Contributing the special 50th edition of PLA notes, the author argues that continuum thinking may not be useful for promoting development under conditions of violent conflict or civil war. Continuum thinking is defined as viewing relief, rehabilitation and development as distinct sequential processes in a time-frame model that is, a linear process moving from one stage to the next. The author criticises this approach for 4 main reasons: social conflicts and civil warfare are often circular processes, meaning that periods of relative calmness are often interrupted by violence; it is virtually impossible to distinguish between a pure emergency situation and a development situation; rehabilitation and reconstruction approaches tend to focus on re-establishing a status quo that in fact held the seeds of the conflict; efforts need to find an approach that prevents a reappearance of such destructive patterns and find a new way forward; and emergencies (and aid distribution) do not take place within a social and political vacuum. The article then looks at examples of participatory development in Sri Lanka, during times of war, as an example. The case study looks at how the Integrated Food Security Programme Trincomalee (IFSP) lobbied for a development-oriented participatory approach in Sri Lanka. In conclusion, the author argues that the experiences of IFSP show that participatory development requires a process of continuous negation with local implementing partners, and that only if aid agencies use this kind of process can their work contribute to the social and economic recovery of a war-ridden society.
Conflict-sensitive approaches to development, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding: a resource pack
This issue of Compas magazine focuses on the main controversies that individuals, communities and agencies involved in endogenous development are experiencing, and to show examples of methodologies to handle these controversies. Many of the articles presented show that the experiences of development agencies in consciously and systematically dealing with controversies are still few. The issue focuses on four controversial issues dealt with in separate sections: traditional leadership and governance, gender roles, agriculture and health care. Some of the main questions dealt with are how controversies between traditional leadership and formal government can be bridged; how to build on the strengths of both traditional and modern health care systems; how to understand culture-based gender concepts and support women in traditional cultures who face suppressive gender-related taboos; and how understanding between scientists and traditional farmers can be increased to help agriculture adapt to changing conditions. The issue includes articles on traditional ways of dealing with controversies; challenges between African, Asian and western philosophy; contexts, concepts and controversies between Andean and western cosmovisions; potentials and questions regarding indigenous institutions in Ghana; blending governance systems in Ghana; revitalising traditional leadership in Andhra Pradesh, India; conflict transformation between pastoralists and settled farmers in Sudan; dealing with land conflicts in Zimbabwe; livestock controversies in Europe; traditional leadership and gender in Kenya; rituals, taboos and gender in Sri Lanka; lessons from Buddhism on equality and diversity in Sri Lanka; ancient farming and modern science in Sri Lanka; changes and controversies in Uganda; controversies between farmers and scientists regarding grain storage n Nepal; and integrating different healing practices in Cameroon. The magazine also contains book reviews relating to the subjects discussed and descriptions of future issues. Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, Europe, the Andes, Uganda, Nepal
Colombia's new Constitution of 1991 gave the status of citizen and participant to a people which had not historically enjoyed it. This implied the need for citizenship education and formation to enable people to take advantage of their new status. Many non-governmental organizations in Colombia immediately rose to the challenge. Some of these were newcomers to this field. Others, among them the Instituto Popular de Capacitaci¾n (IPC, Popular Training Institute), came to this task with a long history of working to deepen democracy in a range of ways. Christian Aid Colombia began to support IPC in the area of citizenship education in 1992. This case study represents a collaborative attempt, by Christian Aid with IPC's Democracy and Citizenship Team, to document the experience of IPC in promoting citizen participation from 1991 to the present. It aims to be, on the one hand, a piece of applied research that informs future practice in the field of citizen participation in local urban governance, and on the other, an advocacy resource for IPC and Christian Aid in Colombia and the UK, that illustrates the challenges faced in holding open spaces for democratic participation in a country in conflict. After an introduction the study sets the context and then moves on to look at the legal framework for citizen participation in local governance. Next, IPCÆs experiences in promoting citizen participation are documented, followed by a look at some key variables (gender, armed conflict and other challenges). The final section looks at learning from the experience.
