How can ordinary citizens - and the organizations and movements with which they engage - make changes in national policies which affect their lives, and the lives of others around them? Under what conditions does citizen action contribute to more responsive states, pro-poor policies and greater social justice? What is needed to overcome setbacks, and to consolidate smaller victories into 'successful' change? These are the questions taken up by this book which brings together eight studies of successful cases of citizen activism in South Africa, Morocco, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Turkey, India and the Philippines.
This is a collection of newsletters from ActionAid Kenya, Western region. The newsletters are designed to share learning tools and ideas to increase learning, sharing and documentation within the region, and to provide an avenue for sharing experiences with the rest of ActionAid Kenya. Mwangaza is Kiswahili for illumination. Some regular features of the newsletter include: working with community-based organisations; gender perspectives; HIV/AIDS perspectives; transparency, accountability and effective management; research perspectives; and news and updates.
Malnutrition remains a serious problem in most developing countries today. Experience has shown that when a community is fully involved in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition and other development projects, these are likely to be more effective and sustainable. These guidelines for participatory approaches to nutrition projects are designed for use by professional staff from different institutional and technical backgrounds, working with development at a community level. They describe different aspects of participatory nutrition projects through four parts: The preparatory phase where existing information is reviewed, links are established to other development organisations and institutions, community relationships and dialogue are initiated and strengthened; The rationale and implementation of participatory appraisal of community food and nutrition presenting different visualisation and analysis techniques; Design and implementation of participatory projects an activities and how to find funding for micro-project proposals; The rationale and implementation of monitoring and evaluation. All the parts include boxes with case-studies from different parts of the world (e.g. Kenya, Tanzania, Guinea, Mexico, Philippines) and are concluded with an analysis of potential constraints and the role of the developmental worker described in steps.
This article describes the evaluation of a reproductive health project in which the external evaluator's main role was to identify the project's information gaps and to propose an evaluation methodology. The Adolescent Reproductive Health Education Project has been working with secondary school students in Zimbabwe since 1997, and in 1998 produced a reproductive health pack called "Auntie Stella". This evaluation took place a year later. The article describes the methodologies used (which included a logical framework and questionnaires), the positive qualities of the evaluation, to what extent the evaluation was participatory, how the concept of defection worked, and issues around affordability and shortcuts. It finishes with comments from the staff "with hindsight", and conclusions.
'Voices of the Poor' is a series of three books that collates the experiences, views and aspirations of over 60,000 poor women and men. This second book of the series draws material from a 23-country comparative study, which used open-ended participatory methods, bringing together the voices and realities of 20,000 poor women, men, youth and children. Despite very different political, social and economic contexts, there are striking similarities in poor people's experiences. The common underlying theme is one of powerlessness, which consists of multiple and interlocking dimensions of illbeing or poverty. The book starts by describing the origins of the study, the methodology and some of the challenges faced. This is followed by an exploration of the multidimensional nature of wellbeing and illbeing. Most of the book comprises the core findings - the 10 dimensions of powerlessness and illbeing that emerge from the study - and is organised around these themes. These include livelihoods and assets; the places where poor people live and work; the body and related to this, accessing health services; gender roles and gender relations within the household; social exclusion; insecurity and related fears and anxieties; the behaviour and character of institutions; and poor people's ratings of the most important institutions in their lives. These dimensions are brought together into a many-stranded web of powerlessness, which is compounded by the lack of capability, including lack of information, education, skills and confidence. The final chapter is a call to action and dwells on the challenge of change.