Nepal pva workshop report chitwan november 2k5 finalDocument Transcript
November 14-19, 2005
The Global Hotel
Emergency & Disaster Management Theme
Human Security & Governance Team
Shyam Sundar Jnavaly
AAN CRC Bharatpur
Dhruba Raj Gautam
CBDP : Community Based Disaster Prevention
CBO : Community Based Organization
CDO : Chief District Officer
DDC : District Development Committee
DIO : Divisional Irrigation Office
DOI : Department of Irrigation
E&DM : Emergency and Disaster Management
FGD : Focus Group Discussion
GO : Government Organization
HMG : His Majesty's Government
INGO : International Non Governmental Organization
KII : Key Informant Information
NGO : Non Governmental Organization
NPC : National Planning Commission
NRCS : Nepal Red Cross Society
UNDP : United Nations Development Program
VDC : Village Development Committee
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Table of Content
1 The Context: Disaster and Vulnerability 1
1.1 Vulnerability in the Context of ActionAid International 2
1.2 Forms of Vulnerability 2
1.3 Linkages between Vulnerability with other Disciplines 2
2 Participatory Vulnerability Analysis 3
2.1 Core principles of PVA 3
2.2 PVA at the different levels 3
2.3 Role of PVA in the context of Action Aiders and its partners 4
3 PVA in the Context of Actionaid Nepal 5
3.1 A Historical Timeline 5
3.2 PVA Workshop in Nepal 5
3.3 Participation 6
3.4 Resources 6
3.5 Sampling/Selection 6
3.6 The Communities 6
3.7 Use of Secondary Data 6
3.8 Data and Data Management Information Dissemination 7
3.9 Participatory Tools and Techniques 7
3.10 Key Outputs from Data Analysis 8
3.11 Ties to Decision Making Process 9
3.12 Analysis from Field PVA presentations 9
3.12 Participant’s Feelings, after having a PVA training 10
3.14 Outcome / Impact 10
4 Data to be documented 11
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5 Issues Emerged while Analysing the Vulnerability 11
6 Institutionalizing PVA 12
7 Gaps and Challenges 12
8 Benefits of PVA 12
9 Learning and Sharing 13
10 The Way Forward 15
11 Summing up 15
Workshop Proceedings 17
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Workshop Report on Participatory Vulnerability Analysis
(November 14-19, 2005)
Hotel Global, Bharatpur, Chitwan
1. The Context: Disaster and Vulnerability
Disaster is an unexpected phenomenon. Due to frequent floods and chronic landslides,
Nepal is regarded a highly disaster prone area. Both floods and landslides damage the
infrastructures, erodes the productive agriculture land and cause to take away thousand of
lives and livestock. There are various reasons behind the heavy disasters. Development
activities haphazardly implemented without maintaining the norms (road, buildings),
deforestation, adaptation of the traditional practices of making khoriya for cultivation, and
encroachments of flood plains are some of the immediate reasons. Break of epidemic,
migration, starvation, deaths, beggary, suicide, disability and illness are the post disaster
syndromes. Disasters are responsible for significant economic loss, erosion in social and
financial capitals, psychological dislocation and widespread physical injury and death.
Poor, children, elderly and disadvantaged people are more vulnerable to the disaster and
post disaster effects because of their poor access to and control over the necessary
The vulnerability situation depends on family, community and hazards. Due to the socio-
economic condition and inadequate awareness among the people of the community, they
are not been able to face these hazards, so their condition is being vulnerable day by day.
As the hazard is increasing, vulnerability is also increasing due to the multiple effects of
the previous hazards. Further, it is also seen that there is a strong relation between hazards,
vulnerability and poverty. The poverty is found to be the major cause of vulnerability. And
the poverty is the consequence of hazards.
The vulnerability is the cause of poor unity and network of the disaster victims, ineffective
mitigation measures during disaster, poor capacity of community to fight against the
disaster, inadequate preparedness and mitigation plans on time. In order to cope with
vulnerability, advance planning and preparation is needed and capacity of the people
should be increased to mobilize internal as well as external resources. Increase leadership
quality, provide vocational skills and techniques to seek the alternative income source are
equally important. Those communities which have capacity to analysis their vulnerability
and its underlying causes can manage disaster more easily.
The ways of minimizing the vulnerability are multifarious. It has to be dealt with both from
social/institutional and technical perspectives. Building the capacity of local communities
is the foremost step to deal with the implication of disaster. For this, community
themselves have to assess their capacities to deal with the extent of vulnerability.
1.1 Vulnerability in the Context of ActionAid International
Vulnerability is considered to be the main linking factor between emergencies and long
term development work. The emergencies strategy of ActionAid has also emphasised on
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analysing vulnerabilities in long-term work and using this analysis in building local
resilience, readiness and long term recovery.
1.2 Forms of Vulnerability
There are many forms of vulnerability. They are: poverty and vulnerability, needs and
vulnerability, deprivation and vulnerability and disadvantage and vulnerability.
Poverty and vulnerability: Poverty and vulnerability are strongly linked and mutually re-
enforcing and these are brought about by the same process. All poor are vulnerable and
most of the vulnerable are poor. Poverty is not the only factor, which leads to vulnerability;
there can be other factors like geographical location, communal conflict, etc.
Needs and vulnerability: Vulnerability is not just connoted with needs but is broader than
that. Needs are the outer symptoms while vulnerability remains hidden and strikes back.
People who cannot meet their basic needs are more vulnerable than others. During a
disaster, the well-off recover much more quickly than those who are struggling to meet
their basic needs.
Deprivation and vulnerability: Any kind of deprivation i.e. deprivation of information,
resources, or services generates vulnerability.
Disadvantage and vulnerability: It involves the access and control of resources.
Disadvantaged status reinforces the vulnerability.
All the above can be regarded as conditions of exposure to vulnerability. It affects people/
groups of people everywhere by different magnitude and categories. It also depends on the
context, which varies from one place to another. Among many, the major dimensions of
vulnerability are physical, social, cultural, gender, generational, economic, and political.
Vulnerability can be formulated as follows.
Vulnerability = Hazard/Capacities, or
Risk x Capacities/Hazard
1.3 Linkages between Vulnerability with Other Disciplines
Vulnerability can be considered to have strong linkages between emergencies and long
term development work. The emergency strategy of ActionAid International also
emphasises the analysis of vulnerabilities to promote long-term development work. PVA is
a systematic analytic process which can develop and build local capacities to understand
their situations of vulnerabilities. It is also useful in developing local communities'
resilience, strengthening their capacities for prevention and mitigation work. PVA
promotes their ability to overcome and reduce the impact of vulnerabilities and also
promote long term recovery. It is therefore important to view vulnerability analysis as a
process with strong linkages into many thematic areas within the work of ActionAid
International. These themes focus on enhancing, the rights of women and girls, promoting
good governance, food security, education, preventing HIV/AIDS, conflicts and
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emergencies, and engaging in policy influencing and advocacy work in favour of the poor
2. Participatory Vulnerability Analysis
Understanding the degree of capacity of the community for reducing their vulnerability is a
fundamental principle of the PVA. Participatory Vulnerability Analysis (PVA) is a
systematic process that empowers communities to understand their own situation of
vulnerabilities and take active measures. At the core of PVA lies the local knowledge and
capacities of the people to articulate, identify and develop plans for their situations of
It involves communities and other stakeholders in an in-depth examination of their
vulnerability, and at the same time empowers or motivates them to take appropriate actions.
The overall aim of PVA is to link disaster preparedness and response to long-term
PVA is a qualitative way of analyzing vulnerability, which involves participation of
vulnerable people themselves. The analysis helps us to understand vulnerability, its root
causes and most vulnerable groups, and agree on actions by, with and to people to reduce
their vulnerability. By analysis, we mean the process of breaking down something into
component parts, which can then be addressed systematically. PVA has its own principles,
which are outlined below.
2.1 Core Principles of PVA
The core principles of PVA are:
• PVA acts as an active agency that poor people can and involve in finding the solutions
to the problems they face.
• It is not an end in itself; it should result in action and change for the better.
• The sources of vulnerability and solutions to vulnerability are located or controlled
outside the community, so it needs a multi-level process.
• It is based on ActionAid’s rights based approach.
2.2 PVA at the Different Levels
Community level: At the community level analysis, local facilitators will help the
community to analyse their vulnerabilities in the meetings and discussion sessions. The
participatory and Reflect approaches will be used to incorporate community’s perception of
their vulnerabilities. But at the same time, local facilitators will feed in some issues
extracted from the other levels of analysis.
District/Project level: At the district/project level analysis, community representatives will
involve other stakeholders and will translate the issues into the local level advocacy and
lobbying. The regional/ country and international level of analysis will extract the ideas &
issues from the community and district level analysis to feed into the policy and advocacy
work. Studies on specific issues identified by the analysis will be conducted and learning
will be promoted by workshops, reports and exchange visits.
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Regional/Country Level: At this stage, studies on selected issues will be made and major
issues and outcome of the studies will be disseminated through national level advocacy and
lobbying. In doing so, exchange visits and monitoring as well as national level workshops
International Level: At this stage, coordination and documentation activities will be
implemented in the full swing. Other activities like technical support from outside like in
policy and advocacy work. International workshops and interactions are also useful to
exchange the knowledge and experiences.
2.3 Role of PVA in the Context of Action Aiders and its Partners
PVA has its place in the promotion and attainment of the above. For instance, working in
poverty reduction will require PVA.
• The attainment of livelihoods and reduction of vulnerability to food insecurity, poor
health, management and maintenance of community natural resources to reduce
• Gender issues, including various forms of marginalization, social exclusion and
deprivation of the rights of poor and vulnerable groups within the communities,-Dalits
issues, the untouchables, including people considered as 'squatters' and street children.
• Utilization in searching of opportunities for change in status quo of the poor and
marginalized including the promotion of long-term development and focus on rights
based approaches to development. PVA – can examine root causes of poverty,
marginalization and exclusion the issues related to power dynamics and power
PVA encourages enhanced awareness and sensitivity to poor and marginalized that are
often not present during meetings. These categories of people need to be heard. Often they
may not be visible or may remain silent and unheard because of the cultural and social
norms. Enhanced awareness of structural injustices and exclusion can enable us to utilize
PVA to unearth and examine in each context – the existing power and marginalisation
processes. Thus, PVA can serve as a process that reveals vulnerable and excluded groups in
the communities we serve and indicates ways in which these people are exposed to hazards,
risks and even disasters.
PVA utilizes various participatory techniques to probe and ask questions, engage
communities in a reflective process to provide answers to the following questions: Who
controls power? Who is excluded and made vulnerable by this power? Who has access to
livelihood resources and who does not? What are the root causes of people's
PVA reveals those who are socially excluded. Social exclusion can be defined in terms of
caste system, gender disparities, ethnicity, status and various forms of disabilities. The
work on vulnerability was viewed in the light of "Fighting Poverty Together” and framed
within the context of AAI Global Strategy entitled "Rights to End Poverty", (R2EP) to be
implemented during 2005-2010. It is evident R2EP places the poor and marginalized,
particularly women and girls, at the core of AAN programming. It also calls for their active
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agency including AAN partnership with CSOs to form networks and alliances to advocate
for pro-poor polices and ensure that duty bearers meet their obligations. Emphasis is on
RBA to promote equity and social justice.
3. PVA in the Context of Actionaid Nepal
3.1 A Historical Timeline
In the first time, PVA Dorset Report was received in 2002. Subsequently, in the following
year, in 2003, PVA Guide draft was received. A year later Actionaid shared this draft PVA
guidebook to its partner NGOs. This concept was applied in the first time by Friends
Services Council in 5 VDCs and 1 Municipality of Rupandehi District in June-September
2004 (Please refer annex for proceedings of the training cum workshop).
In June 2005, Actionaid Nepal staff participated in PVA workshop India to sharpen the
knowledge about the PVA and its associated issues. Then, PVA guide (Final copy) was
received/circulated. Finally, PVA Training cum workshop was organized in Chitwan,
Nepal in November 2005 to further sharpen the knowledge and understanding among AAN
and its partners about PVA.
Apart from these activities, community issues were identified organizing mass meetings at
most hazardous /vulnerable locations in Rupandehi, Chitwan and Makwanpur Districts of
Nepal under Safety Net Campaign. The outcome issues were presented at district level
involving all district line agencies to address the specific issues by the specific departments
of local governments. e. g. flood, wild animal, health, education, etc. The district level
issues were shared at national level involving related I/NGOs, National Planning
Commission, Government Departments and Ministers. In this way, the issues of
vulnerability were taken in to discussion to find the root causes of vulnerability and its
3.2 PVA Workshop in Nepal
The PVA training cum workshop was conducted in Chitwan District / Central Terai from
14-19 November 2005. The overall objectives and aims were two fold: first to familiarize
the PVA process to the AAN Staff, Partner NGOs, local stakeholders and the community
and; second, to enable the community to develop understanding of their situation of
vulnerability and to empower them to take forward the issue to claim the compensation and
mobilize them to engage in rights based advocacy for development and improvement of
The objectives of the workshop were to:
• generate a common consensus on plan for a research programme on vulnerability
• share what we know and don’t know about vulnerability
• learn and think about vulnerability and how this can be analysed effectively
• develop a network of people working on vulnerability & emergencies within ActionAid
in the different parts of world
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3.3 Participation in the Workshop
In the workshop, varieties of people from different disciplines were involved.
• ActionAid Nepal staff and Partners (14) (includes Theme leaders for Education, Food
security, Dalit, Governance, Peace and Conflict, Urban Poverty, Education, Impact
Assessment, Program Officers, Coordinators)
• Representatives of other NGO/CBOs and Networks (9)
• Local Government representative (1)
• Community Volunteer/Activists (6)
• Disaster Victim/Vulnerable community members (12)
3.4 Human Resources
The following were the resources of AA Nepal to carry out the PVA Workshop.