ALNAP's Global Study on Participation and Consultation of Affected Populations in Humanitarian Action: review of French literature
This literature review is intended to complement the English and Spanish literature reviews carried out as part of the Global Study. Many of the issues and points of discussion raised in the English review were also noted or confirmed in the French literature. There are inevitable influences and overlaps between the various literatures, such that to make a clear distinction between the French, Spanish and English literature is, to a certain extent, artificial. However, it cannot be denied that there are some differences in approaches and emphasis, due to the predominance of certain schools of thought or institutional cultures. This paper emphasizes the differences by focusing on elements that were not yet necessarily covered by the other views, or that are addressed from a different angle. The objectives of the review are to clarify the concepts and definitions of terms related to participation and consultation in the French literature on development and humanitarian aid; present and analyse key debates around the concept and practice of participation; review lessons learned, recommendations, and manuals that can be useful for the elaboration of the Global Study Practitioner's Handbook and overview book; and illustrate the issues raised through case studies that are relevant to humanitarian action.
This article looks at government operated rice farming in Mbiabet in the state of Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. Government operation of the Mbiabet Ikpe rice farm enabled expansion of the cultivable rice paddy, building of drainage systems, provision of silos and generators, improved infra-structure, and gave access to technical expertise. But it also generated massive fraud in allocating rice plots to farmers leading to conflicts and killings; inadequate maintenance of drainage systems; silos that remained unused and vandalised; and farmers refused to maintain their plots effectively as they could not keep it to the following year. In 1994 an Africa Development Bank (ADB) project funded a rice development survey in the area and a PRA (Participatory rural Appraisal) approach was applied with public meetings, workshops and action research involving the local community. The villages of Mbiabet were encouraged to set up Village Development Associations (VDAs) which were later coordinated in the Mbiabet Ikpe Community Development Association (MICDA). Within this network of organisations a framework was set up for participative identification of the main community problems their possible solutions. The MICDA then requested the handing over of the operability of the Mbiabet Ikpe rice farm and their proposal was accepted by the government. The authors conclude that the overtake of the rice farm has been successful and that the intensive nature of the facilitation where community members played active roles, coupled with long periods of engagement, which accorder people time to adjust to new challenges, contributed to the success of the programme.
L'immense plaine sableuse de Wajir, bordÚe au nord par 'Ethiopie et Ó l'est par la Somalie - isolÚe, sujette Ó la sÚcheresse et rÚguliÞrement soumise Ó l'insÚcuritÚ - compte 300.000 Ó 350.000 Somaliens, dont la plupart sont des pasteurs nomades. La sÚcheresse et les conflits sont les dangers qui les menacent le plus: si des mesures effectives ne sont pas prises, ces menaces peuvent chasser les populations hors des zones rurales et les 'jeter' dans les petites villes des districts ou les zones de commerce, o¨ ils doivent affronter un avenir incertain. La pauvretÚ Ó Wajir n'est cependant pas uniquement une consÚquence de la malchance; elle rÚsulte Úgalement de la nÚgligence et de dÚcennies de choix politiques inadÚquats de la part due pouvoir.
Le WPDE (Wajir Pastoral Development Project) s'emploie Ó changer cela. Ce programme prÚvu sur neuf annÚes, financÚ par le DFID (DÚpartement britannique pour le dÚveloppement international), Comic Relief et l'Oxfam, a dÚmarrÚ en 1994. Il traite Ó un niveau pratique d'une large variÚtÚ de thÞmes relatifs aux moyens de subsistance. Son objectif central est toutefois de renforcer les capacitÚs institutionnelles et le leadership au sein du district - par un travail commun avec les organisations communautaires, des organisations non gouvernementales et des organismes d'Etat au niveau du district.
