Richards, P.

Participatory rural appraisal: a quick-and-dirty critique

The article discusses four areas of concern in current PRA practice. Firstly, it is likely that investment in careful, long-term and comparative on-the-ground social research will be curtailed in favour of quicker data-gathering using PRA methods. A second concern is whether the routinisation of PRA within the bureaucratic processes of development agencies contradict or divert the original aim of giving more voice and control to the rural poor. A third issue is the lack of clarity on where RRA/PRA practitioners stand in relation to the major debates in social theory.

Appraising Appraisal: towards Improved Dialogue in Rural Planning

It argues that even the most elaborate social surveys in the development field are one-sided, in that they answer their sponsors' questions, and not those of the people surveyed. Rapid Rural Appraisal has no methodological sophistication in which to cloak this one-sidedness. This is no disadvantage, however, for not only does RRA focus attention on an important problem, it also provides the means to solve it. Several 'quick and dirty' surveys are possible for the price of, and in the time taken by, one 'long and clean' survey.