This is a study of participatory development in practice. Looking at four adult education projects in Bangladesh and Uganda, it investigates why NGOs offer them and why women join them, what they do there, and how they and others around them perceive the activity. Lastly, it investigates how far the actual outcomes mirror the visions of \"empowerment\" so seductively articulated by development theorists in recent years. The study focuses on Reflect, an approach to participatory adult education that aims to stimulate a wider process of change in individuals and communities. It does not evaluate either the strengths or weaknesses of Reflect or the benefits of literacy per se. Instead, it focuses on the meanings and uses of the literacy programme as an institutional setting within a larger social and cultural system.
Educational Paper No. 53, DFID, London, UK, ISBN 1 86192 5719, 203 pp.