As development NGOs and official aid agencies embrace the idea of becoming a learning organisation, they are increasingly concerned with some form of knowledge generation and organisational learning. To date, the literature on these issues has tended to come out of the private sector and reflect a Western world view. Development and the Learning Organisation presents contributions from development scholars and practitioners from a range of institutional backgrounds around the world. These contributions are organised under five themes: Power, culture and gender: challenges to organisational learning; Learning together: multi-institutional initiatives; Levels of learning: organisational case studies; Learning from humanitarian action, and Ways and means: tools and methods for learning and change. Some introduce new approaches and models, others offer critical case studies of individual and group learning practice across cultures as well as organisational efforts to put theory into practice. The book ends with a review of resources including books, journals, organisations, websites and publishers.
This article presents a number of contributions from an e-forum debate on issues of engagement with the policy process in Deliberative and Inclusionary Processes which grew out of a citizen jury and scenario workshop in southern India. It is based around the questions:|How can citizen juries and related approaches help create spaces for constructive exchanges between key stakeholders?|How can they be used to foster effective links between research and advocacy?|How can donors engage effectively with democratically elected governments and civil society organisations through the use of participatory approaches, such as citizen juries?
This article presents a number of contributions from an e-forum debate on issues of accountability and transparency in Deliberative and Inclusionary Processes which grew out of a citizen jury and scenario workshop in southern India. It is based around the questions:|Who decides to whom and for whom citizen jury processes are accountable?|How can such participatory processes by used to hold government departments, donor agencies, and other actors more accountable, and make policies and policy processes more responsive to the needs and priorities of poor people?
Reflections on the e-forum and Prajateerpu report by the UK Department for International Development, India
This article presents a response by DFID-India to the Prajateerpu report and the e-forum which discussed its findings, in which the organisation is implicated as having acted callously in displacing large numbers of poor farmers from their lands and imposed policies and programmes that would adversely affect their livelihoods. It begins by outlining DFID's approach to tackling rural poverty and agricultural development, highlighting that it does not wholly endorse a highly industrialised approach, and that it recognises that complexities and difficulties associated with rural poverty. It then presents DFID's programme strategy and approach, stating the value placed on participation and consultation, and gives examples of interventions in Andrah Pradesh which poor people directly benefited from.
Based on the author's own experience as head of a bilateral agency country office, the paper tells a story about how the donor community became engaged in a conflict about monitoring the Poverty Reduction Strategy. This experience is used to explore donors' involvement in political processes within aid-recipient countries. Their understanding of the national context and the quality of the relations that donor staff establish in the recipient country only partially explain the nature of their involvement. Because they are sustained over time and are not contingent on the country where a staff member happens to be working for a few years there are two other sets of non local relationships that may be more influential. These are membership of the global development cooperation community, of which the country specific donor community is a sub-set, and the relationships back home to the staff member's own country's history, institutions, values and practices. The interpretation of these sets of relations, and the action resulting from this, are mediated by an individual's own personal history and life experiences. Consciously situating oneself with respect to personal and institutional values and relationships would allow individual staff members in donor agencies to reflect upon and explore taken for granted assumptions about the way the world appears to them. It would help them work more comfortably and sensitively with the ambiguity, paradox and unanticipated outcomes that they encounter on a daily basis in their goal of reducing world poverty. The paper argues that greater reflexivity would help donor staff and their organisations become more skilled at supporting aid recipients in their efforts.
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.
ALNAP's Global Study on Participation and Consultation of Affected Populations in Humanitarian Action: review of French literature
This literature review is intended to complement the English and Spanish literature reviews carried out as part of the Global Study. Many of the issues and points of discussion raised in the English review were also noted or confirmed in the French literature. There are inevitable influences and overlaps between the various literatures, such that to make a clear distinction between the French, Spanish and English literature is, to a certain extent, artificial. However, it cannot be denied that there are some differences in approaches and emphasis, due to the predominance of certain schools of thought or institutional cultures. This paper emphasizes the differences by focusing on elements that were not yet necessarily covered by the other views, or that are addressed from a different angle. The objectives of the review are to clarify the concepts and definitions of terms related to participation and consultation in the French literature on development and humanitarian aid; present and analyse key debates around the concept and practice of participation; review lessons learned, recommendations, and manuals that can be useful for the elaboration of the Global Study Practitioner's Handbook and overview book; and illustrate the issues raised through case studies that are relevant to humanitarian action.
