Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Working definitions
 The concept
 The tools
 Sources and further reading
 Back Cover

Group Title: Community forestry note
Title: Participatory assessment, monitoring and evaluation
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089951/00001
 Material Information
Title: Participatory assessment, monitoring and evaluation
Series Title: Community forestry note
Alternate Title: Community forestry
Physical Description: x, 150 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. --
Language: English
Creator: Davis-Case, D'Arcy
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Donor: Marianne Schmink ( endowment )
Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Place of Publication: Rome
Publication Date: 1989
Copyright Date: 1989
Subject: Forest conservation   ( lcsh )
Forest management -- Citizen participation   ( lcsh )
Forests and forestry -- Social aspects   ( lcsh )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: prepared by D'Arcy Davis-Case. --
General Note: At head of title: Community forestry.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089951
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 70507971

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    Working definitions
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    The concept
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The tools
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
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        Page 123
        Page 124
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        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Sources and further reading
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Back Cover
        Page 151
Full Text
- A~Y-E Q~~s ~ci

Community forestry

0 4

participatory assessment,
monitoring and evaluation









Community forestry

participatory assessment,
monitoring and evaluation

prepared by
D'Arcy Davis-Case

Rome, 1989

Reprinted, 1992

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechani-
cal, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the
reproduction, should be addressed to the Director, Publications Division, Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100
Rome, Italy.

FAO 1989

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this
publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on
the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or
area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers
or boundaries.



Foreword vii
Working Definitions viii



1.1 The Evolution to PAME in
Community Forestry............ 2
1.2 PAME and Community Forestry.... 3
1.3 The Benefits of PAME........... 4
1.4 The Focus of PAME.............. 5
1.5 Field Workers as Facilitators
of PAME........................ 5
1.6 When to Introduce PAME......... 7
1.7 Linking the Approach with the
Techniques and the Tools....... 7



2.1 Description and Purpose of
Community Selection by
Outsiders...................... 10
2.2 Methods for Community
Selection...................... 11


3.1 Description and Purpose of
Community Problem Analysis..... 15
3.2 The Time to do Community
Problem Analysis ............... 16
3.3 Guidelines for Facilitators
of Community Problem Analysis.. 17
3.4 Methods for Community
Problem Analysis............... 18
3.5 Communities Setting Project
Objectives ..................... 21


4.1 Description of Participatory
Baselines ...................... 22
4.2 The Purpose of Participatory
Baselines...................... 23
4.3 Guidelines for Facilitators
of Participatory Baselines..... 23
4.4 Key Elements of Participatory
Baselines ...................... 24


5.1 Description of PMoe............. 29
5.2 The Purposes of PMoe........... 30
5.3 The Key Elements of PMoe....... 31
5.4 Participatory Action Research
and PMoe ....................... 31
5.5 Monitoring People's
Participation................. 32
5.6 The Method for PMoe............ 33


6.1 Description of a Participatory
Evaluation Event............... 36
6.2 The Purposes of Evaluation
Events ........................ 37
6.3 The Benefits of Participatory
Evaluation Events .............. 39
6.4 When to Conduct an Evaluation
Event.......................... 40
6.5 Resources Required............. 40
6.6 The Method for a Participatory
Evaluation Event............... 41
6.7 The Monitoring of an Evaluation
Event by Beneficiaries......... 49


7.1 Analysis of Information........ 50
7.2 Focusing the Analysis.......... 50
7.3 Integrating Tools and Analysis. 50
7.4 Organizing the Data............ 50
7.5 Simple Methods for Quantitative
Data Analysis................. 51
7.6 Methods for Qualitative Data... 53
7.7 Summarizing Data by Machine.... 53
7.8 Partial Analysis............... 54
7.9 Communication of Results....... 54
7.10 Who Needs the Results?.......... 54
7.11 Tips for Communication of
Results........................ 55

- iv -



8.1 Some Guidelines for Choosing
the Most Appropriate Tools for
a Community................... 66
8.2 An Overview of the Main
Characteristics of the Tools... 67

1. Group Meetings ............. 68
2. Drawing and Discussion..... 72
3. Murals and Posters......... 75
4. Flannel Boards............. 77
5. Open-ended Stories......... 79
6. Unserialized Posters....... 81
7. Community Case Studies..... 83
8. Historical Mapping......... 85
9. Semi-structured Interviews. 87
10. Ranking, Rating and
Sorting.................... 90
11. Community Environmental
Assessment ................. 94
12. Survival Surveys........... 98
13. Participatory Forestry
Action Research............ 102
14. Maps and Mapping........... 105
15. Farmers' Own Records....... 109
16. Nursery Record Books....... 112
17. Community Financial
Accounts................... 115
18. S.W.O.T. Analysis.......... 117
19. Popular Drama.............. 120
20. Puppet Theatre............ 124
21. Community Directed Visual
Images..................... 126
22. Community Directed Tape
Recordings ................. 129
23. Community Directed Video... 131




There is increasing recognition that the participation of rural people
in the development process is of crucial importance. It is apparent
that the approaches, methods and tools that are used to work with
rural people in the management of forest and tree resources need to be
strengthened and further developed. This paper outlines the concepts,
approaches and techniques that need to be an integral part of a truly
participatory development strategy.

The Forest, Trees, and People (FTP) Programme, which is coordinated
within FAO by the Community Forestry Officer, is designed to support
this type of development effort. It has provided much of the funding
for this paper. The FTP programme encourages projects to use an
approach which starts by asking people what they want to do, why they
want to do it, and how they want to do it. It expects these questions
to then be followed-up by a cooperative process that identifies common
and conflicting goals, establishes a direction, and develops a set of
project indicators to measure project progress and success.

This concept paper on participatory assessment, monitoring and
evaluation is a result of a literature survey that revealed that there
are few action-oriented publications which not only tell the reader
what participation is, but also tell the field worker how to get to
know, work with, and build on the enthusiasm of rural people. The
paper was developed by D'Arcy Davis-Case, a forester who specializes
in grass-roots participation.

Some of the background information and underlying concepts for this
publication come from collaborative work that was done by CARE, The
Ford Foundation and six NGO projects in Africa. They developed case
studies to analyse information gathering, analysis, and dissemenation.
They are continuing to work together to test new participatory tools
and approaches to development. Ms. Davis-Case is currently finalizing
an accompanying field manual which will translate the approach
presented here into a form appropriate for use by field staff and
community leaders.

FAO would greatly appreciate any feedback, comments or experiences
which readers might care to provide. The comments will not only be
used to improve this concept paper, they will also be used in
production of the field manual.

Comments should be sent to: Marilyn Hoskins, Community Forestry
Officer, Room 823bis, Policy and Planning Service, Forestry
Department, FAO, Via Delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome 00100, Italy.

- vii -

Working Definitions

1. Insider and Outsider

The terms "insider" and "outsider" are used to define the two
major actors in the development process. "Insiders" are those who
are a part of the community, are privy to community information
and hold the community perspective. "Outsiders" are those who come
into the community from time to time, but are not considered
community members, although with consent, they can represent the
interests of the community. Outsiders can often be beneficial to
insiders because they have access to different information or
power and can mediate conflict within a community.

2. Community and Beneficiaries

The terms "community" and "community group" and "local people"
refer to all people who live in a specified area. In this
document, these terms are used when the beneficiaries and
non-beneficiaries in the community are both being considered.

The terms "beneficiaries" and "project participants", when used in
this document, refer only to those who are working directly with
the project.

3. Participation and Participatory

"Participation" and "participatory" are words which are frequently
used in development. They have many different meanings. Various
studies, project documents and manuals, have interpreted
participation in different ways:

participation is the voluntary contribution by people in
projects, but without their taking part in decision making.

participation is the sensitization of people to increase their
receptivity and ability to respond to development projects.

participation is an active process, meaning that the person or
group in question takes initiatives and asserts his/her or its
autonomy to do so.

participation is the fostering of a dialogue between the local
people and the monitoring and evaluation staff in order to obtain
information on social impacts.
* participation is the voluntary involvement of people in
self-determined change.

* participation is involvement in people's development of
themselves, their lives, their environment.

The ** are the meanings most closely reflecting the use of the
word participatory in this document.

- viii -

Participatory development is a new frontier. Different
interpretations can be expected. A precise, global definition may
not emerge for some time, nor may one even be desirable.

A study of a women's fuelwood project in Kenya found that there were
two definitions of participation within the project, instrumental
participation and transformational participation. Instrumental
participation is when participation is viewed as a way of achieving
certain specific targets, the local people participate in the
outsiders project. Transformational participation is when
participation is viewed as an objective in and of itself, and as a
means for achieving some higher objective such as self-help and/or
In this case the drive to achieve the project's physical targets was
most compelling because it could be measured, and "rewards" for
project success could be assured. The result was that transformational
participation and the objectives of self-help and sustainability were
set aside.

Source: Kruks (1983)

4. Concept

The word concept, when used in this document, refers to the ideas,
or the philosophical underpinnings of the Participatory
Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation (PAME) approach. These are
that the community or beneficiary perspective is the primary focus
of PAME. The project participates in the life of the community,
rather than the community participating in the project. This
concept necessitates a perceptual "flip" by outsiders, an
invitation for them to view the world through the eyes of the
community. It also requires a perceptual "flip" by insiders, to
view the project as belonging to them.

5. Methods and Tools

The methods of PAME are discrete sets of steps to serve a
particular information gathering purpose. The methods of PAME are:

Community Selection (by Outsiders)
Assessment Community Problem Analysis
Participatory Baselines

Monitoring Participatory Monitoring and Ongoing Evaluation

Evaluation Participatory Evaluation Events

Feedback Analysis of Information and Communication of

- x -

The tools of PAME are the devices used to gather information. Some
tools are especially suited to certain methods, while others can
be used in many of the methods. Some tools have analysis built-in
while others assist in collecting information which must then be

The example of planting a seedling might highlight the difference
between methods and tools. The way one might be instructed to go
about digging the hole would be a method, while the shovel (spade,
hoe, dibble, etc.) would be the tooT.


Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation (PAME) is a
concept whose time has come.

It is a new and promising concept. It is an exciting, adaptive,
dynamic, and creative approach to sustainable and appropriate
community development.

The key to PAME is that the community's perspective is paramount.
PAME "flips" the traditional top-down development approach where out-
siders first decide community objectives, then monitor and evaluate to
judge whether these objectives were met. Instead, the PAME approach
encourages, supports and strengthens communities' existing abilities
to identify their own needs, and objectives, and then monitor and
evaluate to adjust these within the project time frame.

The PAME approach encourages the project team and the community
to work as partners because it is built on two-way communication,
clear messages, problem solving techniques, and a joint commitment to
what "works" for the community. PAME focuses on the relationship
between the field staff and the community.

PAME is the combination of three interlinked components. The
CONCEPT is backed up by participatory METHODS and participatory TOOLS
for information gathering.

While PAME has been developed
community forestry projects, it can
fields such as health care, fisheries

in this report to
be adapted to apply
and agriculture.

It may not be possible to adopt the whole PAME approach in every
project, but it is possible to experiment with the "perceptual flip"
that PAME encourages in just some components of a project. Try it,
adapt it, play with the ideas presented here, and observe the effects.

Successful community development can be built on the foundation
that PAME sets out, especially when approached with the sense of
adventure and creativity called for by new ways of thinking.

apply to
to other


"If you want the questions and the answers, sit and
talk with us for a while."

Masihi, a villager in
Un Dekaka, Sudan.

1.1 The Evolution to Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and
Evaluation in Community Forestry

The evolution of community forestry over the past decades has
taken place in a number of progressive stages. Each stage has built
on the cumulative knowledge and lessons of the past.

In the first stage, outsiders gathered as much information as
they could about communities, in order to provide the best solutions
that were available. The monitoring and evaluation was done by
outsiders, and focused mainly on whether the solutions had worked or
not. While there were many successes, there were difficulties in
determining whether the solutions addressed the real needs of the

In the next stage, outsiders were encouraged to listen to local
people. Participant observation and other social science methods were
used so that outsiders could better understand what it was the
communities percieved as their needs and priorities. Based on this
information, solutions were sought. The monitoring and evaluation
throughout this stage was done mainly by outsiders, but local
perceptions were included.

Throughout this stage, many lessons were learned, and with these
lessons came the realization that people, in many instances, under-
stood and could articulate their needs and a range of solutions. It
was also found that people had a wealth of indigenous knowledge and
skills that could be combined with outsider's knowledge to accomplish
together what neither could do alone.

We are now entering a new stage in Community Forestry, the stage
in which local (insider) knowledge is combined with outsider know-
ledge. Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation (PAME)
offers a new way of thinking about assessment, monitoring and
evaluation. It is based on the premise that it is the communities
which are, ultimately, the final evaluators of project success or
failure. Sustainability depends, to a large part, on communities'
ability to analyse, judge, and explain to others the value of various
options. Their analytical skills should thus be supported and/or
strengthened in order for them to ask and answer their own questions.
Their communicative skills can be improved so that they can present
their evaluations in terms extensionists, research centres, and policy
makers can understand.


PAME blends an approach, techniques and tools to assist
communities in assessing, monitoring and evaluating the value of the
project to themselves. An important spin-off benefit to this is that
the very presence and practice of PAME contributes to the learning
experiences of both the project staff and community members, and
assists in achieving the development objectives of self-help and

1.2 Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and
Community Forestry

This document is directed t
management decisions and project
community (either individually
might involve any, many, or all c

:o community forestry projects, where
activity benefits are retained by the
or communally). Community forestry
)f the following components:


The community can be in any country, and encompass any social,
economic or cultural group. What may be common to all communities is
that they want and need either inputs, resources or a new perspective
in order to change, improve, manage, rehabilitate, or more usefully
and equitably process the forest and tree resources around them.

PAME works well with projects, programmes or communities that
have commitments to:





If these kinds of commitments have not been articulated by the
community forestry project, introducing PAME may be a way of promoting
these commitments. It is never too late for a promising ideal

1.3 The Benefits of Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and

PAME can have benefits for both "insiders" and "outsiders". Both
require information to guide them in making wise decisions to ensure
that their activities are successful. Both require information that



For the "outsiders" some of the benefits of PAME are: they can
learn from communities what their needs are, and how to better serve
these needs; they can understand the constraints faced by communities
in satisfying their needs; they can use PAME as an entry point to a
non-participatory project and perhaps establish the basis and justifi-
cation for future participation; they can receive information from
communities if communities choose to share it; they can discover
relevant research questions inspired by communities' questions; they
can see whether project objectives address the real needs and
priorities of communities; and they can have a window for evaluating
Field staff at a PAME workshop in Kenya were asked at the beginning of
the workshop to identify the strengths and weaknesses of "insiders"
and "outsiders" in project evaluation.

