The article argues that strategic planning is crucial for tackling poverty, and looks at the anti-poverty strategy and plan of action in Bulgaria. The article first describes poverty in Bulgaria, and how low levels of income and low levels of employment make women particularly vulnerable. The author looks in detail at the anti-poverty strategy and plan of action as strategic planning tools, and argues that the planning processes have to be made fully participatory and reflect the vision of the poor and vulnerable people. To achieve this, the author suggests that NGOs and CSOs have to be supported further through training in strategic thinking to enable efficient and effective participation in planning processes.
This video explores numerous issues surrounding participatory poverty assessments (PPAs), using the example of a PPA in Tanzania. A key issue is the identification of the poor, about which appropriate information is needed to inform government policy. In contrast to traditional surveys of income-poverty, the PPA provides a way to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor and to enable this perspective to influence policy. The importance of the involvement of policy makers in the PPA is stressed at several points in the video. This involvement contributed to chantes in attitudes to the poor within government and a recognition of the need for a corresponding change in government development tactics. The findings of the PPA were presented at policy workshops and contributed to changes in thinking about the nature and characteristics of poverty in Tanzania, as well as more specific policy reforms. The PPA primarily used PRA methods and visual materials developed by local artists in the PPA. The methods shown include, mapping, discussion of well-being, wealth ranking with villagers and district officials, 'story with a gap' and seasonality analysis. Among the highlighted findings of the PPA are that: indicators of poverty are location specific; intangible indicators of deprivation are important; strong gender differences exist in the prioritisation of problems; the poor adapt to seasonality through complex coping strategies. The PPA also revealed that participatory methods could be used to construct time series price data for rural Tanzania, which had not previously existed. The links between the PPA's findings regarding the causes of poverty and the implications for policy are highlighted, including access to land, agricultural policy, lack of production inputs, environmental degradation and access to credit and savings.
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.
This long and detailed study describes how the mandal (administrative area) of Devikere in Jagalar, Karnataka State was selected as the appropriate site for an Action Aid anti-poverty project. A socio-economic survey was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team using mainly RRA techniques. The methodology employed appears to have much in common with farming systems research. A section of the report is devoted to health issues. This includes: nutrition and food availability; mother and child wellbeing, health practices and beliefs; the environment; housing; occupation and health services. The anthropological/ethnographic technique of using case studies of individuals adds a strong human dimension to the study. Separate sections are devoted to women, infrastructure and sanitation, and socio-economic conditions.
This report is an up-to-date account of an innovative and experimental participatory development programme, called Change Agents Programme (CAP)which was initiated in the late seventies in Sri Lanka. The programme's main objective was to train village level development cadres called 'change agents' with a view to working among the rural poor and setting in motion a process of awareness building for self-reliant participatory development. The programme characteristics and CAP intervention process and strategy are described at great length. The report also presents the organisation of the programme which though staffes by the government ministry, is least affected by normal bureaucratic practices. Some important issues and considerations for the further expansion of CAP into a national level anti-poverty programme are discussed.