Bangladesh Reality Check 2008: listening to poor people's realities about primary healthcare and primary education
This paper looks at the exposure method part of the Immersion Programme with the goal to expose participants to the lives of poor people. The paper is part of the compendium Reality and Analysis (that can be found on http://www.arts.cornell.edu/poverty/kanbur/EDPCompendium.pdf), and a result of collaboration between the Indian NGOs SEWA and WIEGO, and the Cornell University, USA. The paper gives an introduction to the exposure methodology for dialogue (EDP) describing the concept and looking at how it evolved in a German and Indian context and how the Cornell-SEWA-WIEGO EDP programme came about. It takes an in-depth look at the application of EDP based on the experiences of the Cornell-SEWA-WIEGO programme. The paper proposes a design of business and issue-related EDPs for sensitising and motivating decision and policy-makers for shaping pro-poor policy. The specific phases of this type of EDP are examined and discussed including comments and recommendations based on experience. Recommendations are made for shaping the organisational process; learning about the methodology; learning about a culture of dialogue; and learning about the combination of ôExposureö with ôDialogueö on issues. An appendix looks specifically at the case of the Cornell-SEWA-WIEGO EDP, which had a as its objective to start a dialogue between mainstream economists, SEWA activists, and WIEGO researchers around key assumptions of neo-classical economics which trouble ground-level activists and researchers working on issues of employment and labour, including labour market interventions; and trade and foreign direct investment.
This paper examines immersion as a method for of knowing the community, ôliving the realityö and sensitising people to the lives of the poor. It analyses the context, rationale, design and ethics and use of immersion programmes. It looks at the application of immersions to ActionAid India including case studies. The first case study describes the process of a rural and urban immersion organised by ActionAid for staff from DFID (Department for International Development, UK) and the British High Commission in Musahar Village, Uttar Pradesh. It includes details on planning, practical arrangements and reflections for future immersion visits. The second case study describes the use of immersion for sensitising ActionAid staff and head-quarters planning. It describes the background, objectives and design of this immersion programme. It looks specifically at immersion with marginalised families and as an integral part of structured capacity building. This is followed by one of the participantÆs personal account of the immersion experiences from the village Bala. A brief report on the experiences of a participant from the immersion programme I Musahar village.
This book explores the qualities of relationship, behaviour and effectiveness that the poor of Bangladesh consider important in the institutions with which they interact during periods of crisis. It arose out of a perceived lack by the World Bank's Participatory Poverty Assessment (undertaken to contribute towards the World Development Report 2000/01) to look at the area of crisis and institutions. The main findings are: " Crisis is multi-dimensional, and related to exposure to mishaps, stresses and risks, as well as to dangers in the physical environment, in society and in the economy, and in administrative and legal systems. Events like floods, droughts, deaths, etc., which affect almost everyone in the community trigger community actions for coping with the situation; " The poor have developed a number of survival strategies to cope with crisis, which are linked with the way assets are pooled and managed to reduce vulnerability; " The poor interact with a range of formal and informal institutions during crisis. Local government, police and court systems are manipulated for political purposes by successive governments, making the poor most vulnerable since they lack political connections. Flaws in the health system have created the opportunity for corruption. Despite unanimous trust of NGOs by the poor, allegations of misuse of funds, gender discrimination, and nepotism have been made. The poor place much more of their trust in their local Community-Based Organisations for security and survival, and their inability to access state organisations". " A number of recommendations are made in the area of state institutions: pro-poor formal administration, anti-corruption, pro-poor health services, increasing women's security; in the area of pro poor policies: land reforms, safety nets; in strengthening NGO-state links; and the need for overall coherence in these initiatives".
Many microfinance organisations are concerned about reaching the poorest sections of society, and are prepared to carry out screening procedures to identify these people. This article describes a pilot study to compare two such screening methods, the Visual Indicators of Poverty (VIP) test and the Participatory Wealth Ranking process (PWR), which have been used by the Small Enterprise Foundation in South Africa. A study is described which demonstrates the inaccuracy of VIP, a system based on static, externally judged criteria, when compared to PWR, which uses local knowledge of individual poverty. The article also focuses on some of the challenges faced in designing a cost-effective operational system based on participatory mapping and wealth ranking.
A memo from Ravi Kanbur on the project is attached
This information pack from the Exposure and Dialogue Programme (http://www.exposure-nsd.de) contains instruction materials for immersion and exposure and dialogue programmes (EDPs). In EDPs participants share the life of poor, in order to get better insight in their life. The main aim of the EDP is to transform the existing structures in favour of the poor and underprivileged by encouraging key individuals form diverse sectors to make use of their respective competence and their possibilities to act in favour of the poor. ôGuidelines for Reflection and Dialogue in Exposure and Dialogue Programmesö are concerned with the two phases that come after the exposure phase. They cover the time spent in reflection of the experiences of exposures and in deepening these experiences in dialogue. The guidelines go throw five steps of dealing with this process including individual reflection; telling key stories, communicating the main experiences of the exposure; thematic deepening of experiences to feed into policy development; north-south dialogue and networking; and reflecting on consequences and follow-up. ôGuidelines for Facilitators of Exposure and Dialogue Programmesö goes through all the phases of the EDP and looks specifically at the role of the facilitator. It gives thirteen key recommendations on how implement an EDP. The ôHand-out for shaping the Immersion Process: Exposure, Reflection and Dialogueö is directed at participants of an immersion programme, and gives practical tips for shaping the phases of a programme, and the individual steps that participants should take during the course of the programme. The ôHand-out for shaping the process of Immersion and for analysing the findings about vulnerability, life cycle risks and the risk management strategies of women workersö is directed specifically at participants of an EDP undertaken with the Self Employed WomenÆs Association, SEWA, in Gujarat, India. It contains tolls for shaping the phases of exposure and reflection, and for the analysis of life cycle risks and for writing life stories focussing on risk management strategies. The booklet öDevelopment has got a faceö gives an overview of EDP process, and presents experiences from EDPs conducted by the Association for the promotion of North-South Dialogue in Brazil, the Philippines, India and Bolivia. The pack also contains an example of a brief report from an EDP conducted with SEWA, India.
The Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) is a micro-finance NGO working in South Africa to provide savings and credit facilities to support business development of the poorest people. Reacting to a realisation that they were not reaching the poorest people, the SEF undertook a pilot study using participatory wealth ranking to establish people's own criteria of poverty. These proved to differ from the externally judged criteria that they had been using to assess eligibility for membership, and led to the adoption of participatory mapping and wealth ranking instead. Their challenge was then one of scale; how to apply this methodology to villages of 700 - 1000 households? This article focuses on some of the challenges faced in designing a cost-effective system that would work in such large villages. It uses Bhungeni village as a case study to illustrate the application of the methodology and then goes on to discuss some of the wider issues of the relevance and use of wealth ranking in the context of a micro-finance programme.
This report documents the 1998 village immersion programme (VIP) for World Bank staff organised by the Gandhigram Rural Institute (GRI) in Tamil Nadu, India. The objectives of the programme were to provide an opportunity to the bank staff to immerse themselves in the social reality of villagers by staying in the villages, listening to the villagers, particularly the disadvantaged and women, and learn from them of their concerns and issues that help or hinder their development; and to understand the potential of poor communities to improve their living conditions when they are provided with support and opportunities for development by the government, NGOs and CBOs (community based organisations). The programme was organised in four different villages from the 4th to the 11th of December 1998. The major components of the programme were: orientation on the programme; actual immersion in the villages; visit to NGOs; interaction with the District Collector and development officials; and reflections on the VIP. The report presents some guidelines for immersion; the activities of the VIP; and reflections and observations of facilitators, Bank staff and villagers on the VIP. It also includes details on placements and the programme schedule.
This describes a Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA) undertaken by the Government of Kenya and the World Bank during Febuary-April 1994. It had three primary objectives; to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor, to start a process of dialogue between policy makers, district level providers and the poor and to address the issue of the 'value added' of the PPA approach to understanding poverty. Methods used included mapping, wealth ranking, seasonal analysis, trend and price analysis, focus group discussions, key informant interviews; visual card methods, gender analysis, understanding health seeking behaviour; and incomplete sentences. Statistically the findings of the PPA and the Welfare Monitoring Survey based on an established poverty line were strikingly similar. The study also found a gap in the perception of poverty between the poor themselves and district officials. Separate chapters look at poverty in urban Nairobi and Mandera district.
This report presents the preliminary results of a participatory study of urban poverty and violence in Jamaica carried out during September - October 1995 using a Participatory Urban Appraisal (PUA) methodology. It describes findings from 5 poor urban communities in Jamaica on local perceptions of poverty and violence, and the causal relationships that produce and reproduce violence. The PUA began by eliciting local people's conceptions of poverty and vulnerability as an "entry-point" to discuss the sensitive theme of violence. The study clearly identified that violence in the selected communities erodes two key assets - labour and social capital - which are vital for reducing poverty, and ends with conclusions of specific relevance to the design of the Jamaican Social Investment Fund.
This paper makes the case for conducting Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) and sets out a methodology for conducting them. PPAs have the following principal elements: a poverty profile (which analyses the depth, social and cultural nature, gender disparities and geographic spread of poverty); a review of current government policies relating to poverty; an overview of NGOs and community-based organisations working towards the alleviation of poverty; an analysis of the safety nets (both government programs and sociocultural mechanisms) in place; and, based on the above, a suggested country strategy of priority measures the government should take to reduce poverty. The section on methodology discusses interviews, focus groups, participant observation, institutional assessment, mapping, ranking and triangulation as important techniques. The paper concludes with a timetable for setting up and conducting a PPA.
This pack contains materials from the Grass Roots Immersion Program (GRIP), an exposure and dialogue programme for sensitising World Bank staff to the lives of the poor. The ôGrass-roots Immersion Program Notebookö for participants in the GRIP contains a programme description; programme guidelines; tables with placement opportunities with active and previous GRIP participants from a wide range of countries in Africa, Asia and South America, with site profiles; GRIP profile form; site selection notification form; budget information form; ex-World Bank staff resource list; references on cross-cultural communication including brief analytical texts and a case study from the village Ntita Kalambayi, Zambia; recommendations for maintaining participant health during exposure; and post-immersion readings including de-briefing and dissemination to colleagues. ôGrass Roots Immersion Program Guidelinesö gives direct guidance to participants in GRIP on site selection, orientation and financial support, and gives a brief overview of the Executive Development Programme and the GRIP. The pack also contains a photo-documentation of a GRIP immersion programme undertaken in collaboration with SEWA (Self Employed WomenÆs Association) of Gujurat, India.