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This article summarises the perceptions of staff of a rural development NGO in southern India, on the impacts of PRA on their project planning, implementation , management and evaluation.
Improving forestry education through participatory curriculum development: a case study from Vietnam
This journal article presents a case study of the Social Forestry Support Programme in Vietnam, in which Participatory Curriculum Development (PCD) plays a fundamental part. Beginning with stakeholder identification and analysis, PCD provides an overall framework for educational development. Recognising constraints associated with the process, the paper describes strategies aimed at capacity building, management of stakeholder involvement and planning and evaluation. As different stakeholders learn to learn together through discourse and interaction, the chances of sustainable outcomes from the PCD process should be improved. The dynamic and flexible nature of PCD suggests that there is considerable potential for its adaptation and application in a range of different contexts.
This paper addresses some of the key issues arising from Helvetas' experience of Participatory Curriculum Development (PCD). These include:|Costs of PCD|Benefits of PCD| Constraints to PCD|Factors which facilitate the PCD process|It may be best viewed with reference to paper 4302 and 4303 by the same author which looks at the issues of PCD in Vietnam.
Participating in curriculum development: some experiences from 5 years of SFSP [Social Forestry Support Programme]
This paper outlines the concept and experiences of Participatory Curriculum Development. It offers an introduction to the subject using case examples from the Social Forestry Support Programme (SFSP) in Vietnam and explains what is meant by participatory curriculum development. It addresses the following points:
À Bringing about change in forestry education through curriculum development
À The PCD process in SFSP
À Encouraging a collaborative approach
À Improving the delivery of the curriculum through teaching and learning methods
À Developing learning materials
À Monitoring and evaluation for PCD
À Lessons learned from using PCD
This briefing is based on the Pathways to Participation Project, a collaborative research initiative by the Participation Group at IDS in early 1999 to take stock of experience with PRA ten years after it began to gain popularity in development practice. The pathways project has worked with PRA practitioners and development organisations in Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, India, The Gambia and Vietnam. It has supported associated work in Pakistan and China, and convened international practitioners of PRA to reflect on their perspectives on the past, present and future of PRA. The briefing includes reflections on the meanings and practice of PRA, the historical spread, concerns about quality, learning and change and the Pathways Project itself.
This bibliography was prepared for the Development Research Centre (DRC) on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability, a research network co-ordinated in the UK by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). This DRC aims to include the voices of citizens into the debates around citizenship and contribute to the understanding of citizenship: the realities, challenges, and opportunities it poses for different people and the utilization of citizensÆ knowledge to develop strategies for change. The range of contemporary thinking around citizenship is reviewed in an essay included in the booklet. This provides a theoretical frame of reference for empirical work on the relationship between citizenship, participation and accountability. Also included is a section of references of recent texts that have been selected by the authors relating to citizenship, participation and accountability. Each one has a brief description.
Assessing participation in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers: a desk-based synthesis of experience in sub-Saharan Africa
This review provides an update on practice and experiences of civil society participation in the development of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). It was commissioned by DFID and conducted from August-October 2001 by the Participation Group at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). It begins with an overview of how the principle of participation has been interpreted by a range of actors and how these vary between International Financial Institutions, civil society and governments. Underpinning these variations is the difference between civil society participation as a means to a more effective poverty reduction strategy and participation as a means for non governmental actors to gain voice in their country's policy making and political processes. The review suggests that on balance civil society participation can add considerable value to PRSP processes and to transforming policy environments in ways that are beneficial to the poor and supportive of better governance and more responsive behaviour by governments and donor institutions. Although participation can add value, the review does not demonstrate conclusively that in all countries significant value has been added to date, nor that as much has been added as could be with better quality participatory processes.
This paper explores how PRA has been used by Action Aid The Gambia (AATG) and seeks to establish the effect this has had in the areas where it has worked.
The first part traces the development of the activities, structures and procedures of AATG during the period prior to the introduction of PRA. This is followed by a description of the way PRA has been absorbed and utilised in the subsequent evolution of the NGO. It goes on to investigate the impact of the new approach on poverty, gender relations, and the capacity of local organisations. In conclusion an attempt is made to assess and account for the overall contribution made by PRA and to see how it might be employed differently in the future.
This guide is intended to help researchers and livestock-keepers to design and conduct participatory experiments that lead to the development of effective technologies that will benefit resource-poor farmers. The guide draws on the experiences of a goat research project in semi-arid India by BAIF Development Research Foundation and the Natural Resources Institute, whose focus has been on easing seasonal feed scarcity, and was conducted over a four-year period (1998-2001). The content covers essential, practical information about when to do participatory trials, how to get started, designing experiments, monitoring experiments, evaluation, and achieving wider impact. Through the analysis it becomes clear that these trials are substantial processes, requiring a range of skills and the support of an organisational enabling environment.
'When you are ill you always hope': an exploration of the role of traditional healers in HIV/AIDS care and prevention in Cambodia
This study aims to provide some insight into the work of traditional healers in Cambodia, focussing on HIV/AIDS/STIs and related conditions in the context of their wider role. The study was conducted over two months in Phnom Penh and Battambang. It provides an overview of who traditional healers are, the services they provide, how traditional healers and others perceive their role in HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and existing links and associations between traditional healers and others. The main findings of the study are as follows:
" Traditional healers are a very diverse group without a single identity.
" They were reported to treat almost all illnesses, with some healers specialising in treating people with HIV.
" AIDS, STIs and TB are treated with traditional medicine, with magic and ritual sometimes a component of this.
" Clients of the healers are perceived to be poor or of medium needs.
" Many people with HIV who are using traditional medicine reported substantial improvements in their health, though the side-effects and unknown toxicities are of serious concern of health workers.
" Many biomedical practitioners and health workers stated that they do not believe that traditional medicine is effective.
This paper presents some basic challenges faced by ZOA-Refugee Care, an international Christian NGO, in Rwanda in recent years. The organisation has been working in the post-1994 genocide and war period to provide emergency aid, and now increasingly focuses on community development work. The paper reports on the background of the project, issues around institutional environment and organisation change of ZOA-Rwanda, notes from the PRA sessions held, and follow-up processes. Along with specific recommendations, it is seen that the decentralisation policy of the Rwandan government offers a good opportunity for a participatory approach, particularly as local authorities have a large impact on the progress of a development programme and are crucial to inducing change.