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Key words that begin with the letter P

by Phil Bartle



The term, "paper trail," is slang meaning a set of reports and records that allows us to see what has gone on before. It is important in a mobilization programme to ensure that reports and records are kept.

This is so that when mobilizers rotate there is continuity and consistency in the programme, and to avoid duplication and avoid missing lessons learned (making the same mistakes again). The term is derived from the method of a hunter in the woods, following footsteps and spoor of hunted animals.

 Català: rastre de paper,    Deutsch: Dokumentation,    Ελληνικά: ιχνοσ εγγραφου,    English: paper trail,    Español: rastro de papel,    Français: piste de papier,    Italiano: paper trail,    Português: diário de atividades,    Română: traseu de activități,    Srpski: papirni trag,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 文件档案



"Participation" is used in several contexts on this web site. "Community Participation" means that all members of a community participate in decision making that affects the community (not merely consultation or contribution). See PAR. See also Civic Engagement.

"Participatory Training" means that the trainees learn by doing, ie participating as an effective method for learning skills. Participants do not learn as effectively when they are listening to a lecture or to a presentation. "Participatory Management" means that management is not left only to the managers, ut is everybody's business. "Participatory Appraisal" (PRA) means that the affected community or organization is stimulated to participate in assessing the situation and determining priority needs.

 Akan: WODE WO HO REHYZ MU / REKA HO,    'العربية : مشاركة,    Bahasa Indonesia: Partisipasi,    Català: participació,    Deutsch: partizipation,    Ελληνικά: συμμετοχη,    English: participation,    Español: participation,    Filipino: pakikilahok,    Français: participation,    Italiano: participazione,    Português: participação,    Română: participare,    Srpski: učestvovanje,    ไทย: การมีส่วนร่วม,    Türkçe: katılım,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 参与



Before a project is planned, the situation must be assessed. PAR or PRA.

For a project to be "community-based,” the whole community must participate in observing and analysing, looking for problems, potentials, resources and constraints.

A community and its members do not participate in its own assessment automatically. A decree, law, project design phrase or statement of intent will not ensure that the whole community participates.

Community members need encouragement, skills, stimulation and guidance in order to participate in appraisal or assessment. Among the various tasks of the community worker, mobilizer or facilitator, providing those are among the most important.

Providing that stimulation and training is variously called by the acronyms, PRA or PAR.



While a project is being implemented, and after it is completed, the situation must be re-assessed and evaluated. In a "community-based” project, the whole community asks if the objectives were realistic.

Were they reached (or to what extent)?  Who benefited?  What lessons were learned?  Where do we go from here?

 Català: avaluació participativa,    Deutsch: Partizipative Evaluierung,    Ελληνικά: συμμετοχικη αξιολογηση,    English: participatory evaluation,    Español: evaluación participativa,    Français: évaluation participatoire,    Italiano: valutazione partecipatoria,    Português: avaliação de participação,    Română: evaluare participativă,    Srpski: učesnička ocena,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 参与式的估计



Participatory Management

The word “management” was described above. Participatory management in a department or agency means that staff participate (to varying degrees) in management decision making.

In a community based project, the whole community participates in the major decisions of the executive. (A slogan we often use is, "Management is far too important to be left only to the managers.")

 Català: gestió participativa,    Deutsch: Partizipatives Management,    Ελληνικά: συμμετοχικη διαχειριση,    English: participatory management,    Español: gestión participativa,    Français: gestion participatif,    Italiano: management partecipatorio,    Română: management participativ,    Srpski: učesničko rukovodstvo,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 参与式管理



A "partnership" is a relationship in which there is some equality between the parties in the agreement. In the key word, "independent," above, it was noted that we are all, to some extent, interdependent. While your work leads to a community breaking out of dependency, it cannot become totally independent.

The realistic aim, then, is for communities to get into partnerships with municipal or district authorities, and work towards more equal relationships.

 Akan: ayxnkofayz,    عربي: شراكة, شراكة,    Bahasa Indonesia: kerjasama,    Català: associació,    Deutsch: partnerschaft,    Ελληνικά: κοινοπραξια,    English: partnership,    Español: asociación,    Filipino: samahan,    Français: association,    हिन्दी : भागीदारी,    Italiano: partenariato,    日本語: 協力,    Português: parceria,    Română: partneriat,    Srpski: partnerstvo,    ไทย: ความร่วมมือ,    Türkçe: ortaklık,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 伙伴关系



A peasant is an individual who lives on and participates in subsistence production.

