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.
Diagnosing priorities for rural women's welfare through participatory approaches in the Punjab, Pakistan
This study reports on the problems faced by rural Pakistani women to engage themselves in various income-generating activities, such as poultry and sewing. These activities are important in improving women's status as 'earning' family members in the household, as well as positively impacting on household security and children's nutrition. The participatory approaches used included semi-structured interviews, causal flow diagrams, and problem ranking of activities. The main finding presented is to provide proper marketing facilities and credit to purchase electric sewing machines for the further expansion of enterprises.
Participatory microplanning: SEWA's approach: Jeevika - livelihood security project for earthquake -affected rural households in Gujarat
This paper follows SEWA's experiment with participatory microplanning to assist earthquake-affected communities in Gujarat, following the devastating earthquake of January 2001. SEWA's approach, adapted from a membership to a community focus, resulted in the Livelihood Security Project for Earthquake Affected Rural Households in Gujarat (Jeevika), which came about as a response to calls from the communities to rebuild themselves through securing sustainable livelihoods, rather than focussing on relief.
SEWA's goal is that the communities involved (some 400 villages) will take responsibility for planning, implementation and monitoring of the Project's programmes, and then managing and maintaining same upon completion. The challenges faced and successes achieved are documented; although the Project is heavily human-resourced, SEWA is committed to the notion of the communities' self-reliance and sustainability.
Villa el Salvador, Southern Lima, is a poor district of roughly 300,000 inhabitants. It is famous for its tradition of 'self-management' by the population. This article describes the history of the district and its urban development plans and includes a speech given by the Mayor of Villa El Salvador, Martin Pumar, in 1999. In it he shares his vision of leadership, the urban development plan and the place of participatory budgeting within that. He goes on to present four key challenges that he faces: the lack of participation by all inhabitants; the shortsightedness of leaders not used their co-governing role; the lack of linkages between decision making structures and the internal issue of the municipal bureaucracy not yet being capable of dealing with change. The article goes on to look the vision and strategic objectives of the participatory budgeting process and finally at the process itself.
This article considers the development of a series of tools developed in the Philippines and Namibia to improve the quality of agricultural extension advice at the level of individual farmers, farmer groups, and cooperatives. The tools allow these actors to build a local market picture which can be used for interaction between service providers, and act as a starting point for a more in-depth consideration of marketing and business plans and strategies.|The rationale for why it is necessary to understand the immediate marketing environment is discussed, and tools are presented which assist this process.
Can civil society add value to budget decision-making? A description of the rise of civil society budget work
The purpose of this paper is to examine the expanding contribution of civil society organisations to public budgets in developing countries. It provides examples of civil society budget activities in a variety of country contexts in order to measure the value of this work to public budgeting. The intervention of civil society has generally enabled broader understanding and participation in the budget process. In part, these benefits occur indirectly through other organisations or legislatures as a result of training and dissemination activities that deepen public debate and expand public participation. Many groups are still developing skills and organisational capacity. Some examples are cited which point to a significant impact of this in Mexico, Israel, South Africa and Russia.
It is noted that applied budget organisations may add value to budgets in the following ways:| Able to bring new information to the public debate on citizen priorities;| Through training, the capacity of communities to take part is built;| The contribution of applied budget organisations includes building budget literacy and training and analysis that brings a pro-poor perspective;| Help in the collation of information on programme impact;| Able to play a bigger role in helping legislatures to monitor the impact of the official audit and in interpreting and disseminating the findings of the auditor-general.
By the end of the 1990s good governance (GG) was the new catch phrase in development and public policy circles. Good governance is increasingly viewed as a panacea to persisting problems of development and government. Donors, governments (central and local), academe, NGOs and other civil society groups are calling for GG as a requisite for making development programmes and interventions successful. This review examines indicators of local GG. It gives a historical background to GG and overviews the GG agenda. Emerging concepts of good governance are presented with specific references to different literature; and the way forwards towards a framework for defining GG is discussed, with focus on means toward good governance and decentralisation. Key measures of good governance are examined such as participation; new styles of leadership; accountability and transparency; capable public management in economic management, service delivery, sustainable natural resource management and fiscal administration; and respect for law and human rights. The author goes on to propose a manner of constructing a data base of indicators of GG: describing methodology and how to classify the indicators. This is followed by a discussion on who develops and who uses indicators of GG, and emerging issues in defining good local governance. The paper is concluded with some final remarks on the processes of measuring and defining GG.