Strengths Weaknesses
"Insiders" *Evaluate their own *Poor feedback to
objectives outsiders
*responsive decisions *subjective
*intuitive analytical *have a stake in
skills decisions made
*aware of community *peer pressure
dynamics experienced
*instant feedback to *afraid to challenge
community power

"Outsiders" *have extra time *poor feedback to
*can represent poorer *only outsider
factions of community objectives/values
*not afraid to speak up *determine terms of
*have no real stake
in community

The group decided that, if blended, the two perspectives could be
complementary, resulting in more meaningful monitoring and evaluation.
Source: Agroforestry Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop, Kenya (1988)


For the "insiders" some of the benefits of PAME are: they can
know clearly what the project offers; they can have the opportunity to
learn different kinds of analytical skills in their process of problem
identification/analysis and information gathering; they can get new
perspectives on old problems; they can learn new ways to judge whether
their efforts are worthwhile enough to continue; they can learn new
ways to articulate their needs to outsiders and to better understand
outsider's information; and they can activate, control and, in effect,
"own" the information.

Both "insiders" and "outsiders" benefit from PAME, the goals of
sustainability and self-help are encouraged, and as a result, the
chance for a long-term positive impact is increased. In addition,
projects are more likely to be successful because relevant, useful
information is available to facilitate decision making and mediate
between conflicting goals and priorities.

1.4 The Focus of Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation

The primary focus of PAME is on the information needs of the
communities, while -thesecondary focus is on the information needs of
the project. This prioritization ensures that people are not merely
collecting information that the outsiders need to monitor and
evaluate. It also ensures that the information is relevant to the
development problem.

In order to guarantee this focus, it is best that field staff
have, or actively seek, the support and understanding of those above
them in the project hierarchy: the project and programme management;
the national government; and the donors.

The kinds of information received directly from communities is
valid, legitimate, and important. It gives a rich understanding,
reflects the community reality, and is an important contribution to
higher level decision-makers.

Some studies in community forestry point out that it is naive to
assume that people will always make rational choices given the facts.
"Fata" may induce well meaning outsiders to try and convince farmers
not to burn grass in order to conserve soil, when in context the
farmer has no option available. How else can the farmer supply fodder
to hungry cattle?

Source: Hoskins (1982)

1.5 Field Workers as Facilitators of Participatory Assessment,
Monitoring and Evaluation

PAME is designed for use by people at the community level
although it can be facilitated by project field staff. In some
instances, especially if the project has not had a great deal of
experience in participatory methods, it may be necessary to use the
services of an outside consultant experienced in PAME. The consultant
can facilitate PAME and train field staff in PAME methods at the same


Forestry project field staff may come from an extension, forestry
or general background and work with a large or small non-government
organization, a national forest service or a large multinational
organization such as the United Nations.

Whoever they are, field staff are the facilitators of PAME. They
are guided by the community, helping to: support and encourage
community creativity and participation, focus the problem solving,
analytical and evaluative abilities of the community and interpret
information from outside specialists.

A good facilitator will respect the knowledge and creativity of
people, and view them as equal partners in the development process.
Participatory skills can be developed through field worker training in
sensitization and self-awareness. Some excellent manuals for
participatory training are available(Bhasin 1978; Tilakaratna 1988).
These manuals emphasize the need to develop characteristics such as:
the ability to lead but not direct, flexibility, open-mindedness, a
non-judgemental approach, honesty, awareness, and concern for the
problems of the rural poor.

Effective PAME facilitators will have a broad understanding of
the basic concepts of PAME, and the kinds of methods and information
gathering tools available to foster participation. They will resist
imposing ideas or "convincing" people, instead offering a range of
options for a particular situation. They must be willing to look at
ways to adapt and develop ideas.

The staff of a project in Thailand described characteristics of
leadership styles to enable them to see more clearly which style they
were using. They came up with this list:


*keep for own personal
*judge alone, use
*decides, or consults
with superiors

*by pressure,sanctions

*distributes assign-
ments, works with
each person, keeps
overall picture out
of others reach


*inform others, seek
from others
*seek advice from
community members
*decides in
consultation with
those concerned
*obtains through
delegation of
*seeks commitment to
overall objectives
and agreement from
from those who must
carry them out

Which kind of leadership style does your project have? Think of some
examples for either kind. Discuss at staff meetings.
What kind of leadership style do the communities have?







1.6 When to Introduce Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and

Most projects go through very definite PHASES: project concept
and design, planning, site selection and entry into the community,
implementation, evaluation, and, exit from the community. Each of
these phases offers an opportunity to include communities in the
decision-making process.

Some projects already include the community in all phases of
project decision-making; some include the community in some phases;
and some have not yet taken the opportunity to include the community
at all. Although it is ideal to have beneficiary participation from
the beginning, any phase can be an entry point for PAME.

The benefits of PAME can be realized at any project stage. Even
if it is only the final evaluation that is done by beneficiaries,
going through the process of a participatory evaluation can strongly
influence future projects in the community. If, for example, the entry
point for PAME is an Evaluation Event two years after the project has
been operational, PAME can redirect or modify project activities so
that they are more likely to result in success.

1.7 Linking the Approach, with the Techniques and the Tools

PAME Eill vary according to a number of factors: specific
community information needs, community cultural, political and social
conditions, local resource availability, or local access to other
resources. Because of this variation, there is no one way to go about
doing PAME. But the field experiences of those who have experimented
with PAME are beginning to provide lessons that help in the
development of a conceptual framework.

Participatory Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation is designed
so that the approach, the techniques and the tools all fit together to
compliment, link and interact with each other in an iterative process.

It will not work well if only the tools are used and the approach
is missing. It will not work well if the approach is adopted, but
tools are used that do not encourage participation.


: CPA X = PB
I = Conrnunity selection
A = On-going evaluations
* = Evaluation events

This diagram conceptualizes PAME. It visualizes how each part of
PAME is linked and interacts with project objectives and activities.
Interaction takes place because information from each part is used to
make decisions about project objectives and activities. The arrows
indicate feedback to and from different parts.

A range of participatory tools (23 tools
8) can be used to gather the information
activity: Community Problem Analysis (CPA);
(PB); Participatory Monitoring and Ongoing
Evaluation Events (EE).

are described in Section
needed for each PAME
Participatory Baselines
Evaluation (PMoe) and



The tools of PAME are instruments to be used to gather, synthesize,
and analyse information in a way that is appropriate -and

The tools should be approached with an open mind; they may have to be
adapted and re-thought out to respond to each situation. Think of
them as "ideas" to be developed to respond to the field reality. Play
with them to figure out what will work, what will be more

Combine the tools in different ways. For example, use some of the
Ranking, Rating, and Sorting "games" to make Surveys more interesting.
Combine Village Monographs with Popular Drama or a Puppet Show.

Many of the tools work individually to gather and analyse information,
while helping to develop communication skills. Drawing and Discussion
is one example of such a tool. Other tools are more specific, such as
Survival Surveys.

All of the tools, because they are developed with and for the
community, serve also as extension and learning tools.

Be flexible. If one tool is not working well, re-think it or suggest
another one.

Choosing the best tool for a situation is a unique and creative
process. To assist in narrowing the choices of appropriate tools from
the wide range of possibilities offered, the characteristics of the
tools are listed in the following pages, along with some tips on how
to determine the kinds of tools the community might find most useful.
Let the community know what kinds of tools are available and choose
those they think are most appropriate.

The tools are presented in the following chapter in a way which seeks
to encourage creativity and flexibility, while offering clear guide-
lines to those who might need them. It may be that the guidelines
(Using the tool) are useful as a beginning, with adaptations following
as the tool becomes familiar. The following descriptions are brief
and are adaptations of tools with which most extensionists may be
familiar. There are methodological texts for many of these tools and
the following is not a substitute for more detailed instruction on
sample selection, sample size, or research design. This description
is focused on how the tools may be or may have been adapted to
strengthen local participation.

Enjoy the tools! PAME should be an exciting, dynamic learning
experience for everybody.

- 65 -


8.1 Some Guidelines for Choosing the Most Appropriate Tools for a

1. Watch and listen. Become aware of how community members
and communicate information. This will give clues as to what
might work best.

For example, ask a number of people directions to the
village, and observe the ways they relay this information.

People from some cultures may draw a map on the ground ...
could mean that the visual tools would work best for them.




People from other cultures may talk to you, giving instructions
such as "go 17 kilometers down the road then turn left". These
people may be comfortable with the more direct and sophisticated

A third culture might respond like this: "Go to the Village
Market, and when you see the coal merchant's store, go down the
road beside it until you come to a leaning tree with a large
branch hanging down. There are two roads there. Take the one
which has two tracks ... etc.". People from this community might
find the story-telling and drama tools the most appropriate.

2. Observe the habits of
magazines in their homes?
homes? Do they use symbols

These kinds of obsei
communication type writtene

the community. Do they have books and
Do they have pictures decorating their
to decorate their implements?

ovations will give clues as to which
en, oral or visual) is basic to the

3. Ask how information is relayed around the community. Is it
exclusively by word-of-mouth? Are there newspapers? Posters?

4. Try to determine which extension efforts have worked well (or not
so well) in the community in the past.

Knowing which methods of communication
community will help the field worker to
likely to work in a particular setting.
community can choose.

are most commonly used in a
"short list" tools that are
From this "short list" the

- 66 -

8.2 An Overview of the Main Characteristics of the Tools

The following list will help to sort out the tools by their main
characteristics (visual, oral or written), and main purposes:
Community Problem Analysis (CPA); Participatory Baselines (PB);
Participatory Monitoring and ongoing evaluation (PMoe) and/or
Evaluation Events (EE).

Number Name of Tool

1 Group Meetings

2 Drawing/Discussion

3 Murals/Posters

4 Flannel Boards

5 Open-ended Stories

6 Unserialized Posters

7 Community Case Studies

8 Historical Mapping

9 Semi-structured

10 Ranking,Rating,Sorting

11 Community Environ-
mental Assessment

12 Survival Surveys

13 Participatory Forestry
Action Research

14 Maps and Mapping

15 Farmer's Own Records

16 Nursery Record Books

17 Community Financial

18 S.W.O.T. Analysis

19 Popular Drama

20 Puppet Theatre

21 Community Directed
Visual Images

22 Community Directed
Tape Recordings

23 Community Directed























xx xx xx


xx xx xx

XXXx x x






Main Purpose
























- 67 -




Meetings with the beneficiaries, the community and/or focus groups
(herders, women, schools) will be one of the most important tools for
community information gathering, and communication of information. The
purpose of the meeting will vary. They can help communities:

give and receive information;

discuss issues of relevance;

gain a consensus on an issue;

identify problems and solutions;

plan activities, negotiate conflicts;

validate interpretations of evaluation results and formulate


1. A large number of people can be reached in a relatively short
period of time.

2. Community group meetings are usually the first and most consistent
exposure of the project staff to the community as a whole. Often these
meetings encourage community cohesion and trust in the project.

3. Community meetings with open invitations can mean that all those
who wish to participate may do so.

4. Focus group meetings can be used to bring together those who have
a particular problem; those who form a particular segment of the
community such as women or leaders; or those who are peripherally
involved such as nomadic herders.

5. Regular small group meetings can foster a cooperative approach to
problem identification and problem solving, provide a forum for
decision making by consensus, provide a practical means of developing
shared leadership, promote group activities, and make it possible to
share group experiences.

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A community group meeting generally involves a large number of people,
but, if well designed, it can be participatory by encouraging two-way
communication. Smaller focus group meetings can be even more
participatory, as the information sharing may be more equitable when
there are common problems and a common purpose, or when the group
members are comfortable speaking to one another. The outputs from
focus group meetings can be presented to larger group meetings, giving
a "voice" to those in the community who are unable to speak up in a
large group setting.


Time: this will vary according to the purpose of the meeting, and
the interest the meeting holds for participants.

Expenses: minimal.

Training: facilitating a meeting in which two-way communication is
being sought takes some skill, and sensitization.


A lot of careful planning goes into a successful meeting. Two-way
communication must be fostered, interest must be maintained and "work"
must get done.

1. Have a clear purpose. Know what the meeting needs to accomplish,
from both outsider and insider perspectives. Obtain the approval
and involvement of the local leaders, be aware of proper village

2. Use a calendar of dates. It can help check day-to-day

3. Choose a convenient time and place. Consider the size and
composition of the group. Remember that people have different time
constraints, women may not be available to attend at the same time
as men. In some cases the location of a meeting may encourage or
discourage attendance by specific segments of the population
(women, religious, or socio-economic groups).

4. After establishing a time when most can attend, let people know
about it well in advance.

5. If outsiders are involved, check whether they require
accommodations and food.

6. Inform the community or the group of the meeting's purpose. Use
posters, home visits, public announcements, radio, telephone
and/or word of mouth.

7. If entertainment is planned, ensure that it does not distract from
the purpose of the meeting, but lends itself to the topic.

- 69 -

8. Plan/prepare handouts/materials to be distributed. Plan a method
of distribution.

9. Plan smaller, more limited group gatherings (if necessary) and
develop feedback mechanisms.

10. Develop a strategy to encourage discussions (prepare some leading
questions, stop the slide show in the middle and open
discussions). Think always of TWO-WAY communication, and how to
adapt extension aids to encourage participation. A community
person such as a school teacher or local leader, with experience
at meetings, can help facilitate the meeting.

11. When facilitating meetings it is important to:

Make the purpose of the meeting clear in the introduction. Place
that purpose in the context of past, present and future events.

Prepare and check visual aids, audio aids, and electrical
outlets or generator power well before the meeting.

Make the introduction brief, and tailor it specifically for
those attending.

Ensure that there is a comfortable, pleasant atmosphere. Arrange
snacks/drinks when appropriate.

Begin and end, more-or-less, at the stated time.

Start with items/topics/issues on which it is easy for the group
to reach an agreement or to accept differences of opinion.

Allow conflicting opinions to emerge and try to have these
differences either resolved, or accepted by the group.

Summarize the proceedings. Outline the decisions that have been
made and identify "next steps". Confirm time and place of next

Try to end on a high, "positive" note.

Consider that there may be factions in the community that are unable
or unwilling to speak up. Separate meetings with these people can be
held, and their perspectives can be brought back to the larger

Expect that there will be high turnout at the beginning with decreases
over time as only those especially interested or involved will attend.
A "committee" meeting can usually handle operations, with meetings
periodically to inform the rest of the group. If the turnout at
meetings changes abruptly, look for the cause.

- 70 -


Beware of hidden agendas, groups who might use the meeting to
bring up their own problems...the facilitator can sometimes
side-step this by saying, "That's not the purpose of this
meeting, you might want to hold another meeting to discuss
that issue".