 Català: pagès,    Deutsch: kleinbauer,    Ελληνικά: αγροτησ,    English: peasant,    Español: campesino,    Français: paysan,    Italiano: contadino,    Português: camponês,    Română: agricultor,    Srpski: seljak,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 穷农人



The training documents and guidelines in this series are aimed at human development.

For further explanation, see: People Development; Not Hardware Development.

 Català: desenvolupament de les persones,    Deutsch: individuelle Entwicklung,    Ελληνικά: αναπτυξη ανθρωπων,    English: people development,    Español: desarrollo de la gente,    Français: développement de personnes,    Italiano: sviluppo umano,    Português: desenvolvimento das pessoas,    Română: dezvoltare umană,    Srpski: ljudski razvoj,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 人类发展



In prison slang, to be "piped" is to be seriously injured or killed, where often a short piece of water pipe (2/3 metre) is used as a weapon. It is a means of punishing a prisoner by other prisoners.

See: Criminal Sentences

 English: piped,    Español: sufrir un ataque,    Português" encanado, piped,    Română" afânat cu feroaica,    Pyccкий: убить или ранить трубой,    Srpski: prosviran,    中文: 被人以水管殴打,  



Planning means thinking about and working out what to do in the future. A good plan has a series of steps leading from the current situation up to the desired end. See Work Plan.

One effective method is "reverse time thinking," where you start with what you want to achieve in the end, and look at the immediately prior step to that, then the one before that, and so on until you get to the present situation.

 العربيّة: التخطيط,    Bahasa Indonesia: perencanaan,    Català: planificació,    Deutsch: Planung,    Ελληνικά: Σχεδιασμός,    English: planning,    Español: planificación,    Filipino: pagpaplano,    Français: planification,    Galego: planificación,    Italiano: pianificazione,    日本語: 計画,    한국어 / Hangugeo: 계획,    Malay: merancang,    Nederlands: plannen,    Português: planificar,    Română: planificarea,    Pyccкий: Планирование,    Srpski: planiranje,    Türkçe: planlama,    Tiên Việt: lập kế hoạch,    ردو: منصوبہ بندى,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 规划



The political dimension of community is its various ways and means of allocating power and decision making. It is not the same as ideology, which belongs to the value dimension.

It includes, but is not limited to, types of governments and management systems. It also includes how people in small bands make decisions when they do not have a recognized leader. See "Culture."

 Català: dimensió política,    Deutsch: politische Dimension,    Ελληνικά: πολιτικη διασταση τησ κοινοτητασ,    English: political dimension,    Español: dimensión política,    Français: dimension politique,    Italiano: dimensione politica di una comuinita,    Português: dimensão política,    Română: dimensiunea politică,    Pyccкий: Политическое измерение,    Srpski: politička dimenzija,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 社区上的政治层面



Political power is one of the sixteen elements of strength, power or capacity of a community or organization. The degree to which the community can participate in national and district decision making. Just as individuals have varying power within a community, so communities have varying power and influence within the district and nation.

The more political power and influence that a community or organization can exercise, the higher level of capacity it has. When stimulating a community to organize and act, the mobilizer needs to be aware of the role of political power in empowering that community or organization. See: Elements of Community Strength.

 Català: poder polític,    Deutsch: politische Macht,    Ελληνικά: πολιτικη ισχυσ,    English: political power,    Español: poder político,    Français: pouvoir politique,    Italiano: potere politico,    Português: poder político,    Română: puterea politică,    Srpski: politička moć,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 政治权力



There is political corruption all over the world. It may not be appropriate, therefore, to use a local slang expression from the USA to describe one common form of it, but we do.

The city of Chicago, Illinois, is well known as the home of the prohibition era's most famous and fearsome form of organized crime, the "mob" (mafia).

It is also an important place for the slaughtering and butchering of animals. People say that both the crime and the abatoirs stink.

Many settlers on the way west stopped in Chicago to pick up barrels of salted pork which could last through the winter because the salt preserved the meat.

Chicago also had an infamously corrupt city government, not to mention corrupt unions.

Politicians were expected to pay off their supporters, or at least the leaders of groups who voted for them: union leaders, leaders of ethnic organizations, even church leaders.