• AA International Resource Person
• PVA Guide Book
• In-house Pool of Experts on Participatory Tools and Techniques
• Committed Human Resources
• Appropriate logistic management, and
3.5 Selection of Samples
These communities were selected as per the following criteria
• Proximity to the workshop venue (low security threats)
• New DI area of AAN, so needs planning…
• AAN’s engagement with Food Security and NRM issue in the area
• Felt need of Disaster preparedness works
• Community issue linked with PVA process
3.6 The Communities Selected
As a part of the workshop, the participants of the training visited two communities of
Nepal, viz: Meghauli and Divyanagar /Jagatpur of Chitwan, Nepal. Meghauli and
Divyanagar/Jagatpur VDCs of Chitwan District face heavy flood and landslides every year,
and lose land, livelihood, life and property. The area also falls under the buffer zone of the
Royal Chitwan National (Wildlife) Park, thus wild animals damage the standing crops as
well as kills people every year. Communities are not able to claim compensations for
damaged crops and life due to complex compensation policy of the government. They are
not able to argue with Army that guard at the National Park. Though there is provision of
investing the 50% income of the Park for the betterment of surrounding community, no
proper development activities were running due to poor local governance.
3.7 Use of Secondary Data
The secondary information that was used was drawn from the following sources.
• The existing secondary data from the Partner NGO and networks / DDC and VDC
• Document Mapping of previous project works.
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3.8 Data and Data Management Information Dissemination
Primary data were generated from PVA and secondary data were used for probing. For this,
analysis of vulnerability situation was made through
• Prevalence/extent of vulnerability
• Coping ability and approaches of different people
• Analysis of present threats/vulnerabilities
After consultation and feed back from the participants and community, report was finalized
and disseminated. Nepali language was used for the report and it was also made available
for the community and CBOs for future reference.
3.9 Participatory Tools and Techniques
The following participatory tools and techniques were used for the purpose of primary data
• Transact Walk
• Focused Group Discussion
• Time Line
• Seasonal Calendar
• Mobility Mapping
• Venn diagram
• Well-being Ranking
A process of making vulnerability map
• REFLECT -
• Problem Tree
• Conflict Analysis – Power Analysis –
Force field Analysis
• Gender Analysis – Time Chart
• Stepping Stone - Counselling
• Livelihood Analysis/Cob-Web
• SWOT Analysis
A map showing clusters
3.10 Key Outputs from Data Analysis
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After the analysis of primary data collection, the causes of vulnerability, their cause and
effects and prioritization were found. From the analysis of the data available from two
communities, the causes of vulnerability were identified as follows.
• Narayani and Rapti River
• Wild Animals
• Army (Guards of National Park)
• Multiple Affects of Hazards and Poor governance
From the detail field work, the major causes of physical vulnerability were found as:
• Presence of the settlement area, buildings, arable lands physical infrastructures and
necessary services in disaster prone areas.
• Lack of alternative livelihood resources.
• Inadequate access and control over the production of resources.
• Dependence on elites and well-off people.
• Inadequate foodstuffs.
• Inadequate necessary education, skills and capacity.
• Inadequate basic services such as education, health-related services, drinking water,
sanitation, roads, electricity, and communication facilities.
• Diseases and epidemics.
Similarly, the major causes of socio-economic vulnerability were recorded as:
• Weak family lineage structure.
• Inadequate leadership qualities.
• Unpractical decision-making process.
• Unequal access to legal and treatments services.
• Inadequate access to political services.
• Weak community based institutions.
• Orthodox thinking towards change and modernizations.
• Dependent with others, belief on fate and lack of unity and coordination.
• Inadequate enough knowledge about threats and risk.
• Inadequate enough resources for rehabilitation.
• Weak social harmony and cooperation.
• Gender and caste discrimination.
• No access to information.
• No preparedness plans and strategies.
• Erosion of agriculture land by flood
• Standing crop submerged for several days
• Collapse of thatched house and loss of lives of livestock and family members
Prioritisation of vulnerability was shared as follows:
• Poverty and poorness
• No sustainable means of resources to cope with livelihoods
• No unity and network of the disaster victims
• Not effective mitigation measures during disaster
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• Poor capacity of community to fight against the disaster
• Lack of proper preparedness and mitigation plans on time
• No action to cope with vulnerability
• No sufficient advance planning and preparation
• Poor capacity of the people to mobilise internal resources
• Inability to manage the external resources to cope with the problems
• Extraction of stone, sand from the river. They are also causes for the disaster inviting
the vulnerability situation.
• Unavailability of the information about warning system and advance forecasting
• Absence of secure place to rehabilitate people and cattle.
• Absence of leadership quality; need to provide vocational skills and techniques to seek
the alternative income source.
• Non existence of management plan for temporary shelter in advance.
It was also found that, following actions were adopted by the communities to reduce the
• Formation of a Pressure Groups at community/cluster level
• Delegation to Stakeholders to familiarize the situation of various forms of disasters
• Establishment of Flood Early Warning System on the basis of their local knowledge
• Organization of Interaction with Authorities for external resource mobilization
• Capacity building trainings to the communities to cope with disaster and vulnerability.
3.11 Ties to Decision Making Process
Key steps carried out to tie PVA with the initiatives of other agencies.
• Adopt the outcome findings of PVA workshop for Annual Plan and Budget of
DDC/VDC, AAN, NGOs
• Incorporate the findings / outcome of PVA workshop in District Disaster Management
Strategy of Chitwan District
• Incorporate the issues that are generated from PVA in AAN long term development
3.12 Analysis from Field PVA Presentations
From the presentation of both groups and issues and concerned raised by the participants in
the plenary session, it was inferred that:
• The vulnerability situation depends on family, community and hazards. Due to the
socio-economic condition and lack of awareness among the people of the community,
they are not been able to withstand these hazards, so there condition is being vulnerable
day by day. As the hazard is increasing, vulnerability is also increasing due to the
multiple effects of the previous hazards.
• Hazards related to vulnerability also depend on the availability of food. The
vulnerability is found more prevailing in the period of food scarcity than during the
period of availability of food. It is also seen that there is a strong relation between
hazards, vulnerability and poverty. The poverty is found to be the major cause of
vulnerability. And the poverty is the consequences of hazards.
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• Those people who are vulnerable are not able to manage the resources by their own
after it occurs, i.e. they cannot face the disaster. Those whose livelihood is fluctuated
by the disaster cannot manage the disaster by their own efforts. Similarly, those people
do not fall under vulnerable category who can easily face the disaster or who are able to
rehabilitate by their own resources after disaster.
3.13 Participant’s Feelings, after having a PVA training
• Participants recognised that they did not know much about the idea of vulnerability and
its associated issues before coming to the workshop. Now they not only knew different
aspects of it but also developed a common understanding to perceive it.
• Work on PVA is important because of its scope for linking emergencies with long term
development work; its deep link with poverty and inter-relatedness with rights issues.
• PVA draws its mandate from Fighting Poverty Together by contributing for the core
themes of participation, rights and advocacy. For this, PVA should be participatory,
qualitative, empowering and capable of analysing responsibilities and capacities.
• No single definition of vulnerability captures all its dimensions, complexities and
applications. Similarly, no single model or generalisation can be applied to all the
places and contexts. Vulnerability analysis also includes stakeholders, capacities, rights
and responsibilities analysis.
• It is better if analysis is based on the community’s own agenda at the community level
with some input from the facilitators. In this way, community’s time will be spent to
pursue their own motives rather than to feed the organisation.
• Every analysis should be followed by action but there can be some cases where no
service delivery action is required.
3.14 Commitments from Various Stakeholders
Followings are the commitments from various stakeholders to carry out the PVA process in
• Community ready to form Action Groups
• Local NGO/CBOs come forward to raise the issue to District level
• AAN and (DI) Partner NGO ready to provide resources for capacity building and
• DDC agrees to mediate the talk/interaction with stakeholders/Line agencies
3.15 Outcome / Impact
The outcome and impact generated from the workshop were as follows.
• Commitment by the DDC representatives to take the issue further in their annual plan.
• Local NGO/CBOs agree to facilitate the Advocacy process.
• Development of PVA Network in the Region
• Commitment to use PVA while selecting DA DI for AAN
• Use of PVA for community level annual plan budget formulation
• Use of PVA for PRRP – Monitoring, Impact and Evaluation
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4. Data Documentation
The following are the key steps to be considered before making the PVA exercise in the
• Who are the most vulnerable and were they involved in the analysis?
• What are they vulnerable to?
• What are the changes in vulnerabilities over time?
• What are the underlying causes of vulnerabilities?
• Unsafe conditions (e.g. flow of information, coping mechanisms, level of assets etc).
• Differential levels of vulnerability (geographical location, access and control over
resources, power, gender, economic etc).
• Underlying factors and trends (e.g. trade policies, land rights etc).
• What are the characteristics of the categories of vulnerable poor: improving, coping and
• What assets do they have access to and control?
• Why are they vulnerable now?
• Why will they be vulnerable in future?
• What strategies do they use to reduce vulnerability and cope?
• How are assets used and what assets are used?
• What strategies do they use during crisis?
• What are their long-term livelihood strategies?
• What aspects of vulnerabilities can be used as indicators in programme reviews and
5. Issues Emerged while Analysing the Vulnerability
The participants identified the following issues related to vulnerability, while working with
• Should the vulnerability analysis be one time or continuous process integrated within
existing work. In case, it is a one time activity, what should be the ideal timing of the
• Adequate capacity/skills of analysis/facilitation of the local facilitators to conduct good
analysis, which provide different options.
• Balance between external and local knowledge/information. What and how much
information will be injected during analysis and what will be extracted?
• How to develop true participation and ownership of the vulnerability in the analysis.
• Analysis should adequately incorporate community’s perception of vulnerabilities.
• Should the analysis be necessarily followed by action in order to bring change? What
should be the balance between analysis and action?
• Application of vulnerability analysis in conflict situation.
• How vulnerability analysis can capture the complex and dynamic situation of
• Involvement of other actors/stakeholders i.e. government, other civil society
organisations, etc. in the vulnerability analysis.
• Linking the outcome of analysis to long-term development work (not only to
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• How policies, which are mostly designed outside the communities, affect
vulnerabilities of people (market forces, trends in trade etc).
• How vulnerability analysis can feed into the policy and advocacy.
• How to treat vulnerability as a product of development? Mostly developmental
initiatives are meant to decrease vulnerabilities but sometime they increase people’s
• Should the capacity analysis be the part of vulnerability analysis as the poor people
have many capacities?
• How to develop linkages to different levels i.e. community, district, regional/national,
international, while doing causal analysis.
• Vulnerability analysis should include endowments and entitlements of the communities
along with the causes and underlying forces, which make people vulnerable.
• Should the analysis be necessarily followed by action in order to bring change? What
should be the balance between analysis and action?
• How to develop true participation and ownership of the most vulnerable in the analysis.
• How changes or progression of vulnerability can be monitored and recorded over time?
• Is it possible to predict about future vulnerabilities based on experience and action? If
so, what can be the indicators to make it predictive?
• Can vulnerability be used as an indicator in program reviews and impact assessments?
• How PVA can be linked to Fighting Poverty Together: Global strategy of AA.
6. Institutionalizing the PVA
• The need for AA Nepal and partners to chart the way forward by strengthening
networks for PVA, AAN needs to undertake PVA at District and community levels to
feed into National and International levels- i.e. Using PVA analysis (community,
district, country & international).
• Share and learn experiences – many of the trained participants in Nepal have committed
themselves to use PVA in future programme activities.
7. Gaps and Challenges
The following are the gaps and challenges recorded from the PVA exercise.
• PVA Timing – must suit for community
• Owning PVA – PVA not only Emergency’s Tools
• External facilitators need to be catalyst and local facilitators need to carry out the
process as an activist to mobilize community for addressing the root causes of
vulnerability & other findings
• Establishing linkages between emergencies and long term development work
• Generating expectations as problem increase
• Requirement of high level of commitments of Time and Resources – needs continued
8. Benefits of PVA
On the basis of analysis of the PVA process, following benefits are identified:
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• PVA is central to not only emergencies work but also to policy, advocacy and long
term development issues. It involves the exploration of root causes of natural and man
made disasters as well as chronic states of vulnerabilities. It can definitely be linked in
rights based approach and advocacy.
• It influences policies related to communities’ vulnerability issues and location, income,
livelihood, services, gender, generation and other dimensions.
• The importance of vulnerability analysis should be highlighted at different levels of
policy work and advocacy work / the outcomes of analysis should feed into our on-
going work on these areas.
9. Learning and Sharing
The following issues were identified for learning and sharing purpose:
For community participation
• How to use PVA process to ensure community participation.
• Linkage of PVA to emergencies, reduction of vulnerabilities and long-term
• Linkage of PVA to RBA works to aware rights, and to build the capacity to enhance
networking and advocacy work of NGOs/CBOs
• Emergence of PVA in rights and advocacy at all levels-local, national and international
• Working with the community in free time of community.
• Work as a facilitator
• Hurry in finishing the work rather than problem identification
• Unable to explore all issues of community
• It was realised to have matured people while visiting the community
• It is better to convey message 2 days earlier for more participation of people
• It was realised from the field work that PVA is also feasible apart from the disaster. The
linkage of RBA with PVA is beneficial with each aspects of human life. In this context,
the overall realization was as follows:
• Use appropriate tools in local context for PVA
• Facilitating organization should build the rapport with the communities before
• PVA should be interlinked with scientific research to ensure reliability and
validity of the work
• PVA is a continuous process
• PVA enhances indigenous knowledge and its dissemination
• Root cause analysis and analysis of power dynamics is possible through PVA
• PVA awares communities on human rights persecutors
• PVA establishes macro-micro linkages
For PVA method/process
• Every analysis should be followed by action to bring change.
