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P a r t i c i p a t i o n
Year 1 No. 1 June, 1999
Women development : Way to impowerment
"Sharing without boundaries is absolutely essential for participation and PRA" - Robert Chambers
Nepal Participatory Action Network (NEPAN)
In this issue
Articles 3 9 15 18 23 27 30 Getting a buzz out of particpation Towards Participatory Watershed Management Women development : Way to Empowerment Advocacy and NEPAN Paving the road Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation But when will you start doing something Interview 40 "Sharing without boundaries is absolutely essential for participation and PRA" 2 Editorial Robert Chambers Naomi M. Saville Basant Kumar Rimal Sangeeta Shrestha Prabhat Dixit Peter Malling Chandi P. Chapagain Girbanu C.P.M and Sanjaya Rana
1 No. 1999, June
Rabi Chitrakar (Executive) Sameer Karki Kamal Phuyal Noami M. Saville Hukum B. Singh Layout/Design Rabi Chitrakar Sunil Shrestha (DECOS) Distribution Sova Silpakar Anju Sunuwar
Published By: Nepal Participatory Action Network (NEPAN) Kuriya Gaun, Thapathali, P.O.Box:13791 Phone: 227471, Phone & Fax: 266330 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors themselves and do not in any manner represent the viwes of NEPAN.
Participation is a Nepalese journal of participatory development published once in a year by Nepal Participatory Action Network (NEPAN). This covers a wide ranges of experiences related to participatory development process and approaches.
A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development
NEPAN from its inception, has recognised the significance of information in the development process maintaining substantive programmes of support aimed at improving acess to knowledge applied to participatory development process. There are several ways to improve access to knowledge applied to the process. One of the most effective and efficient means such as sharing of experiences, success stories, case studies, paper presented on workshop and seminars are documented and published as required and demanded by the members and others. As Robert Chambers says in his interview with NEPAN (published in this issue) "the idea of sharing without boundaries is absolutely essntial for participation and PRA". The activities of NEPAN include dissemination of research and contemporary findings through available media means such as organising seminars, workshops, conferences, monthly gatherings and publications. This issue is in your hand, please forward your valuable comments and suggestions along with your relevant articles for Participation . Cover page : Active participation on sharing of knowledge by PRA Practitioners. Photo: NEPAN
Participation ? 1999
GTI GB ZO T E T AUZ U N OP R II A IN FA T PT C O
- Naomi M. Saville
Communication with people from remote villages, who are unfamiliar with western women and their style of dressing, was opened up and trust and rapport with Jumla farmers was established. This helped enormously to access traditional beekeeping techniques and technologies and also in team building. When the outsider needs tuition from the village women to get her ‘dhoti’ and ‘patuka’ (traditional clothes) tied correctly, this sets-up a dynamic for two way learning and sharing between community members and the outsider. Participatory action research what is it? The ‘buzz’ word for development this decade seems to be ‘participation’. Every document we pick up is dotted with references to ‘participatory approaches’, but what does this mean in actual terms at the grassroots’ level? In ICIMOD’s beekeeping project we have been attempting to understand this question throughout a 3.5 year action research programme in beekeeping in Jumla, midWestern Nepal. Jumla’s situation Jumla is isolated from motorable roads by 3-6 days’ walk, the nearest road heads being Dailekh (when road conditions and snow on the passes permit) and Surkhet. Altitude ranges from c. 2500m to 3700m and much of the district is limited to growing barley and potatoes as staples. In the lower irrigated areas, both a rice and a wheat crop can be cultivated yearly, but this land is mainly owned by Brahmin and Thakuri (so-called ‘high caste’) landlords who employ Kami and other so-called ‘lower caste’ groups to farm it. Chettri caste people dominate at higher altitudes, where sheep and goat farming and associated spinning and weaving are important sources of income. As the Zonal centre of the Karnali zone, Nepal’s most impoverished area according to recent Human Development Index ranking (Indicators of development ICIMOD, 1997) Jumla is developing fast to take the lead in the aid of its even poorer neighbours. Why beekeeping? Jumla has a very strong tradition in beekeeping, especially at higher altitudes above the 2600m ricegrowing threshold. For those without productive irrigated land, trading rice for honey used to guarantee most households enough rice to eat for special occasions and to feed guests. The un-cultivable, steep rocky pastures and the high altitude forest used to give excellent honey yields, providing a high-value non-timber output with very little investment by farmers. Traditional beekeeping requires skills in the preparation of hollowed-out logs, baiting them with a mixture of beeswax, honey and various herbs. Then the hives are left on cliffs in the forest to attract bee swarms. There is no intensive investment in time or resources required, since the bees do all the work of making the wax and filling the combs with nectar and pollen. Moreover, the particular variety of the indigenous Asian Hive Bee (Apis cerana) native to Jumla was identified as a potentially highly-valuable genetic resource for beekeeping. The bee is larger and yields more honey than the variety found in lower altitudes and absconds less. Problems in beekeeping Inappropriate importation of exotix bees
Participation ? 1999
A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development
Photo: Naomi M. Saville
Training women beekeepers and extensionists is the best means to reach out to women farmers !
With such a rich tradition in beekeeping, why bring in modern ideas and change? If traditional systems of husbandry work well, why complicate them with ‘Western’ ideas? This is a good question that should have been asked long ago, before, with all good intentions, the European bee, Apis mellifera, was introduced into the district in the early-mid 1990s. This bee was introduced on a small scale through the support of an NGO. Unable to survive the severe cold and long dearth periods when nectar and pollen resources are scarce, the bees died out. Not before, however, they had transmitted an exotic disease to the native bees that infects the developing larvae (called European Foulbrood Disease). Inappropriate importation of exotic technology A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development In 1994, a straw hive requiring a complicated wooden frame, with holes drilled in it and long expensive nuts and bolts, was introduced. This was not accepted by Jumla farmers for whom straw is a limited and valuable resource used for animal husbandry and compost. Threshing techniques that involve the trampling of straw by bulls also render straw an inappropriate hive-making material. Also, prevalence of the pine marten, which can even knaw through 6cm of wood to eat bee combs, along with harsh climatic conditions that quickly rot the straw, caused the hive to fail. Picking up the pieces
By 1995, when the beekeeping action research project was started by ICIMOD, Jumla beekeepers were in trouble. Attempts to ‘develop’ beekeeping had resulted in an epidemic of bee disease and confusion and distrust amongst farmers about new ‘modern’ technology for beekeeping. Why? No-one had asked Jumla farmers to participate in the process of developing beekeeping in their area! Whose participation? The challenge of introducing ‘participation’ as the central concept in action research was accepted. Who should participate and how to elicit such participation? Traditional beekeepers, ‘low caste’ people and women previously excluded from beekeeping, the poorest communities most isolated from the bazaar and high above the rice-growing land, local NGO field workers and government extensionists were all potential participants. A process of investigating indigenous beekeeping methods, coupled with tentative introductions of appropriate technology and management methods for improvement of beekeeping, was started. Participant observation Instead of starting with PRA surveys with ‘a team of multi-disciplinary PRA practitioners’, the outside Western ‘agent of change’ participated in traditional beekeeping activities and customs, using ‘participant observation’ method. This meant join-
Participation ? 1999
Without being seen to tackle the bee disease. Similar village-based trial apiaries to be managed by farmer-groups in communities were also set up. Brahmin and Chettri caste beekeepers from traditional beekeeping communities. this sets-up a dynamic for two way learning and sharing between community members and the outsider.Article ing in with and / or observing normal activities in Jumla communities. Communication with people from remote villages. Women continue to be trained and women trainers are currently working with women beekeepers groups too. were selected to test the hives. it became clear that location of a few trial beehives in four different sites where all the bees were dying was not going to succeed. a farmer-led extension programme was initiated. was opened up and trust and rapport with Jumla farmers was established. using the lead farmers from the groups involved in hive testing. Saville 5 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . so initial efforts in testing hives were focussed with them. The coincidence of new technology with the new disease inevitably led to suspicion amongst the local community. Men have more time and traditionally took responsibility for hive building and baiting anyway. nothing else in terms of beekeeping development could be achieved. who are unfamiliar with western women and their style of dressing. This helped enormously to access traditional beekeeping techniques and technologies and also in team building. New initiatives in making candles and medicinal skin prepa- Observation helps the outsider and the local women feel at home with each other ! Participation ? 1999 Photo: Naomi M. Here the traditional log hive. and people from ‘lower’ castes with very little beekeeping history from four different altitudes and ecological zones. So. There is a feeling amongst the community that the outsider ‘is one of us’ and hence people feel more relaxed to express themselves. Women were encouraged to take part. Farmer-participation in testing hive designs Using the ideas of local counterpart (Satananda Upadhaya). Farmers trained in bee disease identification and control were employed by the project to survey the disease levels and educate traditional beekeepers in how to control or limit the effects of the disease. small adaptations to traditional beehives were introduced through establishment of a demonstration apiary at the Karnali Technical School. but menstrual taboos restricting women from touching hives and the already extremely heavy workload limited participation. dressing like a Jumla woman and attempting to speak in local dialect. Farmer-participatory extension After nearly two years of struggling to keep the bees alive in the face of the disease epidemic. 2 adaptations of the same and two ‘modern’ hives (the straw design mentioned above and the western design ‘framehive’ made from machine cut wood) were colonised by bees to be tested for their performance and their insulating potential. When the outsider needs tuition from the village women to get her ‘dhoti’ and ‘patuka’ (traditional clothes) tied correctly.
plus facilitation of the honey and beeswax markets in Nepal. they managed to convince some of their fellow farmers that bees were worth saving and that changes in beekeeping technology and management might help. for which there was no budget or staff. the farmer-trainers employed in beekeeping extension themselves carried out the exercises. Initially then. Farmer ownership of the project Slowly. with a two-person team to develop this project and a development remit entirely restricted to beekeeping. ence ranking. With donor support and institutional capacity building for a few more years.g. For extensionists. Using PRA Early in the project (1995). Who should be the main PRA practitioners? In this project. As the programme progressed and farmer-trainers took over the extension. The Himalayan Beekeepers’ Association (HIBA) of Jumla was formed and a coalition is underway with Surya Social Service Society (4S). The farmers decided to form their own NGO to carry out beekeeping training and extension and organise co-operative marketing of honey and beeswax from the area. class 5 or 6 pass). whose reading and writing skills are limited (e. But. training in PRA was organised for local NGO and government extensionists and ICIMOD project staff. full PRA data were collected from only a few communities to assess the general situation and how beekeeping fits into everyday life. rather than employing ‘professional’ PRA practitioners to conduct the exercises listed above. They could understand the local dialect and interact on a closer level with the community participating in the exercise. PRA provides tools for both the farmers and extension workers to analyse and understand together. Use of survey questionnaire forms yielded Photo: Naomi M. The most commonly-used exercises to start with were seasonal calendars and daily time schedules. A summary of the PRA tools used in Jumla beekeeping project and the purpose for which they were applied is given in the Table 1. as the farmer-trainers became more active. time lines and preferBeekeepers making preference ranking of sources of livelihood. including beekeeping. full-scale PRA was inappropriate on a large scale. this farmer-led NGO should be able to manage beekeeping activities and reach out to more integrated development activities in the future. Saville A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development 6 Participation ? 1999 . a local NGO involved in the marketing of bee products. they had a little training in PRA and other exercises were increasingly employed.Article rations from the previously wasted and undervalued beeswax were established. It was considered that asking communities to give up time to conduct holistic PRA exercises could lead to increased expectations from the project.