The facilitator of the meeting must have enough authority to
keep the meeting on track, but enough sensitivity to include
as many people in the discussions as possible.

The community or group may tend to put the facilitator in the
position of "expert" and expect the facilitator to carry the
whole meeting. Think of creative ways to keep handing the
questions back to the community or group.


Community group meetings are probably the most common communication
tool in community development. But successful meetings with high
interest and two-way communication are rare. Think of new, creative
ways to foster two-way communication and to include as many people as
possible. Here are just a few examples:

In Sudan, where it is culturally
at meetings, the field staff met
extensionist and brought their p
group meeting.

inappropriate for women to speak up
with them separately with a female
perspective back to the next large

In Kenya, slide tape shows were stopped periodically so
community members could create the "ending" to the story.

that the

In Sri Lanka, a process of information gathering was set in motion by
using community group meetings. Questions were formulated by the
group. Teams visited the necessary places (markets) while project
field staff gathered information that local people could not access
from urban centres.

- 71 -




Drawing and discussion is a powerful tool, encouraging creative and
critical participation in an inquiry process. The purposes of this
tool are to:

identify an issue or a problem;

gauge community perception of a current situation, providing
a record for comparison at a later date (for evaluation);

jointly develop an analysis within a group;

strengthen the connection between thought and action;

promote discussion at points where bridging, reframing or
focusing are needed;

provide a visual objective or goal statement.


1. Often people who live in communities where there are
class/language barriers or who are not well developed speakers, can
express opinions and feelings more easily through drawing.

2. Drawing sessions and meetings to discuss drawing presentations can
help strengthen the connection between thought and action.

3. Using self-created visuals, individuals are able to see and
jointly develop an analysis. This act deepens group identity.

4. The expenses are relatively minimal, and if good materials are
used, the "outputs" can be used at a later date for comparisons.

5. Drawing and discussion is a dynamic, flexible tool for information

6. This tool can be used for planning on a macro (community) level or
on a micro (farm) level. It can be used for community problem analysis
to visualize and validate issues. It can also be used for comparative
analysis; drawings can be made in participatory baselines, then done
again, at a later date, to help in evaluation events.

- 72 -


Drawings are produced jointly by the community, or by individuals, and
discussion focuses around them. When one drawing is produced by a
number of people, discussions can center on the importance of what has
been represented. When individual drawings are done these can be
compared and/or discussed in a group. The drawing and discussion tool
is most useful in a culture with a strong visual tradition; this
tradition can be evidenced by the importance people place on pictures,
paintings, or decorations of household effects. Another way to test
the community's visual orientation is to ask a number of persons for
directions to the next village, and see whether they "draw" the
instructions in the sand, or on a piece of paper.




this will vary a great deal, depending on how easily people
take up the exercise. Training of facilitator is minimal.

minimal, whatever drawing materials are available in
field. A flat surface, paper, material, wood, etc.).



1. Introduce the idea to the group, making the purpose or focus of
the drawing exercise clear.

2. Explain that the main purpose is not to produce a work of art, but
to open a discussion and communally represent the community's views
on a specific subject, for example, herders migration corridors
and where reciprocal grazing rights are held.

3. Let the group
giving everyone

dynamics evolve. Often it is simply a matter of
a drawing implement and the opportunity to use it.

4. Group discussion which focuses on the placement and relative
importance of issues can help encourage creation of the most
accurate "picture".

5. It can be useful to conduct this exercise with separate groups
(men and women; land owners and landless; rich and poor),
comparing the drawings in the larger group meetings.

6. Having each member of the group
using these to contribute to the
may help initiate the exercise.

draw their own picture and then
larger, group produced picture

7. When the drawing is completed (hopefully after much discussion),
the group can analyse it. What does it tell them about the issue
under discussion? Have they discovered things they did not know
before? Have they seen things differently? The interpretations of
the group should be recorded for future reference.

- 73 -


It may be difficult for outsiders to interpret drawings.
Recording the group's interpretation will help overcome this.

People may at first be uncomfortable drawing, feeling that
they cannot produce a "work of art". Ensure the group that
the purpose of the exercise is to better understand an issue,
rather than to produce a masterpiece.


In a Turkana community in Kenya, local people produced two drawings.
One was a drawing (A) of their village which identified the problems
the village was currently experiencing. The other drawing (B) showed
what they thought their village would look like once the problems were

Drawing A is a Community Problem Analysis.
Drawing B is a visual "objective statement".
These can be re-analysed and compared during a
Evaluation Event.

A. Problems

Dying animals
Lack of water
Dependency on


B. Solutions

1. More trees
and cropping
2. More water
3. Improved health

Source: Kenyan (1984)


- 74 -




Community directed murals and posters provide a useful way to:

focus, discuss, analyse and present visual objective

develop community extension messages;

show problems, solutions, activities, and/or objectives;

present past, present and future images for inspiration.


1. The community becomes involved as they direct the artist.

2. Murals and/or posters are constant reminders, inspiring activity
or changing attitudes.

3. Murals and/or posters can provide constant monitoring and evalu-
ation tool if well located. A visual objective (ie: what we want our
village to look like in five years) can be placed where the village
can be seen as it is now.

4. Having an artist in the village can spur community interest and
commitment, and help to focus the problem solving.


Murals and posters which are designed by the community and drawn by an
artist have many of the characteristics of Drawing and Discussion
(Tool 2), but they are more permanent and highly visible. It is most
important that the community go through the collective discussion and
analysis stages in order to direct presentation by the artist.

Cultures with a visual tradition will be more comfortable with this
tool. The "style" of drawing should be appropriate to the culture.
To ensure this, local artists should be used whenever possible. Many
religious groups use murals as "inspirational pieces". If people have
religious pictures in their homes, then murals or posters may be an
appropriate tool.

- 75 -


Time: depending on the size of the work and complexity of the
issues, the artist can be in the village from 2 to 14 days.

Expense: materials for the artist. Cost of local artist. If a mural
is to be done, a large, flat, protected space on which to
paint must be provided.

Training: The artist needs training in the community directed
process, and an awareness of the objectives of the


1. The community must agree on the content, presentation and location
of the murals as they will be a visible part of the community. The
community can choose the location for a mural.

2. In order to give good direction to the artist, the community must
plan and discuss what they wish to have done. A first drawing can
be done by the community (see Drawing and Discussion Tool) and
given to the artist as a first step.

3. The artist, guided and directed by the community at all stages of
production, paints the mural or poster.


This tool will not be appropriate for non-visual cultures.

The community must agree to the placement and content of the

Materials (paints and the surface on which to paint) should
be of high durability.


In Southern India, an NGO working in village reconstruction employed
local artists, who lived in the villages, for up to two weeks to draw
large pictures of the village the way the villagers wished it to be in
the future. This was done on the side of community buildings or on
upright rocks on the way to the well. These murals acted as visual
goals statements.

The same NGO used the artists to do fabric "posters" for community
extension. These posters were directed by the villagers and showed the
purposes of different species of trees, and the benefits from planting

In a village in Latin America, school children became involved with
the production of a mural. They were given the purpose of the drawing,
and a contest was held within the school. The children presented their
pictures to the community to be judged. The "winners" worked with the
artist to produce the mural.

- 76 -




Flannel boards can be used in a participatory way to:

raise, discuss, and rank issues according to priorities;

suggest solutions which might be appropriate, and let the
group discuss the applicability of each solution;

monitor community needs.


I. This tool has been found to be especially useful in hierarchical
and highly stratified societies where many issues are too sensitive to
discuss or openly identify. The paste-ups take the pressure off the
group by pre-identifying issues.

2. This tool is especially useful in cultures with a visual

3. The pre-designed "brainstorming" aspect of this tool can trigger
further "brainstorming" by the group.

4. If this tool is used often it can monitor community needs,
checking to see if the same problems are continually identified and
ranked in the same way.


Flannel boards use picture "paste-ups" which can be sequenced or
prioritized in any order. The paste-ups are pictures of common
problems (fire, poverty, soil erosion, drought, increasing population,
etc.) and some common solutions to these problems.

The subject of the paste-ups can be discussed. The position (if any)
these paste-ups will have on the flannel board can also be reviewed.


Time: it will take some time and artistic skill to make the
paste-ups and the flannel board. These may already be a
part of the extension materials, but they can be used in a
more participatory way than was intended.

Expense: a local artist may need to prepare paste-ups, but these are

Training: the facilitator should be aware of two-way communication

- 77 -


1. Prepare for this exercise by having paste-ups that portray current
issues, and potentially sensitive issues. A good range of
possible solutions should be available in paste-ups.

A couple of "outlyers" (inappropriate solutions) can be useful to
encourage the group to disagree with "set" solutions if they are
not appropriate.

Extra materials should be available to allow for in-meeting
preparation of paste-ups if issues or solutions are raised by the

2. Introduce the exercise and the objectives of the exercise to small
groups (6 10 people).

3. Physically involve people. Have them put the paste-ups on the
board, and move them when prioritizing. This can encourage

4. Have discussion identify and rank the problems/issues, and then
identify possible solutions.

5. Record the results of the final flannel board composition (for
example by a photograph) for future reference and comparison.


Flannel boards can limit spontaneity and two-way communica-
tion unless they are done in a way which gives the group


In Rwanda, the forest service, a number of donor agencies, and NGOS
have developed flannel boards that tell a story. Field workers found
that the packaged story did not elicit discussion, and a number of
them tried to use it in a different way. One field worker had the
group arrange the pictures in a story, but omitted one of the crucial
paste-ups in order to have the group discover it themselves. This
helped start discussion.

In West Africa a group has developed the GRAAP flannel board approach.
There are several different techniques. One approach uses boards
which illustrate a region's physical environment in both the past and
the present. The illustrations are used to illicite discussion on
changes that have taken place, causes of these changes, and ways to
reverse negative changes.

- 78 -




Open ended stories can be used to:

facilitate discussion within a group;

identify problems and/or solutions.


1. This tool can be especially useful when not all community members
are literate, but the community has a rich oral or "folkstory"

2. This tool can be combined with a drama or puppet show.

3. This is a dynamic tool. It elicits good group participation.


A story with either the beginning, middle or ending left out. The
tool allows the group to discuss what might happen in the part that
has been purposely deleted.

The beginning can tell a story about a problem, the middle can tell a
story about a solution, and the end can tell a story of an outcome.


Time: the story will have to be "designed" beforehand. Depending
upon the amount of group discussion, telling the story and
filling in the missing part may take up to 2 hours.

Training: a good story-teller with two-way communication skills is


1. Design the whole story so that the part which is left out elicits
response from the group.

2. The storyteller (puppeteer or drama group) must be able to tell
the story, and listen and respond to the community analysis.
Using two facilitators can allow one to tell the story and one to
encourage the community in filling in the "gap".

3. The story and the response need to be recorded. Tape recordings
can be helpful in this instance, even though it is commonly noted
that people with an oral culture have excellent memories.

- 79 -


A good storyteller who understands the purpose of the
exercise is necessary, and it may be difficult to find
someone with both of these attributes in the community.


In East Africa, a story was told from behind a screen while a masked
figure representing the grandmother (the traditional storyteller in
the culture) acted out front. The story (true for the community)
describes a group of women who collect medicines from the forest to
treat their families. A farmer returns from abroad, and receives a
large piece of forest land to start a mechanized farming operation. He
begins to cut down the trees. The women of the village are very sad,
but do not know what to do about it. The "middle of the story" is left
out. The end of the story depicts the women of the village talking
about having enough medicine to look after their own needs, and also
sell some of their remedies to a nearby town. The community then
"filled in" the middle of the story with the things they could do to
make the end of the story a reality.

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Unserialized posters can be used to:

promote discussion towards problem analysis;

assist in making a chronological record

of village


1. The discussion that forms around the sequencing is the most
beneficial aspect of this tool.

2. This tool can be tried with different groups within the community,
and the difference in sequencing can then be compared.

3. This tool is especially useful in communities with a visually
oriented culture.


This tool consists of a set of
the community, usually over a
then chronologically sequenced
has happened. The pictures
problems, beliefs, practices,

posters which depict local incidents in
long period of time. The pictures are
by the group to tell the story as it
can cover the community's history,
values, and issues.



development of the posters may take some time, but they
can be used frequently. Sequencing the posters may take up
to two hours, depending on the amount of discussion.

Expense: development of the posters can entail some cost.


1. Explain the purpose of the exercise to the group.

2. Display all the pictures
regarding each picture

to the group, and open discussion
to determine its relevance to the

3. If sequencing is done in a small group, posters can be moved into
sequence by group members. If a large group is present, group
consensus can determine the position of pictures. Pictures can
then be displayed for all to see.

4. Temporary removal and reintroduction of one or
pictures, can help determine its importance. This
same benefits as the Open-ended Stories Tool.

more of the
provides the

- 81 -


Existing posters may leave out an important event. Blank
posters should be in-hand so that a drawing can be created to
portray the missing event.


A variant of this tool was used by the Bangladesh Cobblers' Programme
to facilitate planning. Using information gathered through interviews
and informal discussions the progress of the group was visually
documented in a number of posters. The goals, the steps and the
activities needed to achieve the goals were depicted. Members put the
posters in the sequence that they felt would help them accomplish
their goals, and through this process the group was able to analyse
and review its progress and plan for the future.

- 82 -




Community case studies can:

help increase knowledge and understanding of the
community by the community itself;

provide information for participatory baselines, community
problem analyses, and evaluation events.


1. Case studies or monographs, written in the local language, can
contribute to increased social identification of the inhabitants with
their village. They can be used as a local reading book in school and
adult education classes.

2. The sorting and decision-making process that the group undertakes
in producing a community portrait encourages focused discussion.
Community case studies are a powerful tool for developing self-
sufficiency because, in the process of developing a case study, the
analysis of the reasons for change, and the effects of change have to
be dealt with.

3. Community case studies encourage a holistic, community view of an
issue. They promote integrated thinking and an awareness of the
complexities of real situations. They can provide information that is
useful to both insiders and outsiders.


A community case study is a collective description and analysis of the
community or beneficiary group. This form of information gathering and
analysis gives special attention to forestry related issues in
considering the entire social, cultural, economic and ecological
existence of a group.

Presentation can be in the form of a drawing, a socio-drama, a song, a
story telling, a photograph, a slide-tape presentation or a video
presentation. The community should present the case study or monograph
in the form that is most comfortable to them.

- 83 -


Time: depends on the depth of knowledge required. Some case
studies by outsiders have taken up to six months. Community
case studies will probably take a shorter period of time.

Expense: depends on the presentation.

