This reports on the activities of an Integrated Pest Management scheme and particularly its Extension and Women Project in the Philippines. The project highlights the role of women farmers and assists them in performing their role with appropriate technology, if one exists, and if not, develops one with their participation. The programme comprises a multi-disciplinary group of researchers consisting entirely of women. The participatory research approach is concluded to lessen the lead time for introducing the technology to its subsequent learning and adoption. It makes the client feel involved in the process and also gives her the option to decide whether it will benefit her or not. The paper accepts the inherent limitations of the approach and the need for fine-tuning the methodology proposed.
This study represents some of the lessons learned over three years by the Indian NGO, The Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA). The origins and principles of PRA are outlined. Six case studies of PRA are given of which two are health-related. Herbal PRA: herbal practitioners identified 144 herbs and their uses, a historical time line of diseases and treatments was constructed (this is given in an appendix). Twenty most important herbs were identified which the herbalists promised to help raise in village herb gardens. Health PRA: this was conducted as a training exercise with 20 NGOs in Tamil Nadu. PRA exercises helped replace curative notions of health care with a focus on the socio-economic causes of ill health. The results of a wealth ranking and a health matrix are presented in the appendixes.
This brief article describes some of the problems the authors encountered conducting pile sorting and free listing with women in a slum area. It emerged that these women did not view their health problems in "lists" but rather as part of the socio-cultural context of their lives. The authors discover a more effective way of involving participants is to organise group meetings on specific topics.
This article consists of observations arising from the author's visits to several NGOs on the Indian sub-continent. Four main suggestions are made: conduct limited direct observations; use pile sorting techniques with key informants; experiment by modifying the pile sort technique; conduct key informant interviews on issues relating to the context of women's health.
Rather than challenging the universal validity of PRA, this discussion paper focuses on the practical task of "doing PRAs" in a new and alien context. The authors advocate the acknowledgement and acceptance of local cultural trends, power relations and structures of authority when undertaking participatory research. This will allow to work with, rather than around these factors. Hence, the proposed "Vietnamisation" of PRA so as to allow local voices to shape the values and techniques of PRA itself. But, just how Vietnamised can PRA become until it comes into conflict with international liberal PRA values? This broad discussion originated in a workshop organised in Hanoi on Community Research Methods in February and March 1996. The issues covered by the paper include: introducing PRA and PRA values in Vietnamese communities, gender, local leadership and dominance; and international donors and PRA. Methodological issues covered are: sampling, recording of research information, interviews, focus group discussions and mapping.
PRA is not "automatically gender sensitive" - there is a need to raise gender awareness first before PRA tools can be used to explore different perceptions and it is not enough simply to say that gender is important. A PRA and Gender training programme that took place in Brazil had three preparatory steps : defining gender, "formulating key questions in terms of gender-differentiated perspectives" and deciding which PRA methods would be most appropriate. During the fieldwork, problems were discussed in terms of gender - who and how issues had been raised. The article ends with a discussion of the benefits ("experiential learning of gender differences") and dangers (the trap of the "gender average") of linking PRA and gender.
"The gender equivalent to Chambers' poverty biases" is summarised as an ironic checklist of ways of "keeping women invisible in development planning" - eg treat the household as a homogenous and harmonious group of people. Concepts for gender training for development planners are discussed : i) The distinction between "biological" sex and "socially constructed" gender ii) The different processes that construct gender in different cultures iii) Focus on the gender division of labour iv) Rethink the meaning of production in the light of our analysis of the gender division of labour v) Shift from planning for practical needs to strategies for empowerment. Such training should help to get away from "aggregated concepts of development that planners have worked with in the past".
This is a newsletter which describes the formation of the Midnet PRA group and includes a number of very short articles and thoughts on practitioners experiences with PRA in Southern Africa. Experiences shared include working with young people, in education, with periurban communities, for catchment management and for land reform. The methods used are discussed with details of venn diagrammes for community organisation, historical time lines. There are reports from trainings in Namaqualand and Namibia. The thoughts that emerged from evaluation/ reflection and planning meetings included the ideas of rapid learning and sharing and the need for more training. The final article summarises the PRA and gender workshop held at IIED in December 1993.
