Methods for Community Participation: A Complete Guide for Practitioners

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ITDG, 2002 - Political Science - 333 pages
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This book combines the concept, practice and application of participatory rural appraisal (PRA) in a comprehensive manner. The author views PRA as a means of opening up new ways of approaching various problems within the development process. He defines it as a growing body of methods to enable local people to share, enhance and analyse their knowledge of life and conditions in order to plan, act, monitor and evaluate their actions. The basic premise of PRA is that poor and marginalized people are capable of analysing their own realities and that they should be enabled to do so. The book provides examples from experiences, material with directions for use, as well as possibilities for innovation. It is rich in insight from actual practice in the field, and contains useful tips on the best practices which readers and practitioners will find extremely valuable. The final part provides a summary of the concept of PRA. Somesh Kumar joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1989, after a brief stint as a psychologist in the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.

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About the author (2002)

Somesh Kumar joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1989, after a brief stint as a psychologist in the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. He is currently District Collector and Magistrate of Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh. Mr. Kumar has worked in various capacities with the most backward communities in Andhra Pradesh and has implemented a number of innovative programs including externally funded participatory development projects. He has also served as Director of the PRA Division of ActionAid India (1996-2000). As its first chief executive, he established Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices, Patna, as a centre of excellence in participatory development. A leading PRA practitioner, Somesh Kumar has contributed significantly to the repertoire of PRA methods. He has conducted extensive training programmes in participatory development in India and abroad for grassroots activists and senior level NGO professionals as well as for government agencies in varied fields. Mr. Kumar has written a number of articles and edited various books and reports on the subject including the popular "ABC of PRA:Attitude and Behaviour Change" and "The Politics of Poverty: A Tale of the Living Dead in Bolangir". As a team leader, he has conducted a number of large participatory research studies, evaluations and Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) for agencies like the World Bank, DFID, and IFAD including the World Bank's India country study 'Consultations with the Poor' which informed the Human Development Report 2000-2001.

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