"The Field Diaries illustrate the best practices in participatory, community-based development planning. This inclusive, bottom-up approach that was first pioneered in the 1970s, when development planners began to recognize and acknowledge the value and wisdom in indigenous knowledge systems and practices, is too often paid lip serve rather than being fully embraced. The Field Diaries illustrate how local people in rural communities became partners in documenting conditions of both vulnerability and strength, of resources and deficits, and ultimately in successfully partnering with NGOs to improve standards of living and well-being. This publication should be viewed as a model to be broadly and widely replicated, to enhance economic development efforts and ensure community buy-in and engagement."
Miriam S. Chaiken, Ph.D.
Dean, William Conroy Honors College
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology
New Mexico State University
are daily journals, recorded by development project village residents
The diaries provide useful information about habits, customs, recreation, work and social life, and farming practices. The Field Diaries are empowering because they give expression to what is important to people in their everyday life and are further strengthened by placing them within a broader context of documentary evidence which considers real development impact. Field Diaries feature the “voice” of farmers, workers, managers, and community members alike and are given further visual representation through the photography of project participants themselves. This innovative approach seeks to benefit from and contribute to critical thinking about development itself.
“When I started to write down the diaries I was able to study my life and realize where I spend my time. Before doing the diaries I didn’t have control of my tasks, I would wake up and start all daily tasks instead of thinking about my goals. Now I can see where I spend more and less time.”
Regina Chacala, Diarist
"The Field Diaries are very interesting and important because they identify social problems that affect our business (…) helping us on finding solutions to local conflicts and reach successful businesses. FD are made by independent professionals, therefore, there are no influences on the assessments and we obtain real information. I recommend that every investor, from every field, should do FD assessments before, during and after projects’ implementation."
Sinezia Jorge, MMM Director