13,072 The Communication Initiative, Participation and Power, The Drum Beat 721, October 12 2016

The Drum BeatParticipation and Power – The Drum Beat 721
October 12 2016

In this issue:

FRAMING THE DISCUSSION: DEFINITIONS, TOOLSmeanings, a manual, monitoring guidance
INVESTIGATING PEOPLE-CENTRED HEALTHvisual methods, state of the research, indigenous voices
CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN COMPROMISED CONTEXTSvideo 4 peace, field research on norms
ENGAGING AND EMPOWERING WOMENthrough radio and mobiles, through gendered climate info services

There is growing recognition of the value of community participation in development projects. Participatory development from a project perspective can be divided into stages: the research stage, where all relevant stakeholders can be involved in defining the development problem; the design stage, where active participation by local citizens and other stakeholders aims to enhance both the quality and relevance of the suggested interventions; the implementation stage, when the planned intervention is implemented; and the evaluation stage, in which participation ensures that the most significant changes are voiced and assessed. While a defining element in understanding community participation is the level of control or power that communities command in an initiative, the terminology that categorises the processes and conditions by which communities are involved varies. Participatory development scholars observe that communities are heterogeneous and constitute sites of socia! l exclusion; at the same time, they are also sites of empowerment, where unequal relations can be challenged.

This issue of The Drum Beat looks at research and thinking on community participation – and, more broadly, participatory development – with a focus on empowerment and equality. How do the marginalised, disadvantaged, vulnerable, and/or minority groups fare when it comes to their role in the various stages of social change initiatives and the research on these initiatives? How are practitioners amplifying their voices, and with what results?

From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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  • 1. Unpacking ‘Participation’: Models, Meanings and Practices
    by Andrea Cornwall
    “Participation” has entered the development mainstream and is used by a variety of institutions, but what it means can vary enormously between different actors. This article explores some of the meanings and practices associated with participation, in theory and in practice. It suggests that it is vital to pay closer attention to who is participating, in what, and for whose benefit. The paper argues that for the democratising promise of participation to be realised, the concept needs to be clarified. [Jun 2008]
  • 2. Village Book Training Manual: Community Led and Planning Process
    This manual is designed to prepare facilitators with the knowledge, skills, and understanding required to effectively guide community members to undertake participatory and inclusive processes of analysis and planning. ActionAid Myanmar explains that being inclusive requires an understanding of people’s experience of poverty. “The poorest and most vulnerable people are usually too busy with their day-to-day survival; do not have the confidence to speak out in public; or think they will not be listened to – and so frequently are not included….Therefore, we need to find different ways to reach out to the most marginalised and take appropriate measures like providing information, organising meetings at suitable times in convenient places, encouraging them to speak during community meetings and supporting their points of view.” [Nov 2014]
  • 3. Monitoring and Evaluation of Participatory Theatre for Change
    by Rebecca Herrington
    Participatory Theatre for Change (PTC) has presented challenges for development practitioners, as it can be difficult to assess whether change has in fact taken place, how the change has been produced, whether change is influenced in the most effective way, and what the unintended actions around behaviour might be. This publication from Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) outlines specific considerations for incorporating monitoring and evaluation (M&E) from the beginning of the PTC process, offering practical guidance and tools for implementing M&E in PTC programmes or programmes that include participatory theatre, such as among internally displaced persons (IDPs). It also highlights considerations and approaches for process and quality monitoring of participatory theatre programmes and practitioners. [Jul 2016]

