Successfully Incorporating the Participant Perspective: Analysis of Participatory Research in Development
Publication made available electronically March 30, 2012.
Literature from recent decades has highlighted the importance of incorporating the perspective of communities into development project planning and implementation. In this project, the participant perspective was documented through qualitative ethnographic techniques and illustrates the different ways in which this perspective was either included or excluded in two separate case studies along the northern coast of Peru. The case study of huachaque farmers surrounding the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chan Chan provided an example of the general failure to incorporate the participant perspective into planning of future biodiversity conservation projects. The case study of Huaca Chotuna provided an example of a relatively successful incorporation of the perspective of farmers from the area surrounding an archaeological site of the same name into development projects there. The Chan Chan case study was the focus of the majority of qualitative research conducted. Specific cultural and social attitudes, assumptions, and opinions surrounding modification to farmers’ existing livelihoods were made explicit. Special attention was given to how multiple cultural and social variables interact to influence the actions of stakeholders. This data was compared to similar circumstances found at the Huaca Chotuna site, in order to highlight major differences. Analysis of this comparative study was conducted through the use of the Unifying Negotiation Framework (UNF), and provided an understanding of how and why the participant perspective are successfully incorporated into development projects. It was found that socio-cultural context, (and the disposition of individual shareholders) is often the determining factor for the inclusion of the participant perspective into the planning and implementation of such endeavors.