This book looks at the theoretical basis to participatory development work, drawing on related debates in anthropology, development studies and feminism. It attempts to connect theory and practice, presenting case studies of participatory research techniques from sites as far apart as development theatre in Mali and video-making with homeless people in the UK. It then extends the debate by questioning the shifts in power needed if institutions are to operate in a participatory manner.
In this article, the authors argue that women's involvement (despite initial resistance from the village males) in a participatory water project has had an impact on their role in the community in northern Pakistan. By recounting the history and context of the water project, the barriers faced, the process of participation and the final resolution to the water problem by the community, the authors discuss the wider issue of gender politics. They show how in choosing to go with the women's strategy for harnessing water, the role of gender in mediating access to and management of water becomes apparent and how larger shifts occur in terms of community participation in development.
An account of the process of a participatory evaluation carried out in Tabora, central Tanzania, for WaterAid, a UK based NGO. Information is offered on the preparations for the three day workshop which developed the methodology for the evaluation, the fieldwork carried out in four sites and the lessons learnt from the exercise.
This assessment records the experiences of communities after the PAR intervention in Nepal where four communities had started managing their water resources. Details are provided on the focus group discussions and the future plans of the communities. Also included are the reflections of the PAR team members.
The authors recount the breakthrough achieved through PAR in the conflict between two clans in Kenya over water resources. The article is built around one meeting and describes the dynamics of power at the meeting and the way in which the problem was resolved with the help of the PAR team who had been working in the affected villages. Details are provided on the PAR outcomes.
Public canal irrigation systems suffer from many deficiencies - inefficiency, unreliable delivery of water, inequitable water distribution, neglect of maintenance causing deterioration of infrastructure, etc. Transferring irrigation management to water users' associations is considered essential for improving canal management. Those NGOs with a strong gender focus would like women to be brought into the mainstream of irrigation management by encouraging them to participate actively in the affairs of water users' associations. This paper seeks to examine such an approach, focussing on the interaction with women's groups in six villages in the Gujarat, India which had different sources of water for domestic use but one common feature - they were all served by a canal. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) was conducted in these villages to ascertain women's priorities regarding water use. Two issues were examined: (1) how canals can better serve women's priority needs; (2) what women can do to improve the canal management and better functioning of water users' associations.
When seeking to assess the linkages between participation, demand-responsiveness, sustainability, use and equity for women and men and poor people, a methodology is needed that is participatory, and gender and poverty sensitive. In 1997 a group of water and development specialists came to together to assess why such approaches had not caught on in the water sector. Led by the World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme together with the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, a new methodology was developed: the Methodology for Participatory Assessment (MPA). As a multi-level instrument it aims to combine sustainability analysis of community managed domestic water services with the analysis of gender and poverty perspectives. The development, use and evaluation of this new methodology are the subjects of this book. It describes the objectives, history and social and scientific background of the development of the methodology, followed by a detailed description and analysis of the methodology itself, with case studies of its use and impacts. Validation took place in a global study in which women and men in 88 rural communities in 15 countries used the MPA to evaluate their domestic water supplies. It presents the study results, the implications for policies and program planning of domestic water supply projects, and the lessons for training in the and use of the methodology.
This working paper details a new community-led approach to sanitation in Bangladesh. Access to latrines in rural areas is less than 15 per cent. Despite many agencies having been involved in the provision of subsidised latrines and toilets over the last three decades very few villages are totally sanitised. This new approach concentrates on empowering local people to analyse the extent and risk of environmental pollution caused by open defecation, and to construct toilets without any external subsidies. The Paper details the background to the work, the process of participatory total community sanitation, the impact of the project, it's national and international spread, how it differs from other sanitation programmes and limits to the approach. Finally it provides a list of recommendations, which have implications for policy makers and require institutional change. This project has had a huge impact: open defecation had been stopped in over 400 villages in Bangladesh and the methodology is being adopted in parts of India and elsewhere in Asia and Africa.