Using the Participatory Evaluation Process to boost food security

The aim of the Participatory Evaluation Process (PEP) is:

  • To envision and help local churches understand their role in meeting the holistic needs of their communities – encouraging them to have confidence in their own abilities to be a catalyst for change
  • To give churches the skills to work with communities to identify and address their needs, largely using local resources that the church and community already possess (ie reducing dependency on help from outside).
  • A series of steps are followed. Various church and community members are selected and trained to help facilitate the process, further enhancing local ownership and long-term sustainability.

Tearfund’s partner, Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG), in Uganda has been implementing PEP in different communities since 2006. 

The process involves a lot of input and takes a committed effort but it has had a significant impact at both church and community level and many people have become Christians. Local people have put aside differences to work together to effect change, resulting in more productive agriculture, better health and education, improved incomes and a greater degree of optimism for the future.

Impact on beneficiaries

In Ojama, a self-help group established during the PEP process uses bulls loaned by one member to plough land donated by another member to grow cassava. The name of the group, Etaritoi, means ‘constant effort to achieve the goal’. 

In Orungo, after receiving training in agriculture and animal husbandry, community members sold cows and bought improved varieties of citrus trees. Some have also started chicken-rearing, building carefully constructed chicken houses and crossing an improved breed of cockerel with the local breed to get better yields. The chickens are fed a balanced diet and are vaccinated, again improving productivity. Other community members have started to keep bees.

Looking back, my life before PEP was miserable. I used to grow a few things but not very much, not enough for a good income. I used to drink to forget my hardships. Then, in 2006, PEP was introduced to the church. I began to attend the meetings every time they took place and asked lots of questions. I became a committed believer and gave my life to God. I shared this with my wife and she too was saved and stopped drinking. We formed an agriculture group and made a fresh start. I am now keeping chickens and bees and am planning to buy better cattle, expand our citrus business and diversify into other produce. 

Michael Amodoi

In Ochelaku, farmers have started to grow a whole range of crops to eat and sell including pineapples, mangos, maize and sweet potatoes. They also keep hens, goats and cows. Food security in the community has improved dramatically and many are now able to sell crops to pay their children’s school fees. Members of the community have been trained in veterinary skills. 

We have a whole new vision for our lives. We have plenty to eat and plan to build a permanent home. All our children sleep under mosquito nets. We have even got a new cooker which uses charcoal and is very efficient and doesn’t produce a lot of smoke. I am very optimistic about the future. 

Modesta Adongo

In Pingire, the community identified unsafe drinking water, lack of education and poor agricultural yields as among their most important problems. Through training and the provision of improved varieties, yields of cassava and maize have greatly improved, enabling surplus food to be sold and the money used for school fees and to buy water filters. Relationships within and between the villages have improved and people now come together to dig wells, improve roads and engage in other community activities.

Each year I harvest four tons of cassava and six tons of maize seeds. Before PEP, I harvested one tonne of cassava and 700kg of maize seeds. I use improved varieties of cassava, which are quick-yielding and resilient. Children no longer fall sick because of clean water and hygiene, and they feel loved. We value education more than before and educate boys and girls. In three to four years’ time, I want people from the village to be going to university. 

Okello David

Click here to view a printable PDF version of this Tearfund Case Study: Using the Participatory Evaluation process to boost food security in Uganda (PDF 353 KB)