Adapting participatory methods to the government system: the Wenchuan earthquake rehabilitation project
This article explores links between the social unrest in Bolivia in October 2003 and the processes involved in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Poverty reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The article suggests that the participation of civil society organisations has been limited and ineffective in these processes for a number of reasons. The author analyses the role that civil society has played in monitoring and implementing the PRSP, focusing on how the Grupo Nacional de Trabajo para la Participacion (GNTP) has worked with the government, NGOs and other civil society organisations. Specifically, the author looks at one case of successful peopleÆs participation in Vallegrande and concludes by drawing out lessons learnt from the Bolivian experience. These include: bottlenecks for peopleÆs participation can in part be overcome by strengthening networks and learning communities; key factors enabling peopleÆs participation in PRSP processes include government openness to participatory processes, access to information, organisational capacity within civil society organisation and commitment to participatory processes; and the role that South-South exchanges can have in strengthening learning communities.
This paper complements the series of case studies produced by UNIDIR's Weapons for Development project on weapons collection activities in Mali Albania and Cambodia. The author draws out some for the central threads of the three studies-tin terms of methodology, analysis and guidelines for future policy and research. It is a concrete and practical contribution to helping policy makers, donor countries, UN agencies and NGOs devise better strategies and incentives for such programmes.
'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.
This document includes, details of the process used to review ActionAids programme in Somaliland and provides both a summary and details of the findings. The review was carried out by a group of both men and women composed of community based organisation members, village elders, staff from government institutions and other professionals. Mapping, interviews and small group discussions were used to elicit data on availability, relevance, accessibility, utilisation, coverage, quality, effort, efficiency and impact indicators.
This case study reports on a investigation into the effects of thee National Development Foundation's (NDF) small tank renovation activities in Kurunegala on poverty levels, gender relations and grass roots institutional development. The study was carried out in three villages: a low caste village and a mixed caste village where a participatory approach was facilitated by the Intercooperation Self-Help Support Programme and a high caste community where a more conventional approach was used.
Data was collected using information available from project files and the knowledge and recollections of field staff before conducting a series of exercises using PRA techniques.
Comprehensive overview of participatory approaches to monitoring, focusing on community monitoring of environmental changes and natural resource management interventions. The Working Paper draws on an extensive review of published literature and interviews with practitioners with experience in participatory monitoring. Ten case studies are presented and comparatively analysed and discussed. The paper begins by providing a general overview of conventional monitoring and then discusses the basis of participatory monitoring approaches, especially their impacts and benefits, how participation is achieved, and how indicators are perceived and developed. Trade-offs in meeting diverse, often conflicting needs and objectives, particularly between the need for scientific rigour on the one hand, and enhanced participation in participatory monitoring process on the other. The last section of the paper presents and compares three different categories of approaches to participatory monitoring which have been successful at achieving community involvement. These approaches are methodologies that are developed from the use of PRA, those that use oral testimony, and those that adapt scientific approaches to ecological assessment. Finally, current gaps in our understanding of participatory environmental monitoring are identified. The review finds that further documentation is required of the negotiations that occur within and between stakeholder groups, particularly in terms of identifying and establishing different priorities and objectives. It further suggests that few approaches to monitoring involve all stakeholders in the complete monitoring process, which takes longer to establish and implement. The review highlights that the monitoring process must provide real and meaningful benefits for all stakeholders, especially for local people whose long term participation is central to the monitoring process.
In 1994 Redd Barna Uganda started developing an approach to community-based planning using PRA (PRAP) that placed children and their issues at the centre of the planning process and that also aimed to recognise differences within communities. This report is based on discussions involving project staff, members of three partner organisations and villagers from seven communities. The discussion reflected on the PRAP process to examine which aspects were proving beneficial and for whom and those that were proving problematic with an aim of identifying areas for improvement.
Strategies for scaling up the work are also examined and prospects for encouraging more community based monitoring of the PRAP process as a strategy for strengthening impact.