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Directory of Tool Links

The following alphabetical list introduces a broad set of websites in terms of their tools-oriented content. The long list reflects the current popularity and usefulness of the internet as a first port of call when seeking particular information and tools. To navigate your way through the list, you may want to look out for entries labelled **Practical resources, which means that the website contains many practical tools and links. Note also that each website is described under type of tools as procedure or description. Procedure means that the tool is outlined in a step-by-step way, perhaps as a worksheet or a series of questions, and can be used directly. Description is used to mean that the process of using the tools is described, but the tool is not immediately available to apply directly.

ActionAid, United Kingdom

URL : http://www.actionaid.org.uk/

Description of tools-oriented content : A Critical Typology of Financial Services for the Poor (under Resources> Working Papers) gives examples of indigenous systems of financial services provision, so that lessons can be incorporated into NGO work. It covers: popular mechanisms; NGO-assisted schemes; formal services; and a listing of lists, which is about what works and what does not and why. It is littered with examples from around the world. Accountability, Learning and Planning System (ALPS) (under > Resources> Impact Assessment> alps) is a guide for ActionAid staff and partners in their planning and reporting. See the final section on “Guidelines in content for ALPS submissions” - it includes a number of questions which might be useful in planning and evaluating, and covers: appraisals; ActionAid, regional and country strategy; programme strategy; strategic review; and regional, divisional and organisational reports.

Type of tools : Descriptions

Availability of tools : Available as downloadable documents

** Practical resources

Action Research Resources, Southern Cross University, Australia.

URL : http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/arhome.html > Pieces

Description of tools-oriented content : The tools are 24 short (one page) sets of ideas and explanations of what action research is about. Topics include participation, grounded theory, rigour and generalisation. Under the Resources tab is a long list of topics, such as managing change, communication skills, the Delphi process, group feedback analysis, and neighbourhood meetings, which are written in a very practical and skills-based way. There is also information about a 14 week public course called action research and evaluation on-line (Areol).

Type of tools : Descriptions, but written very simply and practically.

Availability of tools : Available as saveable webpage (html) documents

** Practical resources

Advance Africa, a family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) service delivery project, funded by USAID.

URL : http://advanceafrica.msh.org/ > Tools and Approaches

Description of tools-oriented content : Strategic Mapping is outlined in four sections: process, which involves PRA intervention, interactive group planning and programme implementation and monitoring; tools, ie a guide, which is unavailable as yet; resources, including a technical brief and country reports (Angola, Benin, Senegal and Rwanda); and community links, which lists links to what conceptual mapping and GIS are about. Best Practices follows the same format, and the tools section is an online database of best practice in FP/RH. In Scaling Up the same format is followed, except there are no tools.

Type of tools : Recipes and descriptions

Availability of tools : Available as saveable webpage (html) documents.

CEESP , the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy, is an inter-disciplinary network of professionals whose mission is to act as a source of advice on the environmental, economic, social and cultural factors that affect natural resources and biological diversity and to provide guidance and support towards effective policies and practices in environmental conservation and sustainable development.

URL : http://www.iucn.org/about/union/commissions/ceesp/

Description of tools-oriented content : The CEESP theme on governance, Equity and Rights (TGER) includes several guidance documents, including Sharing power (extensive guidance on co-management, based on global experience), Indigenous and Local Communities and Protected Areas Guidance, and a handbook on Evaluating Governance for protected areas.

Type of tools : Recipes and descriptions

Availability of tools : Available as downloadable PDF or for order

Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). It works in over 30 countries worldwide, although its headquarters are in Indonesia.

URL : http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/ > Tools

Description of tools-oriented content : The Criteria and Indicators Toolbox Series consists of 10 manuals on alternative ways of measuring sustainable forest management and human well-being. Included is: a future scenarios tool; participatory mapping (a workshop report on boundary and land-use conflicts); multicriteria-analysis (useful when consensus is hard to reach because of multi-disciplinarity or conflicts of interest); and system dynamic modelling, using FLORES adaptation and calibration. Other tools include software and computer-simulated models for collaborative management of NR (Co-Learn); Co-View, a tool to help the articulation of visioning of the future; possible consequences of land-use decisions (FLORES); and more scientific mapping of growth and distribution of trees and animals (VegClass, TROPIS and DOMAIN).

