Participatory technology development Participatory rural development Farmer based development Farmer based research Enabling farmer participation
Participatory technology development (PTD) is a process of interaction between local people and outside facilitators to develop more sustainable farming systems. It starts with a joint analysis of the situation, an activity commonly known as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). It continues by including participatory planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of local development activities. The heart of PTD is experimentation with new ideas designed and conducted by farmers with the encouragement of PTD practitioners. Training is designed to stimulate active learning by participants who draw on their own experience.
Participatory rural development emphasises local knowledge and comprehension of the situation in a particular area or region. The direct implication of this is that standardised text book approaches to rural development cannot account for the number of social, economic and environmental variables that come in to play in any one given situation, the unique character of local development needs. This includes understanding the local meaning of poverty and development, to recognise local basis for self reliance, identify correctly "agents of change" in local situations, understand local customs and cultural norms for social interaction and working together, and to appreciate perceptions of non-local players and external community relations.
The Rockefeller Foundation has a food security program that emphasizes enabling farmer participation through using effective and sustainable methods of engaging farmers in articulating their needs and in analyzing, designing and implementing agricultural innovations. This brings farmers together with extension workers, research scientists and other groups in problem identification, solution and evaluation.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.