This book is a summary of the findings of a decade of research on poverty in Zambia which has used a range of participatory research tools. Its objective is to represent the perceptions and analyses of poor people concerning their situation. It does this through analysis of the following areas: livelihoods, health, education, and institutions. It also does this by means of a compilation of policy-related insights from participatory research which applied and evolved techniques, both verbal and visual. These shed light on poor people's livelihoods and means of coping, and on health services and conditions, education, community-level participation, and other areas. Some of the findings of the research include: the pervasive significance of seasonality; the bad behaviour and attitudes of many health service providers and teachers; the abuse and discrimination suffered by many orphans; time and energy poverty of poor households due to working for other people. Overall, the book demonstrates that participatory methods can help establish a commitment among all actors in the development process, and this improves the value of the interventions.
'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.
Report of a participatory health needs assessment carried out on the Roundshaw Estate by a team of residents, health, housing and youth service workers, which focused specifically on residents views on well-being on the estate and their suggestions for improving the quality of life there. The report includes a section evaluating and reflecting on the process used, which examines amongst other aspects, reactions of the community members and also the Participatory Appraisal Team to the process.
This paper describes the use of rapid appraisal methods for collecting health data in a poor urban area of Tanzania. During a nine-day field-based workshop with municipal officials rapid appraisal methods were used to collect data and plan interventions in three poor municipal areas. The main technique used was semi-structured interviews with key informants. However, after conducting the interviews it was realised that the participants had no way of assigning any priority to the problems which had been revealed. A second visit had to be made to ask the informants to rank the problems in order of priority. Once the data had been analyzed and priorities for each area identified, the workshop participants considered how to develop a plan of action to respond to the problems. The paper concludes with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology based on this experience.
This long and detailed study describes how the mandal (administrative area) of Devikere in Jagalar, Karnataka State was selected as the appropriate site for an Action Aid anti-poverty project. A socio-economic survey was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team using mainly RRA techniques. The methodology employed appears to have much in common with farming systems research. A section of the report is devoted to health issues. This includes: nutrition and food availability; mother and child wellbeing, health practices and beliefs; the environment; housing; occupation and health services. The anthropological/ethnographic technique of using case studies of individuals adds a strong human dimension to the study. Separate sections are devoted to women, infrastructure and sanitation, and socio-economic conditions.