READ: Social Empowerment
Three participatory approaches in development aid were discussed as part of this session on social empowerment:
Rapid Rural Appraisal emerged in the 1970s as a technique that allowed foreign researchers to quickly learn from local communities about the situation on the ground. Although this technique was largely about data collection, it was the first step in a new movement of participatory approaches from which PRA was developed.
Participatory Rural Appraisal: building on RRA, PRA aims to take the knowledge and opinions of local populations into account when planning and designing projects. It focuses more strongly on facilitation, empowerment, behaviour change, local knowledge and sustainable action.
Participatory Learning and Action: further building upon PRA, the essence of PLA is learning for action, and extends beyond rural appraisals. It represents a set of approaches that aim to empower people to “share, analyse and enhance their knowledge of their life and conditions, and to plan, act, monitor, evaluate and reflect” (Participation Research Cluster).
DIFFERENT TYPES OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:
How can these approaches benefit our work? Do you have particular experiences with participatory approaches you’d like to share? Join the conversation and leave a comment down below!
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Participation Research Cluster, Institute of Development Studies, Participatory Methods, https://www.participatorymethods.org/.
Chambers, Robert, Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Analysis of experience, World Development 22, no 9 (1994).