Two RRAs, each lasting five days, were carried out in two villages in the North of Cameroon, a CARE Canada project area. LEARN (Local Environmental Analysis and Assessment of Rural Needs) type of RRA was used to focus on the environmental problems. None of the team had used LEARN in the field, so this was very much a training exercise, with an honest account of failings as well as successes. A checklist covering "what needs to be known", "indicators" and "methods to be used" formed the basis for guiding activities, choosing respondents and topics of discussion. Field activities are described in detail, and methods (especially interviewing techniques) analysed. Specific characteristics of LEARN are evaluated, as well as the "reliability and representativeness" of the information gained. Findings of the research are given in sections 6 - 12 : sections 1 - 4 are devoted to methodology and training aspects.
The detail about field activities, including the preparation and evaluation, makes this a useful reference material for trainers, fieldworkers and researchers.
IIED, G1, IDS