'Learning to Unlearn' as a Tool to Reverse the Bureaucratic Attitudes: a Case Presentation on Experience with the Facilitation Approach
Two key aspects are identified to the success of a programme: (i) change in bureaucratic attitudes and (ii) organisation of beneficiaries for self-help. Bureaucrats focus on targets, especially financial targets, refuse to see problems through the people's eyes, refuse to listen, and are unconcerned with the needs of the poor. Hence, a need for reversing bureaucratic attitudes. One way is to put officials in an environment in which they become sensitised through learning from farmers/villagers (e.g. through overnight stays in villages). It is important that department heads provide support and role models for such activities. Resistance by officials is possible. The application of PRA/RRA methods to reversal exercises are described, and learning steps listed. If facilitating is to be successful, officials have to be committed to the process and open to villagers' ideas. Organisations in India for which the process would be suited are suggested. The author's personal experience is that the process changed his personal as well as professional approach to interaction with others.
This pack contains four documents drawing together the themes of gender and participation. It has also been translated into Arabic. The documents are as follows: (1) Gender and Participation - Overview Report (Supriya Akerkar) 31 pp. This report looks at convergences between approaches to gender and to participation, how these have been played out, and how they have been or could be constructively integrated into projects, programmes, policies and institutions. (2) Report Summary 4 pp (3) Gender and Participation - Support Resources Collection (Emma Bell and Paola Brambilla) 43 pp. This includes summaries of key resources, practical examples of approaches from around the world, examples of what tools used in participatory development can achieve and networking and contact details of relevant organisations. (4) Development and Gender In Brief - Gender and Participation (Issue 9)
This paper argues that there are ethical problems raised by the current extractive manner in which PRA has been used in PPAs. The authors suggest that action planning needs to be linked to PPAs to resolve these ethical problems and that this will also improve the quality of the information taken out of the community for policy-making purposes. A case study of the PPA conducted in Shinyanga, Tanzania is presented as an example of where an attempt was made to combine these two objectives. However, an inherent bias towards the objective of extracting information was still present. It is argued that there should be a focus on participatory research linked to local action at all stages of planning, resourcing and implementation of a PPA project.
This article introduces the 51st edition of PLA Notes, on civil society and poverty reduction. The PLA notes edition aims to capture the experiences of southern civil society organisations (CSOs) that are engaging in monitoring, evaluating and implementing poverty reduction strategy (PRS) processes. This introductory article describes how the authors involved in this edition of PLA notes came together for a writeshop in Nairobi, Kenya, July 2004. The key issues identified include the diverse nature of civil society; the conditional nature of poverty reduction strategies; the quality and degree of participation of CSOs; and the existing power dynamics that challenge the effective monitoring of poverty reduction funds and consequently the implementation of policy reduction policies. The article concludes by looking at issues of capacity building, shifting accountability relationships, and strengthening facilitatory partnerships between CSOs. In the final section, the authors look at how we can build on these reflections and move forward.
A Field Methodology for Participatory Self- Evaluation of P.P.P. Group and Inter-Group Association Performance.
The introductory section of this brief paper discusses the importance of developing an evaluation methodology that is practical and flexible enough to be carried out by the community in the Peoples Participation Programme of the FAO. Uphoff reiterates that in fact the answers arrived at by the evaluation are in themselves not as important as what is learnt from the process of reaching consensus on such answers. An illustration of what the methodology utilised actually constituted is described in the first section of the paper. In the second section, however, the potential benefits of the methodology are discussed and these are categorised as being; i) that the process is self educative ii) the process is self improving iii) the process allows members of the programme to monitor progress and iv) it has the potential to improve training. Each of these potential benefits are discussed in some detail. The third section of the paper outlines a process for introducing the system in a rural setting in a number of steps. The last section, however, concludes by discussing a variety of issues related to the process of participatory self evaluation including problems of objectivity, comparability of numbers and use of appropriate language. Attached to the end of the document is an extensive section that includes an inventory of questions for group self evaluation and a list of questions for self evaluation. (Shorter version published in Community Development Journal Vol 26 No 4 )
This edition of 'Dialogue', the magazine of Homeless International, focuses on community exchanges as a learning process. These have been transformed into practices that have begun to change the way that development in informal settlements takes place. South-South exchanges have been important in this respect, and knowledge is now being shared in the UK through North-South exchange. The magazine looks at some of the exchanges that have taken place in more depth, as well giving some govenments perspectives on working in partnership.
A participatory approach to the assessment of built heritage: an example from Wellington, Aotearoa, New Zealand
This article discuess a pilot exercise in participatory heritage assessment carried out in 2000 in Newtown, an ethnically diverse suburb of New Zealand's capital, Wellington. The approach and process discussed aimed to challenge the criteria and processes associated with built heritage selection and to provide an alternative which is more inclusive of different ethnic and cultural groups. It does this by asking: what is protected? Who decides what is worth keeping? Who is it meant for?|The following recommendations are made regarding the development and implementation of participatory heritage assessment:|Develop a core of facilitators who specialise in participatory approaches;| Expand the range of groups to include specific communities of interest;|Facilitate a discussion of outcomes with group representatives and a heritage specialist;|Support residents to establish projects to manage their own built heritage.
This report examines poverty in relation to community forestry and dairy development. The initial section discusses the background to the study and the methods used. The emphasis is on PRA, with checklists developed and lists of tools identified. The four different communities are described, and although the subsequent analysis is sectoral, the differences between the four communities are highlighted. There are numerous case studies interspersed in the text. Forestry and Dairy are two areas where there have been many active interventions in the past, and the aim of the study was to give people a voice in what they felt about these interventions. These subjects are therefore dealt with in great detail, including an analysis of recent changes related to the projects. Issues around education, democracy and gender are also explored in depth. The final section outlines proposed new indicators of poverty which the researchers feel to be more appropriate, and recommendations for the future measurement of poverty alleviating interventions.
FORUM for community empowerment (FORCE) is a collaborative forum of development organisations in western neal that is committed to promoting participatry processes through the organising and bringing together of social development actors. This document reports on the first general assembly and general meeting of the forum.
The author narrates a personal journey to participation, through her work with local fisher communities in Tanzania, who were trying to stop dynamite and other illegal fishing methods. The use of video as a medium of communication empowered local villagers, giving them a means to forward their claims directly to those in authority. She describes the experience of lobbying the government at the national level, and how she stepped outside her role of NGO worker to accompany the villagers she had been working with to confront the Prime Minister. This act drew on an awareness that a facilitator is not neutral, and that commitment must be personal and political, not just that of professional duty. However, along the way, her journey has been fraught with personal risks as they confronted powerful local elites and opposed vested interests. She reflects on the need to change attitude and behaviour in institutions, and to put our own interests last, for participation and peoples' empowerment to go beyond rhetoric.