Skip to main content

Financial Participatory Approach (FPA) Manual and Sourcebook available - FPA a people-driven participatory socio-economic development approach

Created by Servi Nabuurs |

Within the Transboundary Joint Secretariat (TJS) Project for nature protection in the Southern Caucasus, Phase II, financed by the BMZ through KfW, AHT’s team developed a participatory socio-economic development approach for communities adjacent to protected areas. Because protected area development usually restricts traditional use of natural resources, people often resent protected areas and protected area development projects.

In the TJS project, we used the experiences from participatory contest and award activities in Latin America to develop a methodology called “Financial Participatory Approach” (FPA). It was piloted in selected communities adjacent to protected areas to start people-driven sustainable socio-economic development processes by using four tools: 1) contests & awards, 2) capitalisation, 3) exchange and learning, and 4) media exposure. Regional Working Groups were established to steer the process, and facilitators and local NGOs were recruited to handle the logistics and finance. Proper facilitation allowed people to discover their own best ideas and best practices, while expert advice on problem identification and solutions was minimised.

The FPA generates intense and constructive development dynamics with high participation, ownership, and commitment. People understand their own problems better and find practical solutions that they implement enthusiastically, often supplementing project funds with their own resources. People gain self-confidence. The activities build trust between the communities and protected area management. Based on these experiences, a first manual and toolbox were prepared.

During TJS Phase III, facilitators from different nature protection projects were trained. These practitioners successfully implemented FPA in all three countries in the South Caucasus. In some cases, government agencies asked TJS to implement FPA in communities where there were tensions with protected area management. These activities resulted in better mutual understanding, in constructive socio-economic development initiatives, and in a reduction of the tensions. Based on the experiences in the different projects, the FPA manual and toolbox have been updated. The updated version is now available in English, Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian (links are under the respective languages). In addition, 15 FPA cases were compiled in an FPA sourcebook that can be accessed via this link.

FPA process