Participatory Modelling in North Omo, Ethiopia: Investigating the Perceptions of Different Groups Through Models: Training Course Report
The paper deals with the subject of participatory modelling. It asks how such a process can portray a picture of a community that does not merely reflect the view of the dominant group. The paper reports on efforts to compensate for the effects of an often dominant group - men. While on a training course in northern Omo, Ethiopia, a group of women and children were asked to make their own model on the ground adjacent to the men. The issue of water availability, a subject not brought up the men, appeared to be key. As result, the paper concludes by highlighting the need for participation to encompass all groupings within a community.
This film demonstrates a participatory approach to crop research which has been developed by the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India. It aims to bring researchers closer to farmers through on-farm evaluation of pest-resistant varieties. The approach was developed to overcome the limitations of the transfer of technology approach, which is often innappropriate to the complex, risk-prone agriculture of the semi-arid tropics (07). It recognises that farmers and scientists perform complementary activities, and advocates a decentralised and participatory approach in which scientists perform a facilitating and support role (08). The research was carried out in collaboration with women farmers, who play an important role in maintaining biological diversity. First, the pest problem was diagnosed and the different varieties grown by farmers were analysed (09). In the second stage the characteristics of the farmer's varieties were matched with those of the scientist's pre-release lines. On-farm trials were then conducted in different villages (11). After harvesting the farmers carried out their own evaluation of the genetic material (14). The different varieties were ranked to elicit the farmer's preferences, according to their own criteria (16). The scientists learned that a mosaic of varieties better suit the diverse situations faced by farmers in these complex dryland environments than the uniform introduction of a standard seed (23).
Implementing Village Resource Development Programmes Through Participatory Rural Appraisal and Planning
This paper concerns PRA capacity building in the implementation and monitoring of the Village Development Programme of Kalam Integrated Development Project (KIDP) in northern Pakistan. It discusses the adoption and institutionalisation of PRA in village planning activities of the programme, which has involved the training of village extensionists to participate in PRA teams. The selection of these persons is discussed. Among the many comments on this innovative approach, the author notes that the pace of adoption has been appropriately slow given the experimental nature of this approach. Developing an understanding of PRA before any field work begins is important, particularly since it differs from conventional prescriptive interventions. Identification of initial activities, and the involvement of women are discussed. The need for caution in developing village action plans is noted, as is the importance of follow -up to PRA activities, particularly as expectations may have been raised. The need for monitoring structures and the possibility of future training are explored.
The Nhlangwini Integrated Rural Development Project aims to empower local people, in order that they may improve their quality of life, by helping them develop strategies for addressing basic needs. The Nhlangwini Ward is situated in southern KwaZulu, South Africa. Three workshops were held over a period of three months during 1989. The first examined development problems in the area; the second specifically probed those problems associated with family planning; the third was a development planning workshop, employing visual techniques described in some detail by the paper. Participants were asked to draw local resources by imagining they could view the area from a helicopter. The process of adopting visual techniques has resulted in a change in emphasis - as a result of findings, the integrated development programme has switched approaches with regard to issues facing women, and in terms of its goal setting mechanisms.
This book describes a grassroots approach to empowering people for democratic social change. It explains participatory research using exemplarly case studies on community organizing, femist theory and ecological movements from a range of locations in North America. It challenges the relevance and validity of academic social science research.
Using Participatory Methods to Understand Gender Differences in Perceptions of Poverty, Well-Being, and Social Change: People's Perspective from a Village in Ghana
See also author's paper of same title (1995)
The article describes the experience of participatory research in a squatter settlement in the Dominican Republic. The research was undertaken as part of a larger study which aimed to explore the links between urban women's changing and multiple productive roles and their health. The article summarises the qualitative participatory research, concentrating on the implications of PUA, in terms of method (what worked, and what did not), and where appropriate, substance (the urban debates uncovered in the process).
A workshop was held in India to "adapt some of the participatory methods developed within agriculture for conducting PRA exercises on women's health". A "body mapping" exercise was conducted with a group of traditional birth attendants to discuss their concepts of reproduction, contraception and nutrition. A village mapping exercise led later to construction of "pregnancy time lines" and information on family planning acceptors. The article briefly mentions constraints, such as how to deal with sensitive issues like abortion.
This paper begins with an explanation of the need for a gender perspective in the participatory development field. Subsequently it examines some of the obstacles to achieveing goals, such as cultural beliefs and practices, and ways of surmounting these obstacles. Various positions in the debate in regard to the project paradigm, social actors versus communities as entities and women's organisations and participatory issues are also presented.
This book explores research as a collaborative process: researching with and for people, rather than on people. In particular, it addresses the central question: "What is the nature of participation, and how can participative relationships and processes be established and sustained in human enquiry?"