ALPS in action: a review of the shift in ActionAid towards a new Accountability, Learning and Planning System
This review looks at ActionAid's (AA) Accountability Learning and Planning System (ALPS), which was introduced in 2000 in line with the strategy Fighting Poverty Together (FPT). The aims of the review are to assess how and in what way ALPS has supported AA in putting FPT in operation through its core requirements and seven key principles; to identify key achievements, lessons and gaps in the system; and to provide a set of practicable recommendations for changes and improvements. Three core and standard elements formed the basis for the review: short focused visits to five country programmes (Kenya, India, Brazil, Italy and United Kingdom) with targeted interviews with key staff, some partners and local people working with AA; extensive documentation review of both core literature and country-specific material; and a written survey sent to all country programmes, international functions and Northern counterparts. It is concluded that ALPS is not yet being applied systematically within each country or across countries, themes and functions. Some of the critical gaps in ALPS logic and its implementation are identified, and in response recommendations are given on how to clarify ALPS in AA; support the ongoing uptake of ALPS; improve the quality of ALPS; and setting clear ALPS agendas. (See record no. 4706 for full report)
Capacity-building in participatory upland watershed planning, monitoring and evaluation : a resource kit.
This resource kit for trainers has been prepared to help develop facilitators for watershed programes enabling farmers to own and implement their own watershed management plans. Key aspects covered include, facilitating farmers to analyse their current situations, visualise a better future and the steps needed to get there and develop simple yet meaningful indicators to evaluate and monitor their progress along the way.
This training manual with a practical reference guide clearly presents the rationale for participatory project development and a step-by-step process for its use in training workshops. Workshop sessions are outlined in a sequence of stages in project development, viz., planning (understanding the community, needs assessment, determination of goals and objectives, assessment of resources and constraints, planning project activities), implementation and evaluation. The use of sample charts, checklists, and worksheets applied to different stages of project development make it easy for trainers to follow the reference guide. The manual emphasises community participation at all stages of project development.
Community-Based Workshops for Evaluating and Planning Sanitation Programs: A Case Study of Primary Schools Sanitation in Lesotho
The Lesotho Primary Schools Sanitation Project, undertaken in 1976-9, had limited success. When a follow-up project was proposed, it was decided to hold workshops to find out the communities' views on how the follow-up should be designed. Workshop participants included school and community representatives, ministerial and donor agency representatives. This paper describes the results of those workshops held in March 1981. Most of the report discusses technical implications of the workshop discussions. A final section discusses the role of community based workshops in development planning.
Comparative Assessment of Experiences with Participatory Village Development Planning in the Context of GTZ-Supported Projects in Indonesia
This document is an abstract from the executive summary of a larger report on participatory village planning in Indonesia. It assesses GTZ's experiences with participatory village planning in six programmes (in area development, food security, social forestry and farming systems development). The participatory planning methods used include ZOPP, Poster Analysis and gender analysis. Strengths and limitations of the participatory planning processes and methods used in each programme area are discussed in detail. Overall, it is concluded that the institution building approach to village planning supports existing regulations on bottom-up planning (an objective decided without villager participation in overall project planning); and, no systematic analysis of the weaknesses of village institutions was conducted before attempts were made to strengthen them. Key questions which emerge from the analysis are: Who needs to now what for which type of planning? Who needs to participate in which type of planning? Which type of planning procedure is appropriate to a given situation? How can facilitator quality be ensured? How much may a planning process cost in relation to the programme being designed? The paper ends by considering minimally required steps to institutionalise villager participation in routine bottom-up planning:
This manual "is designed to provide ideas on how to learn from and with rural women (and men!)". Its aim is to convince the readers of the need to consider gender and environmental issues in the planning, implementation and M&E of any development activity. The introduction reviews the general issues. Section 2 is a set of guide-lines on communication, learning and analysis of techniques for use in investigating local natural resources issues with rural women. These techniques are largely drawn from the RRA repertoire but their specific application to gender and the environment makes this volume more than 'just another RRA manual'. There are useful boxed examples of the use of various techniques and a list of books and organisations which offer more information on the subject. Section 3 comprises a number of illustrative case studies by groups of rural women. Section 4 describes some simple techniques which have been applied in conservation projects and case studies of how groups of rural women have used these ideas.
