Adapting participatory methods to the government system: the Wenchuan earthquake rehabilitation project
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 short report written by the Research and Policy Programme on behalf of ACORD examines three different areas of the agency's work in Africa; i) conflict resolution, ii) monitoring and evaluations systems and iii) work on gender. In a workshop that was held in accordance with Birmingham University on the theme of Development in Conflict a number of important issues and decisions emerged in relation to ACORD's continued work in conflict ridden areas. These included; firstly that ACORD's ability to respond to armed conflict or turbulent situations will depend on improving the quality and relevance of it's work in the North. Secondly, that there is a need for greater anticipation and preparedness of conflict situations and thirdly, that decisions to continue work in turbulent areas should reside with project staff and not head office. Lastly, that the nature of turbulent situations requires teams to be able to respond flexibly. In relation to the M&E systems utilised by ACORD, the emphasis was on strengthening the capacity of programmes to use participatory techniques in order to involve communities more in the monitoring of their own work. The findings of each workshop is briefly discussed. In relation to the work of ACORD on gender issues, moreover, a Gender Analysis Matrix designed by UNIFEM is discussed as a tool which is utilised to identify the changing roles of men and women in response to programme activities.
This reports on ActionAid's project aimed at strengthening emergency preparedness and responses in famine vulnerable areas in a number of African countries. It examines the setting up of Community Based Food Security Monitoring Systems (CBMS) that help field staff make timely predictions about impending food shortages. One of the principles of a CBMS is that it is 'people-centred', and the community should be involved with data collection, interpretation and response. The aim is to build up a picture of the way peoples' livelihoods operate and what constraints and stresses they face. To assess the food security situation, PRA techniques are used including semi-structured interviews with key informants and group discussions with farmers and village leaders. PRA is also used to collect data on early warning indicators. The paper comments however that it is best not to take a full community-managed approach in circumstances where a number of participatory prerequisites are not in place.
This draft report gives account of the Save the Children (UK) work on child protection 2001-2002, in the Kotkai afghan refugee camp, Pakistan. The work is described in three phases. In the first phase conventional methods of child protection monitoring were adopted, where outsiders were used. In the second phase a participatory monitoring strategy was introduced, using some PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) tools to collect information on the topics given in phase one. In the third phase (from April 2002 and onwards) the participatory Reflect-Action approach was used to monitor the child protection issues. The methodology was used to monitor child protection concerns, and childrenÆs taking a leading role in advocating the protection concerns speeded up the response. The service delivery agencies took immediate actions in almost every concern raised by the children. Lessons learned from the approach are highlighted. Impacts of the Reflect-action approach are detailed in the context of empowerment, change in social behaviour, and capacity building. The processes of the different Reflect-Action circles (focussing around education system, children under stress, school drop outs, disease, water shortage, needs, drug addiction, shelter, and early marriages) are described briefly in separate sections specifying diagrams used for visualisation, e.g. sketches, cause and effect charts, pair-wise ranking, maps, and matrix ranking charts. The implications of scaling up child protection monitoring are discussed and a future strategy for child protection in Pakistan is presented. Three annexes are included which detail the issues identified through the three phases of the project. A brief note describing PRA is also incorporated.