Type of tools : Recipes, descriptions and software

Availability of tools : Available as downloadable zipped files.

** Practical resources

CIVICUS , an international alliance established to nurture the foundation, growth and protection of citizen action throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened. Most CIVICUS staff are based in South Africa.

URL : http://www.civicus.org > Resources and Services > CIVICUS Toolkits

Description of tools-oriented content : The CIVICUS Toolkits are written simply and clearly in English, and some are also available in French and Spanish. The topics are: writing effectively and powerfully; writings within your organisation; producing your own media; handling the media; promoting your organisation; planning overview; action planning; monitoring and evaluation; strategic planning; developing a financing strategy; financial controls and accountability; writing a funding proposal; and budgeting (in two parts). There are links to other interesting resources, (>Resources and Services> Books and Publications) including Financial Lobbying, A Guide to Budget Work for NGOs, Open Source Democracy, and Cyber Law.

Type of tools : Recipe

Availability of tools : Available as downloadable pdf or Word documents.

** Practical resources

The Communication Initiative , a website enhancing the extent and quality of communication and change information, based in Canada.

URL: http://www.comminit.com/global/spaces-frontpage

Description of tools-oriented content : The tools are about communication strategies for a range of topics, including health, training, journalism, participation, and there is a large focus on HIV/AIDS. Search for “Toolkit”, and 76 entries are found, and for “Manual” 322 entries are found. Under > Materials is an alphabetical list for ease of topic searching. Focus Points on the home page include children, radio and environment. The Drum Beat, a weekly publication, focuses on a different topic each week, such as polio, E and SE Asia, conflict, radio dramas.

Type of tools : Recipes

Availability of tools : Some available as downloadable documents from this website, or from linked websites, and some must be bought.

** Practical resources

Connecticut Nonprofit Information Network

URL : http://www.ctnonprofits.org/default.asp > NonProfit Toolkits

Description of tools-oriented content : NonProfit Toolkits include: an Advocacy and Lobbying Toolkit (the basics about lobbying, do’s and don’t’s, sample letters, effective public and media relations); and Free Complete Toolkit for Boards, which covers an overview of Board roles and responsibilities, staffing the Board, successful committees and meetings, and evaluating the Board and Executive Director. The intended audience is from the United States, so some of the practical tips are not relevant to other countries.

Type of tools : Recipes

Availability of tools : Available as downloadable pdf or Word documents.

The Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), Tanzania

URL : http://www.esrftz.org/ > Documents > Field Guide

Description of tools-oriented content : The Tanzanian 2002/03 Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA): Field Guide is divided into nine sections: introduction; PPA themes; the fieldwork process; PPA methodology; tools and methods; analysis of information; recording and writing reports; team composition and roles; policy summaries. It has a lot of practical information about methodology in section 5, including semi-structured interviews, group meetings, mapping, transect walks, time analysis / calendars / oral history / time lines, preference ranking, livelihood, gender and well-being analysis, and sequencing. Information about the Palestinian Poverty Assessment Project can be found at http://www.pppap.org/, and the Ugandan Participatory Poverty Assessment Process at http://www.uppap.or.ug/.

Type of tools : Recipe

Availability of tools : Available as downloadable pdf document.

Education and Training Unit (ETU), South Africa.

URL : http://www.etu.org.za/ > Community Organisers’ Toolbox

Description of tools-oriented content : The Community Organisers’ Toolbox is arranged under the following headings: work in the community (external work); building a strong organisation (internal work); administration; local government in South Africa; information technology; financial management; HIV/AIDS; and para-legal advice. Each of these guides is divided into a number of smaller tools, (ranging from one to eleven). Each tool begins with “What is in this guide?”, and enumerates what is covered, for ease of use. These tools are written in clear and simple English. However, some of the information is quite specific to South Africa, for example local government.

Type of tools : Recipe

Availability of tools : Available as downloadable webpages.

** Practical resources

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