Conventional studies of child feeding practices are difficult and time-consuming, since family food use is a sensitive topic since it hinges on economic status and power relationships. The author argues that since "this information can only be obtained by workers trusted by the community, after both sides have understood and become concerned with the object of the investigation". The roles of an RRA facilitator in providing, collecting, interpreting and discussing information are outlined. Section 2 discusses 8 questions relating to feeding practices, covering problems with conventional food consumption surveys, trust between researchers and researched, the importance of relating reported to actual practices, evaluating 'satisfactory' feeding practices, understanding mothers' perceptions of practices, problems and obstacles to change, and the importance of sharing information for mutual learning between the interviewer and the community.
Likely to be of interest to those using RRA methods and interviewing in child health and nutrition research.
Rapid Rural Appraisal
IDS, Brighton, 4-7 December 1979