  • 4. Participatory Visual Methodologies in Global Public Health
    This Special Issue of Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice focuses on the use of participatory visual methodologies such as photovoice, participatory video (including cellphilming or the use of cell phones to make videos), drawing, and mapping in public health research. At the heart of much of this work is the notion of participation, which in itself can be interrogated: What counts as participation? What does it mean to participate, and why is it critical that citizens of all ages have a say in the health and social conditions around them? The Special Issue “points to the question ‘who are participatory visual methodologies for?’ Many of the contributors have highlighted populations who are described as marginalised. Perhaps this suggests that we need to think more about what global public health would look like if we took seriously the place of all voices to drive health research.” [2016]
  • 5. Community Participation in Health Systems Research: A Systematic Review Assessing the State of Research, the Nature of Interventions Involved and the Features of Engagement with Communities
    by Asha S. George, Vrinda Mehra, Kerry Scott, and Veena Sriram
    Community participation is a major principle of people-centred health systems, with considerable research highlighting its intrinsic value and strategic importance. This article explores the extent, nature, and quality of community participation in health systems intervention research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The researchers assert that, despite positive examples, community participation in health systems interventions was variable, with few being truly community directed. Future research should: more thoroughly engage with community participation theory; recognise the power relations inherent in community participation; be more realistic as to how much communities can participate; and be more cognisant of who decides that. [Oct 2015]
  • 6. Relational Accountability in Indigenizing Visual Research for Participatory Communication
    by Verena Thomas, Joys Eggins, and Evangelia Papoutsaki
    This article attempts to re-focus the discussion about participatory communication by examining elements of an indigenous approach to communication for social change research strategies. It is based on a larger research project undertaken in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Komuniti Tok Piksa (KTP), which sought to explore the use of visual and creative methodologies in HIV prevention. “The article has argued that for HIV/AIDS communication to be successful, appropriate communication channels need to be opened up. This begins with the way connections to members of the community are established and how building trusting-relationships with participants can provide access to local narratives. This can be achieved by following indigenous approaches to research and media practices prioritizing relational accountability of researchers and participants. Here, the goal has been to mobilize the community to participate and debate their views and for them to take ownershi! p of HIV messages and solutions to the HIV epidemic.” [Feb 2016]
  • 7. Exploring the Role of Community Engagement in Improving the Health of Disadvantaged Populations: A Systematic Review
    by Sheila Cyril, Ben J. Smith, Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, and Andre M. N. Renzaho
    Although community engagement (CE) is widely used in health promotion, components of CE models associated with improved health are poorly understood. This is the premise of a study that aimed to examine: the magnitude of the impact of CE on health and health inequalities among disadvantaged populations, methodological approaches that maximise the effectiveness of CE, and components of CE that are acceptable, feasible, and effective when used among disadvantaged populations (e.g., those of low socio-economic status (SES), ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, culturally diverse populations, indigenous groups, and marginalised groups such as people with disabilities and the homeless). Such groups often experience health inequalities and bear a disproportionate burden of disease as a result of structural, social, and cultural barriers. “We have found that CE improves the health of disadvantaged populations and enhances health programme participation and retention within et! hnic minority, indigenous, and immigrant communities who are usually excluded from research and innovative programmes…” [Dec 2015]
  • 8. Community Participation for Transformative Action on Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health
    by Cicely Marston, Rachael Hinton, Stuart Kean, Sushil Baral, Arti Ahuja, Anthony Costello, and Anayda Portela
    Community participation specifically addresses the third of the key objectives of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030): to transform societies so that women, children, and adolescents can realise their rights to the highest attainable standards of health and well-being. This paper examines what this implies in practice, exploring 3 interdependent areas: improving capabilities for individual and group participation; developing and sustaining people-centred health services; and working towards social accountability. The paper outlines challenges for implementation and provides illustrative examples of the types of participatory approaches needed in each area to help achieve global health and development goals. “We know much already about the power of participation. In a sense it is no longer a technical issue, but one of civil rights and political will.” [Feb 2016]
  • 9. Understanding the Role of Indigenous Community Participation in Indigenous Prenatal and Infant-Toddler Health Promotion Programs in Canada: A Realist Review
    by Janet Smylie, Maritt Kirst, Kelly McShane, Michelle Firestone, Sara Wolfe, and Patricia O’Campo
    Indigenous leaders, policymakers, knowledge keepers, and health practitioners have been asserting for decades that Indigenous community leadership and participation are critical to Indigenous success. This study is an effort to systematically demonstrate this hypothesis using the application of public health synthesis methods to Indigenous health programme review. Programme evidence of local Indigenous community investment, community perception of the programme as intrinsic (mechanism of community ownership), and high levels of sustained community participation and leadership (community activation) were linked to positive programme change across a diverse range of outcomes including: birth outcomes; access to pre- and postnatal care; prenatal street drug use; breastfeeding; dental health; infant nutrition; child development; and child exposure to Indigenous languages and culture. [Dec 2015]

Upcoming workshop: Community Empowerment & Behavioral Change: Sharing Methods & Evidence for Improving Global Health Inequities
  • Are you interested in the call for “Health for All”? Held prior to the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, this pre-convention workshop on October 29 2016 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, United States (US) is open to anyone seeking to learn practical tools for community empowerment and behavioural change from international experts in the field of community-based primary health care (CBPHC). The purpose of the interactive workshop is to explore different methods and evidence practitioners and public health professionals can use to address global health inequities in community-based health. The cost is US$35 for the entire day (US$25 for students). Click here to register.