• Reflective, engaging and participatory approaches should be used to empower
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• PVA should be a continuous process integrated with existing work of Actionaid
• Efforts to be made to predict future vulnerabilities by combining experience and action
(for mitigation and prevention work, develop early warning systems/ mechanisms and
responses in place).
• Analysis of vulnerability at one level can be linked to other levels to promote long-term
• Capacity of local facilitators should also be developed for improved facilitation and
analysis of PVA initiatives, particularly familiarity and use various tool of social
analysis, e.g. PRA, gender analysis, conflict analysis, Reflect, Stepping Stones, Power
analysis and Assets mapping tools to undertake PVA.
• PVA uses participatory tools and we should examine ways to use other systems –
Scientific methods should use in social analysis to enrich analysis on vulnerability
On the basis of collection of data, and analysis of information, it is learnt that:
• Most vulnerable to be involved in the analysis, it means involvement of stakeholders at
all levels in the analysis.
• Proper timing- recognizing that poor and vulnerable groups are constantly engaged in
‘bread and butter’ survival activities- for understanding farming calendar and ensuring
• Developing a sense of ownership of analysis in the community.
• PVA process should gradually empower the community (active engagement of the poor
• PVA should incorporate communities’ perception about vulnerabilities.
• There should be a balance of local and outsider's information/knowledge while doing
PVA (do not force our own agenda on the people).
In additions to above aspects, the other lessens learned from PVA are recorded as:
• PVA help to increase Community Participation: Most vulnerable to be involved in the
analysis, it means involvement of stakeholders at all levels in the analysis- community,
district, and national / international levels - engage in campaigns to influence policy
makers and duty bearers, advocate for pro-poor policies that work in favour of people
to reduce their vulnerabilities.
• PVA in the appropriate time: It was learnt that PVA should carry out at the
appropriate time of the community. It is because poor and vulnerable groups are
constantly engaged in "bread and butter" survival activities. The understanding of local
communities, farming calendar and ensuring proper timing of PVA to get maximum
• Developing a sense of ownership: This is particularly important for people who are
often excluded and absence in decision making processes. The need for heighten
awareness of socially excluded groups such as the Dalits and others is important. They
need to be included in the discourse during PVA.
• Interface of local and outsider's information/knowledge: There would be a balance of
local and outsider's information/knowledge while doing PVA (it is not wise to force
outsiders agenda on the people).
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• Empowerment of Local People: The PVA process lead to active agency and
empowerment of the community (active engagement of the poor and marginalized) in
developing deep understanding of their situation of vulnerability and what the root
causes of their conditions are. PVA tries to incorporate communities’ perception and
feelings about vulnerabilities, underlying cause and suitable coping strategies.
10. The Way Forward
On the basis of analysis, the following are some of the way forwards:
• We will create Matrix for Collating CP experiences and enhance mechanisms to share
information on best practices.
• Examine and outline of challenges and key achievement (including impact) on PVA (or
value added of PVA)
• Make concrete suggestions on areas for improvement on the PVA methodology- using
experiences on what has worked/not worked- provide suggestions on technical gaps and
agreement on how these will be filled etc.
• Input into the trainers guide based on the skills gap.
• Participatory/Reflect approaches will be used at the community level analysis and the
capacity of facilitators will be build before conducting analysis.
• Efforts will be made to integrate PVA into the existing policies/programmes.
• The need for AA Nepal and partners to chart the way forward by strengthening existing
networks for PVA.
• Undertake PVA at District levels to feed into National and International levels- i.e.
Using PVA analysis (community, district, country and international).
• Create opportunities for partners and those who have been exposed to participatory
vulnerability capacity analysis to use PVA, also, engage in share and learning
• Create advocacy networks and mobilize resources to follow-up on community action
points which has been developed from PVA in the field work.
• Share reports and case studies with all other AAI CPs Nepal’s implementation of PVA.
11. Summing up
In zest, following things could be concluded on the whole PVA process:
• The PVA process is designed to help the community analyse their own situation.
• During a PVA, data collection, analysis and action emanating from the analysis are all
conducted with the community. Moreover, there is no further analysis done by external
facilitators alone where communities are not involved.
• The PVA process uses a variety of other sources such as secondary information and
interviews with other institutions. Information obtained from these sources has to be
included in the discussions with the community during a PVA.
• Good facilitation techniques are required to ensure a successful PVA. The tools for data
collection, analysis and planning create a framework for the facilitators and the
community to discuss.
• In some cases the topics are personal and individuals may feel uncomfortable sharing
such deep-seated issues in public. In such cases it is important to discuss with particular
groups separately through focus group discussion.
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• To draw the attention of illiterate people, use of pictorial tools and techniques is very
• To ensure a successful PVA, adequate preparation in advance is required.
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Participatory vulnerability analysis (PVA) is a systematic process that involves
communities and other stakeholders examining their vulnerability in detail and being
empowered or motivated to take appropriate actions. It helps to understand the impact of
disasters on people’s lives, livelihoods or environment. Moreover, the rationale of PVA
The basic essence of PVA is how communities can be involved in examining their
own vulnerability as well as taking appropriate actions both in short and long
term. Hence, it opens the way and room for people from all sections of society to
identify the causes of vulnerability, prioritise the causes and prepare an action
plan on the basis of it.
PVA makes use of participatory tools to ensure active community involvement.
As a result, it helps to generate reliable primary information in the participation of
all people including illiterate people.
To diagnose varieties of vulnerability as well as their underlying forces and
factors, PVA plays a vital role. It is also able to generate information on specific
vulnerable groups, hazards and locations. It focuses on the participatory process
with an objective of participation and empowerment of vulnerable people by
specifying their rights and responsibilities.
It informs communities and stakeholders for better emergency preparedness,
mitigation and response as well as execution of better development work on the
basis of pre and agreed plans and programmes, thus it is useful in integrating
development and emergencies work.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
Understand the basic principles of PVA
Aware the applicability of PVA in the context of disaster and beyond
Learn and think about vulnerability and how this can be analysed effectively, and
Aware on the usage of it for the preparation of action plan to fight against
Day I (November 14, 2005)
The brief remark was delivered by Shyam Sundar Jnavaly, Resource Centre Coordinator
of Central Resource Centre at Action Aid Nepal Bharatpur. In his remarks, he highlighted
the vulnerability and its associated issues and how communities were struggling to fight
against the vulnerability. He said that vulnerability is considered to be the main linking
factor between emergencies and long term development work. The emergencies strategy
of ActionAid has also emphasised on analysing vulnerabilities in long-term work and
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using this analysis in building local resilience, readiness and long term recovery. In
Nepal, the concept of PVA was started in 2001 and it was developed as a powerful tool in
2005 to analyse the issues of vulnerability.
Before proceeding further, he shared the schedule of day one to the participants. The
participants were given authority to amend the schedule so that they also feel ownership
and internalize what they were willing to learn from this workshop. The detail schedule
of the workshop is given in annex-1.
4. Introduction to each other
Introduction “to know each other” session was facilitated by Shyam Sunder Jnavaly. He
asked all the participants to say “their names among with participating organization and
areas of interest in the field of disaster management”. At the end of the exercise, all
participants knew each others in terms of name, the participating organization and their
areas of interest/experience in the field of disaster management.
There were 32
participants in the
workshop. The list of
names and participating
organisations is given in
5. Ground Rules
In order to systematise the workshop and make it more effective and meaningful, the
workshop participants agreed to set “Ground Rules”. This session was facilitated by Mr
Deepak Poudel and Mr Dhruba Raj Gautam. Those ground rules were:
Session should be started from 9 AM and end at 17 PM.
To develop concentration in each session and discussion, participants need to
“Switch up the mobile”.
Participants need to stay for a full time in each session.
Participants need to develop a culture of ‘active listening’, ‘mutual respect’ and
‘listen to and learn from each other’.
The following participants were allocated the following roles and responsibilities to
systematise the sessions of each day.
Key Activities Responsible person/(s)
Energiser : Mr. Rajesh Hamal
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Overall Management : Mr. Deepak Lamichhane
Reporter : Mr. Dhruba Raj Gautam, Ms Madhavi Pradhan
Power Group analysis : Mr. Manish Pradhan, Mr. Bimal Gadal, Ms Subhala Subba,
Ms Amrita Sharma
Logistics : Mr Krishna Chandra Acharya
This session was lead by Ms Agnes Campbell. In her remarks, she highlighted the
All the workshop participants are both “learners” and “teachers”. So, she expected
to have good discussion and interaction throughout the workshop in each
PVA has been beneficial to analysis the risks, hazards and vulnerability situation.
Cross fertilization of learning will provide the culture sharing and learning from
Participants need to discuss on the proposed PVA guidebook, identify the gaps, if
any paving for its further improvement.
In this session, Mr Shyam Sunder Jnavaly also highlighted the following issues
associated with the workshop.
Participants need to perceive PVA as ‘non-structured’, there is large scope to
discuss on it and to make suggestion for further improvement.
Field based learning will sharpen the knowledge of participants to look and
understand the issues of vulnerability.
PVA exercise will provide an opportunity to collect field based information, and
synthesis information to make an action plan.
Then expectations were collected from the participants. Those expectations were as
Understanding of the use of PVA beyond the vulnerability (i.e. to cover social,
political and economic issues related to people’s poverty).
Linkage of PVA for impact assessment and monitoring process.
Identification of the gaps (the types of issues to be explored for the vulnerability
Sharing of knowledge and experience
Development of capacity to support/complement for district level plan.
Identification of the ways of collecting reliable primary information.
Expectation to hear about PVA from international experience.
Ability to distinguish the fundamental difference between PRA, RRA, PLA and
Ways of identifying/assessing level and extent of vulnerability.
Exploration of the ways for “why people are vulnerable”.
Increase in the knowledge of “analysing the vulnerability”.
Learning of the linkage of PVA tools to other tools.
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7. Develop common understanding of the terminology used in
This session was led by Shyam Sunder Jnavaly. Before initiating the work, participants
requested for the clarification of Hazards, Risks, Threats, Disaster exposure and
vulnerability. He tried to clarify the meaning and differences in meaning of these
terminologies by giving examples of drawing (mentioning the stone at the top of the hills
and how the settlements at the downstream are affected from that).
Agnes Campbell also added her experience by giving the examples to show the basic
difference among these terminologies.
An intensive discussion was held among the participants. After clarification, the
participants were requested to divide into two groups and make the list of terminology
used in disaster management and their simple meaning in local language. The participants
were asked to come in the common consensus. After the discussion, each group leader
was asked to present the group work.
After the presentation, synthesis
was made to develop the common
understanding about these
terminologies. And these agreed
meaning of each terminology was
typed and circulated to the
participants. This session helped
to develop the common
understanding about the
participants on disaster related
terms and their simple meanings.
Work to develop simple meanings of key terminologies
8. Facilitation Skills
It was realized that the role of participatory tools and techniques for PVA was crucial. It
was also agreed that the role of good facilitation skills for using PRA tools was
important. This session was led by Ms Madhabi Pradhan and Ms Amrita Sharma.
In the beginning, they shared the importance and role of effective facilitation skills for
using participatory tools and techniques. They divided workshop participants into two
groups by giving two different colours of flowers. The same flower choosers were
requested to be one group and vice versa. The task for each group was divided in the
Task for Group A: Basic principles and tools to be used for facilitation skills.
Task for Group B: Skills needed for effective facilitation.
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Then two groups worked in their respective theme and prepared the presentation. But
before the presentation, Mr. Bimal Gadal sang a song that covered the issues of caste
discrimination and right based approach.
The presentation of Group A was as follows
Principles and tools
Have enough knowledge and command over subject matter
Have knowledge about the basic norms, values and culture of ‘working
Create ‘real’ and ‘easy’ environment
Respect to all, obey the community agreed rules
Be of gentle nature
Be a irrational evaluator
Be of a showy nature
Be reactive to hurt the people
Towards the end of the presentation of Group A, Agnes Campbell shared her feeling as:
Do not create ‘confrontation environment’
Be tactful and diplomatic
Recognize the basic principle of ‘social justice’, equity and right.
Similarly, the presentation of Group B was as follows:
The group identified the following skills as beneficial for the facilitators:
Language and communication
o Use of local language
o Clarity in speech
o Choice of good words/sensitive
Have good knowledge on subject matter
Ensure equal participation before initiating the task
Use ‘overhead’ and ‘back through’ approach to deal with community’s issues
Select appropriate training materials
Deliver clear ‘introduction and objective’
Have positive attitude towards community
Follow adult learning techniques
Ensure eye contact and use of body language
Show jolly nature and use appropriate energiser
Understand the importance of group dynamics
Have quick decision making power and sum up the outcomes time to time
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Manage ‘over smart
Have conflict resolution
Have good listening and
Have skills of appropriate
use of PRA and other tools
to generate primary
Participants are in the process of observation in the field
Once the presentations of both groups were finished, the facilitators acknowledged the
task carried out by both groups and shared their views by presenting the following tips:
Be confident about the community ‘they can do it’
Handover the stick
Watch, listen and learn
Have fun, joke and enjoy
Make adequate pre-planning
Wear fancy dress
9. Use of PRA and other participatory tools in PVA
This session was led by Mr Bala Ram Luitel. In his presentation, he tried to share the
meaning of PRA, its major tools; and he shared key tools and their application in the
context of collecting primary information from the field
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From the discussion, it was agreed that before initiating PRA tools, following steps
should be kept in mind:
Conduct desktop study (review of secondary information)
Identify the most vulnerability areas
Share the objective clearly
Build rapport with community
Mr Shyam Sunder Jnavaly highlighted the applicability of PRA tools in the context of
PVA. He also argued that one can develop alternative tools and technique for PVA too.
