With this pioneering book introducing participatory approaches in rural development, the author challenges preconceptions dominating rural development at the time. The central theme of the book is that rural poverty is often unseen or misperceived by outsiders, those who are not themselves rural and poor. The author contends that researchers, scientists, administrators and fieldworkers rarely appreciate the richness and validity of rural peopleÆs knowledge, or the hidden nature of rural poverty. He argues for a new professionalism, with fundamental reversals in outsidersÆ learning, values and behavior, and proposes more realistic action for tackling rural poverty. The book is divided into eight chapters focusing on rural poverty unperceived (i.e. as perceived by outsiders); two cultures of outsiders, negative academics vs. positive practitioners; how outsiders learn; power structures and knowledge; integrated rural poverty including deprivation, vulnerability and powerlessness; making priorities for action; reversals in professional values and bridging gaps between disciplines, professions and departments; and recommendations and discussion of practical actions.
Many processes of change involving population, resources, environment and development are not sustainable. In seeing what to do, normal professionalism and 'first' thinking are part of the problem. The concept of secure and sustainable livelihoods for the very poor and poor is powerful. Developing this approach, the thinking of professionals about environment and development and that of poor people about livelihoods can be combined as a sustainable livelihood thinking. The potential for applying this in resource-poor environments has been underestimated. Analytical implications include the concept of sustainable livelihood intensity. Practical implications include secure rights for the poor to use and sell assets, and a new professionalism which starts not with things, but with people, putting first those who are poorer.
Using Rapid Rural Appraisal for Project Identification. Report on a training exercise in Jamare local government area, Bauchi State, Northern Nigeria
A pilot course on project identification was run for 24 heads of local government departments in several states in Northern Nigeria. The first course was based on fieldwork and focussed on applying RRA techniques for the purpose of project identification. This report evaluates the training programme from a methodological perspective, pointing out mistakes that were made, such as using a questionnaire instead of a checklist. The analysis also shows the importance of working out participants' specific training needs and developing a model to meet these. PRA activities are not described, but some findings are given
This long and detailed study describes how the mandal (administrative area) of Devikere in Jagalar, Karnataka State was selected as the appropriate site for an Action Aid anti-poverty project. A socio-economic survey was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team using mainly RRA techniques. The methodology employed appears to have much in common with farming systems research. A section of the report is devoted to health issues. This includes: nutrition and food availability; mother and child wellbeing, health practices and beliefs; the environment; housing; occupation and health services. The anthropological/ethnographic technique of using case studies of individuals adds a strong human dimension to the study. Separate sections are devoted to women, infrastructure and sanitation, and socio-economic conditions.
This paper describes the use of rapid appraisal methods for collecting health data in a poor urban area of Tanzania. During a nine-day field-based workshop with municipal officials rapid appraisal methods were used to collect data and plan interventions in three poor municipal areas. The main technique used was semi-structured interviews with key informants. However, after conducting the interviews it was realised that the participants had no way of assigning any priority to the problems which had been revealed. A second visit had to be made to ask the informants to rank the problems in order of priority. Once the data had been analyzed and priorities for each area identified, the workshop participants considered how to develop a plan of action to respond to the problems. The paper concludes with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology based on this experience.
This book evaluates the impact of a sample of NGOs on poverty in rural South India. It provides an overview of the Government of India's poverty alleviation programmes, and discusses the role of NGOs. Four case studies are presented of the Rural Development Trust Community Organisation Programme (credit funds), the Church's Auxiliary Programme for Social Action (village organization and planning for self-reliance), the Kanyakumari District Fishermen Sangams Federation (marketing cooperatives), and the Arthik Samata Mandal Agricultural Development Programmes (credit, land levelling and irrigation). Each case study is examined with respect to its context, history and structure, impact in terms of realisation of objectives, economic and social impact, distribution of benefits, external influences, cost-effectiveness, sustainability and potential for replication. Strengths, weaknesses and lessons from each case are discussed, The concluding section summarizes the case studies in terms of reaching the poorest, types of benefits, innovation and flexibility, costs and reasons for success. Each case study contains discussion of methods and extents of participation, and the conclusions consider the impact on the poorest.
This volume of the Gatekeeper series from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) looks at the economic education efforts of Highlander Research and Education Centre (Tennessee, USA) in Appalachia and its role in promoting community development. It gives a background to social problems in Appalachia and describes the Highlander project. The project concentrated on three rural communities (Dungannon, Virginia; Jelico, Tennessee; and Ivanhoe, Virginia) and was oriented towards helping communities gain knowledge necessary for local development. Community groups were offered technical and educational support for grassroots economic leadership development through a participatory process where the community could assess their own situation, and define and implement strategies for themselves. Part of the participatory methodology were oral history, community surveys, community mapping and drawings, decision-maker interviews, videos and readings, brainstorming and feasibility studies, and cultural components. Finally the outcomes of the project are examined.