  • 10. Experiences in Conducting Participatory Communication Research for HIV Prevention Globally: Translating Critical Dialog into Action through Action Media
    by Warren Martin Parker and Antje Becker-Benton
    This paper explores a communication-focused participatory action research (PAR) methodology: Action Media. As the authors explain, the research enquiry that led to the development of Action Media took place in the 1990s in the context of a South African academic study, whereby HIV-vulnerable youth living in communities in Johannesburg and Soweto were engaged to determine the extent to which youth could be involved in crafting HIV communication concepts. A particular emphasis was on exploring how the power dynamics between a communication researcher and research participants could be negotiated, taking into account divergences in language, literacy, and social context. For example, in Action Media, while questions are posed by researcher-facilitators, participants have the opportunity to pose and address questions of their own. Participant empowerment is also aided by an emphasis on informal enquiry, including opportunities for warmth and laughter derived through reflective d! ialogs, as well as utilisation of energizers, games, and role-plays. The interactive sessions led to poster concepts that were closely related to participants’ environments. [Jun 2016]
  • 11. Young People’s Experiences in Youth-Led Participatory Action Research for HIV/AIDS Prevention
    by Keiko Goto, Jennifer Tiffany, Gretel Pelto, and David Pelletier
    “This paper examines a specific aspect of participatory action research with youth, namely, the perceptions of the marginalized and at-risk youth participants who were reached through being involved in a youth-led project.” The research gathered information from youth 13-21 years of age participating in the UNICEF “What Every Adolescent Has a Right to Know” (RTK) initiative on HIV prevention. Sample finding: “Both youth researchers and sharing team members raised the idea that the visual and youth-friendly PAR tools that were employed by the project fostered dialogue among youth and enhanced participation levels. Some of the project managers stated that the PAR approach provided youth who were not inclined to reading and writing or those who were not outspoken with the opportunity to articulate their ideas through PAR tools, such as drawing and mapping.” [Jan 2013]

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  • 12. Case Study: Peace Clubs – Participatory Video and Most Significant Change Evaluation
    by Emilie Flower
    A team of 10 young people who participate in the Learning for Peace programme led by the UNICEF and SFCG in Côte d’Ivoire were trained by Insightshare to carry out an evaluation using Participatory Video combined with Most Significant Change (PV MSC). The report suggests that the evaluation itself contributed to UNICEF’s peace building activities by creating dialogue and promoting the sharing of lessons learned within and between groups through the process of listening, analysing, and selecting the most significant stories of change. The participatory selection process and participatory analysis encouraged critical reflection and dialogue within stakeholder groups and between them. Furthermore, involving youth in the peace building activities resulted in changes in behaviour (participants becoming less violent). [Sep 2015]
  • 13. Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction in South Asia: Basic Concepts
    by Erik Kjaergaard
    This publication provides a conceptual framework for child-centred disaster risk reduction (DRR) for and with children, who are disproportionately affected by emergencies. From UNICEF and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), it is part of their collective efforts to develop capacities of stakeholders in the South Asia region through learning events that will give practitioners an opportunity to take stock of the situation, identify barriers, flag good practice, discuss operational challenges, and enter new alliances. The paper describes 4 approaches to reducing child vulnerabilities: child-centred risk assessments, safeguards for child infrastructure, protection of children in emergencies, and social protection for children. It also presents 4 approaches to enhancing child capacities: participatory action, life skills education, school safety, and partnerships. [2015]
  • 14. Evaluation of Child and Youth Participation in Peacebuilding
    This report highlights the results of an evaluation of peacebuilding initiatives involving children and youth in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Nepal. The evaluation used 8 principles which measured the degree to which children and youth participation in peace building (CYPP) was: transparent and informative; relevant and respectful; promoting diversity and inclusion; sensitive to gender dynamics; supporting of intergenerational partnerships in young people’s communities; accountable (information is fed back to those concerned); and involving young people in all stages of peacebuilding and post-conflict programming. The evaluation identifies 11 key factors which hinder or enable the impact of child and youth peacebuilding efforts, also proposing recommendations for stakeholders such as the media (e.g., support skills training of children and youth to use different forms of media, including social media, as peacebuilding tools and include “spaces&q! uot; for child and youth to produce peacebuilding media). [Jul 2015]
  • 15. Doing Qualitative Field Research on Gender Norms with Adolescent Girls and Their Families
    This research and practice note adds to existing guidance available on the principles and ethics of conducting qualitative research with children and young people by drawing out some key pointers to bear in mind when undertaking qualitative research on gender norms with adolescent girls. It describes a step-by-step process for using 4 innovative or visual tools based on the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)’s experience of researching the impact of gender norms on adolescent girls living in poverty in Ethiopia, Nepal, Uganda, and Viet Nam. [Sep 2015]
  • See also:
    Putting Children at the Centre: A Practical Guide to Children’s Participation
    Broadcasting Peace: A Case Study on Education for Peace, Participation and Skills Development Through Radio and Community Dialogue