It was found that most of the participants were familiar with the PRA tools and
techniques, but the main concern was “how to link PRA tools and techniques in the
context of PVA and their inter-relationship. In doing so, Ms Agnes Campbell shared her
experienced by giving simple example of each tool which is discussed hereunder
(Please refer annex-3 for PRA tools and techniques and their application in the context of
Agnes shared that time line is used to get the systematic development of the area and to
locate how the area was suffered from various phenomenons such as starvation, drought,
landslide, flood, hailstorm, epidemics earthquakes, deforestation etc. She gave very clear
example of ‘Conflict” and Peace Process in Sierra Leone through timeline exercise. She
shared the historical timeline, shared its linkage with drought, migration, prostitution, and
HIV/AIDS, and tried to focus how it added the path for further vulnerability. Mr Shyam
Sundar Jnavaly shared that ‘vulnerability has multiple shifting’.
9.2 Seasonal Calendar
Agnes shared that seasons are an integral part of people's lives and they exert an
important impact upon the livelihood of the local people. It reflects the perceptions of the
local people regarding seasonal variations in the various aspects. It helps to identify
heavy workload periods, periods of loan, diseases, food deficiency and wage availability
as well as flood, fire and wildlife damaged time.
Day II (November 15, 2005)
10. Recap and remarks of power group analysis
Mr Dhruba Raj Gautam highlighted the major sessions and issues raised by the
participants in the day one before starting the second day events. After recap, power
group analysed their feeling about the class room dynamics of day one as follows:
Power of language: All participants were interested to speak in Nepali.
Seat arrangement: Most of the participants in the front of the room seem active.
So it was suggested for reshuffling of seat in each day.
Mobility of the participants inside/outside the hall was high. So it was suggested
to obey ground rules.
Some participants came late, so they were sometimes confused on what was going
on (less attentive towards late comers).
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Realize the “people’s power”. The facilitator’s feelings and perceptions were paid
11. Use of PRA and other participatory tools in PVA
11.1 Problem Tree
For the basic ideas to know about the applicability of problem tree to know cause and
effects relationship, Ms Agnes took an example from LUMANTI’ NGO. With the help of
participants, she drew the following problems (causes) faced by the people living in
slums and squatters and their effects as the following:
Thatched house without window
No social infrastructure: school/hospital
Resources in weak condition
She also tried to give example of ‘causes and effects’ of migration.
Causes of migration: poverty, conflicts, droughts, disaster victims
Effects of migration: poor housing, sanitation, unsafe drinking water, denied right
Specific group has specific issue. So was beneficial. She also added that with the help of
FGD, one can further explore the following issues.
Why they are coming in that area (when and how)
Social attachment among the people etc
11.2 Transect walk
Ms Agnes shared that transect mapping helps to provide cross-sectional representation of
the different agro-ecological zones and their comparison against certain parameters
including topography, land type, land use, ownership, access, vegetation, crops,
problems, opportunities and solutions. It helps to know the most vulnerable areas and
coping strategies made by local people.
11.3 Focus group discussion
This tool helps to get specific information from same category of well-being groups.
Therefore, it is dealt as the centre of the all participatory tools. In the FGD, specific
topics are discussed where all participants are encouraged to present their views and
opinions. It also help to triangulate the information and data collected from other tools
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and techniques. With the help of FGD, it is better to find out the group dynamics, social
network and solidarity.
In the discussion it was agreed that the extent/magnitude of disaster and vulnerability
may differ for different people like adult, children and women. So, special checklist
should be produced to explore the issues.
11.4 Social/Resources/Vulnerability Mapping
Mapping helps in developing an understanding of available social and natural resource as
well as the most vulnerability areas within the certain cluster.
It is prepared by local people as the
main objective of this exercise is to
involve them in the process so that
their knowledge, skills and ideas
are recognised. Local people are
considered to have an in-depth
knowledge of the surroundings
where they have survived for a long
Vulnerability mappings prepared by community people
11.5 Mobility mapping
This tool gives the general picture of the mobility of people for various sectors such as
education, health, employment, marriage, treatment, seeking help in the case of disaster
and emergency, etc. in the chronological order. It helps to triangulate the information of
11.6 Venn diagram
Venn diagram helps to demonstrate
relationships (direct and meaningful or
indirect) among the various institutions or
community with other organizations in case of
coping disaster and vulnerability. It helps
project stakeholders to reflect on the nature of
coordination between the local community and
Venn diagram prepared by local people
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11.7 Well-being ranking
This tool is used for ranking and
grouping households on the basis of
income, wealth and others perceivable
well-being criteria as expressed by the
It helps to understand the people's
conceptions on wealth, well-being
and their views on socio-economic
condition related to livelihood and
Venn diagram transcribed from ground in to paper
Well-being is culture specific and is difficult to measure. So, the facilitator should have
basic knowledge about the people and their culture to which he/she is working with.
11. 8 REFLECT
This session was led by Mr. Ram Dayal Yadav. He shared that REFLECT as an
abbreviation of Regenerated Fereian Literacy (through) Empowerment Community
Techniques. It is considered as:
Education without book
Jivenmukhi siksha (Life oriented education)
It helps in advocacy through raising the issues
It can also be useful in programs other than literacy program
It is a powerful tool to empower the community
It supports to raise the issues, assess them and guides for efforts to be made for
mitigating the problem
It is informal learning approach and conducted as per the wish of the community
It is unstructured and issues are finalized by the participants
This is useful for disaster management too (what, why, when, ways, effects,
In the discussion, the experiences of Prerana (Sindhuli) and HURADEC (Dolakha) about
REFLECT model for the empowerment of community were shared. Birth registration
campaign in Sarlahi through REFLECT model was also discussed.
At the end of his presentation, he summarised that REFLECT can
Enable the community
Explore where the resources are, how to explore them and
Aware, empowerment, action and social transformation
11.9 Conflict Analysis
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This session was facilitated by Mr Anil Pant. In his presentation, he shared the major
steps for conflict analysis which are as follows (Please refer annex-4 for detail).
Conflict analysis from Development perspectives
There is no need to read out the development theory. The conflict dynamics can
be analysed from the assessment of experience.
o Difficult to work at community level
o Find dos and don’ts of community
o Improve the security situation
o Support community’s campaign at local level
Clarity in objective is important
What is analysis?
Causes of analysis
o Social – gender, discrimination
o Political – recognition, inclusive democracy
o Physical – geography, unequal distribution of the resources
Tier of analysis
International, regional, national and local
People-based, decentralisation, right-based
Local level analysis is not only sufficient.
Causes of conflict
Dynamics analysis (key issue, responsible actors, interest, reaction, route)
Scenario-mapping (to find the trend of history)
Analysis of triggers
Others work (on, in and around)
He also highlighted that tracking is also important for conflict analysis, as
Track (in peace process) can be
1. Formal (Maoist + Government)
3. Through development
After the presentation of Mr Pant, Ms Agnes inquired that how conflict analysis model
fits into the conflict of gender and youth vs. elderly group. Then Mr. Rajesh Hamal added
some points on how to link conflict analysis to PVA tools. In his presentation, he
suggested to explore the following issues before conflict analysis process is begun:
Who – actor (parties of conflict)
o Caste system (dalit, non-dalit)
o Gender (Patriarchy)
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o Who are vulnerable?
o Why they are vulnerable?
What are the issues/interests (interest of needs)?
What the effects on the potential consequences to create conflict/worsen
Violence-migrated and displaced people
How to mitigate? – action plan
This session was facilitated by Mr Bimal Gadal. In his presentation, he highlighted the
following issues while analysing the gender.
Opportunities (access, control)
From gender perspectives, children and women are more vulnerable. It was discussed that
FGD for separate women is also needed to explore the issues of women. It is because
males always dominate even through they are in minority in the group. The promoting
factors for gender discrimination are dress, social structure, and social sympathy towards
family members. In Sarlahi, it was found that women were more victimised during river
flood. So, women should be provided space and allowed to talk and enforce affirmative
action. It was also shared that while analysing the gender, power relation and its
associated issues should be kept in the centre of the discussion.
At the end of the discussion Ms Agnes added that women are overloaded from productive
and reproductive work. So, PVA should be interlinked with gender perspectives.
11.11 Stepping Stones
Ms Sumita Mathema took this session. In her brief presentation, she expressed that it is a
tool that focuses on issues like “Who am I”, and “Look Ourselves”. This tool is mostly
used in HIV/AIDS program.
There are three key principles of stepping stones.
Maximise 3 ‘C’ (Communication, Coordination and Cooperation)
Opening up (Be familiar with each other)
Change the attitude and behaviours for social change and social transformation
During the discussion, Mr. Shyam Sundar Jnavaly shared that vulnerability analysis
could be possible from variety of tools and techniques. Stepping stone tool could be
beneficial to analyse the vulnerability. He said that disaster invites other associated
problems. For examples, from UNDP study in Chitwan to Sarlahi districts, it was found
that girls trafficking and prostitution was severe where disaster frequently occurred.
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11.12 Social Inclusion, Right Based Approach and Power analysis
This session was facilitated by Mr Maneesh Pradhan (Please see annex-5 for detail). In
his presentation he shared that right means accountability, justice, self-reliance, social
recognition and claim over right. He shared the types of rights as social, economical,
political, cultural and civil. He said that for rights,
Accountability of duty bearers and participation of right holders for equality/non-
discrimination is needed.
Changes in policies, institutions, attitudes, participation and power relation is
He shows how RBA cycle evolves and continues. The cycle is comprise steps: Situation-
He shared that Children, Women, Janajali, HIV/AIDS victims, Landless, Ex-Kamaiya
and Disables are mostly excluded from the mainstreaming development. So emphasis
should be given to include these groups.
For power analysis, he focused in his presentation the need to identify key power centres,
and opportunities and challenges of each of all actors.
11.13 Sustainable Livelihood analysis
This session was facilitated by Mr Shyam Sundar Jnavaly. He shared that Sustainable
Livelihood Framework is helpful to reduce the vulnerability. It also helps to motivate
people on the necessity of collective action to increase their participation and solidarity.
He discussed the five capitals and their characteristics as follows.
Social/ Political Capital
Increase in solidarity
Development of the sense of identity, honour and belongings
Interaction through shared interest, increase in people's ability to work together
Building of relationship of trust and cooperation
Social network for innovation and development of sharing of knowledge
Ways of survivals in the time of extreme vulnerability i.e., Parma, neighbourhood
Enforcement of group decision to solve problems
Formulation of the norms and values
Sharing of the power relations among the people
Increase in local capacity in terms of knowledge, skills and exposure.
Change in the orthodox thinking among the people.
Initiation for preparedness plans and programs.
Skilled labour force.
Decrease in cost of construction of houses and infrastructures.
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Increase in the mobilisation of internal resources and management.
Continuation of public services.
Construction of simple infrastructures.
Maintenance of shared infrastructures.
Access to road.
Preservation of the water resources.
Reclamation of the land resources for better production.
Access to better-serviced land.
Management of common resources.
At the end of the discussion, he clarified the importance of this tool by drawing the spider
diagram. He also shared that spider diagram provided clear picture about the aspects to
widen and make a plan to tackle it.
12. Synthesis of Participatory Tools and their relevancy in the
From the discussion of variety of participatory tools and techniques, usage of different
tools and their rationale is presented below in a summarized form:
Tools To whom Rationale
Access Dalit, landless, nearly landless Access to and control over the resources
mapping (only having Ghaderi), homeless of various group of people
(used to stay in masters house),
women headed HH, disable
(differently able people), flood
and landslide victims, elderly
people, other as specified by local
Time line Elderly people, local elites, Historical perspectives of vulnerability,
Aguwa (traditional leaders) marginalisation,
Trend analysis Dalit, landless, nearly landless Causes and reasons of vulnerability,
(only having Ghaderi), homeless trend and its associated factors
(used to stay in masters house),
women headed HH, disable
(differently able people), flood
and landslide victims, elderly
people, other as specified by local
KIIs School teachers, VDC officials, To draw personal feelings, opinion,
Politicians/social elites, Local ideas, present status, problem, coping
money lenders, Aguwa mechanism, ways forward
(traditional leaders), Local
traders, representative of
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development programs, widow,
suffer from chronic disease and
FGDs Dalit, landless, nearly landless Opinions on group basis, group specific
(only having Ghaderi), homeless problem, coping mechanism, ways
(used to stay in masters house), forward
women headed HH, disable
(differently able people), flood
and landslide victims, elderly
people, other as specified by local
Venn diagram/ Dalit, landless, nearly landless Institutional relationship, access of
Stakeholders (only having Ghaderi), homeless vulnerable people in both institutions
analysis (used to stay in masters house), and services
women headed HH
Transect School teachers, VDC officials, Verify the most disaster affected areas,
walking Politicians/social elites, Local coping strategies and needed action to
money lenders, Aguwa mitigate disaster effects in long run
(traditional leaders), Local
traders, representative of
development programs, widow,
suffer from chronic disease and
Case studies Case studies related disaster To explore in-depth analysis of a
victims, trafficking, social- selected, critical phenomenon, activity
cultural phenomenon, disable and or situation
suffer from chronic disease and
epidemic, access and control over
natural resources, access in
service providers and
Livelihood Dalit, landless, nearly landless Stability, crisis and coping mechanism,
Analysis (only having Ghaderi), homeless relative income, expenditure, credit and
(used to stay in masters house), debt)
women headed HH, disable
(differently able people), flood
and landslide victims, other as
specified by local people
It was agreed that PVA can be used in the following aspects:
Power analysis, power dynamics, empowerment of the communities
Building local capacity building
Access power to demand right (advocacy)
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13. Roll out of PVA Guidebook
This session was facilitated by Ms Agnes and Mr Shyam. In their presentation, they
PVA is a systematic process
It helps in the examination of vulnerability
It can be linked with disaster preparedness and response to long-term
From the field work, baseline data can be generated, issue of vulnerability can be
explored and causes and effects of each vulnerability issue can be identified.
Mr Shyam also emphasised that PVA can encouraged different political parties to address
their commitment in working for the reduction of peoples’ vulnerability. Political parties
may use this tool during election campaign. Then, both Mr. Shyam and Ms. Agnes shared
the major aspects of ToR as follows.