To identify individuals or groups who can assist or block any activities occurring on the community level or with the local NGOs. However. What next? The approach described above was expensive in terms of the time and commitment of the participant observer as an ‘agent of change’ and perhaps is not in line with mainstream policy about posting development professionals at the grassroots level to conduct extension. Even illiterate participants could understand and discuss the results and farmers showed much greater willingness to give up their time to join in the exercises than when other meetings and interview techniques were employed. and to time extension programmes to periods of most intensive beekeeping activities. In this instance beekeeping was an entry point for developing community participation and team work. To analyse the potential benefits of forming beekeeping groups and improving beekeeping. including beekeeping Daily work schedules for women and men Pairwise and matrix preference ranking exercises Resource maps Flow charts Venn diagrams Purpose for which the PRA tool was used Accessing indigenous knowledge in beekeeping. To find numbers of beehives in the community in different time periods to assess the disease situation. Saville is NEPAN Member. significant findings about ‘how to carry out development in beekeeping’ and ‘how to set up successful extension systems in general’ emerged. before conducting token PRA studies to satisfy donor-driven ‘logical frameworks’ which are meaningless to beneficiaries? Could we not de-compartmentalise development a little to allow groups such as these in Jumla to develop organically in a community-led process of integrated development? Naomi M. development could move in many directions from this point. To assess availability of forest resources for hive building and hive-baiting sites and of forage for bees.Article data which were time consuming and difficult to analyse. These have wider implications in many areas of community development. .). To discover the best time to visit farmers at home and hold discussions and to assess the relative workloads of men and women in terms of who has time to participate To assess the importance of beekeeping relative to other sources of income / food (Figure 1. Is it time to question policies than keep outside professionals outside. visiting grassroots communities only to monitor and evaluate without having the time to understand? Could not more individuals take the meaning of participation a little further and try learning from communities as individuals. Table 1. but PRA results were visible immediately. With rapport between farmer-extensionists and farmers’ group members and potential financial benefits from co-operative marketing. PRA tools that can be employed in a grassroots’ beekeeping project PRA tool Semi-structured interviewing Time lines and charts made by using stones Seasonal calendars showing workloads and agricultural activities. Participation ? 1999 7 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development To time beekeeping training and to when men and women have most free time.
Article Preference ranking of beekiping in relation to other agricultural practices. A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development 8 Participation ? 1999 .
goats and cattle are the major livestock in the area. Forests fulfil the energy requirement and help in agricultural production and erosion control. with no control over grazing. Group mobilization was focused to Ward level groups and most of the activities were carried out through the agreement between Ward level group and project. First phase (1992-1994) The activities in Bhusunde Khola watershed were started in September 1992. Problems identification based on resource map and opportunities. Buffalo and goats are considered economically important for milk and meat. At the beginning there was no clear concept of participatory watershed management. The livestock population is little more than the human i. The average family land holding is under 1 hectare most having less than 0. Livestock and forest play the key role in subsistence agricultural farming system. The total estimated human population is 12000 which is very high in density. over several decades has contributed to progressive degradation of most of the remaining forest patches. RRA and PRA tools were used for situation analysis on an ad hoc basis. Many were beyond the Participation ? 1999 9 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . 16000 including pigs and goats .2 hectare arable land per perThe forest is vital for the conservation of the upland area . The total area of Bhusunde khola watershed is about 3200 hectares with approximately 70 % of the area having slopes steeper than 30%. There was little success in identifying steps and guidelines to carry out project activities. Six months period is sufficient for the groups to show interest in participatory development and envisioning the future. Seasonal calendar including time availability. farming system. Later the Ward level group lost the confidence and credit of the community. Cattle are mainly produced for the production of oxen for draft power and religious purposes.Basant Kumar Rimal Towards Participatory Watershed Management It has been seen that group which has sufficient capacity in organizing themselves for particular purpose can also plan well.Article An experience of Bhusunde Khola Watershed Project . Many unrealistic plans arose due to large numbers of users having different interests. Background The Participatory Watershed Management Program has been launched in Bhusunde Khola Watershed area and aims to identify and field test strategies methods and techniques for the promotion and consolidation of people’s participation in the conservation and development of upland watersheds by the inter-regional participatory upland conservation and development project GCP/INT/542/ ITA-(PUCD). Bhusunde Watershed area is considered as a representative of a general situation in the middle hills of Nepal with regard to natural resource use and degradation. The most significant tools for the planning purpose are . Women groups and disadvantaged group were marginalised due to a dominating high class group including the teacher and rich people at ward level.e. Increasing population pressure and poor management.Resource map. Buffalo.
The seasonal calendar and time availability maps enabled the formulation of more realistic plans. Implementation took place immediately without sufficient group strengthening and follow-up activities which made the group ineffective over the long term. There has always been a learning process with a modified approach and flexibility at 10 Participation ? 1999 . There was little cooperation and coordination from line agencies and local NGOs. many activities were carried out during the first phase. The ward level group was oriented as a forum for inter-group linkage and to share experience and resolve conflict through an Inter-Group Association Monthly Saving. Much more focus was given to a Group mobilization process with a real beneficiary groups such as disadvantaged group and women groups . A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Second phase (1994-1997) The concept of participatory watershed management became much clearer and more focused during the second phase (September 1994. The situation analyses were carried out systematically using Participatory Rural Appraisal techniques and number of physical activities were identified and carried out simultaneously with a group mobilization process. The question of a working units for participatory planning especially with the shortage of skilled staff was clear and gave rise to many tasks being inadequately performed over a short period. A Participating Evaluation and Replanning workshop (PERP) became an effective tool to analyse the impact of activities and replanning for the future. Coordination and collaborative initiatives began by providing PRA training to the head of all the related line agencies. The First phase was too short to produce a comprehensive result towards a planning process involving participatory development. Key Steps Participatory watershed management is a slow and dynamic process and the current modalities may change in future. Implementation of the participatory community action plans (PCAPs) took place within active groups. regular meetings and self initiated actions by the group were identified as criteria for possible assistance and support by the project. VDC chairman’s and project staff. The recruitment of group motivators for group assistance and the concepts of area facilitators became clear. There is not sub-watershed management plan.Article Photo: PUCD Listening to all for real participation ! capacity of the group. An unproved team spirit for envisioning the concepts and working methodology arose between HMG and FAO expatriates through this process. Despite this.August 1997). Polices regarding contributions from group and the project emerged and became operational for conservation activities. The active and inactive groups are differentiated on the basis of the criteria identified.
Development activities are usually channeled through user groups. it is necessary to impart basic literacy skills. how they can be democratically led and managed. before specific A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Photo: PUCD Capacity building through participation Participation ? 1999 11 . The participatory watershed program consists of four key steps. and to be able to effectively contribute to the development and management of their own resources including the watershed natural resources. Capacity building training is a key mechanism in developing the ability of user groups and their members to become self reliant. include (democratic) leadership. This has become an essential part of the participatory planning and implementation process. group constitution making (formulation of realistic objectives). Experience has taught us that development activities should only be undertaken in collaboration with active groups. however.g. Several steps can be distinguished beginning with training and extension to make clear to people why user groups are needed. in income generation activities and self initiated social activities. Skill required to organize an active and effective user group. implementation and maintenance and operation will vary depending upon the people’s perception about the project/government policies and behaviour of the staff involved in it. General procedures and step wise methodology may not be suitable everywhere. they are : Step-1: Local level capacity building and participatory planning phase The local level capacity building is slow but essential step in a participatory approach and sustainability of activities. Limited organizational capacity and effectiveness of many of the users groups are a constraint to the participatory development process. Active groups are characterized by (a) regular meetings (b) regular savings (c) utilization of saved funds e. Such a process also needs to include the social economic and production systems requirements of concerned communities. In some cases. User group capacity building is seen as a core element of our participatory development approach. record keeping and monitoring and evaluation. The active involvement of local communities is only possible when users group understand their capacity to take their responsibilities fully in accordance with a participatory planning process. Most user group executive committee members recognize their own group’s weaknesses and frequently request capacity building training.Article each stage. The level of participation in planning. to actual managerial skills training and self evaluation exercises. what users groups can do.
Participatory planning should be carried out using PRA tools and techniques.Resource map. local communities are not able to link the situation analysis and the action demanded to improve their situation. Transect walks and informal gatherings are some useful tools for participatory planning. continuation of the local level capacity building process and execution of the feasible PCAP’s. This phase consists of participatory feasibility study of PCAP’s identified in the first phase.This phase is generally carried out in the first year in particular area. Induced user group formation is not likely to result in viable self-reliant community organizations. especially women and disadvantaged ethnic groups. ownership and dominant power of the rural elite’s are some of the issues which need to be addressed by participatory feasibility study. It is necessary to establish relationship between the problems or physical and or social factors the actions that they demand. A continuous supervision and follow-up workshop is recommended during this phase. This can be done using a resource map. In many cases technically feasible activities have become impossible due to social problems which occur during implementation. The experience in Bhusunde khola watershed has taught us that a participatory feasibility study is an essential part of the effective implementation and operation of our program. The final payment is carried out during the last workshop with orientation of maintenance and operations. The actions should be taken up by the households affected by the problem and the Household heads available to do the job. Occasionally the design has to be changed and revised with estimation of loss of time and energy included. Spontaneously formed groups are likely to remain for long periods and they need a lot of capacity building support to become well enough organized to be able to play a significant long term role in local development. The most significant tools for the planning purpose are . Step 2: Participatory community action plans implementation phase The implementation of participatory community action plans (PCAPs) follow the first step. Seasonal calendar including time availability. In many cases. Six months period is sufficient for the groups to show interest in participatory development and envisioning the future. It has been seen that group which has sufficient capacity in organizing themselves for particular purpose can also plan well.Article groups of people will be capable of effectively organizing themselves. The self assessment of the group and its performance is continuous process. Conflicts over resources. The users group implement PCAPs following their agreement document. A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Bearing responsibility of community development activities ! Participation ? 1999 12 Photo: PUCD . In other words this is the second year program. A minimum of two workshops should be conducted. farming system. problem identification based on resource map and opportunities. problem map and seasonality calendar which includes time availability.
which help to increase the productivity of land in general and lessen the social cost by developing infrastructure. vegetable gardening.Article Step-3: Participatory impact analysis. landslide Participation ? 1999 13 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . strength and weakness of PRA planning process. area facilitators etc. The degree of sustainability lies with the viability of the group and their service to neighbourhood group in terms of training. evaluation and replanning exercise is an important step. This is aimed to facilitate (1) identification of actual or expected changes in living conditions (and/or natural resource management) related to the implementation of PCAP activities. * A participatory impact mapping exercise. buck distribution. based on an improved participatory planning matrix. supporting organization/agency and so-on. However. regular meeting and continuous training programs provide ample scope to evaluate the process so far adopted. This should be done in each group on a settlement basis. Preliminary visit Evaluation and replanning exercises are considered as an important steps for this phase. fruit or fodder seedling distribution. The nature and scope of activities differ a lot in watershed management.) can facilitate it. evalua-tion and replanning phase The participatory impact analysis. There are direct income generating activities such as. analysis of situation. multiplication and demonstration of effect. community inputs. * A participatory planning exercise. The preliminary visit is essential to be familiar with the situation of the village and strategies or the action to be adopted. This is the third year program with the aim of sustainability. This phase consists of a situation analysis by reviewing of the overall process including the PRA findings (especial emphasis should be given on cross referring with resource map and seasonal calendar) and the progress of activities. The preparation and workshop design must include meeting with workshop team. This phase is primarily designed for the second and third year program along with the ongoing local level capacity building process. The sustainability of the program also depends upon the impact and economic return of activities carried out. external inputs. based on direct observation of positive and negative aspects of the work carried out and/or on recall of factors which affected the implementation process. In this step the local capability building process is given less emphasis. coupled with service generation and demonstration. (2) a visual assessment of their distribution throughout the community territory and population (made possible by plotting identified “impacts” on the community map). The three exercises have been proposed for evaluation and Replanning exercise. service generation and sustainability phase. * A series of on the spot visits to be completed or on-going physical activities aimed at facilitating an analysis of strengths and weakness in implementation and opportunities for future improvement. The differences are due to direct benefits or income generated or by reducing the costs indirectly by maintaining ecological balance. workshop preparation and design. Emphasis has been given to this stage. expected changes. It is carried out by the group or by their members. coverages (area). Evaluation and re-planning exercises should be dine by users group themselves but at the beginning facilitators (consultant. Step-4 : Demonstration. Gully control. It consists of activity. The analysis of the impact of the activities with the beneficiaries should be done on a continuous basis from the beginning of group strengthening.