  • 16. Two-Way Radio: Using Radio and Mobile Phones to Engage with Somali Women and Youth
    by Claudia Lopes, Rainbow Wilcox, and Sharath Srinivasan
    “In a country with insecure and inaccessible regions, our pilot project demonstrated the value of Africa’s Voices approach as a tool for remote monitoring and real-time citizen feedback – helping to amplify the voices of hard-to-reach communities and bring them closer to UNICEF’s teams.” This report describes a pilot project carried out by Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF) in partnership with UNICEF Somalia that involved delivery of eight 30-minute interactive shows, weekly, on 20 radio stations across Somalia. The central purpose was to explore the potential of interactive radio for gathering data on Somali people’s views on polio and measles immunisation and maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH). “Informed by thorough consideration of the ethics of citizen data and respect for participants, we [AVF] focus on engaging with citizens, on their own terms, to amplify their voices.”[Mar 2016]
  • 17. Pushing the Boundaries: Understanding Women’s Participation and Empowerment
    by Emma Newbury and Tina Wallace
    Trócaire undertook a 3-year multi-country research project on women’s participation and empowerment in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), India, and Nicaragua. Empowerment was defined in the research as the process of pushing against the boundaries to shape new fields of possible action by increasing the capacity of those with less power to engage with those with more power. Empowerment is conceived both as a process and as an outcome, serving different purposes: supporting women to engage with existing societal structures and enabling women to challenge the status quo and social norms that prevent their equal participation. The research, which involved implementing governance and gender equality programmes through local partner organisations, set out to better understand how participation contributes to processes of empowerment and the reduction of oppressive power relations between men and women, as well as citizens and the state. This overview describes the resear! ch, shares key research findings across the 3 countries, and explores the boundaries for action. [Nov 2015]
  • 18. Community Radio and Gender: Towards an Inclusive Public Sphere
    by Kanchan K. Malik and Daniela Bandelli
    By examining the opportunities for and challenges facing women who participate in community radio (CR) in India, this paper offers insights into how CR has the potential to challenge existing gender roles and empower women – both as listeners and as radio producers. It first examines the intersections of participatory communication for development (C4D) frameworks and feminist theorising, and how they have been influenced by debates and critiques of public sphere. The authors look at the CR movement, policy, and practice in India and how it is endeavouring to shape the public sphere and mediascape. They analyse examples of women’s participation in two CR stations – Sangham Radio and Radio Namaskar – to accelerate the process of their gaining a “voice” that matters in the public sphere. Obstacles that hinder the empowerment process are outlined and recommendations to enhance the inclusion of women in CR are proposed. [Jun 2015]
  • See also:
    Community Radio and Sustainability: A Participatory Research Initiative
  • 19. Investigating Climate Information Services through a Gendered Lens
    by Chesney McOmber, Amy Panikowski, Sarah McKune, Wendy-Lin Bartels, and Sandra Russo
    This paper from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) explores access to climate change-related information through a gendered lens. The researchers propose a context-dependent hybridisation of traditional and modern methods of information sharing strategies and practices. An example of successful hybridisation can be observed through a mobile phone programme in Bangladesh called Help Line (Raihan 2005), which offers primarily health, legal, and agricultural advice to women in rural communities through a call-in hotline. The key to the success of this hotline and the transmission of information to women through information and communication technologies (ICTs) is what the programme calls the “info-mediary”. This woman is responsible for traveling from door to door throughout the village with her mobile phone, assisting women in making calls and accessing the information they are seeking. [Apr 2013]
  • See also:
    Best Practices for Women’s Participation in Latin American Political Parties: From Words to Action
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Heartlines,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations,Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNICEF, Universidad de los Andes,USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

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The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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