The practice of participatory research and gender analysis in natural resource management uri icon

abstract

  • Stakeholder participation is expected to improve the efficiency, equity, and sustainability of natural resource management research and development (R&D) projects by ensuring that research reflects users' priorities, needs, capabilities, and constraints. Use of participatory methods and tools is growing rapidly; however, there is little systematic evidence about what participation actually means in practice, or about what difference it makes. Based on an inventory of 59 self-described participatory R&D projects in the area of natural resource management, this article characterizes the typical project and analyzes how stakeholders are selected, how they participate in the research process, and what their involvement means for project costs and impacts. The results suggest that, while projects are generating a range of direct and indirect benefits for participants, more careful attention needs to be paid to achieving equitable impacts. Current practices may lag behind best practices in key areas, such as power sharing and participant selection, and may therefore be missing important contributions from women and other marginalized groups.

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004