This overview introduces the concept of community-based planning (CBP) looking back at its development and how it has evolved in the light of an increased emphasis on decentralisation in many countries during the 1980s and 90s. In this context it also considers the relevance of community-driven development models, including participatory poverty analysis, being promoted by parts of the World Bank over the last five to ten years, which typically have included a CBP component. It looks at the end uses of CBP in integrated development planning and sectoral planning; in promoting community action and control over development; and to comply with policy or legislation for public participation in planning. It examines approaches and methodologies, with the use of PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) methods; the role of facilitators and training; community managed funds; accountability, monitoring and evaluation; and linkages to local government and higher-level planning. It evaluates the impacts of CBP on different policy levels, the quality of services and community participation and action. The future development of CBP is discussed with a need for an increased effectiveness and widening of the approach. It concludes by linking the topics discussed with the following articles of pla notes 49.
Empowering communities through CBP [community-based planning] in Zimbabwe: experiences in Gwanda and Chimanimani
This article briefly describes the experiences and lessons of community based planning (CBP) in two pilot districts (Gwanda and Chimanimani) in Zimbabwe. The CCP process created the need to revitalise the planning and development structures in the pilot districts and engaged government throughout the process, which resulted in the mainstreaming of community empowerment principles in the decentralisation of the government of Zimbabwe. The article gives a background to governance systems in Zimbabwe and describes the more recent systems for participation and local government, as well as participation in the NGO sector. It explores the evolution of CBP in Zimbabwe naming the key concerns such as the lack of public participation in decision making and development, lack of communication between governing institutions, and domination of top-down strategies; together with the potential benefits of CBP in handling these issues. It illustrates the CBP approach used with an adaptation of the four-countries (a DFID funded project covering Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and South Africa) CBP training manual; training of facilitators; ward planning; community documentation of plans; integration of plans at Rural District Council level; budget allocations; and knowledge sharing. Some of the innovations in the use of participatory methodologies were the setting up of a core facilitation team; the creative involvement of respected community leaders as facilitators; establishment of District Training Teams; a financing system to sustain community participation; and building consensus of divergent groups. The impact and outcomes of the project are accounted for, together with lessons learned and visions for the future.
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.
This article gives account for experiences from the Centre for Alternative Technologies (CTA), an NGO working on alternative futures for and with rural small-scale farmers in Zona da Mata of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. CTA staff work with a Local Development Plan (LDP) focussing on developing participatory Municipal Rural Development Plans (MRDP) in three municipalities: Araponga, Tombos, and Acaiaca. This article compares the three municipal planning processes, offering them as an exiting alternative methodology for local development in the Brazilian context. The article starts by describing the study area, CTA's evolution to municipal planning, and CTA's vision for pro-poor municipal planning. It goes on to explain the main building blocks of the CTA-supported MDRP, including participation as a learning process; planning process and methodology; working with new partners giving and giving farmer groups a more prominent role in the process; building accountability structures; non-neutral pro-poor facilitation; and finally learning from diversity, where the importance of differences between the participating communities are and how that forms the process are discussed. The key impacts and challenges are examined, with the problems of standardisation of methodologies in scaling-up of these types of processes. However despite many differences, several elements were found to be effective in all the three cases: the value of PRA (participatory visioning, problems appraisal and solution identification); the importance of some kind of supervision and decision making body; the needed for patience in conflict solving in the group (internally and in interaction with external parties); capacity-building of leadership, facilitation, and negotiation skills; and the need for clear facilitation at the onset of the process with a gradual transformation of the role of external bodies to advisory bodies.
ALPS in action: a review of the shift in ActionAid towards a new Accountability, Learning and Planning System
This review looks at ActionAid's (AA) Accountability Learning and Planning System (ALPS), which was introduced in 2000 in line with the strategy Fighting Poverty Together (FPT). The aims of the review are to assess how and in what way ALPS has supported AA in putting FPT in operation through its core requirements and seven key principles; to identify key achievements, lessons and gaps in the system; and to provide a set of practicable recommendations for changes and improvements. Three core and standard elements formed the basis for the review: short focused visits to five country programmes (Kenya, India, Brazil, Italy and United Kingdom) with targeted interviews with key staff, some partners and local people working with AA; extensive documentation review of both core literature and country-specific material; and a written survey sent to all country programmes, international functions and Northern counterparts. It is concluded that ALPS is not yet being applied systematically within each country or across countries, themes and functions. Some of the critical gaps in ALPS logic and its implementation are identified, and in response recommendations are given on how to clarify ALPS in AA; support the ongoing uptake of ALPS; improve the quality of ALPS; and setting clear ALPS agendas. (See record no. 4706 for full report)
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.
