Participatory research and programme development

Tools developed for CAFOD in 2013 in Zimbabwe enabled their environmental health programme to determine the following for the strategy:

  1. Communication agenda – messages, target groups, methodology of engagement.
  2. Action plan – recommendations
  3. Implementation of activity – what tools to achieve project aims will be used, and why.

This includes establishing:

  • What are the high impact entry points for positive change are.
  • Who the change-makers are.
  • What the incentives for positive action would be – per stakeholder group
  • What processes and tools will be most effective during implementation phase.
  • What messages should be communicated, and in what way during the campaign awareness raising component of implementation.

Specifically tools developed assess the following:

  1. Understanding about environmental health and attitude towards the environment – what do residents and council see, need and want? What do residents and council consider being major risks to public health.
  2. Knowledge and understanding of key processes – power, water, sewage, housing, council’s processes.
  1. Knowledge and understanding of relevant laws by both Council and Resident groups.
  1. Perception of visible and invisible problems, and positive environmental elements – in terms of the physical and infrastructural and relational.
  1. How best to prioritise problems – each stakeholder group is asked to rank both in terms of importance and ability to solve.
  1. Roles and responsibilities – understanding of roles and responsibilities is explored through looking at causes and consequences of each problem.
  1. Efficacy, agency and imagination – imagining and enacting individual action in relation to problems identified and the ‘ideal environment’ leads to self-assessments and the start of strategy design.
  1. Interest, influence and incentives: Each Stakeholder group’s analysis of their own interest and influence in this project/issue is explored and assessed.
  1. Conflict analysis: – both latent and manifest, leads also to key elements of risk analysis.
  1. Correlation between bill payment and service provision. Barriers to bill payment identified through story telling. Understanding of the link assessed.

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