Mascarenhas, J.

Reflections of a trainer

This paper describes reflections by a trainer after two PRA exercises in Zimbabwe and South Africa. After brief accounts of how the PRA activities worked in each context, Mascarenhas makes three points about training : i) Participants should be "vetted" beforehand to ensure that they can become trainers of trainers ii) "The exercises themselves should be conducted for real" , rather than just as a training exercise iii) PRA "has to be followed through with action... to lead to a development process".

PRA and participatory learning methods: recent experiences from MYRADA and South India

MYRADA, an NGO working in about 2,000 villages in South India, developed an approach called PALM (Participatory Learning Methods) from their early experiments with RRA. This article describes the areas in which PALM has been used (eg natural resource development) and outlines a typical PALM training exercise. The programme lasts about five days, including camping in the village, and progresses from "introductory" (history of the village) to "exploratory" (eg livelihood, wealth ranking) to a concluding "Operational Plan".

The Govenhalli Experience

A five day PRA training course was held for NGOs working in tank rehabilitaton in Govenhalli, South India. The training programme is described in table form (Events/ Description) following the pattern of each day. The report focuses on organisation and how topics were presented, rather than detailed accounts of the fieldwork or of PRA methods. In the conclusion, positive and negative points of the training and major findings are summarised. The actual PRA exercises are included as an appendix.

Sharing our limited experience for trainers: participatory rural appraisal or participatory learning methods

MYRADA, an NGO working in Karnataka, India, has been using PRA/PALM (Participatory Learning Methods) since 1988. This article reflects on their learning experiences, concentrating on the organisation and approach needed when carrying out PRA activities in a village. PRA/PALM should be "more than a training for outsiders" - the purpose of the exercise should be clear to all. PRA activities tend to "focus upon issues that can yield hard data rather than touch upon relationships".