Fix baseline (mobilise the action plan)
Map out the sources and root causes of vulnerability
Develop action plan to implement it jointly with partners,
Advocate to influence and for monitoring and impact assessment.
Tips for field work
o More issues to be explored from PRA and other relevant tools
o All tools discussed may not be used
o PVA is itself a structured process
Day III (November 16, 2005)
14. Sharing of Baseline data of Meghauli Village
Area 77.18 sq. km
River Narayani, Rapti
Small river Betari, Laikhari
Population 14372, male-7543, female – 6829
HHs 2618, population density 186.21
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Population of Kumal
Nepali : 70%, Tharu : 30%
Literacy (Overall) 70%
Higher Secondary School 1
High School 2
Lower Secondary School 1
Primary School 5
Sub-Health Post 1
Number of HHs in Study Site
Bote: 3 HHs
Kumal: 43 HHs
Total: 46 HHs
The sources of livelihood of the people of study site included agriculture labour,
sharecropping, rental farming and fishing.
15. Sharing of Baseline data of Jagatpur (Ghailaghari) Village
East/South : Rapti River/Royal Chitwan National Park
West : Sukranager
North : Patiyani/Parbatipur
Total Population : 800
Total HHs : 160
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Janagati : 95%
Dalit : 1%
Other : 4%
Name of Stakeholders working for disaster
Anugraha Church : Pillar and roofing support to 26 HHs
NRCS : Housing support for 40 HHs
BZDC : Pillar and roofing materials
RCNP : Partial support for housing
NRUSEC initiatives till now
Distribution of relief
Construction of housing,
management of toilet and safe
Formation of disaster relief
Monitoring of the measurement of
Management and use of Siren
Participants in the process of simulation process
Construction of public
building for shelter
(especially for displaced
Construction of weir/intake
Distribution of utensils and
Participants are in the process of allocating the job within the team
After sharing of social-economic information of the two proposed village, Mr. Shyam
shared the logistic planning for field work as follows:
Required materials to be prepared by each group
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(separate vehicle for each
Group division on the basis
Defined roles and
responsibilities within team
Lunch at the field
Practice of key informant interview
After logistics planning, Ms. Agnes
shared the key activities to be carried out
from field visit and tips from Guidebook,
which were as follows:
An assessment of available resources within the village
Key activity Tips
Process Recording Page 27 (of PVA Guidebook)
FGD (women, youth, mixed) Page 28 Analytical steps (PRA and other tools)
Finalize community analysis Representation from community & presentation needed
Feedback to community By representative
Reporting group Page 26,27,24 (of PVA Guidebook)
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Then all the participants divided in
to two groups on the basis of
interest. The each group was given
the separate task assuming the real
field situation as practice.
Data in the process of summing up
The task for group A was to imagine an
Urban community with
Problem of Slums and Squatters hit by
Flood disaster of 1993
The task of group B was to imagine a
Rural community with
Problem of Flood and Wildlife
Scope of Work for both groups
Map of the vulnerability sites
hazards, risks to environment,
root causes of vulnerability)
An observation of soil erosion at river bank
Focus Group Discussion
Who controls the resources
How to access them during flood and
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CBO, NGO, and INGO working in the area
Types of capacity they have, resources they have and their relationship
Analysis of finding
Hazards, resources – (how the resources are used)
Community actions ( of the past)
Local, district and national efforts
Indicators/outcome of M&E to follow-up
Who are the most vulnerable
Types of exposure that they have experienced
Prevalence and extent of vulnerability-hazard, risk, exposure (pp6 of PVA
Risk Hazard Mapping
Use analytical framework
16. Presentation by Group B (Ideal situation of Gitanager village)
Year Major phenomenon
036 Migration, displaced people from landslide
037 Establishment of National park
052 Big flood, wildlife destroyed 16 houses
054 Huge flood, 30 houses collapsed, 5 dead, destruction
of physical assets
058 Destruction of physical assets from flood
059 Diarrhoea epidemic (5 children were dead, starvation,
increased the workload of women).
J F M A M J Jul A Sep Oct Nov Dec
Heavy flood devastated the physical properties
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Lack of rehabilitation
Negligence of government
Damage of hum pipe
Lack of alternative livelihood
Vibrant youth force migrated
Well-being HHs Indicators
Well-off 5 CGI roof, Job, vendor shop, livestock, involved in
CBOs/NGOs, have facility of drinking water and toilet.
Medium 5 Thatched roof, skilled labour, have only latrine, some
Poor 2 Thatched poor house, unskilled labour, depend upon the
public tap for drinking water
Ultra-poor 6 Landless, dalit, have no source of income, seasonal
migration to India, wage labour
FGD with Women
Most of the families are displaced from flood
People migrated to cities and India seasonally to earn livelihood
Only women, children and aged people are in the village
Most of the children left their school because of the family problem
The middlemen are active in girls trafficking
Women are compelled to involve in prostitution so suffer from HIV/AIDS
Women headed household unable to get neighbours’ support
People are deprived from pure drinking water and toilet facilities
Theft, dacoit and domestic violence is increasing
decision making process is dominated by male
Most of the youth are suffering from bad habits
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Strong family structure
Have facility of school/Health
Social organizations are
Lack of awareness,
employment, land and
Participants in the process of synthesis of data
Strong political parties
Number of development organizations
working in the area
Eviction, trafficking, and domestic
A process of action plan formulation
Action Plan for (Jan-July ’05)
Proposed Activities Months Responsibilities
Collect baseline data January Community + NGO
Capacity building of CBDP February Community + NGO
Provide legal support to claim rights March Community + NGO
Implement IGG/skill development training April Community + NGO
River training April-June Actionaid Nepal
Awareness for right based approach June-July Community + NGO
Community plantation June-July DDC + Community
17. Presentation of Group A
Analysis of problem from Problem Tree
Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 39 of 82
Negligence of government
Lack of proper plan
Lack of awareness
Weak organizational efforts
Poverty/dominance of ultra-poor
Unequal distribution of resources
Negligence of National Park
No proper enforcement of
rules/regulation of Park
Destruction of physical asset and human life
Human life usually threatened by Wildlife
Crop damaged by wildlife
Destruction/collapse of physical infrastructure (Bridge, HP, School)
Erosion of productive land
Explosion of epidemic
Children deprived from education
Inadequate facilities of drinking water
J F M A M J Jul A Sep Oct Nov Dec
Year Major phenomenon
052 Settlement started, government tried to displace people but failed, occurrence of
053 Flood damaged 2 houses, 2 people died, NRCS supported the relief materials
055 Got assurance from political leaders to support flood victims, 5 set of gabion
058 Explosion of diarrhoea and epidemic, 5 children died, 3 women trafficked by
060 7 houses destroyed by flood, death of 1 pregnant woman, flood swept livestock,
and 2 people died of HIV/AIDS
062 Community organization formed to tackle with disaster and to claim rights.
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Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 41 of 82
Major Resources Initiative till now Future action plan (at local Future action
problem level) plan (at national
Flood School, Make bhakari made Formation of Formulation of
and HP, land, up of the bamboo to organization/ group laws, policies
Eviction Local use as gabion Awareness campaign & strategies
because Institution, Sand sack RBA orientation Pressure and
of Skilled Family saving Pressure group formation advocacy
wildlife manpower, Emergency fund Linkage with local level Network
Forest, Plantation institutions building and
Pond, Coordination Skill development Linkage
River between local Construction of safe Rapport
institution and other habitat building with
stakeholders, Income generation organizations
Use of knowledge Relation between land - Advocacy for
and skills owner and community social justice
Use REFLECT and
Day IV (November 17, 2005)
18. Planning for Fieldwork by Group B
Welcome/objective : Chhabilal
Lead facilitator : Indra Jyoti
Reporters : Ved + Bimal
Observers : Dhruba + Rajesh
Transect walk+ mapping : Deepak Poudel
FGD : Mixed – Bisheshwor and Damodar
Women – Amrita and Subhala
Venn diagram: Rajendra and Raj Kumar
The key Step adopted by Group A in the field
Allocation of job within the group (transect walk group and FGD group)
Departure for field
Reach at Ghailaghari
Observation of dam at Rapti River, River Training supported by Caritas Nepal
Observation of work initiated by Caritas Nepal for disaster preparedness
Have lunch and depart for Dibyanagar
Have discussion with community people and gather information
Entry into Dibyanagar village (VDC)
Local people were gathered at the initiation of NRUSEC
Prona Pratap and Sobhina shared about the PVA
Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 42 of 82
Venn exercise was done with women group
Men group prepared seasonal calendar
The key Step adopted by Group B
in the field
• Departure for field
• Informal discussion with
• Site visit of most affected part by
• Welcome and objective sharing
• Use of different tools and
techniques for collection of
• Synthesis of the information
Participants are on the way to village
Day V (November 18, 2005)
All the information collected with the help of PVA tools and techniques were analysed to make
an action plan with the help of community people. Then the product was shared in the plenary
19. The presentation of Group A
Year (BS) Major phenomenon
018 Settlement started
026 First land survey
028 First flood experienced, flooding problem occurred
045/46 People displaced from flood
050 20 houses were displaced, epidemic exploded
052 42 houses were displaced
059 River cutting at the head reach part of Hirapur
062 Drought (production/yield decreased)
Lack of awareness
No fencing in the national park
No adoption of sustainable approach for river training
No work on time
Settlements are very near from park
Concerned stakeholders are not serious
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Problem of flood and wild animals
Inadequate facilities of education and health
Displacement of settlement
Soil erosion of productive land
Destruction of roads and bridges
Poor facility of drinking water
Inadequate local employment
J F M A M J Jul A Sep Oct Nov Dec
Prevention Flood DDC
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Problem Resources Initiative undertaken Future Plan (Local Level) Future Plan (Local
Flood Stones, Collection of Formulation of Pressure group
boulders, boulders, labour committee and capacity for policy
Wildlife sand mobilization building formulation and
Gabion wire Allocated budget Awareness raising implementation
Health collected by from BZ and DDC program Networking and
local people Plantation, making Share RBA to the linkage among
Fire People’s of trenches people the institutions
contribution Compensation for Orientation program Advocacy for
Support crop damage and (process of social justice
from BZ killing of domestic compensation, safety Arrangement of
Community animal from from disaster and budget on time
building BZMC wildlife, relief) Extension of
Community Amount received Pressure group networking and
forest, for fencing Contact with local level linkages among
community Primary health care stakeholder UNDP, HMG
groups from NRUSEC Expansion of and AAN
NRUSEC Establishment of coordination and Formulation of
Pasture land emergency fund linkage Master plan and
Support Loan distribution Skill promotion pressure for
from DDC for IG program implementation
Awareness Income generating Advocacy for
campaign for activities land registration
education Arrangement for safety certificate
Relief collection settlement campaign
for fire victims Establish good
Disaster relationship between
management landlords and landless
training to group Fencing in BZ area
members Promotion of
Right based approach
20. The presentation of Group B
Year (BS) Major Phenomenon
2011 Narayani mixed with Rapti River
2017 Construction of Tribeni weir
21 Establishment of Royal Chitwan National Park
36 Construction of bamboo Bhakari
47 Flood in Rapti River
33 Misbehaved by Army Personnel
42 Construction of road
28 Construction of Meghauli Airport
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37 Establishment of high school
50 Big flood
51 Facility of telephone
53,54,59,60 Erosion of agriculture land
Problem of flood and river cutting
Problem of wild animals
The services available from RCNP is not enough
Destruction of human life and agriculture land from Rapti and Narayani Rivers
RNCP restricted people to enter in the forest for the collection of wood, grass, fodder,
Sources of livelihood (wage labour and sharecropping other’s land)
Women are mostly overloaded (heavy workload)
Bad practices (alcoholism and gambling)
Most adopt traditional agriculture patterns
Rate of interest varies from 60-100%
Youth are migrated to other countries like India, UAE and Dubai
Have strong socio-religious practices
Social unity, equal participation, religious unity and a culture of helping each other at the
time of crises in the community
Have toilet and common tap from drinking water
Women have many disease problem (uterus and STD)
Women mostly used the temporary means of family planning
Women have access to and control over the physical assets but land registration
certificate is mostly in the name of men
Poor literacy status
Mostly children are going to school
People are poor so they were unable to invest for good quality of education
Dalit have less access in education
Disaster victims are most affected
Aspects Mobility of people in the chronological order
Disaster Jitpur school, Meghauli school
Employment Within village, Bharatpur, Pokhara, Hetauda, India, Dubai
Education Within village, Meghauli, Bharatpur, Dibyanager, Kathmandu
Loan From neighbour, private money lender, Jitpur, SFDP
Health Dhami/lama (traditional healers), sub-health post, Bharatpur,
Marriage Within village, Sishabas, Jogitol, Nabalparasi, Butwal
Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 46 of 82
J F M A M J Jul A Sep Oct Nov Dec
Crop damage by
People are hard working and honest
Strong family structure
Have strong community organization
Construction of Machan
Facility of drinking water and sanitation
Bad habit of alcoholism
Problem from flood/wildlife
No skilled manpower
No river training work to save productive land
Support from social organizations
Support from BZMC
Coordination with Buffer zone
Victims from wildlife
Inadequate facilities of education and health
What: How to do these When Who is Responsible
For the displaced Make an interaction November to August Natural disaster
families program among management
Organize local level committee
interaction program institutions for Advocacy
to get timely ideas/experience committee
compensation sharing and creating Community
Organize delegation pressure development
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to draw Organize awareness committee
stakeholders’ campaign in the Actionaid Nepal
attention time to participation of Media Network
time pressure committee, Journalist
Organize district disaster committee Federation
level interaction and activist NRUSEC
program Interaction program Stakeholders
For the insecure people federation, media
Provide advocacy people and
and refresher stakeholders
training to disaster Organize district
Establish early communication
warning system network
Collect boulders Collect bounders in
the initiations of
For river cutting BZMC and RCNP
Build capacity of Organize discussion
community between victims of
organisations both flood and
For the RCNP victims group in the close
Create pressure coordination with
group to fight BZ support unit
against wildlife Create pressure to
Make pressure open forest at least
group for hay 15 days in a year
Day VI (November 19, 2005)
21. Analysis from both group presentations
From the presentation of both groups and issues and concerned raised by the participants
in the plenary session, it can be inferred that:
The vulnerability situation depends on family, community and hazards. Due to
the socio-economic condition and lack of awareness among the people of the
community, they are not been able to face these hazards, so there condition is
being vulnerable day by day. As the hazard is increasing, vulnerability is also
increasing due to the multiple effects of the previous hazards.
