By Dr. Linda Mayoux
PARTICIPATORY METHODS Participatory methods should be an integral part of any impact assessment for enterprise development. Their use is necessary to addressing the concerns of both the sustainable livelihoods approach and the human rights approach in DFID-funded enterprise interventions. Participatory methods are now well developed in relation to project-level impact assessment.
CONTENTS: Introduction Section 1: WHAT ARE PARTICIPATORY METHODS? PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES Section 2: USING PARTICIPATORY METHODS: ADVANTAGES, CHALLENGES AND WAYS FORWARD Section 3: GUIDELINES FOR COMMISSIONING PARTICIPATORY ASSESSMENTS INTRODUCTION This paper gives an overview of issues and outlines the questions which need to be asked before deciding when to use participatory methods, who should participate and which particular techniques are most appropriate: Section 1: What are participatory methods? Principles and techniques gives an overview of different types of participatory methods and some recent innovations. Section 2: Using participatory methods: advantages, challenges and ways forward discusses ways in which the potential advantages of using participatory methods can best be realized. Section 3: Participatory methods and integrated impact assessment: guidelines for commissioning participatory assessments gives guidelines for commissioning participatory assessments in different types of enterprise intervention. This text has been prepared by Linda Mayoux
The paper provides guidelines for integrating participatory methods in impact assessment of different types of enterprise intervention. It does not give detailed step-by-step practical instructions on how to use specific participatory tools. For this the reader is referred to a number of manuals given in the additional resources at the end of the paper. Participatory methods should be an integral part of any impact assessment for enterprise development. Their use is necessary to address the concerns of both the sustainable livelihoods approach and the human rights approach in DFID-funded enterprise interventions. This is because: •
Complexities of livelihoods and poverty need to be understood in order to decide WHAT is to be assessed. Grassroots participation leads to more relevant identification of impact goals and measurable indicators. Different stakeholders are affected by enterprise development in different ways. Participatory methods enable better identification of WHO is affected in which ways. In particular they enable the voices of the very poor, women, children and vulnerable groups to be heard. Complexities of development processes need to be understood in order to analyse WHY particular impacts are occurring. Participatory methods enable complex interactions between contexts, grassroots aspirations and strategies, institutional structures and enterprise interventions to be better understood. Communication between donors, policymakers, development practitioners and those affected by interventions is needed to identify HOW POLICY CAN BE IMPROVED. Participatory methods facilitate realistic identification of the practical implications of the findings of impact assessment through negotiation between different stakeholders.
Participatory methods are now well developed in relation to project-level impact assessment. In areas like micro-finance, enterprise training and fair trade impact assessments participatory methods have been used as part of: •
external donor impact assessment. A number of DFID-funded impact assessments have incorporated participatory tools as have the CGAP AIMS micro-finance assessments1. programme monitoring and evaluation. Micro-finance, fair trade and training programmes have been developing methods for participatory monitoring evaluation integrated into the ongoing activities of programme staff and existing Management Information Systems2.
Examples funded by...
References: Overviews of PLA methods Chambers, R. (1994a). “The Origins and Practice of Participatory Rural Appraisal.” World Development 22(7): 953-969. Chambers, R. (1994b). “Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA): Analysis of Experience.” World Development 22(9): 1253-1268. Chambers, R. (1994c). “Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA): Challenges, Potentials and Paradigm.” World Development 22(10): 1437-1454 Manuals for using PLA tools Narayan, D. And Srinivasan, L. (1994) Participatory Development Toolkit: Materials to Facilitate Community Empowerment. Washington: World Bank Pretty, J N, Guijt I, Thomson, J and Scoones, I (1995) A Trainer’s Guide for Participatory Learning and Action IIED SEEP Network (2000). Learning from Clients: Assessment Tools for Microfinance Practitioners: Draft Manual. Washington DC, AIMS/MSI. For detailed discussion of methods see also the following web sites: Institute for Development Studies Participation Programme, Sussex www.ids.ac.uk/ids/partic/index International Institute for Environment and Development http://www.iied.org/ particularly the journal PLA Notes MYRADA PALM series http://www.myrada.org/ Critiques of PLA Guijt, I and Shah,K eds (1997) The Myth of Community: Gender Issues in Participatory Development, Intermediate Technology Mosse, D. (1994). “Authority, Gender and Knowledge: Theoretical Reflections on the Practice of Participatory Rural Appraisal.” Development and Change 25(3): 497-526. Nelson, N. and Wright, S. (eds) (1995) Power and Participatory Development Theory and Practice, London: Intermediate Technology Publications PRSPs Booth, D., J. Holland, et al. (1998). Participation and Combined Methods in African Poverty Assessment: Renewing the Agenda. London, DFID.
Brocklesby, M. A. and J. Holland (1998). Participatory Poverty Assessments and Public services: Key Messages from the Poor. London, DFID. Holland, J. and J. Blackburn, Eds. (1998). Whose Voice? Participatory Research and Policy Change. London, IT publications. PME Estrella, M., J. Blauert, et al., Eds. (2000). Learning from Change: Issues and experiences in participatory monitoring and evaluation. London, IT Publications. Multistakeholder initiatives Cornwall, A., H. Lucas, et al., Eds. (2000). Accountability Through Participation: Developing Workable Partnership Models in the Health Sector. IDS Bulletin. Brighton, IDS. McKay, V. and C. Treffgarne (2001). Education Research: Evaluating Impact. London, DFID. Tennyson, R. (1998). Managing partnerships: tools for mobilising the public sector, business and civil society as partners in development. London, The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum. UK NGO AIDS Consortium (1996). Effective HIV/AIDS Activities: NGO work in developing countries. London, UK NGO AIDS Consortium.
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