Training: a reliable and enthusiastic facilitator to encourage the


1. There should be one or two main themes which focus the case
studies or monographs. These themes must be developed and then
placed in a context. The "themes" of the case study or monograph
should be clearly understood and remain the central focus. It is
easy to get sidetracked as other important issues come up.

2. Field staff should guide and encourage the process, but
responsibility should be assigned to one or several community
members who may be commissioned jointly by community leaders and
the project.

3. When asked by the community, outside extensionists can provide
required information such as marketing statistics or data on
natural forest cover in the area over a period of time.

4. The method of presentation of the case study or monograph should
be chosen early in the information gathering and analysis stage.

5. Key informants may be able to do the ground work obtaining
concurrence from community members.


The community case study may take a long time and "bogged
down" dealing with details, momentum and enthusiasm can be
lost. If one person provides encouragement and support, this
potential problem can be averted.


In Sri Lanka, field staff experienced some success with the case study
approach in evaluating completed projects. However, they found that
villagers responded with "stock" answers because they were not
involved in the process. Field staff suggested that the case study
ought to have been more participatory. In Pakistan, village monographs
(case studies) were recommended for a project that needed a boost of
"participation". And in a Native Indian Community in Canada, a
community "told their story" of social and economic development. This
"story" was then dramatized for video and shown to other native

- 84 -




Historical mapping is used to:

stimulate discussion of why and how a problem arose;

gain community insight into the "root" of a problem.


Understanding the origin of a problem can provide the project and the
community with a clean slate on which to start building solutions.


This tool assists in documenting, either in pictures, writing or
symbols, the history of the community or beneficiary group. A time-
table (either every five or ten years) is established, going back as
far as people can remember. The timetable is focused on a specific
subject such as natural or communal resource management or village
growth and its effect on the surrounding environment.



minimal. Group meeting.

Expense: minimal. Materials on which to write (draw) the time line.


minimal. Can be facilitated by anyone
two-way communication.

experienced in


1. Create a time line to follow every five or
events to be filled in through group discussion.

ten years,

2. Allow time for discussion around each time period, make sure that
all relevant events are recorded.


Sensitive issues from the past may be raised. If this
happens, the facilitator can move to the next time period and
return to the sensitive issue later on. The group should not
get stuck in deep discussion of each issue.

- 85 -



A community in Asia produced this time line in one meeting. They later
developed it in picture form.

1930 Extensive forest felling for Rana Palace
1940 First recruitment to British army from village
1945 Extensive felling of teak and mahogany for export
1960 Introduction of panchayat system
1970 Founding of village primary school
Construction of road
Introduction of daily bus service
1980 Establishment of village nursery and panhayat forest
1990 ?

- 86 -




The purpose of the semi-structured interview is to:

obtain specific quantifiable information from a sample
of the population;

obtain general information relevant to specific issues,
(ie: to probe for what is not known);

gain a range of insights on specific issues.


1. The semi-structured interview encourages two-way communication. It
is therefore less intrusive to those being interviewed. The people
being interviewed can ask questions of the interviewer. In this way it
can also function as an extension tool.

2. This type of interview confirms (qualifies) what is already known
but also provides the opportunity for learning. Often the information
obtained from semi-structured interviews will provide not just the
answers, but the reasons for the answers.

3. Allows individuals to more easily discuss sensitive issues.

4. Helps field staff become acquainted with a broad range of
community members. Outsiders may be better at interviewing because
they are perceived as more objective.

5. The use of both individual and group interviews can optimize the
strengths of both.


Semi-structured interviews provide a framework for focused, conversa-
tional, two-way communication to obtain information from individuals
or groups.

Instead of formulating detailed questions ahead of time, semi-
structured interviewing starts with more general questions or issues.
Relevant factors are initially identified and the possible relation-
ship between these factors and the topic becomes the basis for more
specific questions (called subtopics) which do not need to be prepared
in advance.

- 87 -

Semi-structured interviewing is guided only in the sense that a set of
subtopics (or some other form of interview guide, such as the matrix
described below) is identified before an interview. These preparations
bring some structure to the interview. Not all questions are designed
and phrased ahead of time. The majority of questions are thought-up
during the interview, allowing both the interviewer and the person
being interviewed the flexibility to probe for details or discuss

Semi-Structured Interview Matrix (sample)



varies according to the depth of the issue (1/2 hour
interview is thought to be optimal) and the form of the
interview (group or individual interviews). Group
interview can take 2-3 hours. Analysis may take 2-4 hours.

Expense: minimal.

facilitator (or interviewer) must
communication and analytical skills.

have good


1. Design (facilitator or interview team) a matrix, such as the
example above, which includes topics for discussion.

2. Establish the sample size and method of sampling.

3. Interviewers can conduct a number of practice interviews with each
other to become familiar with the questions, and get feedback on
how they were asked. Do a couple of "test" interviews with
community members for feedback.

- 88 -




4. Either record the information from the interview immediately, or
take brief notes during the interview and elaborate upon them
shortly after.

5. Analyse the information at the end of each day of interviewing,
with the interview team or group.

6. Discuss the results of the analysis with community members so that
they can challenge the perceptions of the interview team. This
can make the process even more participatory.


A lot of superfulous information may surface. Interview team
meetings can help identify similarity in answers.

Assure that, in a personal interview, the person being
interviewed understands and believes that his responses are
confidential and will not be shared with others.

It may take some practice for the interviewer to find the
balance between open-ended, though focused interviewing.

In semi-structured group interview people may interrupt one
another, or "help one another out", or not take turns. They
may also get off the topic completely.

Interviewers need some skills. Common problems with
interviewers are: failure to listen closely, repetition of
questions that have already been asked, failure to probe when
necessary, failure to judge the answers, use of vague or
insensitive questions, failure to ask questions within the
experience of the person being interviewed and most commonly,
use of leading questions. Practice with and critique from
fellow interviewers may help to overcome these potential


Semi-structured interviewing has been found to be more participatory,
and collects more relevant data than formal questionnaires. It has
been used in Sudan, Kenya, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Khon Kaen University
in Thailand uses this information gathering tool extensively in its
rapid rural appraisal methodology.

- 89 -




Ranking, Rating and Sorting can be used to:

identify needs and priorities;

monitor changes in preference;

evaluate the "success" of projects or activities;

compare preferences and priorities between groups.

This tool can be used to obtain a better understanding of an
individual's decision-making process, to identify the criteria that
people use to select certain items or activities, or to pin-point
differences in perception between groups such as landed/landless or
foresters/local people.

This tool can be used to lead to further discussion and analysis among
local people or as a training tool for outsiders to learn from local
people. It can be used in all phases of the project: to choose
between activities during problem identification, to monitor changes
in preference, and to evaluate projects by identifying the reasons a
community might adopt or reject different technologies or project


1. This is a flexible and "fun" tool. Picture cards or written cards
can be sorted, ranked and rated.

2. The tool "physically" involves people in the decision-making
because they must handle and sort the cards.

3. Qualitative information can be translated into quantitative

4. The rationale for group decisions can be revealed; the issues
which need further investigation can be identified.

- 90 -


Ranking, Rating, and Sorting is a tool which encourages people to
make, and then evaluate, choices (whether individually or in a group).
It is a simple and inexpensive tool for obtaining information about
how people make choices, why people make choices, and what choices
they make.

The tool is very adaptable.
species preferences is needed,
any of the following ways:

For example, if information on local
the tool can be designed and used in

(a) baskets can be labelled "first", "second", "third", and
"fourth", choice and a set of cards with pictures of different species
can be given to each respondent. Respondents can select four species
cards and then rank these cards in order of preference by placing one
card in each of the four labelled baskets. Choices can then be
discussed and a tally can be kept by the facilitator for future

(b) containers can be labelled with potentially available tree
species and respondents can be given cards (or some other set of
objects) to signify first, second, third and fourth choice.
Respondents can signify preferences by ranking the possible species
and placing priority markers in appropriate containers.

(c) cards
leaves, fruits
respondents and
explaining the

of different tree species (using pictures of trees,
or, in literate cultures, words) can be given to
they can be asked to sort them in order of preference,
reasons for their choices.

(d) respondents can be given pairs of cards and, comparing the
set, can voice a preference for one or another species.

This tool can
field staff.
staff members

just as easily be used to elicit the opinions of
Simply have community members ask the questions;



depends on the complexity of tool design. Time will
required to design, test, and administer the tool.

Expense: minimal. Use what is at hand.


facilitator should be very familiar with the tool. It
important to test this tool thoroughly before use.

- 91 -



1. Prepare for tool design with a community/beneficiary meeting.
Have the group review its objectives and choose a topic for
examination. It may be necessary to use other tools (interviews,
drawing etc.) to determine the key items for comparison (never
choose more than six items for one comparison).

2. Construct recording forms
simple matrix forms which

for the interviewer.
indicate the variables

These can be
that are to be

3. It may not be possible to test all community members/ field staff.
Have select a representative sample with the community members.
The topic should help limit the possible candidates for selection
(e.g. if discussing agroforestry species selection, non-farmers
may not need to be considered).

4. To administer the questions
required. They should have
tool's case-specific design.
field experience working with

a team of at least 2 persons is
a basic working knowledge of the
They should also have some hands-on
Ranking, Rating and Sorting.

5. Explain the exercise to each individual or group. Make sure they
understand the question and the selection process.

6. When doing paired comparisons, begin with the two most similar
items (two varieties of Eucalyptus, for example). A good question
could be "If you could have one of these, which one would you
choose first?" The next question could be: "Could you tell me why
you have made that choice?" Continue through the entire list of
comparisons. Allowing time for participants to physically
register their selections.

7. Make sure to record results on prepared forms so that they can
be tabulated later.

8. Summarize results using a format that is easily understandable. A
table or chart can be a good way to present results.
(See Section 7).

9. Meet with the community to present and discuss the results. In
this larger group setting new, useful information can surface.


The testing of the tool is important. The method of
selection and the choices must be clearly understood by all
respondents. Carefully test the tool and weed out unclear
methods and choices.

Recording responses may be difficult if the reasons for
choices are required. This is especially true if this is a
group exercise. A tape recorder may help record responses.

- 92 -

Decisions are subjective. Be careful who is selected to
participate. Results should be as reliable as possible.
Because of this subjectivity, the findings may not be
applicable to other areas.

This can be a complex and time-consuming tool if too many
comparisons are made. Comparison of 6 items is the maximum.


In a development project in Ethiopia, six tree species were being
promoted for community forestry. However, farmers were obviously
somewhat dissatisfied and adoption of some species was low.

This tool was used to determine the species preferences of both
farmers and extension workers. The interviewers began by laying down
two squares of paper representing tree species. Respondents were
asked to choose which of the pair was better and to state why. They
were then asked whether the less preferred species was superior in any
way and whether there was anything else of interest about the two

The responses revealed great differences in opinion between the two
groups (farmers and extensionists). The results showed that farmers
preferred trees with a wide range of uses (other than just rapid
growth), choosing species for very different reasons than

- 93 -




Community environmental assessment is used to gather information and
analyse the environmental effects of planned and/or completed
activities in order to:

provide systematic and consistent value judgements which can
be compared over time;

predict, as far as possible, the various positive and
negative effects proposed activities may have. When these
are understood, trade-offs, which are as favourable as
possible to the people involved, can be made;

identify areas where problems may occur (ie: warning flags).


1. This tool can be useful to beneficiaries, community and field

2. The assessments can create a better understanding of the settings
in which negative situations may arise.

3. It can also assure local awareness of both the positive and
negative environmental effects of a project.


This tool provides a framework for group observation and value
judgement. The importance of the impact is determined by key people,
and given a numerical assignment (value), an environmental score.
Though the score is not that useful in and of itself, a comparison of
the ratings can indicate the relative importance of different factors
and areas to watch.


Time: meetings to design and familiarize field staff with tool.
Construction of materials (wall chart, value assignment
chart). Approximately 2 hours for each "exercise".

Expense: materials to produce wall charts, etc.

- 94 -


1. After holding a community/beneficiary meeting to determine the
topic that is to be examined, design categories and construct
questions which relate to the issue which is being examined. Do
this with a group of key community members.

For example:

The "environment of a community is defined by the health, social,
economic, cultural and physical aspects of that community".

The basic question that will be asked is

"How will the proposed activity affect....."

2. The value assignments and categories can be
form. An example of this given below:

produced in chart

Value assignments may be made in the following way:

Very positive, clear and decisive positive impact
Some, but limited positive impact
No effect, not applicable, no impact
Some definite, but limited negative impact
Very specific or extensive negative impact


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ee..p.rl,r k. ~ 1~. Te..e. ,.,e.e .

b I.... llllll.
it rl^nF11, c.~( .rlll,
6b P -ti.

Id If.I

7. Adslstr1
fpe 11c0.

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ropet. dlr
fre 00.. 4

- 95 -

rsI Vlir ITw LOWC TERs

An explanation of the factors presented in columns 1 and 2:

Surface water: runoff,
activity affect runoff.
discharges)? Will/Does it

peaks and yields. Will/Does the
Will/Does it affect the peaks
affect the amount of water flow?

Groundwater: its quality, recharge rates. Does/(Will)/Has the project
altered) its chemical composition?

Vegetation: Will/Has natural vegetation be/been
increased (good)? How will/has natural regeneration
Will/Has there be/been additional or fewer demands
grasses, etc?

on trees,

(bad) or

Soils: Will/Does the project increase or drain soil fertility? Where
land surfaces will be/are affected by the project, does/has the best
land use produce favorable or unfavorable results? Will/Has erosion
be/been more or less likely?

Other: Basic questions dealing with favorable or unfavorable changes
in wildlife, fisheries, natural features.

Food: Will/Do people have more food? Dry season foods? A more complete

Disease: Will/Has the project create/created more standing water?
Will/Has the project increase/increased fast flowing water?

Other: Basic questions dealing with toxic chemicals, exposure to
animal borne diseases, etc.

Agriculture productivity: Will/Have per capital
(staples or cash crops) yields be/been affected?

food production

Volume of goods or services: Will/Has the project provide/provided
more or fewer goods (food, firewood, water, etc.)?

Common resources: Water, pasture, trees, etc. Will/Has the project
eliminate/eliminated community use of any of these resources? Will/Has
it restrict/restricted access to these resources?

Project equity: How will/have benefits been distributed? Who will/has
profited from these activities. How "fairly" will/have the benefits
be/been shared?

- 96 -


3. Two separate operations are required: OBSERVATIONS (results from
measurements or judgements 1-4); and CALCULATIONS (5-12)

4. Test the materials with a small group first so that the "bugs"
(small problems) are worked out and facilitators become familiar
with the tool.

5. Go through the exercise with community groups. Each group should
produce a consensus statement stating which environmental factors
should be most closely watched.