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Hazards related to vulnerability also
depend on the availability of foods.
The vulnerability is found more
prevailing in the period of food
scarcity then during the availability of
food. It is also seen that there is a
strong relation between hazards,
vulnerability and poverty. The poverty
is found to be the major cause of
vulnerability. And the poverty is the
consequences of hazards.
Ex-DDC member in the process of his presentation
Those people who are not able to manage the destruction right after the disaster
by their own resources are vulnerable, i.e. they cannot face the disaster. Those
whose livelihood is fluctuated by the disaster or who can not manage the disaster
by their own efforts. Similarly, those people do not fall under vulnerable category
who can easily face the disaster or who are able to rehabilitate by their own
resources after disaster.
From the discussion, it was found that the major causes of physical vulnerability
are as follows.
o Presence of the settlement area, buildings, arable lands physical
infrastructures and necessary services in disaster prone areas.
o Lack of alternative livelihood resources.
o Lack of access and control over the production of resources.
o Dependence on elites and well-off people.
o Lack of enough foodstuffs.
o Lack of necessary education, skills and capacity.
o Lack of basic services such as education, health-related services, drinking
water, sanitation, roads, electricity, and communication facilities etc.
o Diseases and epidemic.
Similarly, the major causes of socio-economic vulnerability are as follows.
o Weak family lineage structure.
o Lack of leadership qualities.
o Unpractical decision-making process.
o Unequal access to legal and treatments services.
o Lack of access to political services.
o Weak community based institutions.
o Orthodox thinking towards change and modernizations.
o Dependent with others, belief on fate and lack of unity and coordination.
o Lack of enough knowledge about threats and risk.
o Lack of enough resources for rehabilitation.
o Weak social harmony and cooperation.
o Gender and caste discrimination.
Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 49 of 82
oNo access to information.
o No preparedness plans and strategies.
o Erosion of agriculture land by flood
o Standing crop submerged for several days
o Collapse of thatched house and loss of lives of livestock and family
In the plenary session, prioritisation of vulnerability is shared as follows
Poverty and poorness
No sustainable means of resources to cope with livelihoods
No unity and network of the disaster victims
Not effective mitigation measures during disaster
Poor capacity of community to fight against the disaster
Lack of proper preparedness and mitigation plans on time
Needed action to cope with vulnerability
Need advance planning and preparation
Increase the capacity of the people and mobilise internal resources
Manage the external resources to cope with the problems.
Stop extraction of stone, sand from the river. They are also causes for the disaster
inviting the vulnerability situation.
Availability of the information about warning system and advance forecasting.
Management of secure place to rehabilitate people and cattle.
Increase leadership quality; provide vocational skills and techniques to seek the
alternative income source.
Management of temporary shelter in advance.
22. Learning and Sharing
Both the groups were assigned with the task of commenting on following issues:
How to use PVA process to ensure community participation
Linkage of PVA to emergencies, reduction of vulnerabilities and long-term
Linkage of PVA to RBA works
o Awareness of rights
o Capacity building to enhance networking and advocacy work of NGOs/CBOs
Emergence of PVA in rights and advocacy at all levels-local, national and
1. Working with the community as per the free time of community.
Work as a facilitator
Hurry in finishing the work rather than problem identification
Unable to explore all issues of community
It was realised to have matured people while visiting the community
It is better to convey message 2 days earlier for more participation of people
2. It was realised from the field work that PVA is also feasible apart from the disaster
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3. The linkage of RBA with PVA is beneficial with each aspects of human life.
Use of appropriate tools in local context
Facilitating organization should build the rapport with the communities before
PVA should be interlinked with scientific research to ensure community
PVA is a continuous process
PVA enhances indigenous knowledge and its dissemination
Root cause analysis and analysis of power dynamics is possible through PVA
PVA aware communities on human rights persecutors
PVA establishes macro-micro linkages
23. Summing up
The PVA process is designed to help the community analyse their own situation.
During a PVA, data collection, analysis and action emanating from the analysis
are all conducted with the community. Moreover, there is no further analysis done
by external facilitators alone where communities are not involved.
The PVA process uses a variety of other sources such as secondary information
and interviews with other institutions. Information obtained from these sources
has to be included in the discussions with the community during a PVA.
Good facilitation techniques are required to ensure a successful PVA. The tools
for data collection, analysis and planning create a framework for the facilitators
and the community to discuss.
In some cases the topics are personal and individuals may feel uncomfortable
sharing such deep-seated issues in public. In such cases it is important to discuss
with particular groups separately through focus group discussion.
To draw the attention of illiterate people, use of pictorial tools and techniques are
very much important.
To ensure a successful PVA, adequate preparation in advance is required.
24. Closing Formalities
Jay Mangal Kumal (Ex- DDC Member)
Workshop is helpful to guide the community and if the action plan is implemented, there
is an opportunity to get 16,000,000/- from BZMC. Role of civil society and community
organizations is essential to learn from each other to pressurize NPC to incorporate
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Shanti Maya Kumal (Flood Victim Struggle Committee Secretary)
People are very committed to generate local resources if external supports are in hand.
People are willing to contribute to the work to reduce the degree of impact on the victims.
Gun Bahadur Kumal (Flood Victim Struggle Committee member)
The program was very informative. We were able to learn more from team and share our
experiences Our observation is true that wound of disaster is on the head first. If external
agencies pay attention, local people are ready to render their services as and when
Agnes Campbell (AAI TG Facilitator)
We have been learning and sharing from each other. All of you have good resources, the
local knowledge of the community. I hope you learnt about PRA tools for PVA and
found that PVA is not new approach. It is a process to transfer the knowledge to the
community. I am excited to include Nepali’s case study in PVA Guide Book
Krishna Basaula, Partner NGO NRUSEC Chitwan
We have learnt the basic concept of PVA, community orientation for PVA, and we are
able to apply 4 steps given in the guidebook. PVA will be useful to explore reliable
primary information. With the field study, we were able to know the context of
vulnerability of Meghauli, Jagatpur and Dibyanager and learnt that PVA was easy to
identify the flood and wildlife issues and for the empowerment of rights.
Chhabi Neupaney Partner NGO CDO Chitwan
PVA has increased to analyse the vulnerability of people. Cooperation and networking is
essential to maximize PVA exercise.
Sita Karki, Partner NGO WCDF Makwanpur
Training was fruitful and we have learnt that PVA was very effective tool. I would like to
thank all facilitators.
Indra Poudel, Partner NGO VDRC Nawalparasi
With this training, I am encouraged to apply the knowledge gained and skills developed
in the actual field. Our responsibility has increased. This needs to be dealt as a cross
cutting issue and by eliminating its limitations and weaknesses, PVA need to be practised
as a helpful technique. Knowledge on participatory tools and techniques is essential for
PVA. It is useful for the planning process as well.
Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 52 of 82
Shyam Sunder Jnavaly, ActionAid Nepal, CRC Bharatpur
Participants studied two communities as student. I would like to thank you all for
allowing the participants to learn a lot from communities. With your support, participants
are enriched by the nature of disaster and vulnerability and experience of coping
strategies in the field. I would also like to thank CDO and NRUSEC for feeding much
information to the participants. AAN is willing to support the community’s initiatives in
right based approach, in learning and sharing of emerging issues and in advocacy
campaigns. We request you to work as PVA ambassadors.
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Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 54 of 82
Time Session/Topics Lead Resource Person/(s)
Welcome/Introduction Shyam Sundar Jnavaly
Overview of the Workshop Agnes Campbell
Expectations and Ground Rules Deepak Poudel and Dhruba
Logistic supports Krishna Acharya
Discussion and develop common Dhruba Gautam
understanding of PVA terminology and
Facilitation Skills Amrita Sharma and
Discussion on Participatory Tools and
Synthesis of Participatory Tools and Shyam Sundar Jnavaly and
their relevancy in the PVA context Agnes Campbell
Time Session/Topics Lead Resource Person/(s)
Assessment of Power Analysis Group
REFLECT Ram Dayal Yadav
Stepping Stones Sunmita Mathema
Conflict Analysis Anil Pant
Gender Analysis Bimal Gadal
Right Based approach, Social Inclusion Maneesh Pradhan
and Power Analysis
Synthesis of Participatory Tools and Shyam Sundar Jnavaly and
their relevancy in the PVA context Agnes Campbell
The Roll Out of PVA Guide PVA Agnes Campbell
Situation Analysis Framework
Time Session/Topics Lead Resource Person/(s)
Background Information of Meghuli Chhabi
Background Information of Jagatpur Krishna
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Logistics and planning for field work Shyam Sundar Jnavaly
Group division and task allocation
Presentation and discussion
Time Session/Topics Lead Resource Person/(s)
Basic preparation at Bharatpur for field
Field work at Meghali Group B
Field work at Meghali Group A
Time Session/Topics Lead Resource Person/(s)
Information synthesis and make an
Presentation of both groups
Time Session/Topics Lead Resource Person/(s)
Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 56 of 82
Annex- 3: UNDERSTANDING OF PRA
AA’s working definition of PRA: “a development approach that enables communities to analyse
their present circumstances, come up with possible solutions that are translated into an action plan
in a participatory way”.
Other PRA common definitions were:
A set of tools or approaches used to enable communities to analyse, present and share
knowledge to help them develop Community Action Plans.
A means of empowering communities.
PRA is a working tool to generate useful information at grassroots level.
A need assessment tool that brings together communities and development workers to identify
community problems and possible solutions;
A field methodology in which community problems are identified by the people themselves in a
Flexible learning process which encompasses a set of tools conducted in a community by a multi
disciplinary team in collaboration with communities to generate information on rural life, natural
resources, problems and opportunities.
UNDERSTANDING OF PRA TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
The most commonly PRA Tools and techniques utilized for PVA are:
Vulnerability Mapping in the Community
The Venn Diagram to map Village Institutions and its linkages to emergencies
Livelihood asset mapping to indicate the following:
Wealth Ranking: Human Capital, Social Capital, Natural Capital, Physical Capital, and Financial
Focus Group Discussion,
Time Line, Trend Line and Matrix Scoring.
The Problem tree Analysis
Cobweb –map out community capacities- measures status of risks and hazards-scoring these risk
factors and ranking them to develop intervention plans-community action and mobilization of
resources for intervention.
Vulnerability Mapping is useful to showing the layout of a community and indication of sites that
exposes communities to risks, hazards and potential disasters. The community perception and
identification of these risks, hazards and situations that expose communities to disasters are
important. Using the following PRA tools can help the vulnerability mapping process:
Undertake a transect walk with communities before the PVA in the communities to identify the
above. Find out who is exposed to each identified hazard and risk-the levels of vulnerability,
Develop in depth analysis of vulnerability situations-Use Time Line, Trend Line and Matrix
Scoring map out the hazards, the time they occur, frequency and trends-including changes over
The benefits are:
Workshop Report on “Participatory Vulnerability Analysis” Page 58 of 82
Increasing communities’ awareness of the location of existing structures, resources and
resources, including areas that exposure people to problems.
Providing social and demographic information of the communities easily and in a concise
It determining and planning the best location for social facilities and services such as seed stores,
water points as well as for waste disposal sites.
Providing information on structures, resources and their location in the communities.
Disadvantages of mapping
It raises expectations in the community
Maps drawn by communities are sometimes very difficult to follow due to low map sketching
skills of communities
The exercise takes a lot of time to complete, especially in large communities
The Transect Walk is used to identify the
topography, different land types,
vegetation and land uses in the
communities. Twenty-three CDWs could
not state the purpose of the transect walk
either because they have never used it or
because they don’t know how to use it.
Participants in the transect walk
Advantages of the Transect Walk were indicated as follows:
Increases communities’ awareness about village land, farmland, forest cover, tree species, uses
of soil types and the problems and solutions to certain activities practised in the community.
It helps to identify community problems of land tenure system.
It increases communities’ awareness on complex environment issues.
According to some staff the disadvantages were:
It is too tiresome, tedious, time consuming and sometimes difficult to gather information about
It is sometimes not clear to the community the information they are looking for.
Venn Diagrams are used in PRA for showing villages and their linkages. Venn Diagrams are used
for knowing existing institutions in the community whilst another said it is used to show number and
the most active groups in village. Thus they reported that Venn Diagrams are used to explore
organisational issues within the community and their linkages with other organisations.
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Venn Diagrams, according to the staff have a number of advantages, these are:
It increases communities knowledge of different institutions in the community and helps in
identifying linkages with their development partners;
It helps in encouraging group formation and can easily show the leadership structures of a group.
Some staff reported that using Venn Diagrams has disadvantages such as:
It may provide confusing results where local institutions are known by more than one name.
It may not show the difference or problems that exist between institutions
It is difficult to organise groups
It is difficult for the community to determine the institutional linkages among groups and with
Most staff seemed to have been using Resource / Wealth Ranking in routine work. Some
POs/Specialists perceived wealth/resource ranking to be the most useful tool for identifying and
targeting the poor in the communities.
The advantages of resource/wealth ranking, according to these staff members were:
Information collected on poverty status is useful in targeting and for planning poverty alleviation
programmes based on community indicators.