Therefore this phase consists of training. Most of the development partners realized this but lack a concrete program. trail improvement do not result in direct income but help to generate income indirectly and lower costs incurred by natural disasters. The direct benefited activities are sustained on an individual basis and result in economic returns and increased market value. Regular meetings. regular meetings and self-initiated achieves are viewed as indicators to assess the capability of the group.e. Six month to one year should be kept for implementation of local level capacity building process before executing civil or biological measures. Lesson Learnt ? In comparison to watershed level and ward level. It is able to minimize political differences and enhance social integration. Similarly community soil conservation activities. Basanta Kumar Rimal is NEPAN Member.Article rehabilitation. budget and motivation. ? The groups can be made capable of undertaking responsibilities for natural resource management and development activities. These factors have been considered as key in group functioning and maintaining sustainability. resolve conflict easily and encourage a high level of people’s participation both from women and disadvantaged group. ? PRA based action plans cover a wide range of activities which do not necessarily fall under the mandate of single line agency and therefore need close cooperation and help from existing government. monthly savings and self initiated activities. The capability of the group determines the sustainability of the program and power to maintain and operate it. implementation and in maintenance and operation is dependent upon the perceptions of project/government policies and behaviour of the staffs involved in it. ? The formation of users groups be not initiates if the group exists that is initiated by any other government to non-government organization. ? Local level capacity building process at settlement level is found to be more effective. This can be only dine through amiable and strong group. use of PRA tools) and implementation with minimum support with high degree of transparency and accountability. Compulsory savings. appropriate for bottom-up planning (i. ? The level of participation in planning. site-visit and interaction programs with the neighborhood villages group. It would have multiplier effect in improving the farming system through seed generation and knowledge dissemination to interested group or individuals. 14 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 . non-government and even independent private organizations. Any groups at settlement level should be considered for strengthening process and conducting a situation analysis if it meets the criteria of housing. User’s group at settlement level have been observed more effective and capable of generating funds and able to meet regularly. Where as indirect or supporting activities which do not yield individual benefit and they need a community effort for their maintenance. The capability can be increased through various training/field visits and followed by continuous support in group mobilization. infrastructure development conservation activities help in preventing natural disasters and support an increase in productivity.
The man confessed his misdeeds and appealed for pardon as he had scolded the women under the influence of alcohol. the women demanded action against the offender. Men sat around the women just smiling as if they were there A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 15 . A drunken man stormed into our class and threatened us.” Consultation with other women occurred and we finally agreed that we would meet participants of other classes and discuss a way to tackle this kind situation. Suddenly. The women conducted the meeting. one of them. The women seemed dumb-founded.Sangeeta Shrestha It was another December evening in the rural hills of Lamjung. . We were all silent and each of us was looking at those women’s faces. a group of women intruded into our kitchen and their serious faces told us that something was wrong.” Another woman said: “You must do something otherwise our family members will not allow us to participate in the adult education classes. To break the ice. hesitantly said. Renuka. And came a bright and colourful morning. Not satisfied with his apology. “What has happened to you?” I questioned sharply. Instead of showing sympathy. I asked “How was your class today?”. I could not sleep well that night. I found many women and men gathered outside our office. They called a mass meeting without any prompting from me. The women came to me and urged me to participate and address the meeting. and that we are visiting the night classes to make fun and to romance with other adults. We sat around the fireplace in our kitchen and were discussing about the lessons for Parents Education Programme.Article Women Way to development : empower ? He was asked to prove the allegations he made against the women. We use to spend our evening in the kitchen around the fire to save ourselves from the chilling cold. the men laughed at the women’s meeting and again said the women have got a good excuse to pass their time. “We are very much frustrated. after just finishing our dinner. He abused us saying we are stupid and are skipping our household chores in excuse of going to literacy class. I was really shocked to hear about this incident and I tried to think over and over about how to proceed. Finally I decided that we call a mass meeting of women and may be we should constitute a women’s organization which will tackle this kind of problem unitedly. They did not speak but simply followed my advice to sit down.
it would remain difficult to pursuade men and of other to defend ways of doing things women’s rights. The meeting could not achieve more than an apology from the offending man but the women were still unsatisfied with the outcome and were eager to move forward to counter such threats in the future. I became very angry. I could not see any other viable option out to defend the women castigated by more powerful men. Its membership is increasing daily. and a Constitution was also drafted. the women demanded action against the offender. With the concept of a women’s organization already seeded. I could not remain silent on looker. It was decided to register the organization with the district government. Against the injustices and oppressions Let us demand our Rights to Equality There is no world without women Why are we subjected to repression? We won’t allow dominance on women What is there which we cannot do We will uproot the harmful norms and customs We will participate in the nation building work. At this allegation. Instead of showing sympathy. Let us (women) unite and Assist each other Gambling destroys the property Alcohol ruins the body These habits are still dominant on us Let us remove this unitedly. They reaffirmed their desire for me to show them a way to unite. It is more than eight years now since the Women’s Self Help Center (WSHC) was formed. I am the women’s group for the next time and more than a hundred women joined our mass meeting. the men laughed at the women’s meeting and again said the women have got a good excuse to pass their time. it has nine village chapters in 5 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Let us fulfil our commitment in development programme ! Photo: PUCD 16 Participation ? 1999 . The man confessed his misdeeds and appealed for pardon as he had scolded the women under the influence of alcohol. Not satisfied with his apology. Consequently we were able to give birth to a new organization called “Women’s Self Help Center”. He was asked to prove the allegations he made against the women. It just emphasised the point that unless the women unite and form their own organization. Today. The meeting called on the drunkard to explain why he misbehaved with the literacy class participants. Time is fleeting ceaselessly. The women seemed very serious and emotional. The incident of last night had emotionally prepared the women to think something bold to counter the local threat to their development efforts. During the meeting we also composed as opening song which is till now sung before starting any meeting.Article to ridicule the women’s initiatives though some of them were cooperative.
Some of them are: . the Center has also planned to conduct Parents’ Education Programme.Mahakali Multiple Cooperative society in Bharate VDC Photo: Lumantee Last November.Women Empowerment and Awareness Creation Training . When I look back at this organization from the early days. Participation ? 1999 17 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development In addition. As of this date. 1048 women have acquired WSHC membership in five VDCs. I visited Lamjing to facilitate a Strategy Development for WSHC. the women have also solved men’s problems. The women conduct their monthly meeting at different places and discuss their current problems and village women’s problems as a whole. It was so good to see them discuss about-who are we? Where we want to go? What are the factors blocking us?. . Child to Child Classes and Positive Deviance Programme in the new areas.Community Building Construction in Mohoriya VDC .Article Active participation on role play by a woman ! Village Development Committees (VDCs) and each chapter consists of 9 members elected by the general members of the respective areas.Child Care Center in Pyarajung VDC . WSHC has 11 executive board members.Community Women’s Model Forest (in Bharate VDC) . I feel proud of them and envision that one day their efforts would contribute to make a mere egalavion society in Lamjung. The chair person of each committee is nominated to the Executive Board. The Center has operated various activities with support from government and non-government organizations. Apart from their own. but there still remains lot to work hard to make this organization self reliant. My dream of a powerful women’s organization in rural setting such as in Bharate (Lamjung) will come true until WSHC becomes fully self-reliant and operational in the district and serves itself as a model for replication throughout Nepal. Critical problems are solved through forming their small groups at ward level and assigning certain but concrete responsibilities. I fail to stop asking myself .Home Based Child Care Center in Bharate VDC . We have sent a lot of time and invested tremendous efforts to come to this stage.Is this the way to real development? Is this the way to empower and mobilise the groups? Sangeeta Shrestha is Freelancer Sociologist. What needs to be stopped and what needs to be continued? Looking into zeal and collective determination. The WSHC has gained reputation in a very short time and the once stubborn men folk have begun to trust the organization. The organization is funded by membership fee. It needs our continuous support to fulfill these objectives.
If we look back in history. but administrative. cultures were introduced in modern times having negative impacts on the overall development of marginalized people. or ethinicity in the nation building process of Nepal. to force them to listen to the voice of the disadvantaged. judicial. women and marginalized people in the development process of Nepal. women. Until now many of these structures. To bring in a change in public policy and practice. Therefore NEPAN’s advocacy work should probe the structural causes of non-participation of the poor and marginalized in decision making affecting their lives and promote methods and concepts that negate the effects of those structural causes. we find that over the centuries. disabled. it is necessary to launch a movement nationwide with target groups. traditions.NEPAN is a network of about 275 individuals and 38 institutions/organizations devoted to the promotion of participatory approaches and tools/techniques. steps 18 Participation ? 1999 .Article Advocacy and NEPAN The goal of advocacy.Prabhat Dixit A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Nepal Participatory Action Network . NEPAN has been formed to challenge this and facilitate the participation of poor. and children in decision making. caste. values. religion. lobbying. networking. culture and religion have proved to be stumbling blocks in the overall development of the poor. etc. unfortunately. demonstrations. children. marginalized groups. Nepal’s present constitution ensures more democratic rights than in many other countries of the sub-continent. the ruling classes. and legislative structures still ensure that only the powerful and rich have direct access to the decision making process. tradition. the main goal of NEPAN’s advocacy is to rally all forces including the oppressed and marginalized ones in fighting against these blocks/structures and to create a very positive environment for exercising equal rights by all Nepalese citizens. due to their impact many new laws. We need to build up coalitions. women. therefore. judiciary and administrative structures. civil disobedience. Not only that. What is advocacy? Advocacy is: “an organized and sustained campaign by targeted groups (poor and marginalized) to get their interest represented and addressed to the power centers in society. traditions. In this context. Only this can sustain pressure on the powerful and make a continuous change. It is obvious that to fight against powerful ones is not an easy task. After the overthrow of the Rana Regime. taken to negate these structures have not been very successful. regarding changes . rules. race. promoted many norms. etc. These efforts were cemented by legislative. minorities. is to challenge the powerful in favour of the deprived and disadvantaged. irrespective of their sex. and cultures which created an environment discouraging the participation of the poor. The main agenda of the networks advocacy of the participatory process in a platform.