The stated aims of this tool kit and the visual aids it contains are not only to encourage community participation in planning and development, but also to enable field workers to have a visual "spark" which will enable them to work more effectively in the field. It is recognised that many of the activities can be conducted without the prepared materials, ie mapping and ranking on the ground. However, they consider that visuals can help to break barriers, although the danger remains that the process is extractive as the visuals will be removed from the community, or that they are not transferrable between cultures. The introduction describes the materials and their suggested use, as well as a few of the pitfalls associated with such a kit. There are 25 folders, each containing a number of visuals, which are very specific to particular circumstances. These are designed for the excercises which are described in the second part of the instruction book, which indicates purpose, time, audience, materials needed, materials supplied and directions on how to conduct the excercise. The target audience ranges from staff and trainers, to community members
A comprehensive account of a large scale experimental PRA conducted for SCF in Vietnam. The approach taken and its justification (not agreed by all doners) is detailed. The methodology section is extensive, discussing the theory behind PRA, training, tools and fieldwork, as well as problems such as the external and timeconsuming production of the report. The final report gives details of the education system and educations problems encountered, in general terms and by specific commune. In some communes this is felt to be one of the most significant constraints, and potential solutions are discussed in detail.
Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation: Exploring Ways to Incorporate Gender and Environment In Community Forestry
This brief article outlines how Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation (PAME) can be used in the context of gender and community forestry. PAME consists of three interlinked and complementary components: 1) Idea, the 'idea' is that the field staff are facilitators or catalysts rather than directors; 2) Methods, this consists of 'assessment', usually conducted by local people who identify and prioritise their problems, 'monitoring' conducted throughout implementation through recording information decided by local people, and 'evaluation' which takes place after activities have begun to ascertain whether objectives have been or are being achieved; 3) Tools, twenty three 'tools' are said to be available that take gender and environment into consideration. Three examples are given - 'drawing and discussion', 'historical mapping' and 'community environmental assessment'. The PAME approach reverses traditional development approaches because analyses is done by the community rather than outside experts. Focus groups with women offer an opportunity to focus on gender and environment as related issues.
Seven exercises are presented for use by team members who are involved with community environmental projects (some of which includes community forestry). Each exercise focuses on some aspects of gender and the environment. It is suggested that these exercises are used by small working groups mixed by both sex and work experience.
This source book is organised into five sections: 1) background articles on issues of gender, environment, and natural resources, including discussion questions (see also Warren 1992(b) and Davis-Case 1992) 2) a set of cases from the field with a number of discussion questions 3) seven exercises related to the cases and background articles of use for training project teams (see Warren 1992(c)) 4) a brief glossary of relevant terms 5) a bibliography of published resources and easily accessible materials organised by region and topic area.
This is a very brief introduction to the topic of women and natural resource management. Deforestation has received the widest notoriety as a symptom of environmental degradation, which has been manifest in the social, economic and environmental costs of fuelwood scarcity to women and their families. The least powerful members of society seem to suffer first from the loss of access to natural resources: women with their primary responsibilities for household subsistence; forest-dwelling peoples dependent on forest habitat for sustenance and trade goods; landless people dependent on wage labour and common property for their livelihoods; any people who cannot afford substitutes.
This study investigated rural livelihood systems and the response of local communities to changing resource conditions in two communities in Machakos District, a semi-arid region in Kenya. A section on methodolgoy outlines the methods used during the research, which included PRA techniques as well as more conventional approaches. Among the PRA techniques used were spatial methods such as village transects or mapping, methods focused on time-related data such as time-lines or seasonal calendars, and those focusing on social data such as household interviews and group meetings to discuss village institutions. Several of the techniques were easily modified for gathering gender-differentiated data. It was found that there had been a significant and rapid change in the lives of people living in the region as the livelihood base shifted from cattle rearing to coffee growing. The changes have had particularly adverse impact on the lives of women, particularly poor women, in the area.