This is an extensive report of a community appraisal, undertaken as part of a social forestry and upland development programme in Mindoro and Cebu, Philippines. The appraisal focused on two problem areas identified by an earlier rapid appraisal: (i) agricultural production and soil conservation, and (ii) social organisation and conflict. The appraisal team decided information was required on these two areas for the formulation of interventions. Fieldwork methods included community or group meetings, key informant interviews, semi-structured interviews, direct observation and measurement. The findings from the two study sites relating to the two problem areas defined above are presented in detail. On the basis of these findings, recommendations specific to the two study sites are made.
Resource Management, Population, and Local Institutions in Katheka: A Case Study of Effective Natural Resources Management in Machakos, Kenya
This report describes in detail the structure and operation of village institutions in Katheka Sublocation in Machakos, Kenya, with regard to natural resources management. It concludes that the village is an effective organisational unit to foster participation in project planning and implementation. villagers understand the relation between improved natural resource management and sustainable food production, and institutional structures are already in place in many countries. What is needed is organising and mobilising village institutions. This can be done through training of village leaders, for example by using 'exemplar' villages, carrying out PRAs and developing village resource management plans.
Rapid Post-Disaster Community Needs Assessment: A Case Study of Guatemala After the Civil Strife of 1979-1983
Information collected during emergencies often does not identify accurately either the population in greatest need or the relative amounts of relief assistance required. Needs appraisal models are required in which data collection and analysis is rapid. This paper presents a case study of a disaster relief project in Highland Guatemala which sought to provide a database which relief organisations could use to target assistance. A brief introduction to target assistance. A brief introduction to the existing conditions in Guatemala is presented, followed by a description of the assessment techniques used. Initially, the two main techniques used to obtain quantitative and qualitative data were an observational checklist and key informant questionnaires. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings and impacts of the study.
This book presents a participative action model to assist groups in developing the organisational, analytical and management skills required for community action to achieve sustainable use of land and water resources at the local level. Groups using this book are expected to develop participatory mechanisms for planning and implementing land and water management projects. It is aimed at developing self-learning skills by community leaders, extension officers and students in Australia. The contents are divided into short learning units in which outlines of theories, concepts and principles are followed by personal and group activities. The organisation of chapters follows the pattern of group development. It explains the philosophy of participative action in land care (Ch. 2); and discusses learning to work together, development of leadership skills and defining of roles and responsibilities (Chs. 3-5). The next eight chapters are on 'how to' aspects of group functioning: running a meeting, organising activities, planning, motivating oneself and others, effective communication, finding human and financial resources for projects. The last two chapters discuss how to keep momentum going and how to manage conflicts that accompany change.
Reflections around the tensions between male fieldworkers and Women's Project Officers on an Oxfam project, lead to the idea that RRA training can help to raise gender awareness. The RRA approach encourages fieldworkers to listen, to see that communities are not "homogenous blobs" and to abandon preconceived ideas. A case-study from Sierra Leone shows how a social map drawing activity done separately by men and women revealed their different perceptions and needs. The second case-study shows how RRA work in Ghana caused male fieldworkers to change their views of women's position in the community. The next most important step would be to "transform fieldworkers' anger and resentment into positive pride in their awareness of difference".
The Ogaden Needs Assessment Study was undertaken as a joint exercise between SCF(UK) and the Pastoral Surveillance Team of the RRC Early Warning and Planning Services. The trigger for the study was the influx into the Ogaden of thousands of returnees from Somalia and concern about capacity of the region to support the growing population. A rural sample survey was carried out using two helicopters. The objective was to establish the nutritional status of children and also to get data on grain production, consumption, sale and exchange, and the prospects of the food economy. The health data was obtained using standard anthropometric procedures, while socio-economic data was gathered by the use of questionnaires on key informants. The survey showed that the combined effects of the collapse of the livestock/grain trade and the continuing burden of the returnee population could result in a food crisis during the following dry season.
Nutritional surveillance, as part of, or complementary to, the famine early warning system in Ethiopia, has been used to collect reports on local food security from community leaders using structured interviews. It is important to assess the extent to which this information reflects the food-related behaviour of the community. Information on various socio-economic variables related to nutrition was collected at the household and community level through interviews in western Shewa Province. The data was compared and generally the correspondence between the two was good. Information topics which might be missed using only the local leader, and ways to improve collection are discussed.
Rapid Food Security Assessments (RFSA) are especially useful for determining the causes, dimensions and characteristics of the food security situation in a given area. They are a type of Rapid Rural Appraisal and are particularly good for identifying the most food insecure groups in a given area and the causes and magnitude of the food security situation. The targeting and timing of a RFSA will be triggered by an early warning system already in place in a region susceptible to food shortages. The general procedure followed in most assessments involves: reviewing secondary data to familiarize the team with the sociocultural, econmomic, and ecological attributes of the area, open-ended interview guides to ensure that pertinent issues are covered, and group, household and key informant interviews to gather information about the local situation. RFSAs use other RRA techniques such as maps, diagrams and ranking exercises to elicit a local perspective on resources, constraints, wealth distribution and seasonal trends. Upon completion of a survey, contingency plans should be drawn up to link information to response.
This paper, prepared as part of a report to the ODA, examines the past, present and future role of community participation in the development of Isiolo District, Kenya. Past initiatives discussed include government policy and practice, the institutional framework provided by the District Focus, and the role of the Department of Social Services. Current initiatives include the role of NGOs and international agencies, and community participation in the Isiolo Livestock Development Project. regarding the latter, there are discussions of the ILDP approach and its weaknesses, the role of the deda, ethnic conflict, women's participation and links with formal institutions. The final section discusses options for the future, including potential for the use of existing institutions, and channels for institutionalising and methods for facilitating community participation
As part of the UNICEF relief programme to Angola, a technical team carried out a ranking exercise upon which this paper reports. It took place between December 1991 and June 1992. Ranking is defined here as a process of priority ordering, in this case administrative areas in relation to the need for assistance. It used the knowledge that informants possessed from the country, at a national level, as well as from the provinces. No quantitative data were used. The ranking technique was expected to provide a rational framework to deal with time and resource constraints. The paper looks at the ranking process at a central and provincial level, as well as looking at the limitations and potential of the approach. It concludes that ranking was useful with regards to outlining the humanitarian issues in Angola; however, its efficiency depends very much on the choice of information source.
Monitoring Food Security and Coping Strategies: Lessons Learnt From The SADS Project of Save The Children Fund (UK), Mopti Region, Mali: Field Report on Methodological Questions
SCF(UK) established a local food security monitoring project called SADS in the Mopti region of Mali, which has been operational since 1987. It aimed to identify who was vulnerable, where, when and why, and to provide appropriate information to decision makers. This working paper describes some of the lessons learnt from the experience of monitoring food security and coping strategies. Information was collected by field staff from rural people, and this paper examines the use of such qualitative and semi-quantitative data, and the problems associated with using local knowledge systems. The approach to data collection belongs loosely to that associated with RRA. Information was collected by project staff using checklists and semi-structured interviews with key informants, listening to oral histories and discussions at village meetings. SADS also uses sentinel sites called 'listening posts' which are located in positions to gain insight into larger areas. Information was collected on agricultural and fish production, on-farm stocks, off-farm employment, consumption and migration. This was supplemented by secondary data, particularly on rainfall. Seasonal calendars were drawn up to show food access, activities and coping strategies for different producer groups, and this has led to the use of seasonally specific monitoring indicators. SADS shows that a relatively low cost methodology for monitoring food security can be established, based mainly on socio-economic data, that can provide timely and reliable warnings of localised food insecurity.
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.