Learn more: practical examples and testimonials of Participatory Assessment
Learn more: examples of contributions of Participatory Assessments to SDC's work
Laos BA: a turning point for the SDC
A BA in Laos proved an important learning and turning point for SDC. It enabled SDC staff to get beyond the perspectives of partner intermediaries, in this case the Laos National Extension Service, which was focused on technical approaches to enhancing agricultural productivity that tend to benefit the wealthy. By engaging poor farmers in a BA it was possible to discern the effects of extension work and identify weaknesses in the impact hypothesis. People from different wealth groups valued extension services for chicken, pigs and rice differently.
The findings that revealed that programme effects are mediated by power relations. This lesson has since become central in the SDC's policy discussions with the partner. The BA findings helped enable the steering committee to advocate a pro-poor agenda in dialogue with the national extension service, and raised awareness of the benefits of extension service providers listening to poor farmers' voices. They have successfully advocated for a broader range of proposed services and differentiated service provision: 1) for farmers with access to market, and 2) for poorer subsistence farmers without access.
In November 2022, this new guide on this page was launched by SDC together with the experts Jo Howard (IDS) and Erika Schläppi (Ximpulse) in a webinar. If you have missed the webinar, you can access the slides here. In addition, you may read the input by Jo Howard on the importance of participatory methods for Leaving No One Behind here and find questions put forward during the webinar answered here.