The Community Publishing Program began in 1986 in Zimbabwe with the aim of building up the "confidence, creativity, practical and analystical skills of development workers and local leaders through books and workshops." Books are produced "collectively and democratically" through a team travelling around Zimbabwe, listening to what people want in a book. Five main principles guiding community publishing are listed and examples given of books that were produced using these participatory methods. The article ends with "Lessons from the Experience", giving more detail of the methods used to encourage people to participate and view books as a "process not a product".
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The term 'gender' has come to be synonymous with 'an interest in women's livelihoods and perspectives', rather than referring to women and men. Other assumptions made are that 'women' or 'men' 'form coherent interest groups' and that western understandings of gender difference are universal. A good starting point is to consider gender as 'less as something fixed that people have, than as ways of describing and evaluating what people do' which varies cross-culturally and according to different situations. PRA practitioners need to 'empty their glasses' at every stage, rather than assuming that "gender difference makes a difference in all settings'. There is a need for the development of new techniques for 'addressing wider issues of power and social complexity' such as analysis of conflict, social networks and spheres of agency, movement and activity.
Activitists for Social Alternatives, an Indian NGO, began to use PRA in order to reach the poorest villagers. This report describes their experiences since 1990, under the specific areas where PRA workshops were conducted: tank rehabilitation, watershed development, herbal medicine, women's issues, health and income generation (non agro based). The "process" section of the annexures describes in detail the PRA methods used and findings (including diagrams and pictures): village modelling, trend change, seasonality and linkage activities were used to explore women's perspectives on health and social issues. The Gender PRA training workshop was attended by women from 22 villages - sharing their personal problems "developed a strong bond and solidarity which later led to the formation of a women's coordination committee". They took up issues like "eve teasing, child marriage, dowry, wage and deserted women" and "feeling the need for educating the public about the problems of women, planned for an International Women's Day celebration this year".
Participatory modelling in North Omo, Ethiopia: investigating the perceptions of different groups through models.
Participatory modelling was organised by a team on a training course in North Omo. To avoid the men dominating the activity, as is usual if only one group is formed, the group was divided into men, women and children. Each group created a model which showed their different perceptions and " a version of their area which begs certain emphases and areas for intervention."
Tools of Gender Analysis: a Guide to Field Methods for Bringing Gender into Sustainable Resource Management
This report presents an overview of gender considerations in development and suggests analytical tools for development professionals in government, bilateral, international organisations and NGOs to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of project activities. Tools for gender analysis reveal how gender differences define people's rights, responsibilities and opportunities in resource management. The tools discussed include PRA methods as well as more conventional techniques. They offer ways of gathering data and analysing gender as a variable in household and community organisation for natural resource management. Each tool is illustrated with an application from ECOGEN research. The PRA tools discussed include wealth ranking, focus-group discussions, venn (or chapati) diagrams of village institutions, resource mapping, seasonal calendars and matrices. A new initiative, a Gender Analysis Matrix (GAM), was developed to test and to generate awareness of the impact of specific projects on gender roles and responsibilities.
A topical PRA on health was held in South India for 23 participants belonging to 11 NGO groups. Activities were conducted separately by the NGO group and women's group : their different perceptions of health problems are compared on a table. Information on the reproductive cycle was also produced by the women's group. Some general observations made about women's participation include : "women have come out with seasonal calendar of 10 months" and "women have triangulated only amongst themselves and never wanted to present in the larger forum."
This paper raises issues around PRA as an empowering process. For the poor, product matters more than process and "it is the functional, material gain which is the entry point, not the empowerment". PRA can be seen as "Orwellian manipulation" from the point of view of "elaborate processes imposed to secure participation". In practice, those "least familiar with Western cultural processes will be the most excluded and manipulated" - usually the women of a community. Any approach or technique has "differing meanings in differing geographical, cultural and temporal contexts", so PRA should also be seen as "context limited and context enhanced".
This collection of PRA activities used for gender analysis consists of examples of maps, diagrams and calendars drawn by women and men from a variety of countries. A knowledge of PRA techniques is needed as there is little written explanation with the illustrations.
