Rapid Post-Disaster Community Needs Assessment: A Case Study of Guatemala After the Civil Strife of 1979-1983
Information collected during emergencies often does not identify accurately either the population in greatest need or the relative amounts of relief assistance required. Needs appraisal models are required in which data collection and analysis is rapid. This paper presents a case study of a disaster relief project in Highland Guatemala which sought to provide a database which relief organisations could use to target assistance. A brief introduction to target assistance. A brief introduction to the existing conditions in Guatemala is presented, followed by a description of the assessment techniques used. Initially, the two main techniques used to obtain quantitative and qualitative data were an observational checklist and key informant questionnaires. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings and impacts of the study.
This is a landmark paper which firstly provides an important backdrop to the huge growth of literature on PE over the last four years, and secondly, reviews stages in the PE process as seen by five authors writing in the 1980s (in the annex). The author makes the fundamental point that true, or "active", PE means the involvement of all stakeholders in the process of PE (most PE he observes is "passive" whereby the people are only listened to, and not truly involved). Active PE would entail members of the community controlling the evaluation process by, for example, being the interviewers [a technique that now forms a useful tool in PRA based evaluations]. Many of the questions and issues raised in this report are still highly relevant today. For example, the author's conclusion that the very process behind "active PEs" could mean that running of the overall project is improved, provides sound justification for the current drive towards incorporating PRA methods into PM&E of development projects.
This draft paper provides a useful discussion of some of the main analytical and theoretical themes surrounding the concept of participation in connection with evaluation of development activities [N.B it does not look specifically at methods]. Comparing the 'mode of evaluation' characterising 'conventional development projects' with that of the emerging set of 'participatory evaluation' approaches, the author builds a workable framework through which he can ask the key questions concerning "why, when, and how" participation in project evaluation should occur. In answering these questions, emphasis is put on the development of an approach in which both internal (or participatory) and external methods of evaluation are seen to be complementary. Importantly, however, such a framework can only truly work if long term, local level, participation is seen occur through the entire project cycle; only then argues the author, can 'participatory evaluation methods' realize their full potential.
This report outlines Youth for Action's (YFA) understandings of RRA and PRA (Participatory Resource Appraisal), and outlines the reasons for adopting PRA: to bridge the previous gap between the needs of the people and YFA's plans, to facilitate the involvement of the community in all aspects of planning. The report is the result of a PRA exercise in one village, conducted to develop PRA techniques while learning with farmers to assess local resources, choices and wealth. The PRA methods employed are listed, the visual results presented, but the process of applications is not discussed in detail. The one exception is an appendix on "fodder preference ranking by farmers" at the back of the report. The bulk of the report presents the findings of the PRA exercise, and an action plan based on the findings.
This paper spells out the strategy of an Indian NGO, MYRADA, in its various programmes. It describes the origins of MYRADA's emphasis on community participation, which led them to implement a process of staff re-orientation and skills upgrading. The resulting strategy is discussed in three sections: (i) how to target the system to bring about long-run structural change in favour of the poor (discussing the rationale, strategy of research with action, and developing change agents); (ii) supporting components of the system and responsive officials involved in poverty eradication programmes (discussing cooperation with government and donors); and (iii) developing a system in which people can develop alternate systems based on traditional patterns and values together with institutional changes which address the needs of the poor.
Project Visit PIDOW Gulbarga/India - Project Visit ISGP Rajasthan/India - Rapid Rural Appraisal Mission Sind Arid Zone/Pakistan: Report
This is the report of visits to the Participative Integrated Development of Watersheds (PIDOW) project which aims to promote resource management by direct users (communities), and to elaborate participative strategies that integrate regeneration of degraded common lands and increase productivity. The visit aimed to learn about the project approaches and to discuss experiences and achievements. The report discusses environmental compatibility of grassroots resource management; the importance of technical and institutional development, particularly the participative approaches; investment in environmental regeneration and monitoring of environmental impacts and impacts of participative approaches.
Evaluating the impact of grassroots development funding : an experimental methodology applied to eight IAF (Inter-American Foundation) projects.
Report of an experimental methodology used to evaluate the impact, in terms of concrete changes to people's lives, of eight small IAF funded projects. Cost/benefit analysis was applied to a wide range of project impacts, such as the added convenience and savings in time that expansion of services to isolated communities can bring to families. Questions of organizational development were also included in the evaluation and levels of participation, the locus of internal decision-making, flexibility, demonstration of effect and the influence an innovative project can have on government policy at various levels, all taken into account.
Participatory Rapid Rural Appraisal in Wollo: Peasant Association Planning for Natural Resource Management.
The first section of this report comprises an introduction to the area in relation to its natural resources with particular emphasis on trees, and perceptions of trees by residents. The background to, and use of R/PRA is discussed, in the context of a workshop held on focusing on participation and trees. The methods used in RRA are discussed and a checklist of important issues given. In example case studies, local attitudes towards woodlands, private and communal tree planting, trees on arable lands, firewood and environmental problems were detailed, and linked to livestock and cropping constraints. From the R/PRA, a discussion of different problems and potential solutions was encouraged, and 'best bet' project actions worked out, although these were formulated away from the field, and taken back for further discussion. The report concludes with an evaluation of the workshop and the methodolgy (generally favourable comments although problems of expectation-raising and excessive focus on trees were mentioned). There was a felt need for further training and follow-up work.
Soft-Systems Methodology for Action Research: The Role of a College Farm in an Agricultural Education Institution
This paper concerns the use of action research within a research institute both to meet immediate objectives of the staff and to learn about the research methodology. In a situation characterised by decreased funding and curriculum reform based on the concepts of experiential learning, the Checkland soft-systems methodology was adopted to manage a change in the role of university farms using a consensus approach. Two outcomes of the research process were (i) improvement in financial returns in the farms, a better working climate and greater use of farms in experiential education, and (ii) the researchers learned about the methodology and how it is able to accommodate purposeful behaviour and issues of power. Following description of the initial situation, the paper outlines the steps involved in applying the soft-systems methodology to that situation.
This paper focuses on the role of an NGO, MYRADA, in fostering participation in collaborative watershed management projects in India. It was decided that effective participation required the size of watershed management areas had to be small enough for people to be familiar with, and for families to be able to function together. the PIDOW project aimed to build their management capacities. This paper (i) presents an assessment of the degree of people's participation in various aspects of soil and water conservation, and forestry and horticulture programmes; (ii) explores what is meant by effective participation, and the roles of staff members in fostering participation; (iii) discusses structural features of people's institutions; and (iv) presents an analysis of groups in three PIDOW mini watersheds. This paper would be of interest to those involved in participatory watershed management projects, particularly those involving collaboration between government, NGO's and local people.
Resource Management, Population, and Local Institutions in Katheka: A Case Study of Effective Natural Resources Management in Machakos, Kenya
This report describes in detail the structure and operation of village institutions in Katheka Sublocation in Machakos, Kenya, with regard to natural resources management. It concludes that the village is an effective organisational unit to foster participation in project planning and implementation. villagers understand the relation between improved natural resource management and sustainable food production, and institutional structures are already in place in many countries. What is needed is organising and mobilising village institutions. This can be done through training of village leaders, for example by using 'exemplar' villages, carrying out PRAs and developing village resource management plans.