It easily provides information on the communities’ criteria or definition of poor and non-poor
It provides information on poverty levels as well as on the characteristics of poor households.
The difficulties associated with the use of
Resource/Wealth Ranking as indicated by
the staff are that:
Households may be wrongly classified
by key informants
It is time consuming.
Key informant interview
Focus Group Discussion (FGD), is not a new phenomenon in the communities. FGD, according
to 33 of the staff it is generally used for collecting information about specific processes over time.
According to some CDWs, it is often used for getting the views, opinions and perceptions of a
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The main advantages of the technique were
Communities are comfortable with it and it
could be easily done even with one
facilitator. It provides opportunities for
every community member to express their
opinions freely about community needs.
Village level meeting
associated with the technique were:
Some community members, women
children and strangers do not
participate fully when the discussion
is held in big mixed group.
It is sometimes difficult to agree on
some important issues.
A small group of village elders, rich
men and intellectuals normally
dominate the whole discussion.
Local people are interacting with participants
The discussion sometimes deviates from the topic to other issues of interest to the community
Seasonal Calendar is another PRA tool that is widely used by staff and in cases, the technique is
used to determine changes in various activities over time. Some POs/Specialists also indicated that
calendars are used to identify appropriate time and types of crops cultivated and to help in
determining labour supply and demand over time.
Using Seasonal Calendar by the staff has, according to them, advantages such as:
It is easy to collect information on activities in the year.
It increases community awareness of problems affecting them as well as on the timing of local
It makes planning and implementation of community projects easy.
Information on labour availability, level of food supplies and disease prevalence in the
community is readily obtained.
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Difficulties associated with Seasonal Calendar were:
Difficulties for community members to agree on the timing of local seasons.
Communities find it difficult to match local season and calendar months.
Matrix Scoring/Ranking is often used for prioritising problems in order of importance to the
Advantages of the techniques as mentioned were that:
It is an easy way of obtaining information on community priority problems.
Information could be obtained on the communities’ criteria for choosing a particular thing
among many things.
The information generated is very useful in project identification and planning.
Common difficulties associated with the techniques were:
a lot of time spent in conducting it and,
Problems sometimes encountered in getting communities to agree on the most important
The staff seemed to have common view on the purpose of using Timeline/Historical Profile as a
technique for providing historical of the communities.
Advantages mentioned were:
It provides interesting information about the communities.
Past events of great importance to the community are discussed and thus provide an opportunity
for youth and development agencies to learn more about the history of the village.
Some of the disadvantages/problems mentioned were:
Difficulty in remembering events or when they exactly occurred.
Participation of youths and stranger is limited by their knowledge of the history of the village.
Even if youths have a reasonable knowledge of events, tradition may not allow them to talk
about the history of the village when elders are around.
Staff seemed to have a good understanding of the purpose of the tools. Based on their field
experiences, interesting advantages and disadvantages were also attributed to the various tools.
What was generally lacking is the recognition of the fact that tools could and should be used flexibly
and that a combination of tools can be used as well. Whilst many advantages of PRA tools were
mentioned, the fact that it could be time consuming and raise expectations were repeatedly
mentioned as disadvantages. In spite of the associated problems, staff generally believed that PRA
has made some impact in the communities:
Increased level of awareness on development issues
High level of participation
Reduced dependency and ability to mobilise own resources
Communities exposed to other development players
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Annex-4: Conflict Analysis
ActionAid’s policy on conflict emphasises that in-depth analysis is a necessary precondition for
engagement in conflict situations. This analysis must be comprehensive and strategic even if the
project being considered is local and limited.
This paper presents a methodology for such conflict analysis by ActionAid. It is based on
ActionAid’s requirements for processes that are-
• Decentralised –they include local dimensions
The concept of human security has been used because it meets these requirements. It puts poor
people at the centre of the analysis and focuses not only on their security but also on their
perceptions of security.
This does not mean that the analysis is limited to local people only. It is vital to consider
national, regional and international perspectives also. But their voice is central to the analysis
and their role in addressing conflict issues is emphasised. The process should empower local
people by increasing their understanding, strengthening their capacity to respond and increasing
their influence on the wider world.
The methodology is not intended for use by expert teams but as a participatory process in
which a wide range of stakeholders can be engaged through workshops and discussions.
It can be used in many different ways and by combining different levels of analysis together
ActionAid can create a ‘framework’ of understanding rather than a single viewpoint. The
methodology can be used as the basis for a one-day workshop in the capital, in a small town or at
village level. All these perceptions must come together if a full framework is to be made.
The methodology is designed to be extremely flexible. Parts of it can be reduced and others
expanded depending on the context. The language can be adapted not only to reflect cultural
differences but also sensitivities about words like ‘conflict’ and ‘violence’.
The assumptions underlying the methodology derive from the extensive research that has
already led to systems of conflict analysis for DFID and UNDP. They are-
• Each conflict is unique and generic models should be avoided
• Conflict arises from tensions between structural issues
• Conflict is exacerbated by those with interests in conflict
• Development must do more than ‘do no harm’. It must maximise impact.
• Responses should be strategic
• Responses should be based on people’s capabilities
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The process of Conflict Analysis has three stages1-
THREE STAGES OF ANALYSIS
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
Causes Responses Ways Forward
• Causes • Strategic
• General concerns
• Dynamics • Development roles
• Models • Programme and
• Formal peace processes advocacy
Stage One: Causes of Conflict
Step 1.1.: Structural Causes. If the analysis is to be strategic it should focus on the long-term
structural issues rather than day-to-day events. Sometimes conflict appears to focus around an
issue such as ethnicity when really the underlying cause is unequal access to resources or
The first step is to list the issues that cause conflict, or in the case of a pre-conflict situation list
the factors that may lead to conflict.
These causes or factors can then be analysed on a matrix.
Table 1: Causes of Conflict Matrix
Type of Physical Political Economic Social
Much of the methodology is derived from DFID’s published approach to Strategic Conflict Assessment. See
‘Conducting Conflict Assessments: Guidance Notes’. ActionAid acknowledges DFID’s generosity in making this
methodology available for adaptation.
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By dividing the causes into different sectors and levels it should become much easier to see how
they interact with each other and what are the key issues. If possible try to identify three key
issues that lie at the heart of the problem and present them as a triangle, interacting with each
other. This could possibly lead towards identifying a single key ‘root’ to the problem.
Step 1.2.: Dynamics. What might increase these threats? The next step is to look for the forces
that are driving the conflict. All too often there are actors who use conflict to pursue their own
interests. Take the main issues identified in Step 1 and now map out the interests of key actors
and look for possible reactions from other groups-
Table 2: Dynamics
Actors Interests Reactions
Step 1.3.: Models. The most difficult part of the CDA process is to develop a model of conflict
dynamics. There is considerable flexibility in the system at this point.
Go back to the triangle of key issues and see how they are moving in relation to each other and
what interests are driving them on.
As conflict develops the model may becomes more circular and can even lead into spirals in
which the dynamics of conflict are little more than actions and reactions. For example-
Figure: Conflict Circle
The purpose of conflict models is to start thinking about how the processes that make conflict
worse can be reversed.
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Step 1.4.: Scenarios. If the intention is to start preventive programmes or set up Early Warning
systems we will need to know what are the situations that might be threatening. First of all think
of the events that would seriously alter the situation for the worse –they can be called Triggers.
Elections and peace talks are common possibilities.
One way of doing this is to add them on to Table 2.
Very often such Triggers set off old problems. So it is useful to think back over the past history
of conflict. This can lead to a Scenario Table as follows-
Table 3: Scenarios
History Actors Interests Reactions Trigger
Stage Two: Current Responses
The aim of this section is to map out what is already happening in response to conflict, especially
in terms of people’s capacities and issues relating to the development sphere.
Step 2.1.: Concerns and Capacities. Begin by mapping out the positive concerns of those who
have an influence on conflict and also the capacities of those affected. To create a full framework
this will need to include the international organisations, government, civil society, development
organisations and local communities. Divide these concerns into Security, Political, Economic
and Social issues (as in the Causes Matrix). The objective is to see what organisations are
already engaged with conflict and in the next section see how AA might influence other
organisations to take a more active and focused role in relation to conflict.
This can be done in relation to conflict in general but if this makes too big an exercise focus on
the key issues identified in Stage One.
Table 4: Concerns and Capacities (with examples)
Security Political Economic Social
Key Actors Concerns &
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Sub-national Uncorrupted Elections to Legitimate Tribe/clan
courts, district industry leadership
police bodies wish to deter able to
complaint criminals resist
Local Local militias Links to Cooperative Women’s
government groups organisation
Step 2.2.: Conflict and Development. Because it is our main area of focus we are particularly
interested in development organisations. So the next step is to focus on development, dividing
the activities and programmes that are ‘around’, ‘in’ and ‘on’ conflict.
Table 5: Conflict and Development
Actors Around Conflict In Conflict
UN Area development Immunisation project Peace-building project
Donors Fishing project Micro-finance project Cross-border linking
IFIs Macro-economic PRSP
NGOs Sustainable Peace-building
livelihoods project programmes
Step 2.3.: Development and Peace. The next step is to consider formal peace processes and
negotiations, with a particular focus on the role of development. This is done under the following
• Track One: formal peace negotiations
• Track Two: informal support to peace negotiations
• Track Three: development in support of peace
This results in a simple table-
Table 6: Tracks for Peace
Track One Track Two Track Three
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Stage Three: Ways Forward
At this point we have to bring together the analysis of the problem (Stage One) with the analysis
of current solutions (Stage Two) and see how they match together.
Step 3.1.: Refer back to the three issues, or less, that were identified as the key root causes. Now
try to state a single aim that would address the problem.
Step 3.2.: Now go right back to the Causes Matrix (Table 1) at the beginning and look at it
alongside the Table that showed the Concerns and Capacities (Table 4). Underline the activities
that are absolutely central to the Aim. Then fill in the other boxes with responses that are needed
to fill the gaps.
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This will generate a comprehensive strategy for all actors.
Table 7: What needs to be done? (with examples)
Political Economic Social
International Deploy peace- Balance Address global Control external
keeping forces superpower trade restrictions fundamentalist
interests around pressure
Regional Limit incursions Balance interestsMake trade Provide
of neighbours agreements guarantees to
National Control interests Improve Control political Provide
of the military governance links to guarantees to
organised crime minorities
Sub-national Bring warlords Decentralisation Address regional Address causes
Into talks disparities of migration
Local Address human Limit co-option of Micro-finance Reduce drug-
rights abuses local leaders programmes taking
Step 3.3.: Then pick out the parts of the full programme that AA itself could undertake and also
the areas where AA would have scope for advocacy work. Put all that together on a separate
Table (like the one above) and this would summarise the strategic responses for AA.
Think carefully also about what local communities can do for themselves and make sure that the
strategy takes these into account.
Analysis at different levels and in different places can be brought together into a Human Security
Framework integrating local, national and international perceptions.
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Annex-5 Social Inclusion, Right Based Approach and Power analysis:
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The Actionaid International Rights Based Approach
The historical evolution of Actionaid International from a relief and a service based organization
to a development one and to one that has a Rights Based Approach (RBA) as a normative policy
is well established. This major organizational change over time positions Actionaid International
to play an active and important role as part of a sustained effort that challenges the growing
poverty and inequality in the world.
In a lecture at the India International Centre in June, Ramesh Singh, Actionaid’s International
Executive Director, added an important framing aspect to Actionaid’s International evolution
from a relief organization at its start to one that now places a rights based approach front and
center. He stated clearly that effective development, human rights and social movement
organizations are at an important coming together that leads to a synergy for initiating actions
that establish public agendas in an international setting. This critical frame points the way to
understanding the political changes that regularly occur. These changes have the potential to
create synergies and added political strength between and among the worlds of development and
human rights organizations working with social movements and at times along side of them.
Actionaid International has the potential to play an important role as part of its effort to end
poverty and the world’s growing inequality in economic, political and social matters.
In this effort Actionaid International is not a sole actor, or even most of the time the most well
known initiator. It is a reliable organization that has special and ongoing contributions to offer.
These contributions have the potential to be recognized by the people and movements it serves.
Actionaid International’s contributions build and strengthen a community of practitioners who
draw their political strength and legitimacy from their development, human rights and social
mobilization work. Such work is rooted in communities and crosses international boundaries.
In this setting my observations lead me to believe that Actionaid International as of now brings
with it clear advantages. These illustrative examples include:
1. An institutional awareness by Actionaid International senior staff members that reflects
well on the investment made in advancing the RBA approach since before Fighting
Poverty Together (FPT) began.
2. It has led to effective community engagement that in turn has resulted in examples of
communities increasing their power.
3. It has led to communities engaging with decision makers and power and policy systems
at different levels of governance. The Kenya sugar campaign and the efforts of Dalits to
establish dignity in villages in Andra Pradesh illustrates these advances.
4. In some locales RBA has affected difficult institutions and has improved people’s lives in
unexpected and unanticipated ways. One example that comes to mind is the change in
police practices and behavior in relation to street children in Ethiopia.
5. RBA has provided a political entry point for vulnerable populations.
These winning illustrative outcomes create a sense of possibility that influence changes for the
better in people’s lives. That should not be de-emphasized. The work Actionaid International has
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done has created a rich experience in which ways have to be found to value that experience. At
the same time these encouraging advances increase responsibilities for Actionaid International at
all levels including Actionaid International at the international level.
II. Rights Based Approach and the International Setting
Before those responsibilities are delved into it is critical to look at the international context for a
Rights Based Approach. Governments, international donors, multi-national corporations,
religious fundamentalists and ethnic chauvinists find different ways to express opposition to
make RBA operational. These actors know full well what is at stake. That explains their hostility
whether they express it directly, seek to coopt it or blunt it, achieve it by inaction or starve
programs that should be funded adequately..