6. This tool can be used periodically throughout the project, to
monitor changes in environmental factors.


The community should be heavily involved in the design of the
tool (categories and questions). Avoid "fine-tuning" the
tool and "applying" it to a community without their input.

This tool will not provide exact, mathematically precise
measurements. However, it will provide systematic and
consistent judgements which can be compared over time.

Leave room for new categories and questions that the groups)
may suggest during the exercise.

This is a somewhat complicated tool, so be sure it is well
understood before using it.


This tool has recently been created, and has not yet been field
tested. For further details see Weber in the Annotated Bibliography.

- 97 -




Survival surveys can be used to:

plan for nursery management;

measure the amount of community interest (protection,
management, watering) in trees;

provide information about correct site/species selections;

increase the likelihood of overstock, based on mortality

determine reasons for mortality.


1. Serves as an "early warning indicator" for both technical and
social problem areas.

2. The stocking rates can be adjusted to maintain optimal stocking

3. Comparisons between communities can be made.

4. The quality of the nursery seedlings can be determined, (this will
give information on seed sources, handling, planting, etc. but is more
of a quality check than a survival survey, and is usually done soon
after planting).


Time: some time may be needed to determine why and how farmers
want to do a survival survey.

Expenses: depends on the methods, but minimal.

Training: some training on how to determine reasons for mortality and
how to set sample size and choose methods for sampling.


There are at least two ways to do survival surveys. One is useful if a
survival count is to be carried out on a macro-level on all the trees
that have been planted. This is a useful tool if farmer/community
records are not being kept. An appropriate and representative sample
can give information on the extent to which trees have survived. It
can sometimes also give some indication as to why some trees have not

- 98 -

The other method, a micro-level count is useful if farmers or
community members have kept their own seedling survival records. This
type of survey uses a sample of their records to represent the
community as a whole.


1. Determine (through discussions with beneficiaries) WHY a survival
survey may be useful. HOW they may benefit from the information.
WHICH information they need.

2. Design the survival survey. Consider the above information needs.
There may be many different factors to consider: different
configurations woodlotss, alleycropping, boundary planting,
compound planting, random field planting, etc.), variation in
species, possible reasons for mortality (weather, animal browse,
etc.), different sites (dry/wet, fertile/infertile, etc.).

3. Decide how the survey will be administered. There are a number of

(a) when distributing seedlings, give each individual a card
listing the number of each different type of seedling being taken.
Ask that it be returned, with survival rates recorded, when
receiving seedlings the following season;

(b) survival rates can be a part of the Farmer's Own Records
(Tool 15). If this is the case, a representative sample of these
records can be used;

(c) if micro-farm planning is done, a representative sample of
the farms can be taken, and a survival survey can be done on a few

(d) if no records of seedling distribution have been kept, an "as
is" inventory can be made, and a survival survey can then be
carried out in the future;

(e) for small communities, maps which record the households with
seedlings, seedling species and seedling survival rates can be
created and compared over time.

(f) demonstration plots (fenced areas with planted seedlings) can
give "benchmarks" of seedling performance when seedlings are given
optimum protection. These can be helpful if protection is a
limiting factor.

4. A representative sampling methodology is probably a good idea.
Stratify the sample by site conditions, agroforestry techniques,
species, size, farm units, or programmes, etc.

Once you have stratified the sample, you must decide whether it
makes sense to have a permanent (go back to the same trees every
year) or a temporary sample (count only the trees planted in the
last season).

- 99 -

NOTE: There has been a lot of difficulty with permanent samples
because with many fast growing species it is very difficult to
tell the age of a seedling. Tagged trees lose their tags. If
permanent sampling is to be done, a map of the area that indicates
each tree and it's planting date can help.

If sample accuracy is of concern, basic statistics may be
required. Get help before beginning the survey if a high level of
confidence in the data is required or/and if unsure about the
process of statistical analysis.

5. It is important to decide WHEN to sample for survival. There are
four discrete periods when trees should be checked. It is
important to define the period in which the survival surveys are
needed. Keep the period consistent over time.

(a) Initial Check: mainly to evaluate planting quality, handling

(b) At end of limiting factor: drought, rain, pests, frost, etc.
(this is usually what is meant by a survival count)

(c) At "free to grow" stage. This stage varies based on many
different factors, such as height away from browse or height above
competing vegetation.

(d) After spacing operations: when optimal stocking is assumed.


These sampling methods, when used, will give a "pretty good"
estimate of survival, but may not be statistically valid.
It is most important that the survey supply useful, and that
fairly reliable information which is relayed to the

Survival surveys are done once the LIMITING FACTOR has
passed. This can be after the dry period, after herder's have
passed through, after seasonal problems (wind and water) etc.
A check on seedlings before this will not give reliable
survival figures, although a check can be useful for
determining restocking requirements.

Survival surveys are most useful as management tools, not as
"success" indicators.

Be careful when identifying households where survival rates
are low or management techniques may be poor. Public
identification of planters with low survival rates can
sometimes lead to divisiveness and decreased community

Be consistent and systematic in conducting survival surveys
as this will give useful information over time. Stick to the
pre-selected sample and sampling methods so that bias is
limited. Otherwise, results may not be reliable.

- 100 -


Community survival surveys were carried out in a forestry village
project in India. Each community's "villager forester" had a map of
the village and would put a coloured dot in the appropriate space for
each different tree species planted in and around the village. If the
tree died a circle was drawn around the dot. The "villager forester"
reported "survival" to the project which did the analysis and
presented the information to the village in simple chart form. In
that way villagers could see survival by species and village. The
maps, which were on display in the village, also gave a good
indication of where trees did not survive...which households did not
protect or manage them well, and where poor site/species selection had
been made.

- 101 -




When participatory forestry action research is done in forestry
related activities, the tools for monitoring (eg. yields, research
plot records, soil traps) will help:

locally test new technologies (species, management practices,
soil conservation measures, etc.);

determine the effectiveness of specific interventions when
trees are planted to respond to a particular need;

support and strengthen indigenous research skills.


1. These tools identify research that is relevant to farmer's real

2. These tools generate information that outside research agencies
can use to identify their future research.

3. These tools give research high local visibility.

4. These tools show farmers the changes (positive or negative)
brought about by interventions.

5. These tools lower the risks that could be associated with large
scale promotion and adoption of a given approach.

6. These tools can hasten the adoption/rejection of new technologies.

7. These tools can strengthen participatory extension methods.


A number of tools are presented in this category, and each of them can
be used to monitor specific aspects of participatory action research.
Basic to all is a consistent, comparative and/or systematic
measurement of some key indicators which will show the effects of the

- 102 -


Soil Traps:

Research Plots:

farmers (communities) measure and record informa-
tion. A separate booklet may be provided, or a
section in the Farmers (Communities) Own Records
(Tool 15).

this is an example of a simple physical structure
which is set up to monitor the effects of an
intervention which may effect soil stability.
Farmers (Communities) build and set up the soil
traps, and measure and record the resulting

central-farmer initiated research plots. These
plots are established on communal or government
land. They can be used to test interventions that
could be risky to farmers. The inputs (measurements
and records) should be provided by the project.

decentral-uses farmer initiated on-farm plots which
farmers measure and record.





varies based on the tool, but meetings and follow-up may
take a great deal of time.

varies with the tool, but minimal.

if the project staff has no experience in research
design, help may be needed to design such things as
research plots. However, with care, much of the actual
research can be carried out by farmers.


1. Arrange a meeting of field staff and beneficiaries to discuss what
interventions and management practices they wish to test, what
methods they wish to employ (ie: whether it will be a test/control
plot, or yields tests before and after treatments), the terms of
measurement, and the method of measurement.

2. Field staff and key community members should then design the
monitoring tool (this can be a separate booklet or an insert in
Farmers'(Communities) Own Records (Tool 15).

3. Some monitoring methods:

Soil traps or sticks

-can be pits dug and shored up, or sticks with measurements carved
or coloured on them. These can be used to study erosion control
if soil runoff is monitored in areas with and without farmer

- 103 -

Research plots

-central (demonstration) plots are easier to manage and control.
More "scientific" information can be collected. They may have
higher community visibility. And records are centralized and
shared with the community.

-decentralized (on-farm) research plots have value because they
show variation in sites, they are more realistically managed in
terms of labour inputs, and they may facilitate greater
farmer-to-farmer interaction. Records are kept by each farmer and
there can, therefore, be variation in results. Trends can,
however be shown.


-to measure the effect of an intervention (alley cropping,
windbreaks, boundary plantings, etc.) on crop yields, and the
outputs from an intervention (poles, fodder, firewood, etc.). The
units of measurements should be determined and recorded by the


Do not take land out of production for trials if farmers'
yields, and therefore livelihood, is risked.

The increase in the attention being given to select farmers
may lead them to feel that they need to apply more attention
to the test plots (weeding, watering, etc.) than to the
control plot. Results may in this way become inaccurate.

Other factors that could influence research results must be
considered (ie: unusually heavy rains over one year might
result in heavy erosion; use of improved crop seed could
improve harvests; the number of years the land has been
fallow could affect productivity, etc.).

Results over the long term will increase accuracy, and
decisions should not be made on the basis of short-term

- 104 -


In a World Neighbor project in Mali, farmers identified their research
needs; they were not satisfied with the quality of the new variety of
short cycle millet that had been introduced. The field staff used
dialogue to guide discussion. By evaluating different techniques, the
farmers decided how to undertake trials. Ten individuals chose to
undertake trials on small plots (10 steps by 10 steps) on their own
land. Each trial plot represented the major variant conditions
prevailing in the community (ie: fertile/poor soil; high/low land;
early/late planting time, etc.) Farmer's grasped the utility of
establishing control plots, and using the local variety of millet next
to the trial plots.

After harvest, a community level evaluation was organized. Farmers
reported their assessment of the results based on the criteria they
had established: yield, flavor, drought and pest resistance,
conservability and marketability. Disparities in the results were
questioned, and ultimately the group decided to recommend that the new
variety only be used under specific conditions.

The experience revealed "a remarkable ability among the farmers to
test new technologies, analyse results, and formulate recommendations
for use."
ILEIA (1988)

A small NGO in East Africa used informally trained community members
as agroforestry extension workers for yearly evaluations of new
agroforestry interventions in neighboring villages. Following these
evaluation missions, villager/extension workers regularly came
together to share their observations in an evaluation seminar. In one
of these discussions the observed differences in coppicing a
particular species were analysed. Further study was proposed and
farmer designed and managed demonstration plot tests were planned. In
this case, the approach permitted evaluation of different techniques
without risk to farmers' trees.

- 105 -




Maps and mapping tools can be useful to:

monitor changes in land use;

plan and design project elements with the

evaluate changes in land use through comparison.


1. This tool can be used periodically to monitor changes.

2. It is a monitoring tool that is accessible to many.

3. It is less time consuming than other monitoring tools. Many
different interventions can be monitored using the one tool.

4. This tool can give a broad overview of the evolution of the
community. It is useful for monitoring community forestry/watershed

5. Conflicts over land allocation can be avoided or addressed before
projects begin.

6. By using this tool communities can see, some for the first time,
the linkages and inter-relationships of land use patterns.

7. Maps and mapping can be a multipurpose tool, used first for
planning, then for monitoring, then for evaluation.


This tool uses purchased maps, maps produced by the group and/or
aerial photographs to assist with community land use planning and
monitoring of changes in land use.


Time: depends on the ability of the community to assimilate and
learn to use this tool, whether for planning or

- 106 -

aerial photographs may be expensive if not readily
available. Purchased maps can be used, or the community
can draw maps themselves (see Drawing and Discussion
Tool 2) in which case expenses are minimal. Good quality
paper should be used, especially if the maps that are
drawn by the community and are to be used on an ongoing

mimimal. Some
must also have

familiarity with maps. The facilitator
the ability to involve the group in the


1. Introduce both the concept of maps, mapping, and/or aerial
photographs, and the purpose of the exercise to groups of 5-7
persons. (These small groups can, perhaps, be composed of
representatives of different groups within the community.)

If this tool is to be used for planning, discussions of the
various options vis-a-vis land use or project activities can be
either drawn in on the map/photograph or overlayed.

If this tool is to be used for monitoring, accomplishments should
periodically (for example, after each season) be indicated on the

If this tool is used for evaluation, a comparison of maps
photographs will be most useful.


2. If using aerial photographs or maps, common landmarks need to be
identified first (local names for lakes, rivers, roads,
buildings). Other areas should be identified relative to

An overlay which sketches areas of importance can be used on an
aerial photograph, (communal grazing lands, private farms, state
forest, etc.)

3. If mapping with the community/beneficiaries, there are a number of
different ways to use this tool. For example, people can (separa-
tely or in groups) draw their own maps of the community, and these
can be compared and synthesized into one large map. This can be
especially useful if different strata of the community are
involved, as different perceptions of land use are elicited; a
discussion regarding these differences can sometimes help the
community to resolve problems before they arise.

4. For micro-farm planning, separate maps can be created by indivi-
dual farmers (for either planning, monitoring and/or evaluation)
and then combined on a larger community map.

5. It is important to use good quality maps or paper, and keep them
in a safe place for future reference.

- 107 -




Aerial photographs may be difficult to obtain, and/or
expensive to buy. They may also be difficult to read and

A comparison of different individual's maps may bring out
feelings of inadequacy, or an unwillingness to acknowledge
certain assets.

Conflicts may arise if inequities become apparent, or old
hostilities are rekindled.

A cross section of the community is required to validate the
overall community perceptions.

One person may dominate or direct drawing if mapping is done
by the group as a whole.


Rocheleau (1988) suggests that a series of mapping and field visits at
the beginning of and at regular intervals throughout the project can
be a way of monitoring progress, problems and new opportunities in

In Nepal, aerial photographs have been successfully adopted for
land-use planning in communities. Once landmarks are identified this
approach has been easily accepted.

- 108 -




Farmers' (communities) own records are used to monitor and analyse the
effects of forestry interventions in order to:

judge whether project recommended forestry techniques (new
species, new methods of management, etc.) are cost
beneficial to the farmer (community);

test and compare old practices and new practices;

define future research and development priorities for
improving the technology;

provide an "early warning system" for new, locally untested


1. The community uses its own information sources to see and judge
the desirability of recommended changes.

2. The tool can be used for all types of forestry interventions, such
as agroforestry, compound plantings, fodder banks, community woodlots,
small-scale forest based enterprises.

3. The tool keeps track of inputs (seed, fertilizer, tools, labour)
and outputs (crop yield increases, polewood, fodder, secondary forest

4. The tool monitors what the farmers (community) perceive as
important inputs/outputs.

5. The tool provides "on-farm" research information which can,
through comparison, help identify future research priorities.

