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					   PARTICIPATORY
LEARNING AND ACTION
         Linda Biersteker
               ELRU
         Vivienne Bozalek
     Department of Social Work
               UWC



       CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007   1
            What is PLA?
• A growing family of approaches, methods,
  attitudes and behaviours to enable people
  to share, enhance and analyse their
  knowledge of life and conditions and to
  plan, act and monitor, evaluate and reflect.
  (Chambers 2004:3)



                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007    2
• Enabling people to speak up and out,
  especially the otherwise marginalised, such
  as poorer younger women, children and the
  socially excluded

• A focus on interactive learning between and
  among local people and those who provide,
  or make decisions about the provision of,
  health and other social services

• An explicit concern with the quality of
  interaction, including a stress on personal
  values, attitudes and behaviour as a
  prerequisite for effective work


                 CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007      3
• The use of open-ended, adaptable, visual
  methods within a flexible, iterative(repeated)
  learning process, rather than the use of set
  sequences of specific methods for pre-identified
  ends

• A commitment to generating knowledge for
  action, rather than simply for understanding, and
  to addressing tangible, do-able action plans for
  immediate or intermediate follow-up. Cornwall,
  A. (1999: 1)

                   CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007          4
    PA and other Methodologies

• Community development workers might use PA as a
  support to community organising or empowerment work
  using other methodologies.

• Also used with log frames or stakeholder analysis for
  appraisal and planning or integrated into participatory
  monitoring and evaluation work.

• Fits well with other qualitative methods such as
  participant observation, oral histories or focus groups.
  Quantitative researchers can use them in combination
  with questionnaires.

                     CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007               5
           Common techniques
•   Visioning
•   Mapping
•   Transect walks
•   Mood lines
•   Matrix
•   Impact diagrams
•   Problem and objective trees
•   Proportional piling (time/resource allocations)

                    CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007         6
                Visioning

• People come up with their vision for how
  things might be and it can widen their
  thinking as well as indicating the things
  that are important to them. This could be
  drawn, modelled, acted or sung. It serves
  as a starting point for discussion of what
  actions could be taken.


                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007      7
                 Mapping

• Includes mapping of social, demographic,
  health and service issues, opportunities or
  resources
• Can be drawn on the ground or on paper,
  models can be made, natural resources
  used
• Provides a starting point for discussion or
  for prioritising issues for change
                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007       8
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            Venn diagrams

• Shows influence of different service
  providers, resources and information
  sources




               CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007   12
Adolescents’ sources of information on sex reproduction
(Analysed by a group of boys, Old Kanyama Compound)




                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007                 13
            Transect Walks

• Local people walk the facilitators around
  the area, identifying local resources.

• Useful technique in participatory research
  because it gives the research subjects the
  opportunity to lead the way in generating
  data relevant to their experience and
  utilisation of the environment.
                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007     14
     E.g. Transect walks have been done

• To familiarise researchers with regular routes
  children took to get to school
• For children to point out their favourite places in
  their preschool
• For young people to show the amenities and
  areas of their communities where crime was
  most likely to occur
• To explain resources even along the bottom of
  the sea!


                   CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007            15
         Mood or Life Lines

• Can be done individually or as a group
• People can track how they felt about
  particular events or the programme over
  time.
• Need to be used sensitively.




               CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007    16
CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007   17
  Flow and Impact Diagrams

• Like spider diagrams giving first the immediate
  impacts and then what these mean. For
  example one positive impact of a public works
  project might be employment - when this is
  unpacked some impacts might mean less crime,
  greater skills, greater family harmony etc
• A negative impact may be that few people
  benefit – this causes community conflict etc.

                 CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007      18
             Matrix ranking

• Used to prioritise. The group brainstorms
  what it thinks is important in relation to a
  particular issue and then votes on which is
  most important.




                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007    19
        IZINTO EZIFEZEKISWA – THINGS WHICH
        CHILDREN GAIN FROM PRESCHOOL



Ukuzimela                                16
Ulwazingokhuseleko                       8
Ukubuza xa bengaqondi                    9
Bakhulile ngokwasenkolweni               11
Banolwazi ngococeko                      7
Baqeqeshekile                            9
Banolwazi ngabakufundayo
        .                                10
.




  Matrix generated by parents of children at
  Yipakamisa Preschool, Ezibeleni, Queenstown.
                             CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007   20
Matrix Scoring of Health Providers, Ado-Odo, Nigeria


 Scores are          Ado             Igbo         Otta          Oke     Omo
  out of 10          PHC            Medicine     Hospita       Padre    Odua
                     Clinic          Shop           l          Clinic   clinic
Staff are highly          2                  1      7      8              5
skilled
Staff are kind &          1                  8      4            7        5
friendly
Drugs are                 1                  9      3            8        6
available
Affordable cost           4                  8      2            6        1
Used by many              2              10         1            6        4
people
Overall                  4th            2nd       Last           1st     3rd
Preference                                       choice        choice

Young men’s group, S.W. Nigeria, July 1996
From: Cornwall, 1999.




                              CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007                          21
  Problem and Objective Trees

• Allows participants to focus on a problem,
  identify causes and impacts, rank these.
  From this they can define objectives for an
  intervention.




                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007   22
   Producing a Problem Tree
1. Brainstorm to produce a list of causes, and
   consequences, of the focal problem.
2. Rank them in terms of importance.
3. Turn the problem tree into an objective tree by
   making the causes issues to address and
   change,
4. Do the same with the consequences.
5. Arrange into a problem tree, discussing the
   links between factors.
6. If time allows, develop the objective tree: state
   all the solutions/objectives.

                  CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007        23
CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007   24
Proportional Piling/Pie Diagrams

• Quick way of assessing proportions.
  Using a pile of something that can easily
  be piled, the participant divides the heap
  according to the way they perceive the
  allocation to be. E.g. how do you spend
  your income, time; proportion of people
  they think suffer from particular conditions
  etc

                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007    25
CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007   26
Behaviour and attitudes are more important
  than the methods!
• Self aware responsibility
• Commitment to equity and empowerment
• Recognise and celebrate diversity
• and …


               CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007     27
USEFUL RESOURCE
• http://www.ids.ac.uk/ids/particip/




                CSI PLA Workshop Feb 2007   28

				
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