We all take economic decisions in our everyday life yet we are led to believe that "economics" is best left to the experts - that it is a beast beyond most people's understanding and control. This book is one representation of the efforts of everyday people to take matters into their own hands. It is a compilation of materials developed by community groups and economic educators who have collectively explored local, national and international systems and dynamics. It represents voices that, like the vast majority of people, don't benefit from economic policies but together say "We can understand economics. We know what is at stake. And we demand a voice at the table of economic decision-making, alongside the lobbyists and politicians". The book is divided into five sections:
À Popular Patterns (in our experience)
À Threading it Together: Activities
À The Fabric of our Work: Issues and Analysis
À Expressions (of our discontent): Using Multi-media Creatively
À Resources: Individual and Organisational Contacts
The purpose of the book is to share these activities with other people in the interest of economic and political empowerment. It aims to get rid of confusing language and put economics into terms that everyone can easily understand. It provides copious tools: it is full of activities that encourage involvement, understanding, learning and action.
Budgeting for women and men: a handbook for local government councillors, district planners and leaders of civil society organisations
This handbook is intended to assist Ugandan officials and activists at District Level to include the concerns of women, men and children in district budgets. It was prepared to introduce the national priorities in the Poverty Eradication Action Plan, to provide guidelines on how to identify gender issues and how to examine a sector policy and budget with a 'gender lens'. An examination is undertaken of gender roles and of concerns and gaps in the sectors of education and health, with questions at the end of each section to guide the investigator. Additionally, advice is given on a gender analysis of the budget, and on how the district budget fits in the national budget, including step by step instructions on the budget process, the preparation of the budget, and monitoring and reporting on the use of funds.
Coping with cost recovery: a study of the social impact of and responses to cost recovery in basic services (health and education) in poor communities in Zambia
The report deals with the social implications of the cost-recovery measures adopted in the Zambian health and education sectors since 1989. The focus of the study is on the impact of the charges on access to basic health care and primary education among the poorest sections of the urban and rural population. The report is also concerned with the way poor communities, and the most vulnerable households within them, cope with demands to contribute more. It concludes by reviewing alternative ways of ensuring that the poorest are able to maintain access to basic services. A mix of approaches were used, including a range of standard RRA methods, focus-group work and anthropological insights from more traditional sources. The study also drew on a baseline survey and intensive household studies which had been carried out over several years.
This annotated bibliography is an attempt to identify and catalogue some of the rich economic literacy resources that have been developed and used by NGOs, trade unions, social movements and others. In addition to understanding the details of policy, economic literacy must also equip citizens to probe and think critically about the core ideas, worldview and policy agendas behind economic policies. While the resources share the goal of æpopularizingÆ economics and global economics in particular, the materials vary in terms of their level of accessibility to grassroots audiences, usefulness for learning and adaptability to action.
This newsletter looks at development and other activities in the villages in the Upper Kahayan area of Indonesia. It is the newsletter of Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta (YTS), an organisation established by a mineral exploration company to facilitate community development in the villages close to the exploration area. YTS has recently been shifting to using PRA approaches with local villages, and the newsletter describes some of the findings from these processes. Main issues covered include insights gained from specific villages as well as more general information about field activities on broader themes such as education, health, economics and governance. The newsletter also contains general updates and news items concerning YTS, and is published quarterly.
This report is a result of the first ever Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Process (UPPAP) in which local people were consulted in 36 rural and urban sites in nine districts in Uganda. In this assessment "voices" and perspectives of the poor are brought to the fore to influence district and national planning, implementation and monitoring. The report covers perceptions of poverty and wellbeing and strategies for coping with being poor, as well as the degree to which the poor have access to, and benefit from, services and infrastructure. It goes on to look at issues of government and poverty, along with the role that security plays in development. Finally there are rcommendations and messages for policy makers. The report points to the fact that poverty is more than just income and expenditure or the lack of basic needs, it is also a feeling of powerlessness. Poverty in the eyes of the poor is location specific, multi-dimensional, cyclic and seasonal and requires a holistic approach to it's alleviation.
This describes a Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA) undertaken by the Government of Kenya and the World Bank during Febuary-April 1994. It had three primary objectives; to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor, to start a process of dialogue between policy makers, district level providers and the poor and to address the issue of the 'value added' of the PPA approach to understanding poverty. Methods used included mapping, wealth ranking, seasonal analysis, trend and price analysis, focus group discussions, key informant interviews; visual card methods, gender analysis, understanding health seeking behaviour; and incomplete sentences. Statistically the findings of the PPA and the Welfare Monitoring Survey based on an established poverty line were strikingly similar. The study also found a gap in the perception of poverty between the poor themselves and district officials. Separate chapters look at poverty in urban Nairobi and Mandera district.
Participatory action research is presented as a social research method and process and as a goal that social research should always strive to achieve. This paper describes the key features and strengths of participatory action research, and briefly analyses its role in promoting social change through organisational learning in three very different kinds of organisations. It is argued that participatory action research is always an emergent process that can often be intensified and that works effectively to link participation, social action and knowledge generation.
This report is a review of the different participatory methodologies used in development throughout Africa. It includes overviews of the literature on participatory development, and participation in agriculture and natural resource management, forestry, health, credit, literacy, water, and urban programming. Numerous methodologies are outlined (e.g. animation rurale, auto-evaluation, GRAAP, Theatre for Development, RRA etc.). ACORD's experience with participatory methodologies in Burkina Faso, Mali, Uganda and Sudan are discussed in detail. There are annotated bibliographies on ACORD and key general publications relating to participatory methodologies, and lists of key institutions.
This volume of the Gatekeeper series from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) looks at the economic education efforts of Highlander Research and Education Centre (Tennessee, USA) in Appalachia and its role in promoting community development. It gives a background to social problems in Appalachia and describes the Highlander project. The project concentrated on three rural communities (Dungannon, Virginia; Jelico, Tennessee; and Ivanhoe, Virginia) and was oriented towards helping communities gain knowledge necessary for local development. Community groups were offered technical and educational support for grassroots economic leadership development through a participatory process where the community could assess their own situation, and define and implement strategies for themselves. Part of the participatory methodology were oral history, community surveys, community mapping and drawings, decision-maker interviews, videos and readings, brainstorming and feasibility studies, and cultural components. Finally the outcomes of the project are examined.
A group of development analysts had a dialogue about labour market, trade and poverty issues in 2004. They preceded the dialogue with exposure to the realities of the lives of six women from the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) in Gujarat, India. The struggles faced by these women provided the frame for the technical dialogue that followed. This is a compendium of personal and technical reflections of the analysts involved in the exercise. While the personal reflections focus on the experience of the participants, the technical reflections give an economic analysis of the situation of the women. The exercise was part of the Cornell-SEWA-WIEGO exposure and dialogue programme aimed at starting a dialogue between mainstream economists, SEWA activists, and WIEGO (Women) researchers around key assumptions of neo-classical economics and neo-liberal economic policies, which trouble ground level activists and researchers working on issues of employment and labour. This project is described in an appendix in this document. An epilogue examines the use of exposure methodology for dialogue and key issues.