6. The tool provides site and situation specific information in a
consistent format.

7. The tool does not necessarily require literacy.

- 109 -


The tool utilizes a farm or community record booklet that is designed
to suit a specific area and situation. Choose the monitoring
indicators with the beneficiaries. Distribute staff-designed booklets
to the relevant beneficiaries after briefly training them to keep the
records. The booklet can contain simple step-by-step procedures to
monitor information and analyse results.


Time: some. Meetings between beneficiaries and field staff to
discuss the idea. Design and modification of the booklet.
Distribution of booklet. Periodic follow-up (with
extension visits). Meetings between beneficiaries and
field staff to synthesize and analyse information.

Expenses: production and copy costs of booklet.


1. Facilitate discussions. Get beneficiaries to identify their
purpose in monitoring; the overall method that will be appropriate
for the purpose and the situation; and the terms of measurement
(for example, bags or kilos; labour measured by half-day or by the

2. Design a record keeping booklet (this may be only one page, depen-
ding on the situation) using the information obtained in Step 1.
Obtain feedback from beneficiaries throughout the design process.

An adaptation of the "Sample Farm Record" might be suitable for
use with farmers. Even farmers who do not know how to read and
write can keep records of the time they spend working in various
activities. By making one mark for every half-day spent doing
specific jobs, a farmer can compare time worked on the control
plot with the time spent on the test plot.

3. Produce the appropriate number of record keeping booklets and
distribute them to beneficiaries with a short familiarization

4. Follow-up and evaluate the utility of the tool, providing advice
as required.

5. Meet periodically to synthesize, compare and discuss the results.

- 110 -


The results may be somewhat general if the tool is used to
assess technologies which are being used over a wide area.

There should be space in the booklet for recording unexpected

The booklet should be designed, produced and analysed with
beneficiaries so that they can do it themselves in future.


World Neighbors (Rugh 1987) gives a sample of a farmer's record and
states that it is especially good for pre-literate beneficiaries.

- 111 -

C 0 0 0000000
0 0 0 0 0000000
FARM RECORD control plot test plot

o/ound/// //

/ ///

planting II 111


harvestilng" 9r / /f





This monitoring tool is used to:

assist and improve nursery administration. It can also
provide a record of experiences for the future;

retain valuable information about new nursery and disease
control techniques, sources of seeds, etc.;

keep track of seedling distribution for future follow-up;

keep cost accounts.


1. This tool helps beneficiaries learn nursery practices.

2. This tool can help identify nursery research needs.

3. This tool can help establish a protocol for good nursery practice.


This tool is a record book which is maintained by either the community
nursery committee or their chosen representative. It records what the
beneficiaries feel is necessary. The information may provide cost
accountability, a record of technical information or species


Time: meeting to decide which information to record, and to
choose the person responsible for maintaining the nursery

Expenses: minimal: a sturdy book, lined but without columns.

- 112 -


1. Meet with beneficiaries, and the nursery committee to discuss the
1. of nursery information, to decide which information to
collect, and to choose a person responsible for record-keeping.

2. Set-up the record book with the nursery committee. Design it
according to the information needs discussed at the meeting. (Some
examples of nursery record books are given below.)

3. Provide follow-up and assistance as needed.

4. Have periodic larger meetings to provide feedback to


- 113 -


Field staff should ensure that they do not force their own
project information needs on beneficiaries. Staff must
inform beneficiaries of the uses and benefits of different
kinds of information. Staff should also review what each
type of information has provided other communities.


A number of community nurseries in Sudan did not maintain the fairly
complicated nursery record books that had been supplied by the
project. They did however, record distribution by species and cost,
because the nursery committee needed to account for the money they

The communities also had a "running history" of the nursery in the
back of the book. This history included the names of those who had
volunteered labour, and the dates of major work projects (sowing
seeds, germination, weeding, etc).

- 114 -




Community financial accounts will be useful to:

monitor the finances of small-scale forest based, community
managed enterprises;

provide accountability to the community;

assist in evaluating the inputs/outputs.


1. This tool helps beneficiaries identify financial problems quickly.

2. This tool helps beneficiaries make management decisions.

3. This tool develops beneficiary book-keeping skills.


This tool utilizes basic single-entry book-keeping techniques
(receipts, input/output columns, etc.)


Time: meetings with beneficiaries and field staff to discuss
information needs, and how to use this system.

Expenses: the file case, accounts book, stamps, office equipment.

Training: some training needed for the person that is chosen to be
responsible for keeping accounts.


1. Meet with beneficiaries and discuss which information is needed,
what inputs and outputs are expected, where information will come
from, and who will be responsible for the accounts.

2. Design a book-keeping system to yield the needed information.

3. Follow-up and assist record keeping for ongoing accounts,
balancing and reporting.

- 115 -


The book-keeping should be kept as simple as possible.


The VITA (1983) have described a single entry book-keeping system that
has been successfully used in small community enterprises (see
Annotated Bibliography).

- 116 -




The main purposes of this to tool are to:

provide a framework for analysis of a gi

encourage input from many people;

"brainstorm" potential solutions (opp
constraints (threats);

gather information useful in evaluation.

ven situation;



1. Field staff have found this tool easy to explain easy to use, and
easily understood by community members.

2. This tool can be used for: problem analysis, monitoring, and

3. This tool provides a framework for balanced discussion of the
strengths and weaknesses of a given situation.

4. Open, in-depth, focused, and frank discussion is facilitated.

5. This tool allows for ALL ideas around a specific issue to be

6. This tool can record changes in attitude and perception if done in
a focused and consistent manner.

- 117 -


A simple categorized framework allows groups to analyse and/or
evaluate issues.




those project elements that
one is proud to say about

have worked. Things that
the project/situation/




those project elements that have not worked so well.
Times when things could have gone better.

ideas for how Weaknesses can be overcome and Strengths
can be built upon.

the constraints that exist and diminish the range of

Together these make up S.W.O.T. analysis. For each heading, the
defines, discusses, and records as many factors as possible.



approximately two hours will
tool to participants, and to
also needed to synthesize and



be needed to explain the
do the exercise. Time is
analyse the results.

minimal: some large paper or newsprint and big pens; or
a blackboard and chalk.

minimal: facilitator must be able to understand the
and synthesize discussion into a few words, making
the idea is properly recorded.



1. Produce worksheets. List the categories and leave space to insert
the main points of discussion. An example is:

- 118 -


2. Decide which issue is to be discussed and the method of
presentation in a small group meeting.

3. Discuss the uses and benefits of the tool with the larger group.

4. It is best to go through all strengths first, then all weaknesses,
and so on.

5. Some points may be discussed at length before consensus is
reached. Write-up each point only after consensus has been


Sensitive subjects may arise. The facilitator may wish
to change topic and return to sensitive point later;
this can eliminate possible problems.

Some of the group may dominate discussion. The
facilitator can ask specific persons for input, or the
exercise can be done with different focus groups.

Synthesizing discussion into a few words may be
difficult. The facilitator should always check to see
that the audience agrees with the reporting.


An agroforestry project in Sudan used and liked this tool when they
were introduced to it in a workshop setting. They decided to use it as
a basis for community evaluations to see if the extension messages
were appropriate. They used S.W.O.T. Analysis instead of
questionnaires because it was more informal and more participatory.
The community groups were quick to catch on and there were lively
discussions. Field staff received constructive feedback on their
performance and were able to adapt their approach.

- 119 -




An effective tool for community/group problem analysis and evaluation.
The objectives of popular theatre are to:

express feelings of a group rather than an
artist regarding social contradictions;

emphasize participation rather
process rather than product;


than presentation,

exploit the potential of drama as a "rehearsal for life"
because it enables people to imagine themselves in
different settings and to explore the distance between
the personal intention and the restrictions on action in
the "real" world;

provide a way for the community to "tell their own
story" historically, or currently (for problem
analysis), or to describe a process of regional
development in a certain field (evaluation);

express community concerns, overcome fears and build

leave the audience with
result of which they will

"unresolved tensions" as a
take action to seek solutions.


1. Through this tool the community defines its own reality in a
dynamic and culturally acceptable manner.

2. This tool is multipurpose. It can be used for problem analysis,
evaluation and monitoring. It can be used often throughout the project
to build a story. It can be used to present the "results" of analysis,
and have those results verified by a wider audience. It can be used to
present information to other communities, other decision makers and/or
other interested parties (using video, slide tapes or tape

3. This tool encourages a high degree of community/beneficiary

- 120 -


This is a tool to develop the consciousness of rural populations
through the use of of local media such as dance, song, drama, mime,
etc. Popular theatre is different than traditional theatre because
rather than mimic the culture, it often seeks to show the contra-
dictions. It attempts to leave the audience with questions to which
they will seek answers. The presentation ought to be in a common
local art form. It should bring people together and facilitate

The process links experience, analysis and imagination in an attempt
to clarify participants' understanding of their society so that they
can change it.


Time: for a fairly elaborate presentation this tool requires some
time. If the community is familiar with their chosen form
of communication it may not require much time at all.

Expenses: minimal if locally available costumes and props are used.
If recording is done, (photographs, slides, video, tape
recording) it can be more expensive.

Training: Training in the use of this method is recommended.
Experience has shown that once a group is presented with
the idea, they enthusiastically proceed. An outside
theatre group may be used to facilitate presentation if
local expertise is not available.


There are four basic steps in one approach to producing popular

1. TAKING IN Create a space in which members of the community can
feel free to talk openly of experiences or problems which are
painful, difficult or taboo to discuss. Most groups begin by
exploring their own experiences, and later, as they acquire the
research skills, they begin to study experiences of others.

2. ANALYSING THE MATERIAL Analysis is done in the form of a
discussion between the community and the animators/actors/
facilitators. In this discussion the collected material is
examined in its wider social, economic and political contexts.
This approach can bring to light the relationships between
different problems, making contradictions clear.

- 121 -

3. CREATING MATERIAL Convert the major issues which have been
identified into entertainment. This entertainment can be in the
form of a series of workshops, or a play. It can also be studied
by others in an effort to increase their understanding. Activities
can be structured into entertainment by:

(a) experimental activities Ask people to experiment, to take on
the role of a group or community that is unfamiliar to them and to
feel and reflect on the experience. For example, an urban group
may be asked to experiment as members of a rural group, or men may
be given the role of women. When people take on a very unfamiliar
role they are "forced" to learn and explore new feelings and

(b) reflection Mold the new thoughts and emotions that have been
learned in the experimentation into stories or scenes. This can be
done by incorporating the ideas into the narrative element of the
emerging drama or shaping it into a discussion between the
experimenting group and the audience. Reflection leads people into
the next and important stage... "rehearsal for life" where
participants have the opportunity to create a scene where people
change and new perceptions of a situation emerge. This is called
the drama of intervention.

(c) interventionist drama Ask the participants or audience to
intervene and solve a problem or resolve a contradiction. By
resolving the contradiction, the drama reaches a new stage, a new
drama. This new drama may have new contradictions built into it
and so the process becomes continuous.

All of these stages can take place in a natural setting. They do
not require a traditional theatre nor all the trappings of a
theatre such as scripts, sets, costumes, lighting.

4. ORGANIZATION A vital part of popular theatre is organization. In
order for this process to take place a collective structure has to
be developed. It is in this collective structure that the analysis
is rooted. This structure ensures that the community participates
in all the decisions central to the work. It also safeguards and
controls both the direction and the outcome of the process. The
collective organization guarantees that resource people/animators
and writers remain in touch with the group's feelings and vice


It may be difficult to record the process and the
outcome especially if there is a lot of audience
response. It can also be expensive if video,
photographs, etc. are used.

Actors have to "create" quickly, based on audience

The entertainment value should not outweigh the learning

- 122 -


Popular theatre groups exist throughout the world: Sistern in Jamaica,
Kamirithu in Kenya, Proshika in Bangladesh, and PETA in the

In a popular theatre activity used for problem identification in Kake,
Cameroon, the villagers identified a conflict between three villages
over land availability and distribution, and agriculture methods.

In Zimbabwe, a role play which was used to stimulate analysis of
declining forest resources was very successful. Some community members
personified and acted as "the most important trees" in the community,
while others acted as "threats to the trees". Three scenes were done:
the home, the field, and the forest.

The role playing in Zimbabwe paved the way for discussions of: the
current status of trees and threats to tree resources (drought,
overpopulation and mismanagement), the most important trees and their
value to different groups, and the disappearance of trees over time.
The play was completed in a very short time, and received lively
response. The group agreed that they had created something that they
felt good about, and had enjoyed themselves in the process.

In one country in West Africa, where there was a strong tradition of
extemporaneous theatre, extensionists used a play that had actors in
the roles of a governor and an extension agent who were sent to a
village to learn of the community's development priorities. The two
actors pretend to arrive in the village. They call upon the real
village members to help them learn what different village groups want
(leaders, women, landless, etc.). Soon a large number of villagers
"acted" the part of villagers and discussed village priorities from
the perspective of different user groups. Extension agents found this
an enjoyable and effective tool for starting participatory assessment.
They felt it could be used for monitoring and evaluation as well.

- 123 -




Puppet theatre has the same objectives as popular theatre, but this
medium is especially useful because the puppets are not viewed as
"real people". They can therefore confront sensitive situations, and
solicit responses that actors or community members may not be able or
allowed to voice.


1. Puppet theatre has high entertainment value in some cultures, and
can reach and receive input from a wide audience.

2. This tool is multipurpose, it can be used for problem analysis,
for monitoring of qualitative indicators, as an extension tool, and
for presentation and communication of evaluation results (drama, case
studies, etc.).

3. By continually using this tool a continuous process of audience
feedback can exist and analysis can, in that way, deepen.


Time: group meetings will be needed to identify key issues, and
design a presentation that will encourage response.

Expenses: some. To build puppets and stage local materials should be
sought: gourds can be used for puppet heads, theatres can
be made of local cloth and scrap wood, and lighting systems
can be constructed from old tin cans. Often, however, these
are not of good quality and materials have to be purchases.

Training: manual dexterity, voice and story telling abilities may
require some training and rehearsal.


1. Let the group identify messages or key issues to be communicated.
They must also determine how this can be done (story-telling,
play, etc.).

2. Have the group select characters and begin designing the script.

3. Construct puppets/stage if not already available.

4. Rehearse, with a small group playing the role of audience.

5. Present to the whole group. Record responses so that they can be
used to further to develop the message/story in the future.

(This tool can use the steps of Tool 19, Popular Drama)

- 124 -


Puppeteers must anticipate, diffuse and "handle" a variety of
(sometimes unexpected, often sensitive) responses.

