Participatory Assessment

Data Collection, Data Analysis and Data Synthesis:

Organised groups of actors from different social backgrounds gathered for this process, which was facilitated using the local language and a translator was engaged to assist with the translation. To take into account the level of education of participants, we defined the appropriate means of communication. People participated according to the same interest group or social status (Community Fishery Council, fishermen, fisherwomen, government, influential members and income generation alternatives, among them). In the first phase, discussions were done separately and later discussed in plenary; after the discussion participants reached consensus, it is this consensus that was considered as the final response. To ensure that the selection of members taking part in each target group was inclusive, it did not take into consideration party affiliation, religion, social level, gender. During the meetings we also explained the importance of the SAGE process.

FPIC standards (Former Prior Informed Consent) must be applied to maximise genuine participation. The data collection/facilitator team should be well known by the community members and recognised as trustful. There should be a sense of long-term engagement in support of the community.

One of the lessons learned was to present the results of the issues discussed separately in a plenary, where members of different groups discuss the same ideas and reach consensus.

A sign that we are valuing local knowledge.

And that is good for the success of a community-managed conservation area.