This paper argues that there are ethical problems raised by the current extractive manner in which PRA has been used in PPAs. The authors suggest that action planning needs to be linked to PPAs to resolve these ethical problems and that this will also improve the quality of the information taken out of the community for policy-making purposes. A case study of the PPA conducted in Shinyanga, Tanzania is presented as an example of where an attempt was made to combine these two objectives. However, an inherent bias towards the objective of extracting information was still present. It is argued that there should be a focus on participatory research linked to local action at all stages of planning, resourcing and implementation of a PPA project.