When they won an election, they dispensed favours, a contract here, a piece of legislation there, a job here, a "fixed" (castrated) arrest or fine there, and on and on.

This dispensing of favours was referred to as if the politician were dipping into a barrel of salted pork and handing out this and that to various supporters.

Since then, "to pork barrel" has become used as a verb, and "pork barrelling" became a recognized methodology. It is all slang.

 Català: favoritisme,    Deutsch: pork barrel,    Ελληνικά: χοιρινο στο βαρελι,    English: pork barrel,    Español: favoritismo,    Français: porc barrelling,    Italiano: pork barrelling,    Português: barril de carne de porco,    Română: pork barrelling,    Srpski: buradjenje svinjetine,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 猪肉桶政治



The word "positivism" in social science and philosophy means the application of the scientific method to social phenomena.

As a mobiliser, you are not necessarily using the scientific method to discover new knowledge, but you are an applied scientist using existing knowledge to stimulate and guide social change in a community.

 Català: positivisme,    Deutsch: Positivismus,    Ελληνικά: θετικοτητα,    English: positivism,    Español: positivismo,    Français: le positivisme,    Italiano: positivismo,    Português: positivismo,    Română: pozitivism,    Pyccкий: Позитивизм,    Srpski: pozitivizam,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 实证主义



In the social sciences, "Postmodernism" is a framework which emphasises the complex patterns of culture and society in contemporary societies.

Your job, as a community mobiliser, is to observe and understand social patterns of a community in a practical way, rather than to test sophisticated theories.

 Català: postmodernisme,    Deutsch: Postmoderne,    Ελληνικά: μεταμοντερνισμοσ,    English: postmodernism,    Español: postmodernismo,    Français: Postmodernité,    Italiano: postmodernismo,    Português: poste modernismo,    Română: postmodernism,    Pyccкий: Постмодернизм,    Srpski: postmodernizam,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 后现代主义



The big Five Factors of Poverty

Poverty is more than a lack of money and income, more than lack of access to facilities and services such as water, roads, education or clinics. It is the result of "poverty of spirit” ie an attitude of hopelessness, an ignorance of available resources, a dependence upon others, lack of confidence, discouragement, lack of skills, lack of trust, lack of integrity and lack of effective sustainable organization; in short, lack of good management. See Factors of Poverty.

Poverty is a social problem, and calls for a social solution; poverty is not merely the lack of income among a collection of individuals. Poverty can be reduced by organizing and guiding poor people towards helping themselves, and by getting stronger (empowerment) as a result of engaging in struggles and meeting challenges. The eradication of poverty, therefore, calls upon a sustainable improvement in management.

বাংলা : দরিদ্রতা,    Bahasa Indonesia: kemiskinan,    Català: pobresa,    Deutsch: Armut,    Ελληνικά: φτώχεια,    English: poverty,    Español: pobreza,    Euskera: txirotasuna,    Ewe: osi,    Filipino: Kahirapan,    Français: pauvreté,    Galego: pobreza,    Italiano: povertà,    日本語: 貧困,    Malay: kemiskinan,    Português: pobreza,    Română: saracie,    Somali: faqri,    Srpski: siromaštvo,    Tiên Việt: sự nghèo đói,    Türkçe: yoksulluk,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 贫穷



The word “alleviation,” means to temporarily take away pain and discomfort.  Giving money to poor people does not end poverty.

As mobilizers dedicated to fighting the factors not the symptoms of poverty, we avoid this approach (mere alleviation by transferring money).

বাংলা : দারিদ্র উপশম,    Bahasa Indonesia: meringankan kemiskinan,    Català: alleujament de la pobresa,    Deutsch: Armutslinderung,    Ελληνικά: κατευνασμός της φτώχειας,    English: poverty alleviation,    Español: alivio de la pobreza,    Euskera: txirotasuna arintzea,    Filipino: pagpapawi sa kahirapan,    Français: allégement de pauvreté,    Galego: alivio da pobreza,    Italiano: alleviare la povertà,    日本語: 貧困の軽減,    Malay: peringanan kemiskinan,    Português: alívio de pobreza,    Română: alinarea saraciei,    Somali: yareynta faqriga,    Srpski: ublažavanje siromaštva,    Tiên Việt: xoá đói giảm nghèo,    Türkçe: yoksulluğun yatıştırılmasıi,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 减轻贫穷



As mobilizers, we work towards the elimination of the social problem of poverty by analysing its factors, and taking steps to oppose and remove those factors. Since poverty is a social problem, the solution to that problem is social.

