This report describes the results of a training workshop on Participatory Environmental Assessement held in Cambodia. The initial training in Environmental Impact Assessment and PRA is briefly described, with some attention given to the concepts behind them. The results of an appraisal and planning process by two groups in separate villages are described in detail. Throughout, the report nicely illustrates the work done with diagrams, maps, etc. An extensive evaluation of the process by all involved, while specific to this workshop, provides interesting ideas for training in general.
The Impact of the Catchment Approach to Soil and Water Conservation: Summary of an Impact Study by the Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya
A Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture team used PRA to assess the impact of its Catchment Approach in six catchments, focusing on community level changes. This impact analysis linked differences in the implementation process with differences in results. It was clear that increased levels of community mobilization and involvement led to greater, quicker and replicating changes. One page summaries for each catchment include: process of implementation; changes in productivity; changes in resource degradation; changes in local resilience and vulnerability; changes in self-dependence of local groups; replication; and operational procedures. Two further impact studies are planned; the full report should be finished in November 1994.
This very interesting history of SWC worldwide argues that over the last century conservation policies and practices have treated farmers as bad managers of soil and water. Through coercion and financial incentives, they have been made to adopt externally imposed measures. While enormous amounts of time and money have gone into this, the results have been minimal if not counter-productive and have destroyed much of the credibility of conservation work. New approaches to SWC must consider the farmer as the potential solution rather than the problem, and use interactive and empowering participatory processes to put local knowledge and skills at the heart of new programmes. Three short examples of success are given.
This statement, by the participants of a workshop held in 1991 in Kenya and Tanzania by the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation, says that centrally conceived programmes and technologies for soil and water conservation which are then transferred to the field have been the norm till recently and have led to disappointing results. New, participatory approaches to soil and water management, including PRA, reflect a change in mentality from outside professionals controlling work focused only on SWC to local land users defining problems and directions for finding solutions which lead to improved land husbandry. Experiences with such participatory approaches are very encouraging and further development of the methodologies and their implementation should be encouraged.
This DVD is meant as a visual aid to the participatory tools and techniques as used by the Rural Domestic Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (RDWSSP II) in Nyanza Province, Kenya. It focuses on some of the techniques that were used during a one-week PRA with the project community. The objectives of the programme are to provide safe and accessible drinking water, safe and low cost disposal of human waste, and to ensure user participation and responsibility for facilities. PRA assists the community with collecting and analysing data, identifying problems and developing an action plan (04). The basics of PRA are the techniques, the team and on the spot analysis (05). A variety of techniques were used during the PRA. The film focuses on a few of them: community mapping (07), transect walk (08), semi-structured interview (09), do-it-yourself (outsiders trying village activities) (10), seasonal calendar (11), village institutions (12), wealth ranking (13), gender discussions (14), women's daily activities (15) and men's daily activities (16). The community selected team members who took part in review meetings to analyse the information and discuss the findings. The findings were subsequently presented to the community for verification (17). Having identified the problems a ranking exercise was carried out by different groups to elicit the priorities of women and men (18). This formed the basis for drawing up a community action plan (19). The week concluded with a final presentation to the community (20).
This brief paper is a write up of the experiences of an evaluation team using PRA tools in an impact evaluation of a community based programme providing drinking water (a MYRADA project in Mysore District, Karnataka State, India). The impact evaluation took place over only two days, but, as the paper highlights, some very pertinent lessons resulted from the experience. Six main tools from the 'PRA bag' were used in the evaluation: 'water system map', 'focus group discussions', 'time allocation drawing', 'seasonality of disease', 'individual interviews' and 'observation walk'. On the basis of these methods (and patient facilitation work by the PRA team), it was revealed that the any first impressions of a 'perfect' drinking water system were, in fact, unfounded. Serious (but rectifiable) flaws in the project - in terms of efficiency and equity of access - were exposed and, as a result, the local community became involved in identifying some remedial actions. This extremely useful, and clearly written, paper concludes with a frank discussion of some of the problems with the use of PRA tools, which according to the author, primarily stem from a poor understanding of group dynamics and good facilitation techniques.
A detailed report of a 13 day workshop which spent several days in two field locations, with initial workshop sessions on environmental needs (including sustainable development and environmental impact assessments) and PRA. The theoretical training is illustrated, along with the handouts and flipcharts created. Several days were spent in the field, at two locations and the different experiences and methods used are discussed. In each village, specific issues were identified and potential opportunities identified. This included the digging of irrigation channels and the improvement of existing wells. The poor security situation was the most common explanation for the lack of villagers motivation to conduct any improvements. Evaluations of the field visits were carried out, as well as an examination of participants feelings about the theoretical sessions. Finally, it is recognised that Oxfam must follow up the work done during the field visits, as expectations of villagers had been raised. The potential for further training was also identified.
This World Bank Technical Paper presents a discussion on participatory development at all stages of the development process, with a specific emphasis on participatory evaluation. Involving stakeholders closely in all aspects of the program is argued to foster ôownershipö, accountability, and a willingness on the part of users to manage and invest in services. A mechanism is needed to allow for learning, correction, and adjustment to be built into this participatory development process. To do this, a clear set of objectives and indicators of success which promote accountability and participation and which can be monitored and evaluated. This document is geared to provide policymakers, managers, and planning and evaluation staff with ideas about participatory processes and indicators that may be used to involve community members and others in program evaluation. The focus is on the development of key indicators that can be measured to determine progress of water and sanitation programs, their sustainability, effective use, and replicability. Short summaries (ôfield insightsö) of projects are included throughout to complement the discussions.
Farmers have developed their own highly competant and often very technical ways of dealing with farming problems and land degredation. Such measures, for example erosion control or water channelling structure, have been developed from indigenous knowledge of the conditions, and are easily maintained by existing local skills. Here, it is recognised that the farmer has both engineering and managerial skills, which enable soil conservation measures to be carried out. The limits both to ITK and farmer innovations are also recognised, and the need for a compromise is stressed. A number of examples, on both agricultural land and types of drainage, are given, with illustrations.
Community Participation in Rural Water Supply Projects in Northern Punjab and AJK: an exploratory study (Volumes I and II)
The report aims to evaluate the structures and organisational systems associated with effective water user groups, analysing the factors that hinder or support their role in the management of water supply schemes. Although the study is termed participatory, no direct mention of the methodology used is made. However, the study provides some very structured and detailed information on different aspects of water management collected in a survey of 69 villages. Volume I provides information on organisational issues in water management. Volume II instead illustrates five case studies covering a range of issues including social impact of technological choice and community level subsidisation.
This volume aims to explore the role of participatory eveluation, with a focus on water and sanitation programmes. It draws on 15 years of experience in participatory development and tries to move beyond participatory planning to participatory monitoring and evaluation. Saustainability is discussed, in terms of equipment, human resources and institutional capacity. The concept of participatory evaluation is considered, and the potential for the use of participatory methods outlined, along with its characteristics, strenghts and pitfalls. Indicators, methods of monitoring and replicability should be considered for each project, including the 'what' exactly should be measured, and by 'whom'. Detailed examples in the water and sanitation context are given. It is important to be able to assess change over time, and participatory methods offer a way forward.
The benefits of using PRA at local level are described, by members of the water and sanitation team who are working with communities in Kenya. Both relevance and participation are increased, and the locals become partners in the project. However, PRA is thought to be demanding and 'very involving'.