Recording the responses may be difficult; consider using a
tape recorder, or a number of people to composing written

Ensure that the messages/issues are relevant to the
community. (There is one example of a puppet group which
encouraged farm tree planting to a group of landless
people!) When the issues and messages are decided upon by
community members, the risk of this problem is reduced.


This has historically been used as an extension technique. In the 16th
Century, puppets were used to pass on information about improved
agrarian techniques.

In Sudan, an NGO uses puppets to tell stories. One story examines the
family problems caused by the mother having to spend too much time
collecting fuelwood. The husband complains about not having proper
meals. A lively argument is carried on, and the audience is asked
their opinion. They often come to the conclusion that planting near
the house would solve the problem. In the meantime, the husband
decides to take a second wife to help collect wood. The comical figure
of the husband creates an effective audience participation device.

- 125 -




The use of still pictures has proven to be an effective way of
providing the community with a structure to:

focus and stimulate group analysis;

evaluate and "build" a story;

monitor change over time;

record events;

augment written documentation (case studies, etc.).


1. This tool can enhance the credibility and interest of written

2. This is a multipurpose tool, it can be used to focus and present
evaluations, and to monitor and analyse change over time.


Visual images can be produced easily and economically using locally
available skill or cameras and photographers. Visual images can be
produced by:

1. A local artist who works with, and is directed by beneficiaries to
produce a series of drawings. The interactive process between the
artist and the beneficiaries can help produce drawings which are the
perceptual images of the beneficiaries. An artist can capture
beneficiaries' view of the past, the present and the future.

2. School children can be a valuable asset in producing drawings. For
children, these drawings have education and extension benefits as
well. Direction by the beneficiaries can take the form of a contest
to produce drawings titled:

"What our village looked like when my grandfather was a child";
"What our village looked like when my mother was a child";
"What our village looks like now";
"What our village might look like when I am old".

School children can talk to different age groups, and then translate
these images and their perceptions into a drawing. Having a local
artist work with the school children can also be a good idea.

- 126 -

3. Photographs or slides can also be produced. Allow the camera to
be directed by the beneficiaries. This may entail the use of a
professional photographer and/or facilitator to capture the images the
beneficiaries have chosen to represent their "story". The photo-
grapher can choose to have a loose plan, beneficiaries serving as
editors; or the photographer can be accompanied and directed by
members of the beneficiary group.

Visual images, when produced and used in this way, can be exciting
information gathering, analysis, monitoring, evaluation, presentation,
and extension tools.





group discussion to decide on what needs to be captured
and what resources are available. Time must also be
allowed for group analysis, sorting and arranging.

minimal for local artists and school children. Local
wages, materials and/or contest prizes.

There is some expense involved in using a camera (film,
development, projector, etc.). (Film development may be
problematic in some countries.)

if a local artist or photographer is used, some training
in participatory (listening) methods may be needed.
Working with school children, a facilitator/organizer
may be needed.


1. Discuss and decide what the
in a group setting.

purpose of the visual images must be

2. Construct a production plan for the visual images: WHAT, WHERE,
WHO, WHEN, HOW. Consider what resources are available and obtain
materials (paper, drawing implements, boards, film, etc.).

3. Employ an artist or photographer, and organize the school contest.
Ensure that money is available for these services.

4. Have the visual images produced, with supervision
All production can be done at one time, or, if used
visual images, production can be periodic. If
periodic, consistency is important.

by the group.
for monitoring
production is

5. The group must then analyse, sort, and/or judge the visual images.
They must prepare them for presentation, or use them for whatever
predesignated purpose has been chosen.

6. Whatever presentation is used, make sure that the materials are
sturdy. School drawings can be plasticized, or done on cloth.
Photographs can be sealed. Slide shows can be made into more
durable filmstrips.

- 127 -


The beneficiaries/community must be involved in the
production of the visual images. They should direct the
artist or photographer, and set the agenda for school drawing
contests. Artistic freedom must however be allowed.

Be cautious that the photographs/slides are recognized as
"the property" of the community, not "information extractors"
to be used by outsiders.

Visual presentation is not always a successful way to clarify
a concept to a community. Some drawings and photographs are
not helpful at all. It is necessary to have some CONTEXT for
the FORM, which is why it is important that the beneficiaries
are involved in producing the image. They provide the


In Peru, four women directed a photojournal which documented the story
of their experiences (two had benefitted from their involvement in the
project, one had participated but had been hurt, and one had not taken
part). The journal was eventually produced as a book for popular

In Nepal, local people directed (with the aid of a facilitator) a
slide tape show which documented their project experiences.

In India, a project had six local artists on staff. They lived in the
communities and, directed by the villagers, produced drawings which
were used for extension, monitoring and evaluation.

In Nicaragua, a slide-tape presentation of music, dialogue and photo-
graphs was designed by members of a community. The presentation
conveyed the results of a community survey so that the community could
reflect on proposed project activities. The community members took the
photographs, wrote the script, recorded the dialogue, and selected
the music. Their comment at the end of the production was "We have to
continue with our struggle to participate with our own ideas, and we
have to organize ourselves to do the tasks" (Tilakaratna 1988).

- 128 -




The main purposes of this tool are to:

record interactions between community members;

record stories, drama, etc. to be heard at a
later date;

relay messages outside the community.


1. Communities with an oral (story-telling) culture can record their
history or "results".

2. Tape recordings can be used for extension purposes on forestry
radio programmes, or in other communities.

3. They can be used to create verbal goals statements which can serve
as a basis for future planning, and future monitoring and evaluation

4. They can be combined with a slide show, or accompanied by

5. The medium is portable, and native language can be used and
translated, when necessary.

6. Tape recordings can be heard repeatedly to analyse the messages,
or validate what has been said in gatherings.

7. They can be very useful for illiterate populations.


A tape recorded message is developed by the community. It can be
composed of interviews with community members, stories to be used as a
baseline, or for radio broadcasts. Tape recordings can be combined
with slides. They can be used to ask questions of other communities,
who can then record through the tape medium. A dialogue between
communities can be formed.

- 129 -


Time: if a high quality product is desired (for a
broadcast), editing can be time-consuming.

Expenses: tape recorder, editing equipment, microphone, tapes.

depends upon the
are only to be
although editing

quality that is required. When the tapes
used locally training needs are minimal,
can take some skill.


If a product for dissemination is desired, the steps that are used to
produce a video (Tool 23) can be used to produce a "finished" tape


Because tape recordings may be new to communities, ensure
that the purpose of the recording is clear.


There are many examples of successful use of tape
interviews, but few examples of places where the
developed the "messages" themselves.

recordings and
community has

- 130 -






Community directed video (or sometimes film) has been used with great
success in recent years. It can be used to:

analyse, monitor, and evaluate a specific situation or set
of activities;

empower local people. To help them get their message to
decision-makers and other interested parties;

document/record other forms of evaluation (Popular Theatre,
Puppet Shows, Story Telling, etc.).


1. Unlike still visual images (drawings, slides or photographs)
video/film integrates movement and sound. It can therefore be more
extensively interpreted.

2. Because videos are conducted in the communities' environment,
community members can communicate their opinions without being
intimidated by a new setting.

3. As well as inspiring self-confidence in the community, videos are
a way of training outsiders, of inspiring information sharing between
communities, and of providing evaluation information to donor agencies
and decision makers.

4. Videos gather information on intangibles such as group dynamics.

5. They can be viewed frequently for analysis.

6. Videos can perform many functions. Group meetings, insider and
outsider interactions and other community dynamics can be taped and
analysed. Activities such as planting, nursery construction and
distribution can be observed and reviewed frequently to gain insight
into various aspects of human interaction.

7. Because it is visual and oral rather than written, it has many
advantages for illiterate or semi-literate populations.

8. The overall experiences of community project interaction project
can be documented.

- 131 -


The major characteristic of community directed video is that the
community is involved in production. With the help of the equipment
and a facilitator, a video (or series of videos or films) can be
produced for a specific purpose (evaluation, extension, information
gathering, problem analysis). The video/film can be used within the
community. It can also be distributed to other communities or taken
directly to decision makers within or outside the country.



varies depending on the purpose, level of participation,
and final product.




costs are relatively high, but sometimes they are
excessive when the potential benefits are considered.
main cost will be the video facilitators; many.come
their own equipment.


there are many different video formats. Some of them are
more "user friendly" and therefore more accessible to
people with little technical knowledge. When considering
equipment, the following should be taken into account:

- get the best technical advice available
- use the format most commonly used in the region
- make sure the system is compatible with available
viewing equipment
- determine what quality is desired/needed (professional
equipment is more difficult to use, but produces higher
quality tapes than consumer video, which is easier to
- if the community will be involved in editing, consider
how difficult it will be for them to work and have
access to the equipment.

the facilitator must be well versed in participatory
methods and two-way communication techniques. There
needs to be a free flow of ideas between the community
and the camera. Additionally, training and experience in
video and film production is desirable.


1. The beneficiary group and the facilitator should work together to
clearly determine what information they need to convey, to whom
they need to convey it, and how they want it conveyed.

Note: it is important that the community have a clear sense of the
message they want to convey before choosing to convey that message
using video. Video is a form of communication that should only be
used if it is the best, most effective way to convey a clearly
defined concept or idea.

- 132 -

2. Before finalizing arrangements for a video project make sure that
video facilities, video facilitators, and funding are all

3. In once again working with the community, establish the level of
quality that is needed (this will effect the type of production
and editing equipment you will use).

4. Establish how, when and where the final product will be viewed.

5. Plan who will be involved in the different production phases, who
will plan, edit, etc.

6. Set a time frame. This will depend on the extent to which the
community is involved in the various stages: planning, message
design, video taping or filming, pre-edit viewing, editing,
post-edit viewing, presentation, distribution to outside groups.
Remember that the more the community is involved (the more
participatory), the more time will have to be allowed for
community discussion and input into decision making. The goals of
empowerment and participation should be carefully considered when
planning and scheduling time and expense.

7. Plan appropriate equipment carefully. Special provision should be
made for the care of tapes, especially under conditions of extreme
dust, dampness, heat and/or cold.


This tool can be inappropriate for use in isolated village

Ensure that the participants have the time to produce the
desired "end product".

Production may take more time than anticipated, and
facilitators may be tempted to do most of the work, reducing
the participatory benefits.

It can be difficult for large audiences to view video.

Television monitors are often not built for field use.


Community directed video/film is a new tool that has been used very
successfully with rural populations. In Nicaragua it has been used to
evaluate group decision making among coffee farmer cooperatives.

In Colombia, domestic workers have been able to present their story to
the public and to labour legislators. In this case the video was
appropriate because it allowed movement and re-viewing which enabled
the domestic workers to analyse their situation. It empowered domestic
workers because it allowed them to give their opinions and tell their
story without repercussion or ridicule.

- 133 -


The inspiration behind the ideas and concepts underlying Participatory
Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation (PAME) have come from many
different sources. People working in the field have willingly and
enthusiastically contributed their experiences and ideas. The
literature that is available on overall development strategies, such
as Chambers (1983) and Friere (1973) was used to develop the PAME
concept. The work of those who write on the subject of monitoring and
evaluation, such as Feuerstein (1986), Oakley and Marsden (1984) and
Stephens (1988) has been important to developing PAME. And the
contributions of field experiences from the newsletters and publi-
cations of NGOs have been especially useful. The contributions from
all these sources are recognized and appreciated, their ideas have
been interpreted and adapted.

This section consists of an annotated bibliography and references of
reports, studies, newsletters, and books on methodologies of
participation and information gathering. The list is not exhaustive,
but includes all the sources that were available at the time of

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C.; Alexander, R.J. The Self-Evaluating Institution:
Practice and Principles in the Management of
Educational Change. Methuen & Co. Ltd.,
London, England.

This book assumes that educational institutions, to be consistent with
the goals they profess and to achieve progress, have procedures for
subjecting their practices and ideas to open and collective appraisal.
This publication may be useful in assisting agencies to develop a
participatory evaluation process.

Barndt, D.

Education and Social Change: A Photographic
Study in Peru. Participatory Research Project
of the International Council for Adult
Education, Toronto, Canada.

This book explores the dynamics of an awareness process, the
development of a critical social consciousness through choosing and
assembling images. Drawing on the work of Paulo Friere, this book
focuses on the stories of four women in a literacy programme in Peru.
Photographs are used to provoke strong discussion and analysis, and
two-way communication. They provide historical documentation of a
community event, serve as publicity tools, as reflective devices, and
records of social progress.


from Farmers About Their
FAD, Community Forestry
Department, Rome, Italy.


This study argues that the way projects generally view farmers is not
useful. It suggests a more farmer-oriented approach, which looks at
farmers' productive capacities.

Bhasin, K.

Bhasin, K.

Participatory Training for Development.
Report of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign,
Action for Development. Regional Change
Agents Programme. FAO Regional Office for
Asia and the Pacific, (RAPA) Bangkok,

Breaking Barriers: A South Asian Experience
of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, Action
for Development. FAD Regional Office for Asia
and the Pacific, (RAPA) Bangkok, Thailand.
(March-May, 1978).

The two publications by Bhasin
methods and results of training
for extensionists.

are excellent descriptions
programmes in participatory

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Byron, N.

of the

Brown, C.K.

Report of the People's Participation Project
(Ghana) Workshop on Participatory Monitoring
and Evaluation. FAO, Human Resources, Insti-
tutions and Agrarian Reform Division, ESH,
Rome, Italy.

Report from a workshop to develop PME systems for Ghana. They
envision instrumental participation and focus their discussion on the
way outsiders monitor and evaluate participation.

Bruce, J.

Rapid Appraisal of Tree and Land Tenure for
the Design of Community Forestry Initiatives.
(in Press). FAO, Community Forestry Unit,
Forestry Department, Rome, Italy.

This excellent study explores the use of RRA techniques to understand
land and tree tenure issues. It devotes specific attention to
relevant issues related to gender and socio-economic status, common
lands and pastoralists. The author argues that tenure problems result
ultimately because projects are not properly designed to account for
tenure. The author feels that RRA may not be the best method for
understanding tenure, though practical advice regarding the way to
carry out a field study on the subject is explored.

Campbell, G.; Davis-Case, D.J. Notes on a Framework for Approaching
1987 Participation and Information Exchange.
Presentation at the Forests, Trees and People
Seminar in Uppsala, Sweden (September).

Explores the necessity for
Provides some guidelines.
advocates development of

Caye, D.

participatory monitoring and evaluation.
Focuses on participatory baselines, and
tools and methods for monitoring and

A Single Entry Book-keeping System for Small-
scale Manufacturing Businesses. Volunteers in
Technical Assistance, Mt. Ranier, USA.