Empowering communities through CBP [community-based planning] in Zimbabwe: experiences in Gwanda and Chimanimani
This article briefly describes the experiences and lessons of community based planning (CBP) in two pilot districts (Gwanda and Chimanimani) in Zimbabwe. The CCP process created the need to revitalise the planning and development structures in the pilot districts and engaged government throughout the process, which resulted in the mainstreaming of community empowerment principles in the decentralisation of the government of Zimbabwe. The article gives a background to governance systems in Zimbabwe and describes the more recent systems for participation and local government, as well as participation in the NGO sector. It explores the evolution of CBP in Zimbabwe naming the key concerns such as the lack of public participation in decision making and development, lack of communication between governing institutions, and domination of top-down strategies; together with the potential benefits of CBP in handling these issues. It illustrates the CBP approach used with an adaptation of the four-countries (a DFID funded project covering Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and South Africa) CBP training manual; training of facilitators; ward planning; community documentation of plans; integration of plans at Rural District Council level; budget allocations; and knowledge sharing. Some of the innovations in the use of participatory methodologies were the setting up of a core facilitation team; the creative involvement of respected community leaders as facilitators; establishment of District Training Teams; a financing system to sustain community participation; and building consensus of divergent groups. The impact and outcomes of the project are accounted for, together with lessons learned and visions for the future.
This is a resource book designed primarily for development workers working within the field of the rural poor. It describes a range of first-hand experiences with participatory approaches in the context of projects funded by The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and governments in Asia and the Pacific. The book is divided into a number of sections. Part One examines poverty and participation and explains why the poor should be targeted and in what ways this is possible. Part Two describes in detail the actual participatory approaches. Part three concentrates on participation in the project planning and implementation stage. Part Four assesses the monitoring impact and Part Five examines issues in participation with regards to institutions, partnerships and governance.
Discusses the methods of collecting information during a field-study carried out in Brazil, in the health district of Pau da Lima. It was intended to provide a learning experience for students as well as to explore the local potential for Primary Environmental Care (PEC) and to produce a number of recommendations to local bodies. Possible actors, conditions, means and resources to promote PEC within the Pau da Lima district were investigated. PEC integrates three components: empowering communities, protecting the environment, and meeting needs. The first step was a preliminary identification of present and future potential actors in PEC in the Pau da Lima district. A Rapid Appraisal (RA) was conducted in three squatter communities within the district, focusing on felt problems; interests and priorities in PEC; forms and conditions of community organisation; and instances and conditions of community-based action. Methods used include: review of secondary data, informal disucssions with informants, direct observations, laboratory analysis of water samples collected during the observation walks, life history interviews, focus groups and ranking exercises, semi-structured interviews. While the study found the RA methods useful, it suggested that they may not be sufficient to identify community-based solutions to specific problems. The techniques in "Making Microplans" (Goethert and Hamdi 1988) provide an example of how this action-oriented phase could proceed.
This paper presents the experiences and lessons obtained in conducting on-farm participatory research in North Omo, Ethiopia, by an foreign NGO. It highlights how PRA techniques are used in the on-farm trials programme. The objective of the project Farmers' Research Project, is to raise incomes of resource-poor households by improving agricultural technology. Farmers' participatory research is the key approach adopted. To achieve this, the agricultural and extension staff on the project were trained in participatory approaches to enable them incorporate farmers participatory research (FRR) into their own work programmes. The paper discusses how farmers are involved in the decision making process about the research which in itself, is an innovation of farming systems research. The paper mentions that one of the ways farmer participation is achieved is through conducting on-farm trials by going through the stages of diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation, using PRA. Each stage is discussed in the paper. In conclusion, the paper mentions the mutual respect of both staff and farmers as experts, close contacts and cross visits as approaches that played an important role in raising the level of understanding.
Growing from the grassroots : building participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation methods in PARC.
This article describes the way in which the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) have introduced a participatory monitoring and evaluation process into their work that is closely linked to planning. Not only were a wide scope of participatory methods found to be necessary but also an organisational commitment to 'participation' and the creation of a framework to encourage it.