Understanding the allocation of public resources through national and local budgets has become an increasing focus of development. This has been driven by two principal trends. Donor agencies, on the one hand, are seeking to deliver growing proportions of their financial assistance to partner countries through mainstream government systems - while, at a different level, a vibrant civil society movement has developed which seeks to promote goals of citizen empowerment, gender equity and poverty reduction through the potentials offered by the budget process. Norton and Elson aim to contribute to the evolving understanding of public expenditure management as a political, rather than a purely technical, process. In particular, they explore the ways in which a rights approach can contribute to strengthening voice and pro-poor outcomes in budget processes, and include examples of pro-poor and gender-sensitive budget initiatives from countries such as Brazil and South Africa. The work was commissioned by DFID as part of the programme of work to take forward it's human rights strategy, and identifies issues, partners, tools and methods that may help development actors to support citizen accountability and a pro-poor, gender-equitable, focus in public expenditure management.
Training manual on participatory community based O&OD [Opportunities and Obstacles to Development] planning. Vol.1 Training guide
This manual was prepared to facilitate access to participatory planning tools in Tanzania, to make them more accessible to planners and other development workers in order to facilitate sustainable development in the country. Its main purpose is to provide a source of reference for the Tanzania government and other staff whilst engaging in development activities with communities. The manual is structured to explain the background to the underlying planning and local government reforms, and the monitoring and evaluation of development interventions at community and other levels. The background describes how the current local government reforms are designed, how they are implemented, and the measures to be put in place. It also provides an overview on why the new planning approach necessitates a shift in emphasis on participation of communities in creation of their own development interventions, and how other actors are to be involved in supporting and facilitating the successful implementation of development interventions. The manual is structured into four parts which hare based on a build up of knowledge and skills development: preliminaries, concepts, participatory methodology, and opportunities and obstacles to development.
The use of 'typical families' to explore livelihoods and service provision in urban informal settlements, South Africa
In South Africa a government housing subsidy scheme exists which allows beneficiaries access to a R16 000 grant which is usually 'project-linked'. The South African NGO, Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) was commissioned to monitor the impact of such schemes over four years to feed into policy recommendations. As a part of this project, participatory methodologies were used in four urban settings with three objectives in mind. The first was to test the use of some participatory tools in an urban setting, in particular the 'typical families' tool. The second was to gain a greater understanding of livelihoods and vulnerabilities in these typically poor but diverse communities. The third was to gain a more in-depth understanding of the impact of service provision on individuals, households and communities. The paper describes the nature and use of the 'typical families' tool from which characteristics of vulnerability and poverty unique to the community emerge. Additionally, concerns about whether participants would be willing to engage with the exercises and what type of results they would generate are discussed.
Training manual on participatory community based O&OD [Opportunities and Obstacles to Development] planning. Vol.2 Field guide
This manual was prepared to facilitate access to participatory planning tools in Tanzania, to make them more accessible to planners and other development workers in ordre to facilitate sustainable development in the country. Its main purpose is to provide a source of reference for the Tanzania government and other staff whilst engaging in development activities with communities. It presents a number of æinstructionsÆ for undertaking participatory methodologies on a day-by-day basis, over a course of six days, and includes exercises and tools to carry these out.
This is a resource book designed primarily for development workers working within the field of the rural poor. It describes a range of first-hand experiences with participatory approaches in the context of projects funded by The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and governments in Asia and the Pacific. The book is divided into a number of sections. Part One examines poverty and participation and explains why the poor should be targeted and in what ways this is possible. Part Two describes in detail the actual participatory approaches. Part three concentrates on participation in the project planning and implementation stage. Part Four assesses the monitoring impact and Part Five examines issues in participation with regards to institutions, partnerships and governance.
This video, produced by the Asian Productivity Organisation, introduces Participatory Project Cycle Management (PPCM) a planning concept used in community driven planning. The training process on PPCM organises learning in a cyclical manner. Important elements of the training are theoretical inputs, close interactions with the villagers, documentation and systematic processing of information generated through interaction with the villagers, critical reflection among participants, and validation of information through feedback sessions from the villagers.
It combines the methods and principles of Project Cycle Management (PCM) and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). PPCM structures the interaction among communities, government and non-government organisations and international partners as a systematic and joint planning process.
In 1999 the Asian Productivity Organisation organised an international training programme on PPCM in collaboration with the Centre of Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) and the National; Productivity Organisation (NPO), Bangladesh. This video is the documentation of that training course