Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA)

Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) emerged in the late 1970s in response to some of the problems with large-scale, structured questionnaire surveys. It provided an alternative technique for outsiders – often scientists carrying out research into agriculture – to quickly learn from local people about their realities and challenges. RRA practitioners worked in multi-disciplinary teams and pioneered the use a suite of visual methods and semi-structured interviews to learn from respondents. While it was largely about data collection, usually analysed by outsiders, RRA contained the seeds from which other PMs grew in the 1980s. Reflections on RRA led to the development of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), which focused more strongly on facilitation, empowerment, behaviour change, local knowledge and sustainable action.