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A participatory approach in practice : understanding fieldworkers' use of participation rural appraisal in ActionAid The Gambia

HOLMES, Tim
June 2001

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This paper uses a case study to argue that participatory approaches emerge from a complex process of negotiation where fieldworkers are subject to unique combinations of competing influences from the organisations they work for, the communities they work with, and their own personal characteristics. It suggests that fieldworkers can actively pursue personal agendas and can also be involved in changing the structures that condition their actions. However, the paper concludes that elements of the organisational structure can leave little room for fieldworkers to use their agency positively, and that managers need to address this in order to reduce the gap between the policy and practice of participatory approaches

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