Those who influence traditional power holders sing the song of neo-liberalism. They leave
women out as a priority for change and action, place trade liberalization high without meaningful
offsets to the immediate harm caused in people’s lives by such liberalization and do not choose
education as a priority for policy intervention even where it is most needed in educating girls.
This is not about conspiracies by neo-liberals but recognizing that substantial change is resisted
by that world even when it positions itself to be constructive and advocate modest non-systemic
changes. Currently you will find such matters played out in the Copenhagen Consensus, argued
in the pages of The Economist and Financial Times. This group of practitioners has a political
and policy agenda. It currently is not matched on an ongoing scale by any sustained set of
alternative approaches that penetrate political and policy systems.
Even when critical matters may be dealt with—curtailing the spread of HIV-AIDS disease,
tackling malnutrition by overcoming anemia with food supplements, stopping the spread of
malaria—the framing is one of costs and benefits and it does not touch systemic change.
A Rights Based Approach requires a political set of strategies and with it the tools to compete
effectively by engaging in the world of ideas not through think tanks but by connecting the work
of development, with human rights work and social movement building and strengthening. It
challenges the framework of the neo-liberals who influence decision makers. Some of that takes
place in a series of UN activities. These have value as they legitimize further and increase the
rights based approach in usage that becomes familiar and hopefully in time customary.
The groundwork is familiar to Actionaid International leadership people. The United Nation’s
Secretary-General has stated as part of UN declarative policy that the UN system is expected to
integrate human rights in all its work. Integration is another way of saying that it is expected to
“mainstream” such work. Kofi Annan’s efforts have been listened to in part. The major UN
development and humanitarian agencies have responded in typical institutional ways. They have
studied what others have done, and through experiment and refinement have tried a rights based
approach to their programming. UNDP, for example, has published a useful work of why human
rights are integral to all of its development work. Other examples abound from the work of
WHO, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNHCR, and other UN agencies. In addition, these agencies have
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met, most recently in May, 2003, to exchange experiences, and identify what they consider to be
best practices on a rights based approach.
Bi-lateral donors have also weighed in with declarative policies that advance a rights based
approach. CIDA, DANIDA, DFID, SIDA, NORAD come to mind.
Actionaid International is not alone among international NGOs that have adopted a rights based
approach. OXFAM, CARE, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, NOVIB,
INTERACTION in the United States and other organizations have contributed to an
understanding of RBA along lines familiar and supportive of the Actionaid International
Missing from this list are the International Financial Institutions and the driving engines of
governments even if within a few governments individual voices and agencies are sympathetic to
and supportive of an RBA. It goes without saying that non-state actors, generally associated with
markets, corporations and multi-nationals, do not embrace an RBA even to the extent of
defending traditional political and civil rights and civil liberties—concepts that are often
declaratively embraced by northern and western governments. The economically powerful
follow a pattern of either staying silent or undermining RBA that improves peoples lives
and their sense of individual dignity and worth.
Although dominant forces within the international governance community, and the think tanks
and study centers that serve them, do not embrace a rights based approach the idea is far more
advanced than it was a decade ago or even five years ago. The force of the various UN
conferences in Beijing, Cairo, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Hamburg and other places should not be
discounted. In this effort Actionaid International has played an important role in advancing the
idea among its key personnel and its programmatic partners.
The obstacles to continued advances are strong but the walls are not impregnable. Those
advances can be gained and consolidated. They require far more than what has been done so far
nor can they be sustained with a list of activities. They do require a set of political strategies that
are political and not partisan. I deliberately place the strategies in the plural because there are too
many institutional, cultural, regional and country specific variances to focus on one strategy.
Here a caution is in order: any successful set of strategies has to welcome “boundary crossing” of
institutions and borders by its participants and recognize that organizational competencies have
to match the unfolding and maturation of issues on matters that address the eradication of
poverty and the advance of human rights.
III. What Is a Rights Based Approach
The world does not lack for definitions of the Rights Based Approach. Because of Actionaid
Internationals value of fighting poverty with the poor, and not just for the poor, it behooves us to
use definitions that reflect the views of the poor. These voices emerge in many of the reports
Actionaid International does. They are scattered everywhere and can be found on videos,
websites, CD-roms and other modern modes of communication. To make sure that we are all
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operating from what a colleague calls “the same song sheet” a brief definition advanced by
practitioners in a workshop on human rights and development may prove helpful.
A rights based approach is founded on the conviction that each and every human
being, by virtue of being human, is a holder of rights. A right entails an obligation
on the part of government to respect, promote, protect and fulfill it. The legal and
normative character of rights and the associated government obligations are based
on international human rights treaties and other standards, as well as on national
constitutional human rights provisions. Thus a rights based approach involves not
charity or simple economic development, but a process of enabling and empowering
those not enjoying their economic, social and cultural rights to claim their rights.
In operational terms, as we all know, it means understanding the difference between a right and a
need. A right is something a person is entitled to solely because that person is a person. It enables
the person naming and claiming the right to live a life of dignity. A right, as Mary Robinson has
asserted in her address to the World Summit in Durban, “provides a normative framework of
obligations that has legal power to render governments accountable.” To carry out the
operational aspects further if a right can be enforced before the government the government then
in turn has an obligation to protect and/or fulfill that right.
Needs are also legitimate but they are aspirations. Without diminishing their importance,
aspirations and obligations by the government do not go together in a mutually enforceable
manner. As a savvy practitioner put it “satisfaction of a need cannot be enforced.” So rights are
associated with dignity and being and needs are associated with possessing and having.
The astute insights of Mr. Minh, a development worker directly associated with Actionaid
International Vietnam (AAV) in Dien Bien Phu connects a rights based approach in that socialist
country with the right of association and the right to have and use information by those affected
by development policies and government actions. In Kenya similar insights have been gained
from direct work in the field about the centrality of the right to information and making that
information accessible and usable to people on the front lines.
Participants in Vietnam and Kenya have put into operational terms what Amartya Sen sees as the
development of the expansion of freedoms. The public freedoms, as practiced by Mr. Minh and
the anonymous practitioner who distinguished between rights and needs, come full circle with
Sen’s articulated freedoms. They are each embodied in political and civil rights through
participation and association in public life and the economic, social and cultural rights such as
access to the equalizing institutions: health, education, shelter and livelihood.
There is a context and foundation for a Rights Based Approach that on the whole does not seem
to emerge in Actionaid International work. That is said descriptively and not critically. Taking
advantage of the context and foundation for RBA is meant to position Actionaid International as
an initiating actor in the advancing of RBA.
Central to the effort is having a full understanding and appreciation of the international human
rights law framework. That framework is established in various treaties. Many countries where
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Actionaid International is present have signed of one or more of these treaties. These treaties
provide the framework for what can be considered an International Bill of Human Rights. These
include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights and the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Over
160 countries have ratified one or more of these treaties and covenants. Furthermore, these are
not the only treaties critical to development practitioners, human rights advocates and social
movement people who mobilize others. Other treaties include the Convention on the rights of the
Child, the Convention Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the
Convention against Racial Discrimination. Most states have ratified these treaties.
Strategically these treaties provide a real advantage to activists trying to advance an RBA. It is
easy for eyes to glaze over at the provisions that are routinely hailed and routinely ignored. What
we do know is that no treaty self-executes itself. Implementation of established norms and
declarative policy is a long winding road and treaty, covenant or convention approval is but an
early step in making the norm and the policy real.
Ratifying these treaties is an affirming act in advancing an RBA. In no way is it an empty or
symbolic act. Understanding the treaties brings people directly into contact with principles of
equality, non-discrimination, transparency and accountability into national and local law.
Treaties require states to ensure that their laws are fully consistent with the treaties. We are all
experienced enough to know that states will invariably do the minimum. Treaties are about
establishing floors for states. For those working on RBA they are about lifting the floor and
raising the ceiling. Lifting the floor and raising the ceiling is about advocacy and therefore it is
about politics. That is not a burden but a challenge.
What these treaties, covenants and conventions do is create political space to raise human rights
issues on social, economic, political and cultural matters. They move the discussion from law to
a political and policy arena. It affects people’s lives on what matters to them. It moves them to
One of the refrains we heard constantly was “rice and rights.” Rights are an abstraction without
rice or the necessities of life. The growing vortex of development, human rights and social
mobilization work has linked in the Mr Minh of Vietnam’s framework of economic, social and
cultural rights with political and civil rights. The Mary Robinson mantra of “all rights for all”
connects these rights in a way that neither rice nor political rights take a back seat. This is critical
in the scheme of holding country officials responsible for implementing international agreements
that have been agreed to.
Rights holders have a basis on which to base their claims. Such rights holders make claims on
State and non-state actors (often economic powers) who have obligations as well. The state and
the non-state actors are duty bearers. What we have is a relationship between the rights-holders
and the duty-bearers.
A central aspect in this relationship is for the rights holder to have the capacity to name and
claim the rights held by the individual, group and community. The duty bearer also must have
the capacity to fulfill the right. Not being able to fulfill the right by the duty bearer is not
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acceptable and ways must be found to make sure that the right is fulfilled whether it is a question
of administrative capacity or resource allocation.
What has happened is that the international legal system sets a context for a right’s based
approach that expresses “all the rights for all.” Rights holders have the right to demand from
duty-bearers—the states or private entities such as corporations, public-private partnerships, even
a family or legal arrangements created by states to fulfill the treaties—to respect, protect and
fulfill people’s rights.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) expects its
signatories to fulfill the rights by taking on its state responsibilities, and to call on and use
economic and technical international assistance to make the rights real. That is no small order.
The legal framework provides the pivot energy for an Actionaid International to be an initiating
actor as part of an international effort to advance social and economic development in a human
rights framework that stands with social movements.
AAN considers poverty as the social, economic and political conditions in which people are
denied their rights to a life of dignity. Thus, AAN’s poverty reduction work will be mainly
driven by RBA. RBA sees basic human needs as basic rights of people and believes that
attainment of basic rights can overcome injustice and thus poverty. RBA sees abject poverty as
gross violation of people's basic rights and provides international human rights standards for
poverty eradication work making it an obligation of state rather than only an intention. AAN
considers that RBA is all about analysis of different factors and processes of power relations that
lead people into the trap of poverty. RBA strives to identify and challenge political, social,
economic and cultural barriers that create and perpetuate poverty. In its understanding of RBA,
AAN considers the State as primarily responsible to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of
people. It believes that any other actor working for the rights of the right-holders group should
complement but must not replace the role of the State. As human rights hail from human needs,
the RBA always includes need-based approach. However, RBA adds the values of equity and
non-discrimination on need-based approach and also sees the political and social dimensions of
poverty. The RBA Manual prepared by AAN will further elaborate about the detailed modalities
of RBA as envisaged by AAN.
AAN considers active participation of poor and excluded people and spirit of equal partnership
as the major tenets of RBA.
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ActionAid (AA) is an international development institution registered as a global organisation in
The Hague, the Netherlands in September 2003. The AA International Secretariat is based in
Johannesburg, South Africa. Founded in the United Kingdom in 1972, AA is a secular and non-
political organisation working with over nine million of the poorest people majority of them living
in the developing world in 43 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is
committed to improving the quality of life of the poorest and the most excluded people so that
they can live a life of dignity.
AA has been working in Nepal since 1982. Its mission here is to eradicate poverty and injustice by
empowering the poor and excluded people. The work of ActionAid International Nepal (AAIN),
hereafter referred to as ActionAid Nepal (AAN), over the years has undergone various changes
informed by its engagement at the community and other levels. Its scope of work has thus grown
in content, coverage, commitment and capacity to work in a complex situation over the period.
AAN changed its approach from direct service delivery to partnership mode with local NGOs in
1996. Similarly, it adopted rights-based approach in 1998 with an aim to creating an environment
in which poor and excluded women, men, girls and boys can exercise their rights, and address
and overcome the causes and effects of poverty caused due to injustice and inequity by actively
engaging themselves in all aspects of development activities.
Currently, AAN's long-term partnership programmes at field level are being implemented mainly in
Achham, Baglung, Baitadi, Bajhang, Bajura, Banke, Bardiya, Chitwan, Dadeldhura, Dang,
Darchula, Dhanusha, Dolakha, Doti, Jajarkot, Jhapa, Jumla, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Kapilbastu,
Kathmandu, Khotang, Lalitpur, Mahottari, Morang, Mugu, Parbat, Parsa, Rasuwa, Saptari, Sarlahi,
Sindhupalchowk, Siraha and Sunsari districts. Besides these, AAN has several short-term
engagements at any time with about 175 NGOs, CBOs, Alliances, Networks and Forums across
AAN's rights holders are the poorest and the most excluded people particularly women, children,
Dalits, former Kamaiya, victims of conflict and disasters, poor landless and tenants, people with
disabilities, urban poor, people living with HIV and AIDS, and indigenous people. In 2003, AAN
prioritised five themes based on the local context and needs – Education, Food Security, HIV and
AIDS, Peace Building, and Women's Rights. These apart, AAN is also engaged in issues such as
Emergency and Disaster, Globalisation and Corporate Sector, Governance, Patriarchy/Gender,
and Social Inclusion that cut across our priority themes.
AAN works at the grassroots level to address the immediate conditions of the poorest and the
most excluded people, and at the national level with various advocacy programmes in order to
influence public policies and practices in favour of its rights holders.
As a chapter of AA International, AAN is also actively engaged in advocating at the regional and
international levels on issues such as Education, HIV and AIDS, Food Security, Gender Equity and
Governance that cut across globally, to campaign for pro-poor policies and to enable the poor and
excluded women, men, girls and boys to secure their rights.
AAN actively shares its working experiences by participating in district and national development
debates, establishing links with similar development organisations and His Majesty's Government of
Nepal, and by forming partnerships with Nepali NGOs, CBOs and other stakeholders as appropriate.
AAN has three Regional Resource Centres one each in Biratnagar, Bharatpur and Nepalgunj to help
and monitor its programmes being carried out in the respective regions.