These are the questions taken up by this book which brings together eight studies of successful cases of citizen activism in South Africa, Morocco, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Turkey, India and the Philippines.
In 1996, the City of Ottowa Council was working on two land management project: the Green way System Management Plan and the Open Spaces Project. When realised, the Greenway System will link natural areas, ecological corridors, hydro corridors, parks and communities, while the Open Spaces Project plans for protected areas. The input of the community was needed for both projects and a series of community workshops were facilitated to gain insight into the various stakeholders' concern for the city's open spaces. The goal of the workshops was to better understand which green and open spaces people value, why they value them, and what their visions were for the future of these spaces. The workshops incorporated community mapping facilitated by staff from the city's Environmental Branch. Participants placed great emphasis on community/citizen action. They felt that the community should be better organised to have a voice in planning, management and operations. The results from the consultation were used to support decision-making on the direction of the projects and were used to determine the social criteria and value of Ottowa's existing natural and open spaces. The authors conclude that upon evaluation of the methods and the results of the consultation, the City should use participatory methods more often in the future.
This booklet is concerned with waste pickers in Dhaka and explores their livelihoods using the DFID Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA). It is based on a period of fieldwork and presents much of the livelihood information gathered as well as discussing the effectiveness of the SLA in this urban context. The booklet is divided into two main sections: À Key Findings: presents the livelihood-related findings for waste pickers and draws a number of conclusions about the nature, vulnerability and sustainability of their livelihoods. The performance of the SLA tool is also discussed in this section. À Field Notes: describes the fieldwork methodology and highlights some of the lessons learned and pitfalls encountered during research. This section describes a number of the participatory techniques employed, and raises general issues about research with illiterate, underprivileged children.
This report from DFID presents the findings from a review of 23 Participatory Poverty Assessments covering 14 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The objective of the review was: To document the main findings and key messages from PPA's and complementary studies; To provide guidance on how poverty/environment links can be made more explicit in future PPA's. Three distinct aspects were addressed in the review; The messages of the poor; What the PPA's leave out; Areas where environmental causes and effects are alluded to but not elaborated upon. The report firstly provides an introduction to PPAs and the Environment, and is then divided into three key sections. The first section is entitled Conceptualising Environment - Poverty Links, and looks particularly at dispelling myths. The next is Poverty and Environment: Key Messages from the Poor which includes issues such as characteristics of well-being and ill-being, environmental trends, livelihood management activities, institutional influences, stresses related to poverty and the environment and an overview of key messages from the poor. The last section is entitled Lessons for the Future, and includes identifying gaps and partial analysis, and recommendations. Annexes detail references and a Matrix of Issues. Key points from this report are given in a 2-pager - Environment policy key sheet no. 1, available on-line - see below
Alternative perspectives on livelihoods, agriculture and air pollution: agriculture in urban and peri-urban areas in a developing country
This book is based on a synthesis of community perspectives from selected urban and peri-urban villages of Varanasi and Faridabad districts of the Indian states of Uttah Pradesh and Harayana. It approaches the topic of air pollution in a holistic manner considering local lives and livelihoods from the perspectives of local communities, in which impact of air pollution on agriculture has been viewed as part of a whole livelihood system. The objectives of the participatory field study were: to learn from local women and men groups of farmers about the importance of agriculture and their livelihood strategies; to learn about the constraints in agricultural practices and their coping strategies; to learn about the impact of air pollution on agriculture, health and others. The book is divided into six chapters. The first introduces the background to the study; the second describes community perspectives from Varanasi; the third from Fariabad; Chapter 4 provides a comparative picture between the two settings; Chapter 5 draws upon the lessons learnt from the field; and Chapter 6 describes the methodology of field inquiry. The main message of the book is that the rampant pace of industrialisation and urbanisation and their externalities/impacts are bringing chaotic conditions to the lives and livelihoods of countless farmers by weakening agricultural systems and human and animal health, as well as increasing poverty, disease and uncertainties. In order to learn about such impacts it is advocated that farmers are listened to, as they provide gateways to building micro-macro linkages in policies and actions towards sustainable development.
The use of 'typical families' to explore livelihoods and service provision in urban informal settlements, South Africa
In South Africa a government housing subsidy scheme exists which allows beneficiaries access to a R16 000 grant which is usually 'project-linked'. The South African NGO, Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) was commissioned to monitor the impact of such schemes over four years to feed into policy recommendations. As a part of this project, participatory methodologies were used in four urban settings with three objectives in mind. The first was to test the use of some participatory tools in an urban setting, in particular the 'typical families' tool. The second was to gain a greater understanding of livelihoods and vulnerabilities in these typically poor but diverse communities. The third was to gain a more in-depth understanding of the impact of service provision on individuals, households and communities. The paper describes the nature and use of the 'typical families' tool from which characteristics of vulnerability and poverty unique to the community emerge. Additionally, concerns about whether participants would be willing to engage with the exercises and what type of results they would generate are discussed.
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.
In 1992, an Act was passed which dictated that 1/3 of seats at all levels in the newly formed Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) should be reserved for women. This PRIA (Society for Participatory Research in Asia) publication, Participation and Governance has a special focus on women in Governance and looks back on the years succeeding this act. Included in this volume are the experiences and contributions of women elected to the PRIs, the methods they use to govern and the obstacles they face in both urban and rural governance. The household dynamics and the way in which gender roles are consequently shaped are also discussed with regards to women's bearing on PRIs.
Listening to CBOs: development of the project exit strategy through participatory capacity assessment in relation to the sustainability of CBOs
This report presents the perceptions of project group members, AC (Area Committee) members and project staff regarding the sustainability of UCDPÆs (urban community development programmes) organisational building approach in relation to the phase out of a UCPD project in Bowbazar area, Chittagong, Bangladesh that was initiated by the organisation Concern Bangladesh. The main aim of the study was to assist the Chittagong Regional Programme (CRP) in developing an exit strategy for the project that would ensure the organisational sustainability of those groups and ACs already established after the phase out of Concern activities in the area. The report describes the study process which was based on discussions between the above mentioned participants. It gives a brief note on project impact; examines the sustainability of the institutions and factors affecting the sustainability of CBO (Community Based Organisations); and proposes a strategic direction for the future. Some of the key points on sustainability of CBOs include differences in understanding of project objectives; community ownership; level of trust; financial security; internal problems of CBOs; lack of communication; and effectiveness of project activities.
This report outlines a local community project conducted in the Hollingdean area of Brighton in the UK in 1999. The participatory appraisal exercises conducted sought to highlight the most important issues identified by the local residents of Hollingdean. The report outlines the methodologies used and then goes on to detail the various issues that were identified:
| Children and young people| Transport| Sheltered housing| Housing| Drugs| Community safety| Environmental issues| Other community issues| Food
The report is illustrated, with visual examples and photographic documentation of some of the methods used. In addition, it presents a number of possible solutions to some of the problems identified and an update on some of those already implemented.