This report provides an overview of some RRA methods developed by social scientists to improve people's participation in community forestry and to tailor conventional survey and interview methods to gather needed information at all stages of project and programme development. It focuses on informal survey and interview techniques used in project design and evaluation and in discussions with local communities for common resource management planning. The limitations of traditional methods, the characteristics of RRA and other rapid and participatory research methods (FSR, sondeo, diagnostics and design etc.) are reviewed in the first section. Aspects of these methodologies in need of review are discussed (e.g. speed of research, indigenous knowledge, proxy indicators and minimum data sets, gender bias, sampling bias, group interviewing and local negotiations). The second section proposes a work plan for a systematic review of RRA in community forestry (see Molnar 1989). There is an annotated bibliography on social science methods in community forestry.
This paper may interest those involved in research on R/PRA methods, and those involved in community forestry.