LEARN (Local Environmental Analysis and assessment of Rural Needs) is a development research approach designed to put people's priorities first, be cost-effective, and tackle rural environmental problems. Though similar to RRA, LEARN differs in that it is concerned with the "interrelationship between the environment and social processes" and distinguishes between outsiders' (etic) and insiders' (emic) knowledge. "Intelligent ignorance", a low profile entrance, selection of informants, observation and open-ended questions are all key to the LEARN approach. Methods used and findings from the Waza Logone region of North Cameroon illustrate how LEARN can help in "preparing research proposals and identifying development opportunities".
This paper describes an approach similar to RRA, which would be useful to researchers, trainers and planners, particularly if working on environmental problems.
International Conference on the People's Role in Wetland Management
Leiden University, The Netherlands
Programme Environment and Development, Leiden University