We Could Do What We Never Thought We Could

Publication year: 

This DVD shows a PRA field training carried out in two remote rural villages in Sri Lanka. It challenges development workers to change their habits and attitudes and to develop new capabilities in a partnership approach. PRA is described as "an approach and a set of methods and techniques for learning about rural life and conditions from, with and by the rural people" (01). The main economic activities of the villagers are agriculture and animal husbandry (03). The villagers taught the trainees how to plough and transplant paddy - in the process the trainees realised how little they knew and how much the villagers knew (04). A number of PRA methods were learned, including time trends (05); village mapping (06); social mapping (07) and transects (08); diagrams of changing land use patterns (13); seasonal calendars (14); medicinal herb sorting and identification of common diseases for which they are used as remedies (17); matrix ranking (18) and wealth ranking (19). The wealth ranking led on to a semi-structured interview with one of the poorest village women (20). The training concluded with a reflection on the exercise with the villagers (22). The villagers as well as the trainees had benefited from the experience. Finally, village volunteers went to Colombo to present their work to a one-day seminar for government and NGO officers (23).

Interest groups: 
A good introduction to PRA, this video will be useful for PRA trainers as well as being of interest to community level NGO fieldworkers.
Intercooperation, Self-Help Support Programme, 92/2 DS Sananayake Mawatha, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka. Tel/Fax: (1) 691215
US$20.00 plus courier charges for Northern country organisations; US$10.00 plus courier charges for Southern country organisations
30 mins

How to find this resource

Shelfmark in IDS Resource Centre