From participatory systematisation to a regional network for policy change (PLA 56)
Frances Hansford, Virginia Araújo Lima Santana, and Gérman Hilares Reinoso describe a participatory systematisation process. A group of NGOs had completed demonstration projects to strengthen food and nutritional security in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. So a participatory systematisation process was developed to promote a regional network for sharing learning more widely and influencing policy within the region. The group wanted to capture diverse local perspectives and knowledge about the projects, and put these experiences into an organised system of information, and promote a dynamic process of collective learning and action. An effective two-phase process was used to train 20 local NGO facilitators by external consultants, who then applied their skills in the field. Using examples, the article outlines the basic steps needed to implement the systemisation process. It discusses local outcomes, and the impact that the process has had on increasing both capacity and confidence, and in influencing food security policy at regional levels. Lastly, the authors discuss some of the challenges they faced – and provide advice for others thinking of engaging in a similar process.
Article in: Participatory Learning and Action 56. Co-editors: Holly Ashley, Angela Milligan and Nicole Kenton.
Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org
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