The Communities' Toolbox: The idea, methods and tools for participatory assessment, monitoring and evaluation in community forestry
This manual follows on from a concept paper also prepared by D'Arcy Davis-Case and is the result of an Agroforestry Monitoring and Evaluation Project workshop which was held in 1988. The field manual is divided into three sections. Section One introduces the idea of participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation [PAME] and provides some two-way communication exercises for field staff. Section Two provides the methods determining information needs, and ways that information can be analyzed and presented. While Section Three described the information collecting tools, and offers some suggestions for the selection of tools. There are 23 tools listed in this latter selection, including; Semi-structured interviews (tool 9), Ranking, Rating and Sorting (tool 10), Maps and mapping (tool 14) and community directed visual images (tool 21). Although the RRA/PRA methodology is not specifically mentioned, this manual does represent a very useful and well ordered contribution to the literature of PM&E, while some of the tools described under PAME are directly applicable to a PRA orientated approach.
Report of the Joint Participatory Evaluation of Society for People Education and Economic Change (SPEECH) and The Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA)
This report concerns participatory evaluations of two Indian NGOs "by the grassroots people themselves". The reasons for undertaking this form of evaluation are discussed, together with the expectations of the organisations involved: Society for People Education and Economic Change (SPEECH), Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA) and Oxfam (India), with whom both NGOs have close contacts. Ten phases of evaluation process are outlined, the questions and issues discussed are presented, and the process of evaluation is documented. The bulk of the report (Chs. 1 and 2) report the results of the two evaluations. A final chapter reports reflections on the participatory evaluations by the evaluators and the external resource person from Oxfam. Annexes include discussions of key aspects of the training of evaluators (including trust building, listening and communication skills, and situation analysis).
This report summarizes the result of the 2nd Internal evaluation of the ongoing 4th phase implementation of the 'Rural Family and Welfare Project'. The evaluation objective was not only to assess the current progress of the project and the willingness of the actors at the village level to sustain the program but also to 'test relatively new methodological approaches, mainly PRA, in order to further strengthen grassroot participation'. In doing so the report devotes a great deal of attention to exploring the ideology and rational behind the 'PRA approach' to M&E and provides an extremely useful summary of the key issues involved (in Chapters 1 and 2). There were six main methods applied in this evaluation: 'Rapport building with participants', 'Transect walks', 'Matrix scoring and ranking', 'Trend and situation analysis', 'Dramatized case study/role play' and 'Balloon opinion analysis'. Each of these methods are well introduced in the first two introductory chapters, while the results generated from their application are provided in the remainder of the report. An extensive bibliography is also provided in Chapter 7. This report presents a powerful, and well argued, case for the use of both PRA methods and a 'PRA orientation' in M&E activities (as the reported highly positive impact of these evaluation activities illustrates) while, in addition, it provides a well structured basic reference source for those interested in implementing such activities.
This brief paper is a write up of the experiences of an evaluation team using PRA tools in an impact evaluation of a community based programme providing drinking water (a MYRADA project in Mysore District, Karnataka State, India). The impact evaluation took place over only two days, but, as the paper highlights, some very pertinent lessons resulted from the experience. Six main tools from the 'PRA bag' were used in the evaluation: 'water system map', 'focus group discussions', 'time allocation drawing', 'seasonality of disease', 'individual interviews' and 'observation walk'. On the basis of these methods (and patient facilitation work by the PRA team), it was revealed that the any first impressions of a 'perfect' drinking water system were, in fact, unfounded. Serious (but rectifiable) flaws in the project - in terms of efficiency and equity of access - were exposed and, as a result, the local community became involved in identifying some remedial actions. This extremely useful, and clearly written, paper concludes with a frank discussion of some of the problems with the use of PRA tools, which according to the author, primarily stem from a poor understanding of group dynamics and good facilitation techniques.
This extract from a review of qualitative research methods consists of the extensive bibliography only. References relate to action research, monitoring and evaluation methods, farming systems research, analysis of agricultural data, informal and formal data collection methods, research methods for social analysis, and many more. The references cover a broad range of aspects of rural development research, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
This paper examines how evaluator's roles are defined by the different stakeholders involved in community initiatives and the special challenges faced by the evaluator of community initiatives. An overview of the current status of evaluation in this field is given and the different strategies and possibilities open to evaluators outlined.
This book is a guide to a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods for research and practice. It examines the concept of participation and ethical considerations in fieldwork, and stresses methodological pluralism and dialogue in development planning. The main part of the book is devoted to participatory methods. It discusses techniques such as ranking and scoring, mapping and diagrams, and the use of indicators, focus groups and semi- structured interviews in poverty and gender analysis. Participatory monitoring and evaluation and sustainability analysis are also discussed.
Participatory Project Evaluation: Allowing Local People To Have Their Say (An NGO Guide for Community Driven Project Evaluation Based on a Case Study Among the Arial of Kenya's Arid Rangelands)
As the sub-title of the document suggests, this is a participatory project evaluation guide which clearly outlines the necessary steps to be taken in conducting a successful participatory evaluation. The emphasis is placed on understanding local cultures , local people's need and their developmental priorities and establishing a channel of communication between the local people and project staff. Use of ethnographic techniques, participant observation and semi-structured interviews have been made in evaluating the project.
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.
This paper is based mainly on experiences in a donor-supported program, the aim of which has been to improve local conditions for sustainable livelihood. Can participatory methods be used in an atmosphere where there are donor-saturated development and environmental programs for finding grassroots indicators?
This paper reports on research carried out on the use and effectiveness of participatory materials on child health, which were developed at community workshops, by the Kumasi Health Education Project in Ghana.
A high degree of satisfaction with the new materials was reported by teachers and health workers who had been trained in the new materials, when asked to carry out self-reporting questionnaire. This was found to contrast with the results of focus-group discussions of mothers attending well baby clinics, at home, in market places and with pupils at school who reported a low level of exposure to the new materials, although those who had been exposed to them were satisfied with them and recalled the messages well.