Le projet a atteint sa troisiÞme phase de trois ans Ó prÚsent et Ó tirÚ des leþons importantes de dÚfis que l'assistance Ó l'organisation sociale et au changement politique reprÚsentent en un lieu tel que Wajir. La premiÞre partie de cet article relate le processus dÚveloppÚ au niveau communautaire, et la seconde fait Útat des tentatives menÚes pour influencer les politiques et les pratiques au niveau du district. La derniÞre partie rÚsume certaines des leþons essentielles que l'on peut tirer de cette expÚrience.
This book explores the qualities of relationship, behaviour and effectiveness that the poor of Bangladesh consider important in the institutions with which they interact during periods of crisis. It arose out of a perceived lack by the World Bank's Participatory Poverty Assessment (undertaken to contribute towards the World Development Report 2000/01) to look at the area of crisis and institutions. The main findings are: " Crisis is multi-dimensional, and related to exposure to mishaps, stresses and risks, as well as to dangers in the physical environment, in society and in the economy, and in administrative and legal systems. Events like floods, droughts, deaths, etc., which affect almost everyone in the community trigger community actions for coping with the situation; " The poor have developed a number of survival strategies to cope with crisis, which are linked with the way assets are pooled and managed to reduce vulnerability; " The poor interact with a range of formal and informal institutions during crisis. Local government, police and court systems are manipulated for political purposes by successive governments, making the poor most vulnerable since they lack political connections. Flaws in the health system have created the opportunity for corruption. Despite unanimous trust of NGOs by the poor, allegations of misuse of funds, gender discrimination, and nepotism have been made. The poor place much more of their trust in their local Community-Based Organisations for security and survival, and their inability to access state organisations". " A number of recommendations are made in the area of state institutions: pro-poor formal administration, anti-corruption, pro-poor health services, increasing women's security; in the area of pro poor policies: land reforms, safety nets; in strengthening NGO-state links; and the need for overall coherence in these initiatives".
This paper presents some basic challenges faced by ZOA-Refugee Care, an international Christian NGO, in Rwanda in recent years. The organisation has been working in the post-1994 genocide and war period to provide emergency aid, and now increasingly focuses on community development work. The paper reports on the background of the project, issues around institutional environment and organisation change of ZOA-Rwanda, notes from the PRA sessions held, and follow-up processes. Along with specific recommendations, it is seen that the decentralisation policy of the Rwandan government offers a good opportunity for a participatory approach, particularly as local authorities have a large impact on the progress of a development programme and are crucial to inducing change.
This report provides an assessment of the conditions in Montserrat by people in Montserrat. It begins by discussing the impact of the start of a volcanic eruption in 1995 on peopleÆs lives and government action. By 1998 a four-year Sustainable Development Plan was set out with a strategy to rebuild Montserrat and its social fabric. The report discusses peopleÆs own perceptions and definitions of poverty and hardship with reference to a wide range of factors. Three groups emerged as being particularly vulnerable: single headed households; the elderly; and the mentally challenged. A discussion is then made of coping strategies people have developed that illustrate a high degree of resilience and resourcefulness. Finally, a discussion is made about how PPA can help the sustainable development process. It is found that it provides a more disaggregated assessment of who is facing what levels of poverty and hardship; it can help to assess the impact of policies on peopleÆs lives; and it provides a more informal channel for feeding peopleÆs views up to the government.
'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.
The paper presents guidelines for undertaking urban appraisals on violence that evolved from a World Bank funded policy focused research on community perceptions of violence in Guatemala and Colombia. By reviewing relevant conceptual frameworks, discussing the need for conducting participatory urban appraisals for research on violence and assessing the tools for appraisal, the authors show the rationale for and importance of participatory urban appraisals.
This article reports on a five-day workshop, which took place in Ethiopia on the use of participatory approaches in emergencies. The first section describes factors that can trigger an emergency situation. Examining history, politics, livelihoods, culture and climate all help us to understand the complexities of an emergency. The notion of including all stakeholders, but in particular people at the community level in responding to an emergency situation is also briefly described. The participatory methods and tools used are then briefly outlined, highlighted by a number of case studies. Finally, steps forward are suggested, including the arrangement of further workshops. Details of the participants are listed.