An easy to use manual of simple record-keeping that would be
for projects involved in small-scale forest based enterprises.


Chambers, R.

Rural Development: Putting
Longman, London, England.

the Last First.

This excellent book deals (in Chapter Three) with the problems of
information gathering and advocates information systems which shift
initiative to the local people as partners in learning. It advocates
on approach which enables them to use and augment their own skills,
knowledge and power. It calls for information gathering methods and
tools which are eclectic, inventive, adaptable and open to unexpected
information, allowing timely analysis and reporting.

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Chambers, R.

Shortcut Methods in Social Information
Gathering for Rural Development Projects. In
Rapid Rural Appraisal. Khon Kaen University,
Bangkok, Thailand.

Chege, G.G.

Kimusu, Kenya

Assessment of Participation.
at AFMMP Regional Workshop,

The author of this paper argues for insider controlled projects. To
determine the extent to which different parties control the project
three indicators are suggested: who decided; how broadly popular the
decisions are; and who was consulted before the decision was made.
His analysis uses the participation continuum for field staff and
proposes development of this tool for the community.

Cohen, J.; Uphoff,

Davis-Case, D.J.

Davis-Case, D.J.

N.T. Rural Development Participation: Concepts
and Measures for Project Design, Implementa-
tion and Evaluation. Rural Development
Committee, Centre for International Studies,
Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.

Sharing the Information: A Proposal for
Collaboration in Participatory Monitoring and
Evaluation (Draft). FAO, Community Forestry
Unit, Rome, Italy.

Case Studies of the Monitoring and Evaluation
Practices of two NGOs (Village Reconstruction
Organization, and Mindanao Rural Life Centre)
(Draft). FAO, Forestry Department, Community
Forestry Unit, Rome, Italy.

The ME systems of two NGOs (one in India, one in the Philippines)
practice participatory development are explored, and elements of
participatory approach to monitoring and evaluation are found in

Davis-Case, D.J.

Factors to Consider When Deciding on
Appropriate Participatory Monitoring and
Evaluation Tools. Presentation at AFMENP
Regional Workshop, Kimusu, Kenya (May).

A participatory monitoring and evaluation system is viewed as a blend
of outsider and insider information needs (each with their own methods
and tools) and negotiation with local people to satisfy both
information users. Though the tools and methods of information
gathering/analysis are participatory, the overall framework lacks a
community focus.

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Dudley, M.J. Presentation at FAO/SIDA Forests, Trees and
1989 People Expert Consultation, Rome, Italy

Economic Development Institute. Readings in Community Participation:
1986 Community Participation Experience in Multi-
sectoral Programmes and in Population, Health
and Water Supply. Economic Development
Institute, London, England.

This report introduces guidelines for training in participatory
methods. It advocates good clear communication at all levels; infor-
mation collection on gender issues; development of participatory
methods and tools; and clear social analysis. A distinction is drawn
between participation for empowerment (transformational) and
participation for efficiency (instrumental).

Falconer, J. Forestry Extension: A Review of the Key
1987 Issues. Overseas Development Institute.
Social Forestry Network Paper 4E (June).

This article argues for a bottom-up participatory extension approach
in community forestry. The approach is characterized by: participa-
tion of local users in early stages of planning and development,
extension agent's role as a facilitator rather than a teacher, and a
two-way information flow. Explores some reasons why the top-down
approach is still the dominant model, noting that established power
hierarchies, a lack of participatory training resources, and poor
support are all factors.

FAD Visual Aids and Villagers in Nepal and Rwanda.
1986 In Gurgen, R. and Simenyimana, B. FFHC/AFD.
Vol. 197:1986:5. FAO, Rome, Italy.

FAO Report on the Use of Theatre, Puppets, Mime,
1986 Story-telling as a Forestry Extension Tool.
Field Document No. 20. Government of the
Republic of Sudan (GCP/033/SUD/NET) to FAO,
Rome, Italy.

Report from a three-week workshop with forestry extension staff in
Sudan. Gives plots of the stories that were developed. The document
also examines some more practical aspects such as how to build puppets
and theatre from local materials.

FAO Small Farmers Development Programme. FAO
1986 Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, FAO,
Bangkok, Thailand.

This is one of many publications by the SFDP focused on training of
extensionists in two-way communications.

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FAO Permanent Self-Evaluation: The Latin American
1987 Experience. In Ossandon, C.J. Ideas in Action
FFHC/AFD. VoT165:1987/3. FAO, Rome, Italy.

A short but excellent article on why local people must evaluate their
own progress. The article argues that the self-evaluation process
must be educational, participatory and permanent. The article
advocates an ongoing process of critical reflection by the external
agency and the community.

Feuerstein, M.

Partners in Evaluation: Evaluating Develop-
ment and Community Programmes with Partici-
pants. Teaching Aids at Low Cost, St. Albans,

A training manual directed towards health care workers which contains
many good, practical ideas for the collection of ME information by
local people.

Fisher, R.J.;

Fortmann, L.

Fowler, A.

Singh, H.; Pandey, D.; Lang, H. The Management of
Forest Resources in Rural Development. Report
prepared on a Joint NAFP/ICIMOD Study,
Kathmandu, Nepal (February).

The Tree Tenure Factor in Agroforestry with
Particular Reference to Africa. In Fortmann,
L. and Bruce, J. (Eds.) Whose Trees? Pro-
prietary Dimensions of Forestry. Westview
Press, Boulder, USA.

Evaluating Development Interventions: Towards
Community-Based Comparative Evaluation (CBEC).
Presentation at the AFEMP Regional Workshop,
Kimusu, Kenya (May).

This paper describes projects as intervention into the lives of local
people rather than as an outsider project in which they participate.
He proposes that the values of the community should provide indicators
for ME and a CBEC using the communities own measurements and methods.
The community provide the information, and outsiders do the analysis,
draw conclusions and make comparisons.

French, D.

Monitoring Across the Grain. In Monitoring
and Evaluation of Participatory Forestry
Projects. FAD Forestry Paper No.60. FAO,
Rome, Italy.

In this report, the author relates experiences in Malawi. Monitoring,
instead of focusing on project target objectives, reveals whether
project objectives are responsive to the needs of the people. The

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author argues that until it is known that project objectives address
real local needs, monitoring of targets is not useful.

Friere, P.

Research Methods. In Studies in Adult Educa-
tion. Institute of Adult Education,
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

A well-known advocate of grass roots movements, Friere states that
participatory ME is directed at the poor and weak. The author argues
that participatory monitoring and evaluation is preferable to
traditional ME because it expresses the opinions of participants.

Gianotten, V.

Methodological Notes for Evaluation:
riences and Results. Freedom From
Campaign/Action for Development, FAO,

This report presents an excellent (participation as transformational)
theoretical rationale for participatory methodologies, but does not
deal with experience or practical methods.

Heermans, J.

The Guesselbodi Experiment: Bushland Manage-
ment in Niger. Presentation to IIED
Conference on Sustainable Development, London,
England (April).

The author states that experience shows that people will not actively
participate in management programmes until ownership, control and land
tenure questions are resolved.

Horseman, J.;

MacPherson, D. Summary of the World Literacy of
Canada, Evaluation Process and Major Recommen-
dations. The Participatory Research Group,
Toronto, Canada (November).

This report describes a participatory evaluation exercise with the
staff of a large NGO. The evaluation was done with beneficiaries of
the programme, the programme management, teaching staff and board of
directors. The author used primarily interviews and reflective
discussions to gather information.

Hoskins, M.

Social Forestry in West Africa: Myths and
Realities. Paper presented at American
Association for the Advancement of Science,
Washington, D.C.

The author states that the information which is collected does not
assure that rational decisions are made when other factors such as
economic and political imperatives are involved in this analysis of
social forestry.

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Hoskins, M.

Participatory Action Research Information
Gathering Methods (draft). The East-West
Centre, Hawaii, USA.

The author argues convincingly that if local people are involved in
identifying research needs, a more realistic research agenda will

Hoskins, M.

Thoughts on Communication Techniques for
Information Gathering and Reporting, (draft).
FAO, Rome, Italy.

Huizer, G.

Guiding Principles
Projects: Design,
Ongoing Evaluation.
Project (PPP), FAO,

for People's Participation
Operation, Monitoring and
People's Participation
Rome, Italy.

Hyman, E.L.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Forestry
for Local Community Development. In
ture Administration. 19(3):139-16u.
Applied Science Publishers Ltd.,

This paper points out some of the problems in evaluating the
qualitative and quantitative factors in social forestry. The author
suggests that local people be asked for their input regarding the
social impacts.

Hyman, E.L.

Sources of Information for Monitoring
Evaluation (draft). FAO, Rome, Italy.

Although this piece does not focus on participatory methods, the
author points out some possible sources for collection of secondary
data, some sampling methods, and some of the problems of bias that may
result from participatory methods. Focuses mainly on surveys and
interviews as ME methods.

Participatory Technology
Sustainable Agriculture.
Information Centre for Low
Sustainable Agriculture

Development in
Proceedings of the
External Inputs and
Leusden, Holland

An excellent set of proceedings, which defines participation as
transformational, focusing on farmer use (end-user) of technology.
Underlines the lack of methodological development in the current
approach to participation, and recommends development in this area.

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Ingles, A.W.

The Information Needed to Implement Community
Forest Management. In Directions for
Community Forest Management in Nepal.
Pokhara, Nepal (September).

This article deals with the information required to negotiate forest
management plans with local people. While information will also be
needed by local people, this publication does provide a good base
resource. It advocates acquisition of both natural resource and
social information.

Jabine, T.B.; Straf, M.I

j. Cognitive Aspects
Building a Bridge
National Academy Press,

of Survey Methodology:
Between Disciplines.
Washington D.C., USA.

A rather academic presentation that points out many of the perceptual
twists inherent in the collection of qualitative information.

Jones, H.

Project Appraisal and Evaluation. A Review of
Current Practice. Reading Rural Development
Communications: Bulletin No. 14. University
of Reading, UK, Agriculture Extension and
Rural Development Centre.

This paper provides a critique of RRA and participatory monitoring and
evaluation, and argues that although they may be fast and cost
effective, the disadvantages will be: difficulty for users (out-
siders) to estimate the degree of confidence that can be placed upon
the results; increased difficulty in judging the quality of an
investigators work due to a lack of standardization; and difficulty in
persuading decision-makers that the conclusions resulting from these
procedures have the same credibility as those emerging from more
formal, statistical evaluations.

Joseph, S.

Monitoring and Evaluation of
grammes: A Summary (draft).
Department, Rome, Italy.

Cookstove Pro-
FAO, Forestry

A very comprehensive manual on the kinds of questions that need to be
answered in evaluating stove programmes. A number of data gathering
methods for stove programmes are proposed.

Kabutha, C.

Using Rapid Rural Appraisal to Formulate a
Village Resources Management Plan. Interim
Report. National Environment Secretariat,
Nairobi, Kenya (August).

This is a description of the positive experimental experiences using
RRA techniques to undertake a participatory planning exercise.
Members of local community groups were included in the RRA team.
There was no specific sector orientation (forestry, water, agri-
culture). All resource problems were identified, and priorities and
solutions were incorporated in the management plan.

- 143 -

Kenyon, J.; Warnock, B. When a Community Defines Its Situation. In
1984 Village Resources Management Plan. Interim
Report. National Environment Secretariat,
Nairobi, Kenya (August).

Includes excellent descriptions of participatory planning exercises,
focusing on the practical rather than the theoretical aspects of

Kruks, S. Notes on the Concept and Practice of Partici-
1983 pation in the Kenya Woodfuel Development Pro-
gramme (with special emphasis on rural women).
Beijer Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

This paper looks at the "instrumental" and "transformational" para-
digms of participation vis-a-vis one particular project. It explores
the paradox inherent in project objectives which focus on targets of
more fuelwood, more stoves and fast results (where the instrumental/
means concept oTf rticipation will be most appropriate) and self-help
(where the transformational/ends concept of participation would be
advocated). It was found on examining the particular project that the
targets conflicted with the objective of self-help. The instrumental
definition of participation was adopted; and the objective of
self-help was therefore made unattainable.

Lewis, D.A. Social Implications for Implementing Fuelwood
1981 Projects: Lessons from Experience. Presenta-
tion at Workshop on Environmentally Sustain-
able Agroforestry and Fuelwood Production,
London, England.

Two case studies revealed that the necessary elements for participa-
tion were: simple technologies, small-scale application, flexibility,
low resource requirements, a large degree of felt needs being met,
extensive short-term benefits, administrative simplicity, staff
availability, cultural acceptance of participation, a history of
communal efforts, and a political climate favourable to participation.

nbuende, Kaire Notes on Participatory Monitoring and Evalua-
1988 tion (draft). Development Study Unit,
University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden.

This study explores the failures of development within three para-
digms: modernization, dependency, and modes of production. The
author, based on the analysis, justifies the participatory approach,
with special reference to monitoring and evaluation.

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Molnar, A.

RRA and the Participatory Planning Methods for
Land-Based Natural Resource Management
Projects (draft). World Bank and FAO, Rome,

This study explores ways of using RRA techniques to incorporate local
people in the planning process. The foci should be on: key issues
(rather than random data gathering), interdisciplinary teams, learning
experience for outsiders, and correction of possible bias. Recommends
field visits, interviews, and the use of key informants.

Morse, R.; Tingsabadh, C.; Vergara, N.; Vidyarthi, V. People's Insti-
1987 tutions for Forest and Fuelwood Evaluations in
India and Thailand, East-West Centre, Resource
Systems Institute, Hawaii, USA.

This report defines participation as "evaluation from the viewpoint of
the people, in light of their needs and problems. The methods used
are somewhat traditional: surveys, participant observation,
individual and collective discussions.

Oakley, P.; Marsden, D. Approaches to Participation in
1984 ment. International Labour
Geneva, Switzerland (91 pp.).

Rural Develop-

This paper defines participation as political empowerment, and states
that integration of participatory monitoring and evaluation techniques
is a "formidable task".

Oakley, P.

Participation in Evaluation. In Community
Development Journal, 23(1):1-58, Special

Participatory Research

Group. Drawing from Action for
Drawing and Discussion as a Popular
Tool (Pamphlet). Participatory
Group, Toronto, Canada.


A short, but very well written pamphlet which discusses the use
drawing to "release" information and focus discussions.

Patton, M.Q.

How to Use Qualitative Methods in Evaluation.
Sage Publications, London, England.

This book is written from the viewpoint of outside evaluators, and
proposes: (1) in-depth, open-ended interviews consisting of recording
of direct quotes from people about their experiences, opinions,
feelings and knowledge; (2) direct observation with detailed descrip-
tions of programme activities; and (3) written documents.

- 145 -

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