PRA is not "automatically gender sensitive" - there is a need to raise gender awareness first before PRA tools can be used to explore different perceptions and it is not enough simply to say that gender is important. A PRA and Gender training programme that took place in Brazil had three preparatory steps : defining gender, "formulating key questions in terms of gender-differentiated perspectives" and deciding which PRA methods would be most appropriate. During the fieldwork, problems were discussed in terms of gender - who and how issues had been raised. The article ends with a discussion of the benefits ("experiential learning of gender differences") and dangers (the trap of the "gender average") of linking PRA and gender.
Four key issues were addressed at a workshop on PRA and Gender held at Institute of Development Studies, Sussex: 1. Working with conflict. 2. Does the "input of consultation with women as well as men" in itself guarantee empowerment? 3. Ethics of addressing gender through participatory approaches (ie use of PRA methods rather than following through the whole process). 4. PRA with gender or Gender with PRA? Each of these issues is summarised, in terms of practical, analytical and institutional implications.
This brief overview of a workshop on PRA and Gender held at IDS begins with the "unfortunate and astonishing" observation that "PRA so rarely incorporates a thorough gender-differentiated analysis". Since 1991, PRA has been more shaped by gender issues, resulting in a literature dealing with three main sets of issues: i) practical - is PRA "equally amenable for use by women and by men?" ii) analytical - "what understanding of gender is used to guide PRA?" iii) institutional - "how does the institution deal with the findings" of gender-sensitive PRA? The workshop raised experiences from diverse countries : this report summarises the issues discussed rather than presenting any case-studies.
An RRA exercise was conducted prior to the launching of the "stoves" component of a social forestry programme in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. This article describes how information about women's status and roles was collected in this strictly purdah area where it "reflected on male honour if you even suggested their women were doing any 'work'". The RRA methods used are described in detail since many constraints had to be overcome : women had no formal meeting places, all initial negociations had to take place through men and it was difficult to prevent "over-zealous" men from attending discussion groups of women. Findings from the RRA are presented and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach, including how far women were able to participate.
"The gender equivalent to Chambers' poverty biases" is summarised as an ironic checklist of ways of "keeping women invisible in development planning" - eg Treat the household as a homogenous and harmonious group of people. Concepts for gender training for development planners are discussed : i) The distinction between "biological" sex and "socially constructed" gender ii) The different processes that construct gender in different cultures iii) Focus on the gender division of labour iv) Rethink the meaning of production in the light of our analysis of the gender division of labour v) Shift from planning for practical needs to strategies for empowerment. Such training should help to get away from "aggregated concepts of development that planners have worked with in the past".
Over a fourteen-month period, the author lived in two rural villages in south-central Bali and "tested the application of PRA tools with over 300 women and men (villagers to provincial government officials) to explore their gender roles, gender perceptions, gender relations and their Practical (PGN) and Strategic Gender Needs (SGN)". Government-designed programmes for women were also evaluated. Chapters 1 and 2 show how PRA has more in common with GAD (Gender And Development) than the WID (Women In Development) approach, since "they both focus upon relations of power". GAD and PRA are seen to be complementary approaches: GAD uses "extractive tools, with outsiders conducting interviews and participant observation" whilst PRA "has not addressed questions concerning exactly who within a community participates" and lacks tools to address conflict. Certain PRA tools do not enable women to express their particular perceptions and needs. Chapter 3 describes the research methodology in detail, analysing which PRA tools were successful in the field. Chapter 4 presents findings, showing that women have tended to become "implementers of government development initiatives, rather than participants in their own development". Conclusions (Ch 5) include evaluation of the research approach, listing the strengths and weaknesses of PRA and GAD in detail. Recommendations (Ch 6) suggest how PRA could be integrated into Gender Analysis training programmes.
This document reports on the proceedings of an international symposium on participatory research (PR) in health promotion, which was held in Liverpool, UK in September 1993. It contains the full text of three keynote addresses: an historical perspective to participatory research; the challenges and concerns presented by feminism; and a case study of participatory action research in a women's health programme in India. Short (2-3 page) summaries of the introductions to the workshops are also presented, covering a range of PR and health-related issues. These include: training in PR; examples of frameworks to implement PR; evaluation of participation; relationships between research institutions and communities; integration of PR in government services; participation of health workers in formative research and evaluation; PR in healthy city projects in the UK; community-based needs assessment and health information systems; reflections on and examples of PR in women's health; use of PR in HIV/AIDS prevention; the use of draw and write methods with schoolchildren; PR and the promotion of health in the work setting; and the use of PR in water and sanitation projects.