in the decision making process of Nepal. to force them to listen to the voice of the disadvantaged. 2. ? to facilitate the participation of local governments in the decision making process of Nepal. Therefore. etc. In other words. NEPAN’s advocacy has to be based on the fact that: “There are centres and institutions of decisionmaking detached from. it is necessary to launch a movement nationwide with target groups. In general. is to challenge the powerful in favour of the deprived and disadvantaged. religious leaders. etc. particularly the poor and marginalized. women. development workers make and have control over decision about public policy. behavior. civil disobedience. public attitudes. Politicians. It is obvious that to fight against powerful ones is not an easy task. advocacy encompasses the following activities: 1. but affecting the local communities.” For that. and policy practices. and practice at all levels. ? to translate the voice of people into the language of the authorities. Media campaigns Advocating rural youth on participatory development process ! Participation ? 1999 Photo: Rabi Chitrakar 19 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . We need to build up coalitions. from personal to national. There is a necessity for changing the present development paradigm and faciliate a movement by the poor and marginalized to force the authorities listen to their voices. To bring in a change in public policy and practice. Identification of a particular issue Access to and collection of relevant information 3. public attitudes and policy practices in order to change. networking. demonstrations. NEPAN should develop effective programs and actions to change policy. bureaucrates. systematic and organized way of influencing public policy. In this context. weak and marginalized for changing public policy. the Goal of NEPAN’s advocacy is ? to facilitate the participation of poor. so as to overcome the interrelated causes of non-participation of disadvantaged groups in the process of nation building. The goal of advocacy. To influence and change public policy in favour of disadvantaged people actually means changing power relations. it is “a deliberate. implement or formulate new or alternative policies in favour of targeted area and groups (population) regarding certain issues in the process of nation building”.Article in public policy or changes in practices or projects”. This has to be done based on NEPAN’s own and its members’ experiences. therefore. Only this can sustain pressure on the powerful and make a continuous change. ? to empower the powerless. lobbying.
Information is essential. and moral convictions. NEPAN has so far concentrated only on: networking and campaigns through training and orientation. economic. Influencing Parliamentary discussions On any particular issue some of the combinations of the above mentioned activities may be needed but in other situations only one activity may be sufficient. To win one needs power and strategy. 11. What are needed for advocacy work? 1. Being strategic means the ability to take right decisions and action at the right time to make an impact on the outcome of a policy change or practices.Article Photo: Lumantee Advocacy encompasses through awareness campaigns ! 4. NEPAN also might have to initiate other. once advocacy becomes one of the main activities. 12. The following information are generally needed: ? Constitutional provision ? ? ? ? Court verdicts etc. When we challenge existing power relations. 6. A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development 2. Selection and prioritization of issues ? Select concrete issues in real life and always avoid abstract and broad areas. Powers come from people. 8. etc. ? Who has the real power to make the decisions and who are the actors? Information from the field: NGO. The main power comes from the organized strength of the target groups and they should themselves feel the power of their organized strength rather than having it thrust upon them by NGOs. 9. ? Issues should be the felt need of the people 20 Participation ? 1999 . experience. knowledge. 4. 3. we should be prepared to deal with threats. 10. It is the lifeline of advocacy without which we will not be able build up convincing public argument and negotiate with the system. social situation/background of the issues Awareness and assertion by the target groups about the rights and duties regarding an issue are a prerequisite to stand up for a cause. Awareness campaigns Mass mobilization Lobbying Coalition Civil disobedience Demonstration Litigation Networking Influencing discussions at the local governance levels 13. VDC/ DDC. In future. 7. To fight is to win. 5. All the secondary information Information about social.
8. People should demand implementation by asserting their rights and continuously bargaining with the power structures. NEPAN’s present advocacy should focus on: ? Give more focus on the institutional relationship between members and partners. advocacy is not only : ? directed towards those whom you are advocating for. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Inner urge and conviction have the prerequisite Be pro-active. Justice and Freedom. Hence we need to understand the political. and coalitions Always identify proponents. Nepal’s constitution is more progressive and democratic than many constitutions in Asia. in team. Decide what are the negotiable and non-negotiable. When advocating an issue we should identify with the cause of target groups. Hence long term interventions and resistance are needed. 7. A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 21 . Build pressure from the bottom and exert pressure from the top in influencing the decision or policy makers. But. friends. ? public relation ? for direct benefit to the organization i. there can be contradiction between Constitutional Values and Cultural/religious values. For example. The first movement of the masses with a loud “NO” is the beginning of empowerment. cultural. 6. Human rights. But legislation and constitutional provisions alone can not help. In many cases. NEPAN should STAND UP and SAY “NO” to all the causes of non-participation whether provided under the constitution or not and encourage people to fight against injustice and abuse of rights. If the target groups identify with us. 9. fence sitters or opponents. Yes and No about advocacy Advocacy is not self-promotion or propaganda. NEPAN ? for organizational learning. honesty in actions and accounts in the NGO context are non-negotiable. planned and organized in thinking and action. our social and cultural values and tradition are not in favour of women’s and scheduled caste’s participation in decision making. For a clear-headed and realistic approach Make a distinction between RHETORIC and REAL is necessary. alliances. we have the moral conviction or authority to advocate for with them.Article ? ? ? Issues should directly be affecting the lives of people Objectives should be Specific-MeasurableAchievable-Realistic-Timely (SMART) Prioritize those issues around which the target groups will automatically mobilize and organize themselves and build up solidarity.e. Those who are the advocates of an issue should: ? 5. collaborations. Be open-minded but confident Willing to listen to others point of view and learn continuously Identifying with the target group and their cause to build trust and confidence Try all available devices Not negotiate on basic values and moral principles Work continuously with others. and Integrity. ? Develop direct linkages with government bureaucracy and institutions. social and economic situation and maneuver accordingly to make fruitful interventions.
particularly with those focusing on development issues. ? ? What is to be done? NEPAN is a network of individuals and institutions/ organizations. is much easier than advocacy of major policy change. Develop and solidify links with media.Article ? ? ? ? Build/strengthen relationship with DDC/VDC Federations. Any networking for advocacy has to focus achieving specific advocacy objectives over Prabhat Dixit is NEPAN member. changes in the status of poor’s participation in the development of its own area. Be based on the experiences of its members and partners. many issues were discussed at the national and international levels but we lost the chance to participate and give direction. More pertinently. Therefore. which NEPAN has focused in the past.e. be focused on participation of deprived and disadvantaged areas and population into the decision making. Property Rights were some of the issues in which NEPAN had a very good chance to take up the lead but we failed. Develop linkages with other national and international networks/organizations. Participation in Local Governance System. NEPAN has yet to formulate some plan of action in advocacy field. it should clearly be realized that advocacy of PRA. Guiding principles on which NEPAN advocacy works must ? ? be rooted in the promotion of local level initiatives and participation. NEPAN also has to choose issues it’s advocacy strategy will focus upon. Be segregated also by gender and generation. a certain period of time. i. Gender Equity. First of all NEPAN needs to establish an institutional mechanism to link its’ programs and advocacy work. For that NEPAN should start now serious thought to advocacy. For example. Organize training/workshops/seminars and publications on participatory process and methods. A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development NEPAN publication 22 Participation ? 1999 . In the last four years since NEPAN was established. Some of the issues connected with those are still being debated and NEPAN can interverne.
Many Nepalis. The competition between these to get a share of the massive foreign aid canalised through the non-governmental sector has never been more intensive than today. it is disrespectful . for whom the nearest family and friends are the most important beneficiaries. find. sustainable development and consideration of the environment.000 organisations in Nepal are potential receivers of aid from the Nepali government (HMG) and foreign agencies. Randomness and lacking overview In this anarchistic jungle of NGOs. however. Seen from this point of view.to ignore a democratically elected government in order to force through your own ideas in the holy name of development.Peter Malling More than 5. Photo: Mukta Lama . And Participation ? 1999 23 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Every INGO coming to Nepal naturally has its own objectives. gender equality. Of course you won’t be able to tell from the official agenda of a given NGO. Social work has become a lucrative business for smart Nepalis. foreign organisations coming to Nepal for the first time have a tough time finding a suitable partner. people working in the sector say that as much as 80% of the NGOs have been established primarily as a source of income for the people running the NGO.being a guest in the country of the Nepali people . that some INGOs want to implement these objectives regardless of the needs and wishes of their target group. Here you will definitely find statements about development by people.Article Paving the road . The intentions of some of these NGOs are more social than of others’. While a number of NGOs carry out an important social task.
leading to a minimum of co-ordination and control from the government side. Many of the stronger INGOs. that some INGOs want to implement these objectives regardless of the needs and wishes of their target group. as was the preferred way of expressing it: the NGOs must have affiliation with SSNCC. In 1977. that drives the large quantity of INGOs to work in Nepal. A Danish expert with experience from many developing countries was shocked after his visit to Nepal: “I’ve never seen anything like it . the Queen played a major role regarding the non-governmental sector. it is disrespectful . This gave the police a great deal of control over the activities taking place around in the country. In many cases.or lack of such . which is not decreased by a tedious and tortuous course of consideration. Seen from this point of view. The Queen soon became the strict and loving 24 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 .Article finding a partner is a must. being restricted by the often contradictory rules and regulations of HMG can be a serious obstacle. While the King’s influence on the government sector was indiscussible.and HMG . Or. the vast majority of INGOs are on the other hand reluctant to put their activities into a frame dictated by the Nepali government. with the Queen as the ex officio chairperson.donors and international organisations can frisk about as if they were in the Land of Milk and Honey. started in 19??. Statistics available are rough and imprecise. as INGOs may not implement projects directly themselves. lacks exact figures about what is going on in the NGO sector. Historically. The registration was considered an important precaution in case of disagreements and disputes among the involved parties. A historical perspective The concept of social organisations is not new in Nepal and reaches back to times far before the development boom caused by the democratisation in the early nineties.to ignore a democratically elected government in order to force through your own ideas in the holy name of development. Many INGOs state more or less frankly. Some of the biggest INGOs use monitoring and evaluation systems which leaves behind the systems . Every INGO coming to Nepal naturally has its own objectives.sat up by various parts of HMG concerning the NGO sector. however. the selection of Nepali partner NGOs and projects to support is made on a rather random basis. it can be difficult to understand for many Nepalis .what it is. that they want full control over what they use their funds for. the Social Service National Co-ordination Council (SSNCC) was established.being a guest in the country of the Nepali people . There is no attempt from the local authorities to control what is happening here”. The first proper NGO in Nepal was Nepal Red Cross. For such INGOs. have a good idea about what has to be done in the Nepali society to help the people in need. all kinds of organisations have been registered at the district level by the Chief District Officer (CDO). who is responsible for law and order. Simultaneously. find. represented by HMG. who are able to tailorsuit the objectives of the NGO to the present trends in the international development agenda. Anyhow. Independent INGOs While initiatives trying to co-ordinate the efforts on a rational basis are limited from the side of the Nepali government. The reasons for this attitude are manifold. After 1977 NGOs must register both at the CDO and at the SSNCC. Seen from another perspective. the Nepali society. and intervention from the Nepali authorities are rather avoided than welcomed. which have been working in Nepal for decades. Many Nepalis. the restrictive rules and regulations for organisations must also be seen in the light of the then ruler’s need for control with potential political opponents. And too often the INGOs make their choice based on beautiful principles formulated by clever Kathmandu-based NGOs.
