PRA for self-reliant rural development: the case of a resettlement area in Ethiopia

Publication year: 

This paper focuses on the Tana Beles area in Gojam, Ethiopia, where in the mid-1980s almost 80,000 people were resettled from different parts of the country. Many of the settlers experienced severe difficulties in adapting to the new environment . These difficulties, combined with the implementation of a large-sc ale infrastructure project with a very top-down approach, resulted in a strong material and psychological dependency on external aid and assistance. Following the suspension in 1991 of all foreign projects in the area, the challenge has been to enhance the transition from emergency aid to self-reliant and self-sufficient development. The paper describes how PRA techniques were used to explore general adjustment problems and constraints, needs and priorities, as well as the expectationsand aspirations of the settlers. It was found that 'in this specific context of general upheaval, PRA represents a particularly useful approach to understand how people react to such disruption and develop new coping strategies'. Furthermore, in development projects characterized by 'project dependency' PRA introduces a valuable external stimulus favouring self-awareness and a crucial means for encouraging people to become self-reliant.

Interest groups: 
NGO and other community development practitioners working in resettlement projects.
Source publication information
Journal Title: 
PLA notes
No. 22
IIED, 3 Endsleigh St, London WC1H 0DD, UK
Publisher reference: 
International Institute for Environment and Development

How to find this resource

Shelfmark in IDS Resource Centre
E : Miscellaneous : RRA Notes/PLA 769