A two-year project investigated modes of conflict management in a pastoral society in north-western Kenya, and tried to find causes for successful or non-successful (that is, non-violent or violent) conflict behaviour. PRA methods were used in an effort to speed up the normally lengthy process of obtaining data on conflict management. The study found that internal conflict was managed fairly successfully despite being thoroughly informal. This stood in sharp contrast to violent inter-ethnic conflicts. The reasons for these differences were many and complex. The paper concludes that although an appreciable amount of descriptive data may be gathered by using PRA methods, they are more limited when it comes to identifying the causes of conflict behaviour.