After the democratic reforms. posting a DW in the organisation with the objective of improving the information management. what among friends was still called “the Council”. Strategies and procedures decided by the former management were continuously overruled by the new-comers. By the time of the revolt leading to democracy in 1991. a shave-up of the library and overall development of a computerized Management Information System (MIS). The co-operation between NGOs was co-ordinated by SSNCC and all funds coming from external donors were canalised through “the Council”. it was realized that a major function of the new Council must be collection and dissemination of information concerning the NGO sector. a public discussion about the future of the social sector took place. there were only a few hundred official NGOs affiliated with the Council. This included establishment of an Information and Documentation Centre. Even obvious ideas shared by the varying boards were never put into effect. The revolt put the Council . Social Welfare Council (SWC). In 1994. SWC was given no ways of sanctioning against NGOs not following the new Social Welfare Act. The Council and the democracy SSNCC was accused of reinforcing the monarchy by giving priority to NGOs loyal to the King. the governing body of the Council was changed: Previously being appointed by the Queen. impressing building . the board of SWC was frequently changed. Anyhow.Article mother of all NGOs in Nepal. From being a mothership firmly placed in the sea following its lodestar. originally implemented during a UNDP project from 1990- Explaining situation analysis for planing ! Participation ? 1999 Photo: Rabi Chitrakar 25 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . the Council was thrown to and fro by varying political agendas.which had just moved into a new. Due to an unstable political environment in the infant democracy. MS/Nepal fulfilled a request from SWC. what was its destiny? The same staff was still working in. It was decided to maintain a body to co-ordinate the work among NGOs. The double registration procedure for NGOs persisted: Registration at the CDO and a now more or less voluntary affiliation with the new body. The new situation was difficult for SWC to manage. In practise. One of these ideas was establishment of an Information and Documentation Centre. The Information and Documentation Centre Shortly after the formation of SWC.under heavy fire and the Council was even attacked violently by the crowd several times. It soon started to suffer from identity crisis: what was its mission. but the act under which this body should work was made very vague as a backlash to the previous tight control. it was now politically appointed by the Government in office. Therefore it soon became a red cloth in the eyes of the democratic movement. The need became still more apparent as the number of NGOs increased at an exponential rate.
than into establishing an actual MIS with a well functioning system for collection of the data and a w)ay of distributing the information in a useful way. Among other things. processing and offering information enough so that the Planning Commission can use it for planning on a macro level. the amounts of data to be processed calls for highly effective and rational procedures. which had previously been transliterated and entered into the computer system in English. The need for a place where information on the NGO sector is collected and interchanged continues. were put back to its original Nepali form. Paving the road for development. the increasing importance of the non-governmental sector calls for co-operation and a conscious sharing of responsibilities and tasks so that the funds canalised through NGOs can be effectively utilised in areas where it can be of help for the poorest of the poor in Nepal. the database system used for registration of NGOs was drastically improved. Rather it should concentrate its energy on collecting. The DW was me.Article 92. but the bottomline is that the parts of the project involving interaction with people and organisations outside SWC were left unaffected. all data. We are not talking about a handful of NGOs anymore. And it would be available to the public. Problems in the implementation* Anyhow. A number of changes in staffing and purchase of computer equipment were decided but never carried out in life and the scope of the project became virtually limited to the computer section. if efforts were made to establish structures for the dissemination. if the efforts were made to collect and enter the correct information. Software was developed to automatically generate an English version of the information (for use by foreigners). implying fundamental changes in registration procedures as well as rules and regulations. was rather limited. A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Discussion for cooperation ! Participation ? 1999 26 Photo: Rabi Chitrakar . easing the data entry and making the information accessible also for Nepalis without English skills. and the NGOs and INGOs can use it for planning on the micro level. Statistics on different levels and conditions could be retrieved from the system. Need for co-operation Instead of maintaining a situation where different ministries. During my assignment at SWC. authorities and organisations within the NGO sector overlap and counterwork each other. The reasons for this are manifold. It is time to realise that SWC will never be in a position to control or even monitor the NGOs on a detailed level. The system made it possible to retrieve important information about the NGO sector. the support from SWC as an organisation to fulfil the objectives of the posting. Peter Malling was Development Worker at MS-Nepal for NEPAN. The chaotic anarchy regarding the NGO sector in Nepal prevails while SWC puts much more effort into trying to evaluate and monitor the social sector without much co-ordination.
Real participation is self-motivated. This short article on PM&E proceeds with introductory points on monitoring. implementation of planned activities. Monitoring data helps to carry out evaluation. both monitoring and evaluation are interrelated. It is a collaborative assessment and is for the project stakeholders to arrive at a shared understanding of its underlying principles and concepts. Evaluation is the process of gathering and analysing information to determine whether the project is carrying out its planned activities and to which extent the project is achieving its stated objectives and goals through these activities. discover trends and patterns. Monitoring is a process of routinely gathering information on all aspects of a project. Because of the interwoven relationship between M & E. evaluation and participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E). It is difficult to Participation ? 1999 27 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . Monitoring provides us information needed to analyse the current project’s situation. We evaluate primarily the process in work plan. establishment of system.Article Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Photo: Rabi Chitrakar People were mainly asked for labor participation which cannot be termed as real participation. After the introductory points. Similarly. It encourages the project team and the community to work as partners. keep project on schedule and measure progress towards expected outcomes. effectiveness of project impact and cost effectiveness of the project. Sometime they create confusion too. PM&E is a process which empowers community people to take decisions through their active participation in planning for the future and through the development of an action (implementation) strategy based on their practices. focus and level of details. both of the terms usually come together. It does not look practical to expect PM&E without the involvement of the target community people at all stages of development cycle. achievement of objectives. PM&E can also be viewed as beneficiary evaluation. can articulate community feelings rather then a catchy rhetoric or a mechanical order of the day. identify problems and find solutions. PM&E is being dealt with by highlighting the ‘how’ and ‘why’ concerns of it. a process largely controlled and owned by community for their own benefit. advantageous for majority. Evaluation differs from monitoring in terms of timing.
? Appreciative (positive)inquiry. The application of participatory approaches in the continuation of time. SWOT analysis. Process = planning implementation & Output = No. In PM&E. Transparency is also equally important about it.).APA (an article of this approach is published in SAHABHAGITA . Field observation. ? Spider Web Tool and Organization Assessment Tool (These tools can be used to monitor the institutional capacity of NGO. of drinking water supply project implemented Effect = No. analysis and use of findings. PM&E. A graphic presentation The below given figure gives an idea about how stakeholders measure the achievements participatorily instead of a few experts who decides it in conventional monitoring and evaluation system. counterparts Donor(s) Input = human resources. PM&E will remain only semi-PM&E if a working system could not be able to involve the concerned target people from project formulation to implementation and evaluation with self motivation. Yr. soil. materials.expect innovative result by frequently applying same techniques and tools. plant. A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Possible tools to be used in PM&E ? PRA. is imparting lessons to bring necessary changes on development working styles. 3. In this connection. CBO. monetary res. of houses using safe drinking water Impact = Reduction in morbidity and mortality DDC and are available in CARE Nepal). Myths/Folk stories/Quotes/Song. fruit etc. No-3. Appreciative Planning and Action . 1997) seems an innovative and powerful approach to make PM&E more practical by attracting target people at every step of development cycle. selection of indicators and monitoring tools. a NEPAN’s paper. VDC & Stakeholders Go al (an example) hierarchy Beneficiaries & project staff CBOs VDC /DDC INGOS/NGOs/LNGOS Govt. stakeholders decides what to monitor. Semi-structured interview. Real object (showing & comparing seeds. ? Village dialogue/ meeting/discussion. Such changes help to innovate new approaches and ultimately to flourish PM&E as well. when to monitor. Stakeholder analysis has got strategic position in PM & E. Difference between PM&E & M&E ? ? ? ? ? Some of the differences between PM&E and M&E are as below: Advantage of PM & E chart 28 Participation ? 1999 .
More self-judgment and bias in information because they do it by representing their own area. It is educative and democratic because it equally enhances learning opportunities and ? Sometimes outsiders view may take valuable position. pation which cannot be termed as real participa? It promotes transparency in development tion. planning and implementation processes. geous for majority. day) to the entire steps of the development spirals which flourish PM&E and even more leads toShort falls of PM & E wards sustainability or institutional promotion. stakeholders Mainly produce qualitative It produce more quantitative information The major stakeholders or the information community people are almost exLow cost Comparatively expensive cluded while planning and decidPractical More theoretical Action oriented Abstract ing development activities mostly Socio-cultural Economic before and at present in to some monitoring skills of stakeholders. which continuInvolvement of concerned Involvement of experts (Externals) ally motivates & empowers them. spect it is better to recommend to enhance real ? It brings changes in attitude and behavior of participatory practices by involving community policy makers where participatory feeling is people (the major stakeholders of the development low. extent. can articulate community feel? Importance and use of local /indigenous knowl. PM&E only at the apex of activity completion with? It promotes individual and institutional capaci.as building blocks of PM&E or of the participaholders upon any loss or benefit caused by their tory practices as a whole. transparency. Difficult to unite all stakeholders together at one time for PM&E.? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Local polities may influence PM&E. People were mainly asked for labor partici? Continual opportunity for self improvement. Real participation is self-motivated. Conclusion: . It promotes the partnering skills in development. advantawork. It practically helps to empower the community including women & disadvantaged people. order of the day. In this re? It is good for qualitative monitoring.ings rather then a catchy rhetoric or a mechanical edge. Partnering. Chandi Chapagain is working as Senior Training Officer at CARE Nepal Participation ? 1999 29 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development In the growing scope of PM&E. it is vital to make a practical base of it rather than to make it a catchy rhetoric by painting with particiPM&E M&E patory colors.out taking care the involvement of stakeholders in ties. ? Cost effectiveness. PM&E asks for real Participatory Non participatory participation of community people More observation More use of statistical tools meeting/discussion throughout the whole process of Decentralized (bottom-up) Centralized (top-down) development cycle. It promotes the feeling of pride and ownership of their programs and progress which helps to flourish participatory skills. We cannot expect own implemented action. Everything cannot be effectively participatory. decentralization are taken ? It creates harmony and consensus among stake. It gives practical information.
What about general development trend. is something that has continued to extend. possibly Sri Lanka. what the experiences are elsewhere. I was told that people.Interview "Sharing without boundaries is absolutely essential for participation and PRA" Photo: Rabi Chitrakar . Here I have learnt a new application: in politics or in elections. What question are you asked most frequently around the world? People are always asking what is happening in other countries. I am hesitant to say . who have been working in NGOs. and very second hand... and what the frontiers seem to be now including applications and I quite like these questions.. and become more established.. and PANDA. particularly in the last three or four years is attitude and behaviour change.. very very wrong. which is to help the sharing between different countries. particularly those. it is likely to be very superficial. I think that the range and the depth of the use of participatory approach.Robert Chambers Presented below is a full transcript of an interview of Robert Chambers taken by Sameer Karki and Rabi Chitrakar of NEPAN in Kathmandu. and spread. PRA. as it is here. practices. I was told this over some rakshi (local alcohol) so I don’t know whether that is high or low-grade information (laughs). What changes have you noticed in Nepal since your last visit to Nepal? The most obvious big change is the development of other networks: ERPAN. What comes up again and again.. probably Nepal.. Because it means.. what do you think has contributed the most to the changes you mention? 30 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 . I have a function. It’s difficult to think of anywhere where there is more. When people like me drop into a country and changed. You have been involved in Nepal for a long time.. There seems to be an enormous amount of use of PRA in Nepal. but I think probably not. quality of PRA (including quality of training). PM&E seems to be a very big subject. FORCE. and application. Also the way in which NEPAN has developed and expanded. adoption by government and by large NGOs.. have been using social mapping to identify their supporters to use in canvassing in elections.. or involvement of people? It’s difficult to say because my earlier visit was just for the Thankani workshop. My guess is that there is probably as great a density of use of PRA and participatory approaches in Nepal as there is in any equivalent population group in the world.
