This extract discusses ways in which outsiders can change the ways they learn about rural conditions. These include improving development tourism and using RRA techniques. The principles and methods underlying reversals in learning are examined, including sitting, asking, listening; learning from the poorest, learning indigenous technical knowledge through compiling glossaries of local terms and employing games, quantification and ranking methods. Learning can be supported by the way organisations are managed, so reversals in management are important. Styles of communication, staff transfer policies and practice, and enabling and empowering poor clients are discussed. The final section emphasises the primacy of personal action in changing practices in rural development.
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.
"Is it strange for soldiers in Zaire when watching a Donald Duck movie for the first time, to call out that ducks do not talk?" The general tendency to apply Western visual devices in developing countries has failed to consider the culturally specific nature of many images. It is not just a question of understanding visual "tricks" (such as how TV producers juggle with time, how artists create perspective) but of interpreting signs. "Graphic symbols and pictographs are visual signs of a predominantly symbolic nature which are culturally determined and which must subsequently be acquired before they can prove useful". The author goes on to examine what makes a picture realistic in different cultural contexts and how visual conventions like shading can be misunderstood. Artists should try to use local visual codes to develop local visual culture. This account includes an overview of other studies on visual literacy.
El proyecto de investigaci¾n-capacitaci¾n en Duitama se inici¾ en 1982 con la partecipaci¾n de la Fundaci¾n San Isidro y el Departamento de Investigaci¾n de la Facultad de Ciecias Econ¾micas y Administrativas de la Universidad Javeriana. Este es un avance informativo sobre el informe de la primera fase de la investigaci¾n. El problema que se quiere investigar es la producci¾n de papa, tabaco y trigo en la zona, investigando tambiÚn las condiciones de vida de las familias productoras, sus problemas en la producci¾n y la divisi¾n del trabajo entre los miembros de la familia. Sin embargo, el proceso investigativo incluye un programa de capacitaci¾n participativa, de modo que los campesinos se conviertan en promotores del proyecto aprendiendo ellos mismos a investigar. AsÝ podrßn adquirir ciertas habilidades que les garantice la consecuci¾n de la autonomÝa necesaria en el manejo de la organizaci¾n.
Farming Systems Research has come up with rapid surveys, sondeos and on- farm trials. These developments have implications for their integration with conventional research techniques. The paper begins by discussing types of survey and trials, and issues involved in survey interpretation and implementation of the information generated. The validity (for whom) of knowledge generated and its use in the trial-survey and problem solving process are discussed. The integration of survey information with trial information is discussed with reference to an example from the Dominican Republic. The paper makes two basic arguments: (i) Relevant questions for surveys emerge from analyses of trials, and the more questions are based on problems faced in trials, the more survey results are likely to be integrated into trial design; (ii) the speed of the rural survey depends on the quality of the information already present: the fewer the data, the slower the survey. Speed depends on the effectiveness of multi-disciplinary collaboration, including farmer participation. The example shows how social science data was relevant in formulating a trial design which, however, did not respond to the problem. The paper concludes knowledge transfer is central to adaptive trials, and the role of social scientists as knowledge brokers is important in developing countries.
This is the second of a series of articles by World Vision International. It begins with the description of how a community deepen their understanding of their situation by using participatory mapping technique. The first part of the report is on Participatory process, community evaluation and planning , and the recognition of basic participatory principles that must be acknowledged in people and key characteristics of a good facilitator. It further describes a world vision exercise on participatory planning where match boxes were used to represent households in Brazil. In this exercise different kinds and lengths on match sticks were used to identify the various categories of people in the community. This enabled the community to identify the number of children of school going age in the community and then followed on to develop educational and nutritional programmes . It has a Christian theme, and draws on parallels between the work of Christ and Participatory processes. The report includes photocopied photos of the maps and the key of match sticks for the census of the community.
This article is the last in a series of four. Each looks at one step in the evaluation and planning process: description, investigation, analysis and decision (see Kenyon 1983). Participation in all steps is the ideal. This paper looks at decision. Three sections look at decisions about changes to address needs or problems; strategy decisions and deciding among alternative strategies; and evaluation decisions, or the measurement of results against objectives. Examples are drawn from projects in a number of countries, illustrating processes of community participation in decision making and the use of visual representations in assisting the making of decisions.