Presentation on Animation and
Participatory Poverty Monitoring Techniques
1. Participatory Methodologies
The presentation was made by Mr. Edward Mhina from Tanzania Gender
Networking Programme (TGNP). The aim of the presentation was to expose participants to
skills which are relevant to design and use participatory monitoring and evaluation
techniques, which can then be used to monitor the impact of Government efforts to reduce
poverty at the community level.
The word "participation" means empowerment, or giving each person a say in
decisions around their lives. Participation is a process, the outcome of which is an
increasingly meaningful participation by the people and civil society orgnisations in the
2. Community Participation
Ideally, each and every member of the community should feel responsible
and take part in the process of improving their socio-economic well being. Community
participation has 5 stages which may be useful for CSOs to take into consideration during
the process of participation in monitoring the PRSP. These steps include:
identification of problems and root causes;
prioritisation or ranking of options;
identification of opportunities;
development of interventions and timeframes; and
monitoring and evaluation of implementation and output.
The reason for civil society engagement in monitoring the PRSP is to see
what changes have taken place in the community as a result of implementing the PRSP. The
process will check whether PRSP objectives and goals on improving the well being of the
poor have been achieved.
There are quantitative and qualitative aspects of poverty monitoring. Quantitative aspects
of monitoring involve sums and figures. Quantitative aspects look at human benefits
accruing from the implemented activities. Poverty monitoring should also try to get
separate data on how male and female community members have fared in each intervention or
activity (e.g. how many were involved, how they were involved, what opinions did they have
in their involvement etc). The monitoring process should check and detect how poverty
reduction interventions negatively affect women in comparison with men.
Ideally, the monitoring process should result in revision of plans and strategies to widen
the "room for change". CSOs may use this process to lobby for the re-definition
of the PRSP working objectives or to change them altogether. As the poverty reduction
process gathers more momentum, more people and institutions will become involved and new
entry points, strategies/priority activities will need to be devised. We recommend that
PRSP monitoring indicators should be designed in a way that captures both the achievements
in the implementation of the agreed goals and benchmarks, as well as the qualitative
changes, or impact so that the transformation of the "quality of life" and
gender relations in the respective areas of intervention are captured.
Below is an example of the difference between quantitative and qualitative indicators:
These include indicators that measure:
Changes in income
Number of health centres
Number of children enrolled in primary schools
Increased status and confidence among women
Changes in the health status of children (less disease)
Reduced number of gender related conflict at household level
The contribution of people living in poverty is recognised by Government
leadership at all levels.
The wealth ranking exercise is one of the participatory poverty monitoring
tools/exercise. Through community participation, ranking of wealth is based on community
perceptions on well being, as well as the way local communities define well-being,
standards of living or what makes a person better-off/well-off. The method provides an
opportunity to understand how the poor define poverty and where they say poverty is
Participatory Impact Assessment
Participatory Impact Assessment is a process of collaborative follow-up
and assessment on achievements and shortfalls in the implementation of a particular
activity. The follow-up on the implementation of the PRSP is being done collaboratively
between the Government, CSOs and the poor themselves. The process should ideally generate
specific recommendations which will lead to the design of the strategy and take corrective
action that involves the end-users and decision makers.
CSOs should involve basic social services delivery users in assessing progress through
in-depth interviews and small group discussions around key probe questions at the
community level. CSOs can also draw pictures which are drawn by artists based at the
community level to activate discussions around key development questions. In the process,
the target group/users become facilitate/involved in the PRSP impact monitoring
assessment, data collection and analysis, and in the determination of follow-up
Community based participatory poverty assessment is important because
the process provides for community empowerment, capacity building, social justice, equity
and democracy in the community. Gender consideration should also be taken into account.
For example, if interviews are taken around 11.00 a.m., most women will not be able to be
captured because they will be working in the field. However it is also important to
involve men, because male involvement is important in issues related to Family Planning,
HIV/AIDS prevention and household income and expenditure.
The main aim of PPAs and other participatory poverty assessments at
community level should focus on identifying problems/constraints, prioritisation or
ranking of opinions and identification of opportunities.
The advantages of PPAs are that they involve bottom-up planning and
implementation of poverty reduction initiatives, as well as providing the basis for
ownership and sustainability of the intended initiatives by the target beneficiaries.
We should be aware that in some places there is what has been termed as
the "interviewee fatigue". What do we do if people refuse to participate?
Effective PPAs should include and involve all social interest groups and
take into account gender balance, providing equity for both women and men. Other interest
groups such as the disabled, faith groups and influential leaders should also be
CSOs that are involved in poverty monitoring should be acquainted with
appropriate PPA tools and techniques.
Monitoring poverty and PRSP should take PPA approach at all levels.