Two complementary approaches to poverty elimination (communal and private) are found in two complementary modules here: Community Mobilization Cycle, and Income Generation Scheme.

বাংলা : দারিদ্র্য দূরিকরণ,    Bahasa Indonesia: eradikasi kemiskinan,    Català: eliminació de la pobresa,    Deutsch: Armutsbeseitigung,    Ελληνικά: εξάλειψη φτώχειας,    English: poverty eradication,    Español: erradicación de la pobreza,    Euskera: txirotasuna ezbatzea,    Ewe: sise imukuro osi,    Filipino: pagpuksa sa kahirapan,    Français: extirpation de pauvreté,    Galego: erradicaciónda pobreza,    Italiano: eradicamento della povertà,    日本語: 貧困の撲滅,    Malay: penghapusan kemiskinan,    Português: erradicação de pobreza,    Română: eradicarea saraciei,    Somali: ciribtirka faqriga,    Srpski: otklanjanje siromaštva,    Tiên Việt: xoá triệt để cái nghèo,    Türkçe: yoksulluğun azaltılması,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 彻底消除贫穷



The word "reduction" means to make something smaller. See Principles of Community Empowerment.

In contrast to “alleviation” which temporarily treats the symptoms of poverty, reduction is seen as on the right pathway towards eradication.

বাংলা : দারিদ্র বিমোচন,    Bahasa Indonesia: mengurangi kemiskinan,    Català: reducció de la pobresa,    Deutsch: Armutsreduzierung,    Ελληνικά: μείωση φτώχειας,    English: poverty reduction,    Español: reducción de la pobreza,    Euskera: txirotasuna murriztea,    Filipino: Pagbabawas sa Kahirapan,  Français: réduction de pauvreté,    Galego: redución da pobreza,    Italiano: riduzione della povertà,    日本語: 貧困の減少,    Malay: pengurangan kemiskinan,    Português: redução de pobreza,    Română: reducerea saracie,    Somali: ciribtirka faqriga,    Srpski: smanjenje siromaštva,    Tiên Việt: giảm bớt nghèo đói,    Türkçe: yoksulluğun azaltılması,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 減少贫穷



Power is the ability to move or do things. Amount of strength.

In the political dimension of culture, power means political power, the ability to control, influence or change things in society.

 Català: poder,    Deutsch: Macht, empowerment die stärkung, leistungsfähigkeit,    Ελληνικά: ισχυσ,  English: capacity, power, strength,    Español: capacidad, potenciación, poder,    Filipino: kakayahan, pagpapalakas,    Français: capacité, empowerment, pouvoir,    Italiano: potere, empowerment,    日本語: 強くする,  Kiswahili: uwezo,  Português: capacidade, fortalecendo,    Română: capacitate,  Pyccкий: paзвития,  Somali: awooda,  Srpski: moć,    Tiên Việt: tăng cường  中文 (Zhōngwén): 能力和权力



Praise Often.

 Català: elogiar,    Deutsch: Lob,    Ελληνικά: επαινω,    English: praise,    Español: elogiar,    Italiano: ringraziare,    Português: elogio,    Română: lauda,    Srpski: pohvala,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 称赞



The concept of primary health care, promoted and supported by WHO, is a package of policies and practices that are of particular interest to poor people and to people in low income nations.

The principles in that package include putting an emphasis onto spending on low cost health care for the common diseases, which affect the majority of the population, rather than putting scarce resources into high-cost, sophisticated (eg high tech) curative practices that benefit only the rich.

It also recognizes that prevention is much cheaper than cure, that it results in lower mortality (death rate) and morbidity (illness rate) which put strains on the economy, and is more humane.

It includes the notion that many persons can be trained to low levels of medical skills who can reach more remote areas of the country, and who can refer difficult cases to more highly trained professional in urban areas.

The notion of PHC is important to mobilizers in poor countries, as it needs to be understood by all people, and it is a more efficient way of allocating limited resources.

The principles lying behind PHC are also applicable to other community based activities, such as community based social work.

See the acronym PHC.



