A Brief Paper on the DSS and EDM's Joint Project in Relation to the Application of PRA: An Experience of Bangladesh.
This report concerns the Rural Family and Child Welfare Project (RFCWP) of the NGO Enfants du Monde (EDM) in Bangladesh. It is largely concerned with the introduction of participatory processes and institutional changes in the RCFWP. Formerly, conventional survey research methods were used with many shortcomings (cost, time, etc.), so new methods were introduced. Focus group discussions were conducted. ZOPP was used, but found to be overly sophisticated and did not address participation. PRA was later included in field training of beneficiaries, village institutions and project staff, as well as for monitoring and evaluation. PRA methods were used for an internal self-evaluation. Questions of attitude and behavioural change were also brought up, and PRA came to be seen as part of the move towards participation in the whole project cycle. Reflections on the need for changes in the RFCWP are listed. There are also reflections on the limitations of PRA, including: tendency for it to be technique driven; staff determine relevant and accepted knowledge; individual interests may distort data collection; summarizing by outsiders may lead to misrepresentation and so on.
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 draws on literature from both monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and organisational learning to explore synergies between these two fields in support of organisational performance. Two insights from the organisational learning literature are that organisations learn through ‘double-loop’ learning: reflecting on experience and using this to question critically underlying assumptions; and that power relations within an organisation will influence what and whose learning is valued and shared. This article identifies four incentives that can help link M&E with organisational learning: the incentive to learn why; the incentive to learn from below; the incentive to learn collaboratively; and the incentive to take risks. Two key elements are required to support these incentives: (1) establishing and promoting an ‘evaluative culture’ within an organisation; and (2) having accountability relationships where value is placed on learning ‘why’, as well as on learning from mistakes, which requires trust.
A Participatory Systematization Workbook: Documenting, Evaluating and Learning from our Development Projects
This workbook describes 'systematization' as a method of instituting a continuous process of participatory reflection on a project's processes and results, undertaken by both project staff and participants. The systematic analysis generates lessons which are fed back to improve the project. The final section includes a variety of tools (such as written exercises, worksheets and tables) that may be used for conducting the process.
A theoretical framework for data-economising appraisal procedures with applications to rural development planning
The paper's objective is to construct a general framework which will increase the useful data, while reducing the cost of data collection in developing countries. The search for useful principles proceeds from the economics of information, via Karl Popper's principle of error reduction, and the use of information cybernetics in public decision-making, to the design of more cost-effective models of development processes, and the significance of alternative hierarchical administrative structures for the utility obtained from primary data. These components are combined into a unified logical framework. An integrated approach to management information is identified as a desirable adjunct for its application in practice.
In recent years there has been a major shift in attitudes to community involvement in health care. Approaches that saw communities primarily as passive recipients of health care have given way to those which seek to make more of the potential that more active community participation might offer for enhanced accountability and improved responsiveness of services. With this shift has come a greater emphasis on issues of governance and on institutional dimensions of participation, whilst the introduction of partnership models in the health sector has further increased debates about participation in health care. In 1999 the IDS Participation and Health and Social Change groups convened a workshop to share experiences of the use of participatory approaches in enhancing accountability in the health sector and to explore some of these challenges. The fifteen articles in this Bulletin reflect some of the richness of experience on the ground in building effective participation as well as some of the many issues that arise in moving towards more active citizen engagement with service provision. They draw experience from current work in countries such as Zimbabwe, Cambodia, China, Nepal, Zambia and Pakistan to reflect on links between participation, accountability and improvements in health.