The theory is that they will collect the money and they will pass on a proportion of it. It seems to me that very large numbers of groups that have been formed. So. it is below the level of the equivalent of the VDC level here. There are organisations like PRAXIS. Ward level in your terms. but also people who have the commitment and the freedom. Do you believe that Nepal is in the right stage for the introduction of such an Act? Oh yes. This is happening in Uganda and because this is happening there. but I do know that there have been quite a lot of PRA or PRA . All Participation ? 1999 31 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . That depends on the nature of the local level democracy. have already moved very strongly in the direction of self management of natural resources at local level. then it will be in the Decentralisation Act that tax money and other sources of revenue are controlled locally at very low levels indeed. those people and those groups that really want to go that way will be able or have a much better chance of being able to go that way and to move in a participatory democratic direction. partly because they have a larger staff and are financed in a different way. The rest they will keep and use themselves in ways they see fit. Is that necessarily equitable because some communities will be a lot poorer than others will? It is not necessarily equitable at all. It is not just top down enabling framework which is needed. I think that it is a very important development because it has got potential for having very widespread impacts. Possibly. Is such an Act help in decentralisation and development? I think so. I think that Acts are really important. Nepal was cited as one of those countries where there was going to be a lot of decentralisation. NEPAN is as active or more active. as it is here. absolutely. which legitimates participatory activities. accountability and the like. that is based very largely on voluntarism. I believe that it is important to have enabling legal situations and it’s important to have a rhetoric. the Forest User Groups are the most obvious example. and transparency. does more than any other network around the world. How long has that Act been introduced? Three or four years now. Irrigation groups have been in existence for a long time. If you’ve got both of those together. The trend towards decentralisation may be early to say. That is happening all over the world. it is not just rhetoric that is needed. What is the unit of decentralisation in Uganda? In Uganda. In one forum recently you cited the example of Bolivia where a government Act on participation was introduced.20 years ago there was a great more towards decentralisation in Nepal. I think that decentralisation there will be real. There will surely be cases where local elite capture the benefits.Interview I think NEPAN itself has had a lot to do with it. as he is doing with his training. I don’t know recent updates.type training for people in local councils. I think the conjunction of events and trends are very very favourable. particularly for spread laterally at the local level. I have got a terrible sense of deja vu . It is always like a cyclical thing that comes around and nothing happens (laugh) or nothing very significant happens! I think the crux of decentralisation is financial control and control over resources. If Nepal is serious about decentralisation. I was moved by the example Balkrishna Deuja’s presentation in the NEPAN workshop and what he is doing at the VDC level. but its’ early to say. which do more in certain areas.
That is because you have more answer than anybody (laughs). we are hoping. A lot of new understanding has become available in the last decade. the routinised application of the methods. Together with the new initiatives that have been added to them. although. I would not want to say that that was bad because it was routinised. For example. it is not always bad. The forms of abuse are fairly well known. It is bad if it is not done sensitively. I think. on governments. it just seems to me that. Complementing that. if they seem to move too fast. So. It took the typical economist’s reductionism view of poverty as being income poverty or consumption poverty. there will be searches and analyses of work. That often had had bad effects all around the world. Many of the better people in the donor community would love to do this.Interview these traditions were already there. Giving people from the donor agencies a week or two weeks in a community. be in there. set of word. I think one approach is to try and persuade heads of donor agencies that they should make this a requirement for their staff and really make the time available. which they hope will be in 20 countries. Shizu Upadhaya (of ActionAid Nepal) has 32 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 . Training which is only concerned with the methods and not attitude and behaviour. Donors have a lot of responsibility for this because people in donor agencies tend to jump quickly into it. you mentioned that the World Bank plans to produce a report highlighting the voices of the poor. which they have for senior staff. What can or should NEPAN do? There are quite a number of us in other parts of the world who want to ask NEPAN that question. The World Bank is sponsoring a participatory study. training which has no fieldwork or field experience with local communities. giving them rather like the World Bank immersions. some of us are hoping. their concepts of well being and ill-being are. One of the things NEPAN might think about us providing exposure and opportunities for learning experiences for people working in Nepal in donor agencies. fairly standard approach to a community: social mapping to well being ranking to identifying those people with whom they are going to work. to enable poor people to express their ideas about how things have changed and what their priorities and their vision for the future. is to put brakes on donors and sometimes. it is hoped by the team which is responsible for this. Could you elaborate on that? The background to this is that the World Development Report 1990 was on poverty. Who can put such brakes? It has to be done by awareness and persuasion. The World Development Report 2000 will be on poverty but the concept of poverty itself. which had already been done in different countries. in new ideas. It maybe Nepal is at that point. PLAN-International in Nepal has. will be much broader and more inclusive. One of the important things to do. Talking of the donors. in a completely different environment and setting so that they can see things from quite a different point of view can be really useful. I would now like to touch upon the issue of misuse of PRA. what seems from what I have heard. because they tend to be trapped in capital cities by visitors coming from abroad whom they have to meet. there may be a certain density of these organisations when there could be a much bigger transformation in the society. Consultants who pop out of the woodwork and say that they are PRA trainers when they have very little idea of it. They need to be told that this has got a priority over meeting VIPs. jargon and to push it too hard and too fast. consultants and other people coming. ideas of well being and ill being and ideas of depravation will.
you read about whether there has been an increase or decrease in poverty. I think that the economist’s idea of poverty. than is large scale development in many parts of the world. as income poverty has been very dominant. entitlements. Madhya Pradesh. using PRA visualisation can change the way in which men think about their own roles. I don’t want to appear to be wholly anti-economist. particularly through participatory methods. Do you think that voices of the poor have been adequately documented? No. and where the sex ratio is such a powerful and awful indicator of depravation and Sharing of voices ! Participation ? 1999 Photo: NEPAN 33 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . at UP (170 million or more people). which is well beyond that old idea of poverty and will include things like gender relations. in Nepal. for example. something as simple as that. Orissa. He talks about depravation and capabilities. So. absolutely wonderful that he got the Nobel Prize. Do you think that Amartya Sen receiving the Nobel Prize for economics in 1998 might change the dominant economists’ views on poverty? It was wonderful. for 10 years or so. I think that they are terribly important and have contribution to continue to make. a much more human way. There are cases where this has happened. It can lead them to thinking about how they can lighten the workload of their wives. We all. I think the potential. even if the measurements mean very little. talk about “poverty line” because that is something that can be measured. She is going to share both what she has found out and what she has learnt about the process of finding out with us in IDS to help in the process in other countries. because people have been proposing Sen. It is just that their way of thinking has dominated and that hasn’t been very helpful. in the newspapers. So. It is long overdue. enabling men to analyse what it is like to be a woman and how women spend their time. But. I am hoping that World Development Report 2000 will have a concept. I think. He has enabled economists and others to think about development in a different way. supposing if you look at the Gangetic Basin. and there are different opinions about that. They have been considering him. It may be that the potential for improving human well being by improving gender relations is far greater. It is a very very significant landmark in the shift away from narrow concepts of poverty. including I. Rajasthan. Bihar (90 million plus). there are numbers put on it.Interview done a pilot project here to try and find out what is available already in Nepal and to analyse that. At a small scale. I think that we have to get away from being dominated by number and much more enable people to express their own realities. their own priorities and try and see ways in which they can be enabled to be better off in their own terms. in those areas where women are so heavily discriminated against. I am absolutely not. far more practical.
the networking in the sense of having a group if people who share information and experiences. The mutual support part is often not mentioned very much but it is very important when there are people who are minority within an organisation. who are supportive. To change things within that. One issue the rest of us may have a lot to learn is the development of networking at the district level. We may need a different word than network for that. In one district. but they may have informal meeting from time to time. that they have excitement to share and that they need mutual support. that they have things in common. and provide mutual support has to be in a much more lower level. They may not call it network. though it is much flatter. Photo: Rabi Chitrakar The Nepal pattern is somewhat similar to Tanzania and Kenya. but I think that is an important way to go. But. and the potential for women and men being better off in their own terms seems to me to be enormous. I have a sense that among national and sub-national networks. with a tendency for regional networks to start up. The Networks around the world now number perhaps about a hundred in 60 countries. However. for instance in Tanzania. meaning those of us working at IDS. FORCE and NEPAN are as strong and as well developed as anywhere else is. Earlier you talked about participatory networks in Nepal. it is difficult to get from one place to another. NGOs and others tend to shy off those areas and they go to the tribal areas to work with the tribals. the distances are huge and costs of travel are high. including ActionAid. But they don’t work so much. Tanzania is similar to Nepal in difficulties in communication. I mean how can people from the middle hills get to Biratnagar or to Nepalgunj? It is very very difficult. and the district seems to be the natural one. in those and other countries. So.Interview discrimination. unless it us a big occasion. having a reference group a group of peers. We. to justify several day’s travel. But. It is because it is so awful at the moment the potential is so huge. it is a struggle. Dhankuta may be an unusual district and therefore it may not be that all districts could be Dhankutas. There are many frontiers in networking and I know all of you in NEPAN are aware from your struggles and puzzles about what it is best to do and how to do it. that problems of communication make it difficult to network effectively even in the regional level. What do you think has influenced the emergence of such networks? What are the things NEPAN could learn from other networks? I think the networking has developed in as many places because people who are beginning to work in a participatory mode feel that they have things in common. which is hierarchical and they are trying to work within that. 34 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 . they are very close to having has a PRA process in every community. I think that is a very important and good development. can be very important because it can be very difficult to work and to change in such organisations. and there is a full time very good PRA trainer there. in this heartland of most massive concentration of discrimination in the world. which develops into something like a network. what has happened there seems to me very promising. because we try and link up with networks. and you have also talked about networks in other countries. I don’t think we know all of them. We are finding. And yet.
particularly into primary education. We had a very good workshop at CERID on the possibilities of introducing graphics. There are areas where there is nothing. but I cannot. off hand. particularly Francophone West Africa. or CBOs using PRA or other participatory methods? The answer is probably West Africa. where the style of “teaching” is much more in helping people to learn in a much more participatory approach. it is starting up. he was not allowed to look at his teacher’s face. as we became adults. He could only look at his teacher’s feet! It was this incredible and terrible experience this person had been through that I think had impacted him. for example REFLECT with adults. If it was possible for primary education to become less top down. practitioners. Do you know of any efforts at attitude and behaviour change in children? Some of the non-formal education. The fact that one does not know does not mean it is not happening at all. although it is spreading there. In Russia. All our sharing systems of knowledge and learning tend to be through NGOs and through governments and not through things that are happening spontaneously. A lot of our adult attitude and behaviour has roots in our childhood. there is a great deal of conditioning. there does not seem to be very much going on. That is a very exciting possibility. other places include Myanmar. less “filling up empty vessels” and make it more participatory. too. In the United Sates. there is very little in Iran and Iraq. Learning from all over the world. they could have capabilities of using graphics for complex forms of analyses. actually. for instance in Uganda. I think the potential impact for the next century is just enormous. Participation ? 1999 35 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . They have got very strong networks of CBOs there. I think that it is very difficult for people working in government to get the grips with issues like this because it needs changing the curriculum. There. In attitude and behaviour. future became adults. especially in the UK where there are several networks. in Eastern Europe. less didactic. and some of the early work was done here in Nepal. In Western Europe. more a whole series of learning experiences. which the present educational systems around the world tend to discipline out of us. Participatory approaches with children work really brilliantly. there is a great deal happening in all of them. In the major continents of the south. I have seen this happening and I think that it is a very very exciting initiative. Most of China is an example. the teacher isn’t a “teacher” and there aren’t the school benches. so that all of us could. although there is a start in Iran. surprisingly little is happening. Do you know of any grassroots level network of PRA trainers. I think that one really big frontier is how we treat and bring up children and that is where we should be concentrating our attention more and more.Interview The Networks are very well spread. I don’t think you do. think of nay other example. not only was he beaten a lot. have been used with children in parallel non-formal education streams. They can do things far earlier than we supposed they could and that is very exciting and encouraging. There have been several trainings in China and Tibet. One of the most difficult people I ever had on a training told me later that when he was a boy at school. It is difficult because you think have to throw something out to put something in. in this case because I think that it could be integrated with the existing subjects. I know Lamu Sherpa (Nepan member) has done training there. is that children have far greater capacities than we have supposed. not in the CIS countries where there is quite a bit going on. As far as we know. I suppose.
