LSP Working Paper 3

Participation, Policy & Local Governance Sub-Programme

Participatory Policy Reform
from a Sustainable Livelihoods Perspective

Review of concepts and practical experiences

Marilee Karl
August 2002

Last published: 31/03/03


Livelihood Support Programme (LSP)
An inter-departmental programme for improving support for enhancing
livelihoods of the rural poor.

Table of Contents

The Livelihood Support Programme

The Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) evolved from the belief that FAO could have a greater impact on reducing poverty and food insecurity, if its wealth of talent and experience were integrated into a more flexible and demand-responsive team approach.

The LSP works through teams of FAO staff members, who are attracted to specific themes being worked on in a sustainable livelihoods context. These cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary teams act to integrate sustainable livelihoods principles in FAO’s work, at headquarters and in the field. These approaches build on experiences within FAO and other development agencies.

The programme is functioning as a testing ground for both team approaches and sustainable livelihoods principles.

Email: [email protected]

Participatory Policy Reform sub-programme

Local people, especially poor and marginalised groups, often have very weak or only indirect influence on the policies that affect their livelihoods. Policies that are developed at central level are often not responsive to local needs and do not provide the rural poor with the access to assets and services that they need to improve their livelihoods.

The main goal of the participatory policy reform sub-programme is to identify ways to enhance the participation of the poor in policy making processes.

Capacity building strategies and institutional mechanisms to support the participation of the rural, poor in policy making will be developed, tested and applied. An initial participatory analysis will be carried out in Mozambique, to understand how a particular policy affects the livelihoods of a group of rural poor people. Ways to ensure that the perspectives of all stakeholders, including the rural poor, are taken into account during consultations on policy will then be identified. In the longer term, improved guidelines will be developed for the formulation and design of programmes and projects that explicitly address ways to involve the rural poor more directly in policymaking processes.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1. Introduction, Background and Methodology

2. Sustainable Livelihoods and Participatory Policy Making: Issues and Answers

2.1. Sustainable livelihoods approaches
2.2. Policy and policy processes
2.3. Participation and participatory policy making (PPM)
2.4. SL approaches, policy and the poor
2.5. Politics and power relations
2.6. Governance
2.7. Decentralization
2.8. Rights-based approaches and legal frameworks
2.9. Holding policy makers accountable

3. Review of FAO and Non-FAO Experiences

3.1. Mali: National Cotton Production and Marketing Policy
3.2. Kenya: Scaling up Participatory Extension
3.3. Hindu Kush - Himalayas: Participatory Policy Framework: Empowering Local Community in Livestock Resource Planning and Decision Making
3.4. Turkey: National Forestry Programme
3.5. Mozambique: Land Policy
3.6. Costa Rica: Gender and Participation in Agricultural Development Planning
3.7. Honduras: Participatory Consolidation of Government Institutions and Territorial Planning
3.8. Mexico: Programme of Integrated Rural Development in the Tropical Wetlands (PRODERITH) - Rural Communication System
3.9. Brazil: Participatory Budgeting in Porto Alegre
3.10. Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs): Examples of Participation in the PRSP Processes in Bolivia, Malawi, and Rwanda

4. Lessons Learned and Suggestions for Entry Points, Participatory Mechanisms and Institutional Arrangements

4.1. Identifying areas for policy reform
4.2. Identifying favourable external enabling environments
4.3. Identifying participatory mechanisms and institutional arrangements
4.4. Identifying constraints
4.5. Identifying the key participants in PPM and their assets
4.6. Creating an internal enabling environment
4.7. Monitoring and evaluating participation in policy making
4.8. Feedback needed from the field on possible ways to operationalize PPM in FAO Member Countries

5. Bibliography


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