Ford, R.

Popular Participation and Energy: PRA as a Mobilising Force in Energy Production

Despite large investments in rural energy projects in Africa, deforestation continues to be a major problem. This article assesses the macro view of fuelwood and energy practices in Africa, with particular attention to Kenya. It considers ways in which PRA can be used to ease resource degradation in marginal ecozones by structuring popular participation, systematising rural information systems, and helping communities develop their own resource management plans, including energy needs. Two brief case studies from Kenya illustrate this process.

Participatory Rural Appraisal: An Innovative Methodology for Effective Community Development

This report concerns the use of PRA methods in participatory natural resources management in Kenya. The aim of the study was to learn whether a team consisting of national level staff, a foreign representative, and community leaders could gather data, define problems, rank solutions and devise an integrated village plan for natural resources management with substantial community participation. The bulk of the report consists of discussion of the PRA process, and descriptions of the use of various PRA methods and the results.

Scaling Up from Village Level Participatory Rural Appraisals to Region-Wide Participatory Resources Management Planning: Uses for Geographic Information Systems

This paper considers an initiative in Kenya to use PRA to integrate local level participation into division, district and provincial data sets in order to scale up from village to regional participatory plans. PRA is used to provide a village plan, a village based data sets and a list of village based actions. The scaling up approach seeks a methodology to integrate the village information into a regional data set, and through analysis based on geographic information systems, to determine the feasibility and scale for different options which villagers have proposed.

PRA's First Generation: Making Sense of Lessons from the Field

This article argues that PRA, in its brief history, has helped community groups to make remarkable achievements throughout the developing world. Moreover the article highlights the lessons learnt from the application of PRA, such as the importance of participation, accountability, partnership and ownership and its impact on planning and management of development programmes.

Participatory rural appraisal: a case study from Kenya

This chapter describes the application of participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methodology to a community development initiative in Mbusyani sublocation, Kenya in 1988. The purpose of the study was to learn whether a multi-disciplinery team consisting of government officers, researchers, technical officers and community leaders could gather data, define problems, rank solutions and devise an integrated village plan for natural resources management in a relatively short time period, with substantial community participation.

Sustaining Development Through Community Mobilization: a Case Study of Participatory Rural Appraisal in the Gambia

ActionAid, a British NGO, carried out PRAs in Dingiraay and Ndawen in The Gambia, with the aim of creating a "community action plan". This report describes the process in Dingiraay, from introducing the concept of PRA to the community through leaflets and opening ceremony to conducting the activities, analysing the data, deciding options and working out the final plan. PRA activities were introduced in "sets": spatial (village sketch map, transect), temporal (time line, trend line, seasonal calendar) and institutional (inventory and ranking).