which is high by Nepalese standards. developed by anybody and everybody. for instance. This is why we (IDS) have stressed no copyright. the whole verbal side of reading. but I mean. Venn diagramming. which we all face in our lives. These are very effective and efficient ways of presenting. anything could be photocopied. is often overlooked. there are also many INGOs. Coming back to the Attitude and Behaviour. Even though we say a picture is worth a thousand words. I mean I am paid a salary. They may even be better if once they are uninhibited and released into doing this. which is emphasised in education tends not just to neglect. equations. mental mapping. not knowing it or acknowledging it you should feel pleased. neat handwriting. talking and listening. all the emphasis on numbers. they should not put their stamp on it. “I know how to do this and other people do not and I am not going to share it” they have lost it. writing. However. We don’t have these as skills.Interview By graphics. to repress or suppress these other capabilities. If anybody discovers a new approach or new method. things like matrix scoring. being attitude of behaviour. I don’t wish to pass any judgement on anybody. I think that it is very unfortunate that the first pillar of PRA. who have not been through that process. NGOs and consultants who still need attitude and behaviour change? The difficulty here is that it is very easy to pass judgement on consultants because they are in there to make money. I think that we do need to pay a lot of attention to the sharing part of it. we still go for the thousand words. They may even be better in things like mental mapping than those of us who have had formal education. The moment anybody starts to say. sharing and analysing complex realities. charging very high fees and so on. The idea of sharing without boundaries is absolutely essential for participation and PRA. In fact. causal linkage diagramming. not that you have lost something. if you find other people using your ideas or your methods. They seem to be quite marked among people who are not literate. any good PRA trainer should be able to share their experi- A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Learning by sharing ! Photo: Rabi Chitrakar 36 Participation ? 1999 . Because there is such a demand for PRA training. They may even find it good to pretend that they didn’t invent it or discover it and jut let it spread. On the contrary. but I think. You write essays and you don’t have diagrams in your essay even if they really sharpen what was being said. which are enhanced by our education. what do you mean? I mean not just drawings. Let it be owned. you have highlighted the fact that quite a lot needs to be done in the government sector. the others being tools and sharing.
I think that it is quite doable. I do think that what is called corruption has a lot to do with other pressures. There was a five-day workshop in Mussorie (India) at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration about three months ago on attitude and behaviour change in which the directors of a number of Institutes took part. We find that many civil servants enjoy their position of power. who have been moving from being didactic to being facilitating and finding it being more satisfying and less stressful. But if people are more concerned with power. you have also got to work at the family level. C. But. not that much I think. it is considered good to have more of and bad to have less of. but I think there is a strong link there. The frontier is now partly attitude and behaviour training. to make money particularly for dowry. What is it about governments’ worldwide that we associate unparticipatory attitude and behaviour? I think that it has to do with a number of things. because so many people have had this experience in their own lives. but if they are really good. too. who stayed for two days. We talk about gaining power and losing power. However. One is Attitude Behaviour Change as a part of the training of government staff. to change the system. to realise that they would be better off in terms of personal fulfilment. and there are new applications in new areas. not only would the female across the sub-continent be better off. I don’t think it is quite such a wild dream. the workshop was concerned with two things. sitting behind their desks with people or supplicants coming to get their pension or whatever it is. Many PRA facilitators have had this sort of experience. There are strong family and social pressures on people working in the government or NGOs for that matter. but also corruption would certainly diminish sharply. Speaking mainly from my Indian experience. We have got the problem in the UK. but at the same time gaining in terms of satisfaction. it is the whole issue of attitude and change among people working in government. which seemed to be both very significant and with a lot of potential. We have got corruption. They may have had to pay to get that employment and there is also a relationship between the family and corruption. N. it is very difficult for civil servants who are in a post in which they expect and are expected to make money on the side from their position not to do so. So. The challenge there is to enabling people who are using power in bad ways. How can PRA help in good governance? On governance. That’s a hypothesis. So. Any PRA facilitator knows the huge satisfaction of enabling people do things that they didn’t know that they could and to see them take off and do that. surely that would be difficult to change? We tend to think of power as a commodity. I think that if dowry was just wiped out. Therefore.Interview ences with others. well being or fulfilment. satisfaction or peace of mind if they disempower themselves or if they don’t exercise power in the way they are at the moment and instead empower other people. Any consultant who is really good will keep changing and keep ahead of the game. It was introduced by the Secretary of Rural Development for India. as I don’t know the situation in Nepal particularly well. to enable others to come on. it is not like that. In the end. I think that there is an element of power. including adminisA Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 37 . they will keep at the frontier. They may feel that they are creating rivals. partly participatory monitoring and evaluation. which is a part of it. teachers can have such experience. there are actually new methods. Saxena. The facilitator is disempowering her or himself.
is there selective perception on the part of outsiders and so on. and rest of it of training institutions themselves. and there are elite women who raise these issues and who develop movements. If you could make it prestigious thing for a PRA practitioner to say “I’ve got something new here and I’d like to share it with all of you. The fact is we improvise our lives moment to moment. Recognising innovation by people who are innovating and by their organisations has been rather poor. Children don’t have anybody except adults to represent them. The other one was the change in the style in furniture. respecting children. it will end up by people lecturing about not lecturing. what extent doesn’t it. So. lecturing. What we need to know is to what extent does it work. It was quite clear that a lot of things were going on. seating arrangements. but we seem not to have very many new things to share among ourselves? This could really be the question for the executive committee of NEPAN “Can you be alert to innovation? Can you lay out forum where the emphasis is on new things and experiences learnt?” The presentations at the NEPAN sharing were very very interesting. Children cannot organise themselves very easily. maybe this would encourage sharing. One issue that is very much in public debate in Nepal is the issue of equal right of inheritance by women and men.Interview Photo: Helvetas Through discussion by Local leaders of good governance ! trative probationers and forest office probationers. I was reading about pictorial PM&E with forest user groups. hardly anybody is writing about it. I thought that Bal Krishna Deuja’s personal story and how he is spreading things laterally. indeed. What are your views on this? I think that women should be treated equally. We are always entering the unknown. there is hardly any sharing. a change in their culture. Although this is happening in a lot of countries. Women are adults and they can organise themselves and articulate. The whole area of PM&E. What has been done in the watersheds in Gorkha is also very interesting. NEPAN aims to promote sharing among all levels. and the whole issue of training people in the VDCs. One really burning issue now is children. Unless we change that culture. that’’ a very big frontier. that is very interesting. what the experiences are needs to be documented and shared. There is a lot to share there. What can be done? It is the same thing with all of us in all our organisations that we don’t recognise innovations. They can get their views across. the whole 38 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 . so we are innovating the whole time. how that’s done. I would have thought that what Bal Krishna Deuja is doing is very very interesting.
this is the first time I have heard of it. their priorities and values is really under-explored because we tend always to project our own concepts and even the tyranny of English is a problem. which has been done by ActionAid. a lot of which is in Nepali and not translated into English is also interesting. This is part of the attitude and behaviour issue. We are all sensitive about being criticised. in which you ask people to say. and try to defend ourselves. maybe you would because everybody wanted to hear everybody else. Participation ? 1999 Photo: Rabi Chitrakar 39 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development .” but to say. that are the practical lessons other people might be interested in. do you have any message for NEPAN? Do your own thing and share the experience. mobility mapping. we have to be sensitive and self critical about how we affect situations. What happened. But do share the experience because in the past the rest of us learnt a lot from you and we want to go on learning. but no one would speak (laughs). “What’s new?” all the time. ”Isn’t this going to happen?” and it is the first time I have heard of it here. and how what we perceive is partly determined by the way in which we are interacting with other people and how they perceive that interaction. and we are becoming much more aware of that and actually sharing that experience with other people. “What can we learn from this experience?” and then not be worried by people saying “This is old hand. Nepali words. When writing about these experiences. This is fine if it is only shared within Nepal. Recognising and promoting innovation has a lot to do with the mindset. A lot of time. Do whatever that makes sense to you. mistakes which we make. and Venn diagrams were some tools used by people who have worked in NGOs and have become candidates. I don’t know if you could do this in NEPAN. what came out of it. what tips there are for other people.it is not for anybody else to tell you what to do. It should not take an outsider to say. If we are going to make progress. I’ve already done this. “Gosh isn’t this interesting!” If you have got the mindset to say. would all be important to include. Someone could just go and find out what has been happening and write it up. which have a different connotation. This is something we need to be careful throughout the world. but to share it widely would be really good. “The worst mistake I made this year” (laughs)! I don’t know if you would get a very good turnout! Or. Finally. To develop a culture of being self-critical is more difficult for some people than for others. The livelihood analysis.Interview area of poor people’s perceptions. I was told seasonal mapping. which is taken. get translated to English and the English meaning tends to be the meaning. (I was so wishing we had had a video when we were watching this REFLECT group in Sindhupalchok. and how one thing led to another and if possible video the process. a proper description of process is very important. it will turn out that it is new and it really is worth sharing.) Self critical appraisal of the process. what other people can learn from it. People have said. and that is almost independent of culture. The use of PRA methods by political candidates. ”For me this was new” and share it.
