This article examines the role NGO's should play in the participative process, baring in mind the typically short term and localised nature of their operations.
The case of the Intermediate Development Group (ITDG) in Chivi is examined, whereby from the very beginning the project sought to link farming communities with their service organisations, such as government research stations, training institutions and also with farmers in other districts, rather than implement an operational project in the conventional sense. This approach was found to enable farmers to continue to access these sources of information after the life of the project without the need for external support.
In 1993, a collaboration was forged between the Center for Medical Guidance and Family Planning (CEMOPLAF) and World Neighbors-Ecuador (WN) to encourage the participation of indigenous populations to utilise reproductive health services provided by CEMOPLAF. The partnership was implemented through the sensitive integration of these services with agriculture and animal husbandry, which resulted in a dramatic uptake by local people. This newsletter follows a learning exchange which took place from November 18 - 26, 2000, between interdisciplinary teams from WN programs in Bolivia, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru and key members of the CEMOPLAF-World Neighbors program in Ecuador. The exchange allowed the participants to explore and analyse the different aspects of the program, draw on their own experiences in relation to implementing reproductive health programs, and understand more fully an integrated approach to implementing reproductive health programs.
This study is part of a global research effort entitled Consultations with the Poor, designed to inform the World Development Report 2000/1 on Poverty and Development. The research has used participatory methods to involve and give a voice to poor people in twenty-three countries around the world. This report is from Bulgaria, from sites selected to give a rural/urban balance. The study focuses on four main topics, each with a set of key themes, as follows: Exploring well-being À How do people define their quality of life, their ill-being or well-being? How have these changed over time? À How do people perceive security, risk, vulnerability, opportunities, social exclusion and crime and conflict, and how have these perceptions changed over time? À How do households and individuals cope with a decline in well being and how do these strategies affect their lives? Priorities of the poor À Listing of problems faced by different groups within the community and identifying problems faced by the poor. À Prioritisation of problems, in terms of the most pressing needs of the different groups. À Have these problems changed over time? What are people's hopes and fears for the future? Institutional analysis À Which institutions are important in people's lives? À How do people rate these institutions? À Do people feel that they have any control or influence over these institutions? À Which institutions support people in coping with crisis? Gender relations À What are the existing gender relations within the household? What is women's relative position today as compared with the past, and to men? À What are the existing gender relations within the community? À Are there differences in gender relations among different groups within the community?
Can bilateral programmes become learning organisations? Experiences from institutionalising participation in Keiyo Marakwet in Kenya
This article explores the question of whether the principles of organisational learning can be successfully adopted in complex bilateral programmes. Organisational learning is seen by many organisations as a means of attaining organisational change for greater impact on development. It covers the areas of team learning, shared vision, common goal, and strategy, and has had impressive results in non-profit organisations and in the private sector.
The case is considered in this piece of a programme between the Dutch and Kenyan governments in Keiyo Marakwaet, Kenya. It analyses the process of institutionalising participation as both a learning and a conflict-generating process. The case reveals some of the gaps and assumptions in the theory of learning organisations in the context of bilateral programmes which have multiple actors, competing interests and conflicting goals. It was found that learning depended on the position of an individual in an institution, which raises that question as to whether what individuals choose to learn or not to learn contributes to a shared vision. In addition, while individuals and teams may learn from the process of institutionalising participation, these lessons may not translate into action towards a common goal. The problem of high staff turnover in bilateral programmes is also a problem as it can lead to the neglect and erosion of institutional memory. It is recommended that in order to make the concept of learning organisation effective in bilateral programmes, organisations should be viewed as political systems and it should be determined what is learned, by whom, how, and for what purpose.
This book is intended for all who are committed to human wellbeing and who want to make our world fairer, safer and more fulfilling for everyone, especially those who are ‘last’. It argues that to do better, we need to know better.
It provides evidence that what we believe we know in international development is often distorted or unbalanced by errors, myths, biases and blind spots. Undue weight has been attached to standardised methodologies such as randomised control trials, systematic reviews, and competitive bidding; these are shown to have huge transaction costs, which are rarely if ever recognised in their enormity.
Robert Chambers contrasts a Newtonian paradigm in which the world is seen and understood as controllable with a paradigm of complexity, which recognises that the real world of social processes and power relations is messy and unpredictable. To confront the challenges of complex and emergent realities requires a revolutionary new professionalism.
This is underpinned by a new combination of canons of rigour expressed through eclectic methodological pluralism and participatory approaches that reverse and transform power relations. Promising developments include rapid innovations in participatory information and communication technnologies (ICTs), participatory statistics, and the Reality Check Approach, with its up-to-date and rigorously grounded insights. Fundamental to the new professionalism, in every country and context, are reflexivity, facilitation, groundtruthing, personal mindsets, behaviour, attitudes, empathy and love.
Colombia's new Constitution of 1991 gave the status of citizen and participant to a people which had not historically enjoyed it. This implied the need for citizenship education and formation to enable people to take advantage of their new status. Many non-governmental organizations in Colombia immediately rose to the challenge. Some of these were newcomers to this field. Others, among them the Instituto Popular de Capacitaci¾n (IPC, Popular Training Institute), came to this task with a long history of working to deepen democracy in a range of ways. Christian Aid Colombia began to support IPC in the area of citizenship education in 1992. This case study represents a collaborative attempt, by Christian Aid with IPC's Democracy and Citizenship Team, to document the experience of IPC in promoting citizen participation from 1991 to the present. It aims to be, on the one hand, a piece of applied research that informs future practice in the field of citizen participation in local urban governance, and on the other, an advocacy resource for IPC and Christian Aid in Colombia and the UK, that illustrates the challenges faced in holding open spaces for democratic participation in a country in conflict. After an introduction the study sets the context and then moves on to look at the legal framework for citizen participation in local governance. Next, IPCÆs experiences in promoting citizen participation are documented, followed by a look at some key variables (gender, armed conflict and other challenges). The final section looks at learning from the experience.
Challenging and changing the big picture: the roles of participatory research in public planning policy
This article examines the guiding ideas and ultimate realities of government-led participatory research in Tanzania and Uganda. It considers the extent to which research results have influenced meso- (e.g. district) and macro- (e.g. national) level planning for poverty reduction and why; the degree to which research processes have contributed to democratisation and citizen empowerment and implications for the future of participatory approaches to policy oriented research. The article reflects over the consequences of recent initiatives from development aid donors to streamline development assistance and improve the performance of sector ministries, leading to unprecedented pressure for poor countries to generate up-to-date, detailed socio-economic data. It looks specifically on how this has affected East Africa. It goes on to give a background to the development and role of Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) in Africa, and looks specifically at the Tanzania PPA (TzPPA), 2002-2003, and the Ugandan PPA Process (UPAP), 1998-2001. It compares the methodological differences of the two projects, where the bad experiences with Community Action Plans (CAPs) in UPAP led TzPPA; and UPAP focussed more on involving as many individual community members as possible while TzPPA only sought large community-wide. Finally an analysis is made of the benefits of participatory approaches in UAPAP and TzPPA on policy and empowerment, and it concludes with the potentials and pitfalls of PPAs.