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Pa Methods2

Pa Methods2

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Published by: Allan on Jan 06, 2009
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06/14/2009

 
PART II: METHODS
Participatory Approaches: A facilitator’s guide
35
Introduction
Having established a framework fororganising our work and considered the skillsthat we need, the next question is, ‘How?’ PAis not rigid or prescriptive, but when planningparticipatory processes, facilitators willneedto devise a set of procedures in whichtoorganise their activities and guide theirchoice of toolsThis raises the following issues aboutappropriate choices:
Q. Which tools work well together? Q. What sequences of tools lend themselves to particular tasks or phases of the process? Q. Which tools help encourage the appropriatelevel of participation? 
For the purpose of this guide, the term‘methods’ is used to describe the procedurein which collections of tools are put togetherto achieve a certain purpose or goal. Thissection presents some suggestions formethods that may assist each phase of thedevelopment process. These are presented intwo broad areas: methods for
analysis andplanning
, and methods for
reviewing
.In line with the model used in Part I, Section2, each method includes a summary of itslevel of participation (1-5) and the phase(s)ofthe development process where it is mostcommonly used (analysis, planning, doing orreviewing). Signposts to possible sequencesof tools are included.Most methods build on what has gone beforeand may represent the application of newprinciples to very similar tools. There istherefore considerable overlap betweenmethods and very few methods can lay claimto an exclusive set of tools. The differenceslie in the purpose of the method, the level ofparticipation it aims to work at, its guidingprinciples and the attitude of the facilitator.
II-1.1 Methods for analysis and planning
R
APID
R
URAL
A
PPRAISAL
Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) was one of thefirst PA methods. As such it represents thefirst step away from the simple questionnaireapproach of top-down, non-participatoryappraisal, analysis and research. As thename suggests, this method is essentiallyforcollecting data with rural communitiesabout their livelihoods and territory, andgenerally is intended to not take morethanone or two days.In its day, RRA represented a radicaldeparture from traditional practice. Bytoday’s standards it is a relatively ‘quickanddirty’ method that corresponds to levels1and2 of our framework: informing andconsulting. RRA does not guaranteesubsequent action or response to communityneeds unless specified. It is more extractive
LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION
5 Supporting action4 Acting together3 Deciding together
2 Consulting
1 Informing
PHASES OF DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Analysis
PlanningDoingReviewing
II-1 METHODS FOR EACH PHASE OF THEPROCESS
REVIEW
ANALYSE
DO
PLAN
 
than empowering, and retains control in thehands of the development worker.Nevertheless, it is an important methodwhich has done much to establishobservation,
Semi-Structured Interviewing
,
Transects
and rapid
Diagrams
firmly in thedevelopment worker’s toolkit. RRA haspotential uses if time is short and can bemade more empowering when carried out bya skilled facilitator/team. A good discussionof RRA can be found at:
www.unu.edu/unupress/food2/UIN08E/uin08e0u.htm
P
ARTICIPATORY
R
URAL
A
PPRAISAL
Although it is still used for some specificapplications, the ‘rapid’ approach of RRA haslargely evolved into
Participatory
Rural Appraisal(PRA). PRA is essentially a planning approachfocusing on shared learning between localpeople and outsiders to enable developmentpractitioners, government officials and localpeople to plan appropriate interventions togetherin small groups. Local people take a more activerole and the analysis may take a week or so.Although RRA and PRA have different aims andgoals, a critical point here is that no tool isexclusively a RRA tool or a PRA tool. All ofthese tools and exercises can be used fordifferent purposes and in different methodssimply by modifying their structure and theattitude of the facilitator.Visual techniques of
Mapping
,
Ranking
, trendanalysis and
Drawing
, often directly onto theground, have become strongly associated withPRA. As a result, it is common to hear PRAbeing used as shorthand for any participatorytool used at any stage of a developmentprocess. However, PRA is interpreted here inits original sense – as an appraisal method tohelp stakeholders to define jointly theirdevelopment needs.
LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION
5 Supporting action4 Acting together3 Deciding together
2 Consulting
1 Informing
PHASES OF DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Analysis
PlanningDoingReviewing
PART II: METHODS
36
Participatory Approaches: A facilitator’s guide
REVIEW
ANALYSE
DO
PLAN
DELIVERI/DGLS
 
PART II: METHODS
Participatory Approaches: A facilitator’s guide
37
Frequently, development workers will enter asituation where this needs analysis is alreadycompleted (often with only level 1 or 2participation). However, if opportunities stillexist to increase the level of participation, PRAis useful to help clarify issues or share ideas.The benefits of making initial appraisal andassessment as participatory aspossibleinclude the following:1.The ethos of participation is establishedfrom the start.2.Stakeholders become empowered to shapeprojects from the outset, dramaticallyincreasing their commitment to the project,its appropriateness and sustainability.3.Discussion of objectives reveals potentialconflicts before they hinder success.4.Opportunities arise for mutual learning andunderstanding.5.PRA data can complement baseline andevaluation information.The time required will vary. It may take alarge group meeting to go through the firstanalysis, another smaller team to gatherinformation, and then another meeting of thelarge group to conduct a final analysis usingthe new information.The first step is for all stakeholders to sharetheir objectives, and for development workersto clarify what they can and cannot do. It maytake some time for stakeholders to discuss anddetermine their problems and to establish jointobjectives.
Tools that may help include
Drawing andDiscussion
, visuals,
Open-Ended Stories,Picture Stories, Flow Diagrams, Problem Trees.
In some situations, this may be going toofar,too fast. It is essential to build rapportand develop an understanding of the localcontext before moving too quickly intoproblem identification. Tools that mayassistthis process include
Timelines
toestablish stakeholders’ identity and history,
Seasonal Calendars
and
Mapping
to showwhen and where livelihood and culturalactivities takeplace.All parties should clearly understandtheirown responsibilities and have identifiedoverlapping areas of interest to clarify theirstake in the process. Constraints need tobeidentified, including social, cultural andinstitutional factors. Tools that may assistthis process include
SWOT
or
ForcefieldAnalysis
. Successful communityorganisations can be used to modelnewcommunity structures.The community may be divided in such a way(gender, caste, politics) that groups will notcooperate unless they see equal benefits.Discussions of constraints may bring up verysensitive issues, but these do not have to bechallenged or resolved. They must only berecognised so that planning and negotiationstake them into account.
The next step is to identify suitable activitiesor development interventions thatwillimprove the situation, and to rank these inorder of importance. Each activity can beanalysed for its feasibility given localconditions. The information needed forthisanalysis may exist within the group.Stakeholders can revisit the outputs ofprevious tools, or carry out new activitiestoexplore the information, such as
Drawing and Discussion
, discussion starters,
Picture Stories, Semi-Structured Interviews,Ranking, Rating, Sorting
and
Mapping
.
The information may need to be shared withother interests before selection of appropriatedevelopment interventions can take place. Theinformation needs to be recorded and stored toassist later phases ofthe process.There are many PRA resources on the web,notably the manuals and toolkits of FAO(United Nations Food and AgricultureOrganisation). One useful search engine is at:
www.fao.org/documents/

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