A progress report reports progress.  What are the results of your activities? How far have you gone to reach your objectives? Donors want to know what was achieved with their donated money.

Donors are less interested in your activities; they are more interested in the results of your activities; have you reached, or partially reached, the objectives you stated when you asked for the donation? Resource acquisition (eg fund raising) and report writing are not independent activities. see Report Writing.

 Català: informes sobre el progrés,    Deutsch: Fortschrittsbericht,    Ελληνικά: αναφορεσ προοδου,    English: progress reports,    Español: informes narrativos de progreso,    Français: rapports sur l'état d'avancement,    Italiano: report del progresso,    Português: relatórios de progresso,    Română: raport de evoluție,    Srpski: izveštaji o napretku,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 进展报告



A project is a logical series of related activities (investments) aimed at solving specific problems with a specific time and in a specific location. Project stages include assessing, planning, implementing (doing), monitoring (observing), and evaluating.

A community-based project is one in which the whole community chooses, plans implements and monitors it, and owns and controls the project.

 Català: projecte,    Deutsch: Projekt,    Ελληνικά: εργο,    English: project,    Español: proyecto,    Français: projet,    Italiano: progetto,    Português: projeto,    Română: proiect,    Srpski: projekat,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 工作项目



Executive, Development Committee or CIC (Community Implementing Committee) of the community, chosen by the community as a whole, responsible for carrying out the wishes of the whole community.

 Català: comitè del projecte,    Deutsch: Projekt-Komitee,    Ελληνικά: επιτροπη εργου,    English: project committee,    Español: comité de desarrollo,    Français: comité de développement,    Italiano: Committente del progetto,    Português: comitê para o projeto,    Română: comisia de proiect,    Srpski: projektni komitet,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 工作委员会



Karl Marx used the word, "Proletariat" to identify the exploited class ─ workers in factories who did not own capital, and who depended upon their labour for their survival.

In your work in communities, you may find that the equivalent groups are peasants who do not work for factory owners, or tenants who do not own the land or property on which they live or make a living.

 Català: proletariat,    Deutsch: Proletariat,    Ελληνικά: προλεταριατο,    English: proletariat,    Español: proletariado,    Français: le prolétariat,    Italiano: proletariato,    Português: proletariado,    Română: proletariat,    Pyccкий: Пролетариат,    Srpski: proletarijat,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 无产阶级



A "proposal" is a suggestion or invitation. In our work, a "proposal" is a document that requests money and/or seeks approval for a project. The most effective format for a proposal is a project design.

It defines a problem, a solution, and a strategy for using potential resources, overcoming constraints, to reach finite and measurable objectives. See Proposals.

 Català: proposta,    Deutsch: Antrag,    Ελληνικά: εισηγηση,    English: proposal,    Español: propuesta,    Français: proposition,    Italiano: proposta,    Português: proposta,    Română: propunere,    Srpski: predlog,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 建议



A "provider" takes the "provision" approach, and provides resources in return for votes, popularity or career advance.  Provision is not sustainable and does not lead to self reliance as the "enablement" approach can. The old patronistic (or "pork barrelling") system, where politicians and officials handed out contracts and community services to those who supported them in staying in power, is promoted by the "provision" approach to facilities and services.

Those leaders must change or be replaced by genuinely democratic public servants who engage in facilitating community self help.

 Català: proveïdor,    Deutsch: Versorger,    Ελληνικά: προμηθευτησ,    English: provider,    Español: suministrador,    Français: fournisseur,    Italiano: provider,    Română: furnizor,    Srpski: snabdevač,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 提供者



Pure sociology is contrasted with applied sociology (in which community mobilisation is categorised). Same as Basic Sociology.

Pure sociology seeks to make discoveries through observation and analysis of social groups, without attempting to make changes in those groups.

 Català: sociologia bàsica,    Deutsch: Reine Soziologie, theoretische soziologie,    Ελληνικά: θεωρητικη κοινωνιολογια,    English: pure sociology, basic sociology,    Español: sociología teórica, sociología básica,    Français: la sociologie pure, sociologie de base,    हिन्दी : विकेन्द्रीकरण,    Italiano: sociologia pura, sociologia di base,    Português: sociologia de base,    Română: sociologie pură,    Pyccкий: Фундаментальная Социология,    Srpski: čista sociologija,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 纯理社会学, 基本社会学

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