GROW is an indigenous NGO operating in the Mokhotlong district of Lesotho. The focus of their programmes have shifted in recent years to address the issue surrounding HIV/AIDS. This article presents a participatory, community-based approach to possible strategies of alleviating the burdens faced by orphaned children. Members of the GROW health and nutrition team initially met with 27 people identified as caregivers of orphaned children to discuss needs and possible solutions. The article looks at how a support network was developed and how this empowered both the children and the communities in the challenges they faced.
The international NGO, Concern Worldwide, decided to assess whether its Integrated Rural Development Projects (IRDP) are reaching the extreme poor. Dimla was chosen as a site for a participatory research study which asked two questions 1) Who are the extreme poor? and 2) Is Concern's Dimla project reaching the extreme poor effectively through its existing activities? This article presents the process and findings of this research. The research focuses on a category of extreme poor termed the 'helpless poor' and why they have not often been able to participate fully in the project. It concludes with key learnings and suggests a specifically targeted pro-extreme poor strategy is required.
Community integrated pest management in Indonesia: institutionalising participation and people centred approaches
Integrated pest management (IPM) emerged in Indonesia in the late 1980s as a reaction to the environmental and social consequences of the Green Revolution model of agriculture. A cooperative programme between the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Indonesian Government centred on Farmer Field Schools (FFS), which are schools without walls. The FFS aimed to make farmers experts in their own fields, enabling them to replace their reliance on external inputs, such as pesticides, with endogenous skills, knowledge and resources. Over time the emphasis of the programme shifted towards community organisation, community planning and management of IPM, and became known as Community IPM (CIPM). This study assesses the extent to which Community IPM has been institutionalised in Java (Indonesia). The dynamics of institutionalising people centred and participatory processes were found to be closely dependent on the following mutually reinforcing factors: 1. Enabling national policy decisions by the State were complemented by farmer led attempts to contest and shape policies from below; 2. Actors with emancipatory values, attitudes and behaviours championed the cause of FFS/CIPM; 3. Farmer centred learning and critical education promoted ecological knowledge for sustainability, both among farmers and those who work with them; 4. Enabling organisations that emphasise farmersÆ abilities, promote organisational learning and which are flexible in their structure and procedures; 5. The existence of safe spaces where farmers can get together, share problems and decide on action. Linking together these safe spaces and local groups into broader federations has helped farmers capture power back from centralised, top down agencies; 6. A context in which farmers have some control over funding decisions and allocations made by local, national or international funding bodies.
The National Association for NGOs (NANGO) in Zimbabwe has developed, with an external consultant, a method for participatory capacity assessment and planning. In this paper, the authors describe the process, emphasizing that capacity building is a much wider-ranging process than simply training or staff development. Following on from individual organisational processes, network members came together to see whether and how they could support and integrate their capacity building strategies. The article is thorough in its discussion with diagrams to illustrate key points. It concludes with reflections on the participatory capacity building methodology and future developments.
Guidelines on participatory development in Kenya: critical reflection on training, policy and scaling up
These guidelines are used to deepen the understanding and improve quality of participation. They clarify particular issues and challenges and set minimum standards that can be used innovatively and creatively by practitioners to achieve sustainable and equitable development. They are intended to be used to improve the practice of participatory development based on practitioners' own development contexts. The guidelines are an indication of the ideal situation on participation; this is therefore a living document which will constantly evolve in response to unique contexts in which different stakeholders use participation. They will feed into public policy and engage development partners, practitioners, private sector and communities into dialogue for promoting good practice and lessons on participation.