'Find the groups and you have found the poor?': exploring the dynamics of community-based organisations in Arua and Kabale
This research report is borne out of CDRN and CAREÆs attempts to strengthen their support to civil society organisations in Uganda. The report takes the widely held belief that the needs and interests of poorer people are directly or indirectly represented through community-based organisations, and that working with CBOs is therefore a route to poverty reduction as its starting point. As more and more initiatives, both government and NGO-led, attempt to use this channel to reach the poor, the research examines the validity of this assumption. The report concludes by suggesting that the assumption: æfind the groups and you have found the poorÆ is only partially correct. It might be more accurate to assume that æin some kinds of groups, you will find some kinds of poor people.Æ
The report is structured into six main sections: introduction; an overview of the research sites, groups and external perspectives on group formation; the strengths and weaknesses of groups in representing the poor; exploring the relationship between a group and external groups/ institutions; an exploration of where the poorer members of a community are if they are not in groups; and conclusions and recommendations.
'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.
Naming the Moment is a participatory method of identifying and analysing issues in order to decide how to act on them. It began in 1986 and is based on popular education techniques, particularly those of Paulo Friere. It has spread and adapted to local circumstances and has been used for community analysis, coalition building, anti-racist change, organisational development and strategic planning. This article looks at the dimensions of the approach, the four interlocking phases that make it up and goes on to give some examples of it's use.
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 video briefly describes a process undertaken by a community group on Northern Ireland to obtain a community centre. Through interviews with local people, it shows the need for a community centre (01-03), the process of building contacts between the community group and other agencies (04), consulting local people about what they want (05 -08) and getting people involved in the process (09).
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 article begins by asking what is citizen participation and what is its relationship to the social imperatives of our time? A politically contentious issue, citizenship participation is seen as a categorical term for citizen power. It is the redistribution of power that enables excluded citizens to be deliberately included. Given that there is a critical difference between going through the motions of participation and having real power, this article analyses eight levels of participation to clarify how a participatory process can have significant effects. These levels are: Manipulation - for instance, placing people on committees or advisory boards for the purpose of engineering their support; Therapy - the assumption is that powerlessness is synonymous with mental illness. Both manipulation and therapy describe levels of non-participation that have been contrived by some substitute for genuine participation; Informing citizens of their rights, is important, but can place too much emphasis on one-way information flows; Consultation - similarly, inviting citizens opinions can be a legitimate step towards participation, but offers no assurances that citizens concerns will be taken into account; Placation - for instance, placing worthy poor on boards of public bodies; Partnership - at this rung of the ladder, power is redistributed through negotiation between citizens and powerholders; Delegated power - when citizens achieve dominant decision-making authority over a particular plan or programme; Citizen control a situation in which people demand a degree of power which guarantees that participants can govern a programme.
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 lesson in considerateness : involving users in designing a new health centre in Pollards Hill, London Borough of Merton
Participatory appraisal was used by members of a local health forum to involve users in the design of a new health centre in Pollards Hill, as part of an effort to engage local people in addressing wellbeing challenges in the area. This article describes the process, elaborating on the methods used and the outputs of the participatory appraisal. The participatory appraisal enabled local people to be involved in the design planning of the health centre, as well as to name, reflect on and analyse health service delivery and wellbeing issues in the community. Engaging local people in determining the design of new services and improving existing services spares the authorities complaints. More importantly, it allows authorities to benefit from local knowledge - about what works and what hasn't, about where the gaps in provision lie, about solutions residents know of and about needs as residents themselves see them.
The SMAP Development Process is a series of community learning opportunities based on micro-projects undertaken in a participative, community-based manner which facilitates improvement of community skills in harnessing, managing and sustaining development resources. SMAP focuses on small scale, quick acting projects at the community level. By assisting communities to identify, plan, implement and evaluate these "micro-projects", SMAP aims to increase the communities' capability to direct and undertake their own future development.
This guide aims to enable activists, trainers and other involved in development and democracy to promote citizen participation and to democratize decision-making. Drawing on experiences of NGOs from numerous countries, the document contains concepts, tools and step-by-step processes aimed at promoting citizen advocacy. It aims to help activists, practitioners and planners to work with civil society in a way that promotes political change, develops solutions to development problems and policies, creates strong and lasting links and transforms power relations, including gender dynamics.