In the initial phase of our work.Sanjaya Rana People. PCDP started in July 1996. PCDP focuses on building the capacity of Prajas and supportive organisations (governmental and non-governmental) and establishing linkages between the two. Moreover. à increased PCDP staff capacity in participatory analysis and planning. we can conclude that from mere participants in our development process. we decided that conducting the survey as a standard. have the right attitude towards the concept of participation and have sufficient understanding of certain project related issues.are an indigenous group of people with a total population in Nepal of around 30.000. The Praja Community Development Programme (PCDP) has tried to develop an alternative to the often applied one-time PRA events where PRA is used merely as a basket of tools and which often results in a huge amount of information which cannot be analysed. people have planned and implemented activities. with each phase concentrating on different aspects. Also. Box 1: objectives of PCDP’s participatory baseline survey à rapport building between staff and Praja communities and other actors in the project area. Moreover.P. à collection of data which contribute to the development of good quality and effective project interventions. forming fifty five percent of the total population in the four VDCs. These were not our activities. But. putting this into practice has remained a challenge. Therefore. we opted to implement the survey over a period of about six months. we needed to obtain a thorough understanding of the situation of Prajas so that suitable and effective interventions could be designed and benchmarks for monitoring and evaluation purposes be assessed. without any outside assistance. also expressed that they were gaining new insights in their situation. For these two reasons.E. one-time participatory rural appraisal (PRA) was impractical and limited. implementing participatory methods demands that staff have knowledge on participatory tools.M. the survey would follow a participatory process approach starting with situation and problem analysis and gradually moving towards planning and implementation.contributing to a process of participation and ownership of target communities . our main priority was to build rapport with the Praja communities and other actors in the area. The basic idea of PRA . at various stages. In our project area about 10. people have gradually gained a sense of ownership towards their own development process. In line with the project’s overall approach. During this period.Gribnau. Moreover. PRA has been taken up by various development practitioners and organisations. based on all the discussions they have had. à assessment of bench marks for monitoring and evaluation later on. The Praja Community Development Program (PCDP) is a SNV/Nepal managed program implemented in four hilly Village Development Committees (Shaktikor. Our major target group is the Praja community. 40 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 .But when will you start doing something? PRA process approach experience .is still valid today. staff received training in phases to allow for better absorption and understanding of skills and tools. communities were visited frequently and over a longer period of time. Prajas . C. Instead. The project follows a process approach in which Prajas are encouraged to take the lead in the analysis of their problems and the choices of relevant solutions.000 Prajas are living.often also referred to as Chepang . but activities which they themselves could do. Siddhi and Korak) in Chitwan district. Kaule. à initiation of a process of participatory problem analysis and planning. Since its introduction in Nepal about a decade ago. This article present the process followed and the experiences and lessons learnt by PCDP. . As a result. Rapport building with communities can not take place overnight. we decided that a baseline survey had to be executed.
involving five wards . people were informed about the purpose. a field advisor. The drama appeared to be a very good entry point.a. covered two VDCs.How to do participatory baseline survey All the above objectives sound nice but putting it into practice required quite a lot of preparation. different people could come up with different information. Conducting Baseline Survey ! Participation ? 1999 Photo: Gurun Thakur 41 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . Moreover. we cross-checked ward selection proposed by an earlier needs assessment with the chairpersons of the respective VDCs. we had to be very clear on what information to collect and how. In ward selection we had to find a good balance between (1) adequate time in each ward versus reasonable project coverage and (2) wards with a high density of Prajas versus accessibility and proximity of wards.800 m. Each phase took about seven weeks and included staff training and field testing.s.l. Consequently. Therefore. An exception was Siddhi VDC. they still recall parts of the drama and request staff to sing once again the songs used in the drama. VDC presentation and wrap up. Each field officer supported two teams and.) to the top of the hills (1. two field officers and eight field workers.s. Ward selection Each VDC consists of nine wards which in turn are composed of various settlements. Covering all these during the survey was impossible given the topographic and demographic situation within the project area. Until today. Then. we had to introduce our project and its approach to the communities and VDCs and familiarise ourselves with the conditions in the project area. data analysis and report writing and review. after having received a week’s orientation on SNV/N and PCDP related issues. We also had to select wards. resulting in non-comparable information.l. Given the length of the survey period we realised we could run the risk of collecting excess information that we were not able to analyse or use. Each VDC was covered by one team consisting of two field workers. songs and informal discussions. In addition. which is characterised by relatively small but steep hills (each hill more or less representing one ward) and people living in rather scattered settlements from the valleys (200 m. The drama and songs were designed by the field staff themselves. found it necessary to have a higher coverage. Our field staff also checked whether the proposed time schedule interfered with peak labour demands and important events. SNV/N had earlier implemented a two year project and we. a PRA training consultant was employed on a part-time basis to provide for necessary training. the survey covered in total fourteen wards. After drama performance and during informal discussion. During the introduction period in each of these wards two clusters were selected for survey implementation. An overview is given in the table. It attracted a lot of attention and people immediately knew our project and our staff. we decided that the survey would cover three wards. followed by survey implementation. Here. thus. location and timing of the survey. And last but not least.). Survey team and time schedule The survey team consisted of a survey coordinator. identify number of staff required to implement the survey and elaborate a time-schedule which allowed sufficient time for staff training and survey implementation. though initially often only by their drama names. Rural drama During a two to three weeks’ introduction period PCDP staff introduced the project to villagers and VDC representatives via rural drama.a. therefore. We split up the survey into four phases. which resulted in the final selection of wards. For each VDC.
(c) field testing outlined. Care(2) general (a) 3 wards per VDC @ ful planning ensured 3 days 9 fw and fo.(a) review survey phase sources and 1-2 all tain individu. Prajas’ perception of themselves and their relationship with outsiders.Information collection: what and how it includes issues such as the socio-economic position of Prajas versus non-Prajas. In general. Survey implementation the four phases.elaborate too much on project irrelevant issues. and strict time schedule. it forced us to foThe pie charts reflected the contribution of various cus on information we really needed and to not sources to household cash. tasks and decision-making within the tion needs were required (1) specific information household and the community.ule of the survey was tight and followed a rigid ing chiuri) to total household cash availability. groups and external of men and Note: sc = survey coordinator. households have increased benefits (in kind. it was necessary to have a clear means of pie chart exercises with mixed groups.3. needs for (b) travel time tools were used inipart-time sc and fa tially. solutions and micro-planning. in the third phase on were identified.Nevertheless. quired to understand the general socio-economic. fa and fo For both. It was found that two types of informa. Analysis & preparation better rapport had ventions. Time schedule for each survey phase programme No.5. the tools review field testing 1 all tion pur.Experiences and lessons learnt cators to assess whether the project is achieving this objective or not are: From the beginning we realised that the time sched· increased contribution of forest products (includ. been built with the vilnext phase 4 sc. cultural and ecological context of Prajas. Prajas’ livelihood During a workshop we inventoried our informa. survey was slightly delayed and covered a period while bari products contribute 48% to household of seven months. of days Staff involved objectives Activity After information and related 1. Staff training needs and methods/ 3-5 all indicators for (a) staff training tools and sources of 2 all monitoring (b) field preparation/break information had been 4 all and evalua.was still remaining. respectively food avail. gennomic situation. in 2 sc. We found that necessary adjustfood availability. Review mainly on natural resources (cer. liveder desegregated groups) of information gathering lihood strategies and gender. Also.sources. This clarity on the information to be collected also 42 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Participation ? 1999 . mainly because we knew exactly where we were in the process and what General information needs relate to information re. local institutions and informal Box 2: example of specific information need leaders and problem-cause analysis. fo and s u i t a b l e (b) preparation next phase phase one we focused PRA consultant methods and 4. while gradually the identifi2-3 fw and fo. ability. We found that contribution of forest prod. ments were easily made.fw = field worker two on socio-ecogether. Break organisations (local 2-3 all als. use and management of natural retion needs. and in the fourth and final phase on identification of local poOne of PCDP’s programme objectives is “Praja tential. cation of (c) VDC presentation more complex ones part-time sc and fa s u i t a b l e (d) wrap up were introduced once 7 fw project inter. due to unforeseen local elections the ucts to household cash availability is currently 15%. given the involvement of outsiders and difficult communicaBenchmarks for both indicators were measured by tion in the field.strategies. As such. phase women to. and 2. and problems and needs related solutions as perceived to the goal. Related indi. This was rather against the idea of hav· increased contribution of bari products to total ing a flexible process approach as propagated at household food availability.(d) field preparation/break were distributed over (e) 2 all poses. However. the same time by PCDP. information part-timesc and fa that relatively simple 4 fw and fo. (a) draft report writing lagers. planning. cash and social) from natural resources”. fa = field advisor. fa. fo = field officer and organisations). by Prajas.
At times even our own staff became tired of only facilitating discussions without providing our target group. the process has been a true learning process. without any outside assistance. In doing so. in analysing the information their analytical skills have increased considerably. involving important issues as raising people’s awareness and analytical skills. field-testing and survey phase building upon the previous one. This information could easily be obtained by carrying out a simple semi-structured interview. however. but after having done the mobility map we found that we only needed some minor information. but activities which they themselves could do. As a result. the approach used in the survey . anything tangible. seen from their perspectives. For information. which created some sense of ownership over the information. Moreover. At times it was also the other way around. Development. is nothing more than building infrastructure and this has traditionally been implemented without much talking. also expressed that they were gaining new insights in their situation. Based on the survey results we were able to gain a good understanding of Prajas in our project area and design our project accordingly. we were often questioned about when we would really start our project and what it was about. it provided VDC and community members an opportunity to gain better insight in the local situation and common concerns and to incorporate their views. For our staff. at various stages. Towards the end of each phase. that we are serious about working and living together with them and that we want to assist them in addressing their real problems (which are hardly ever lack of infrastructure!). people have planned and implemented activities. we feel that during the survey we have been able to establish a foundation for coordination and cooperation with VDCs and improved planning by VDCs. PCDP continuous to encourage Prajas and VDCs to take their development process into their own hands. As a result. Moreover. While the involvement of the community in PRA is obvious and logical. we can conclude that from mere participants in our development process. While it is too early to say whether or not we were able to come up with good quality and effective interventions. the importance of sufficient time for data analysis can not enough be underscored. identification of local solutions and planning and implementing them . where we found that the information obtained was too limited. Gradually. based on all the discussions they have had. With each training. These were not our activities. again by comparing the information already collected with that what was still lacking. Additional information was then obtained in a subsequent phase. could be filled in during the wrap-up part of the survey. In doing so.still plays a very important role. But the process which has been set in motion is still ongoing. From the very start Prajas and VDC representatives have been involved in the process. By involving all staff. they gradually have been able to grab the idea of a participatory approach. More importantly. Tandi. An example being the fact that we originally planned to do a Venn diagram exercise to gain insight in the relationship between Prajas and outsiders. people have gradually gained a sense of ownership towards their own development process. however. then. they have become very familiar with the tools they can apply in such an approach and the attitude and skills required. we experienced that involvement of VDC and the wider community is equally important. People. As a result.covering situation and problem analysis. the indicators which were developed on the basis of the survey will help us in keeping track of the effects of the project. This provided us a good opportunity to crosscheck collected information and identify gaps which. which was in dire need of support. Also Prajas and VDC representatives have come to realise that PCDP is different. the information which had been collected and the process followed was shared with VDC representatives and other community members during a VDC presentation. Authors are working in Praja Community Development Programme at Chitwan Note: The results of the participatory baseline survey have been laid down in a publication “Can orange trees blossom on a barren land”. there is clear understanding of the choices the project has made regarding its interventions. including the field workers. In this regard. contact PCDP. The challenge is to continue following this approach by building on previous discussions and experiences so that Prajas and VDCs are enabled to make a change in their lives. they have come to realise that undertaking PRA is already doing something.helped us in making relevant adjustments in the course of implementing the survey. At the same time it should be mentioned that for both Prajas and VDCs survey implementation has been a very long process of which the outcome though communicated to them at various stages was often unclear. Chitwan (ph: 056-60076) Participation ? 1999 43 A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development . The participatory baseline survey has finished.
com. Phone & Fax: 266330 E-mail: nepan@mos.Box:13791 Phone: 227471.Learning of PRA Process by sharing ! Location Map of NEPAN A Nepalese Journal of Participatory Development Nepal Participatory Action Network (NEPAN) Kuriya Gaun. Thapathali. P.np Participation ? 1999 44 Photo: Rabi Chitrakar .O.
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