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Two Resident Sub-Regional Workshops on Building Capacities in the Participatory Research Approach for Social Development


Two resident sub-regional workshops on “Building Capacities in the Participatory Research Approach for Development” were conducted by ESCWA in Amman, Jordan, during the period 4-7 April, 2011. The workshops were implemented within the context of ESCWA’s collaboration with the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), as part of the sub-regional project entitled “Participatory Human Development in Post-Conflict Countries,” targeting Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Yemen; and were held in close coordination with the League of Arab States (LAS), the Regional Centre on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in the Near East (CARDNE) and the Development and Employment Fund (DEF) in Jordan. Participants in the two sub-regional workshops represented selected government institutions, local administrations, civil society organizations, academic and media institutions, private sector bodies, United Nations organizations and other Arab organizations, in addition to local leaders and workers in development fields. The workshops aimed at strengthening individual and institutional capacities in the participatory research approach and the management of its programs for development purposes, as well as promoting positive attitudes and raising awareness on the importance of data provided by the PRA in development planning and policy-making. Training sessions and application exercises focused on: (1) developing knowledge of the PRA concept, and the importance of its adoption in the development process; (2) understanding the characteristics and functions of the PRA team; (3) promoting technical knowledge on data collection and analysis in participatory research; (4) identifying the different stages of PRA planning, and the procedures for their implementation; (5) acquiring evaluation and reporting skills as well as learning the elements of preparing a project proposal for funding. In addition, Arab and foreign experts in social development, governance issues, and conflict resolution, presented case studies they had prepared containing reflections and analysis on recent experiences in participation and peaceful change towards democracy. Two final reports (attached below) were generated from the workshops, capturing major findings and discussions held during the sessions, in addition to participants’ feedback on the training program and suggestions for the way forward.