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Posted May 1997

Participatory action research and people's participation:
Introduction and case studies

by Gerrit Huizer
Third World Centre
Catholic University of Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Table of Contents


1. Participatory action research as a methodology of rural development
2. People's participation as an alternative development strategy
3. Brief history and main principles of PPP approach
4. Similarities and variety in application of PPP
5. PPP in Thailand - from local projects to national scheme
6. Sri Lanka - Integrated Rural Development and People's Participation
7. Zambia - people's participation and large-scale cooperatives
8. Sierra Leone - accelerated group formation and integrated rural development
9. Concluding remarks

This report is also available as a single 170K file


This essay deals with the practical implications of participatory action research as a means to enhance people's participation in development on their own behalf. It is a result of about 20 years of experience with all kinds of grassroots organizations in different areas in the Third World, but particularly with projects of FAO's People's Participation Programme (PPP) since 1981. I am much indebted to many participants at all levels in this programme, some in way-out villages, others at coordinating government offices of FAO headquarters. An earlier version of this essay was used as a background paper for FAO's International Workshop on the Strategy and Methodology of Participatory Rural Development Projects, Arusha (Tanzania 7-13 September 1989). The responsibility for any shortcomings in this essays is of course entirely my own.

Gerrit Huizer

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