The paper discusses the use and usefulness of participatory approaches in the work of Save the Children Fund (SCF). It asks how PRA can be used effectively by SCF when the nature of its work means it is unlikely to be involved purely as a facilitator in a community development process. Areas where PRA has proved useful are research, training and awareness, and participatory monitoring and evaluation. It is suggested that the awareness and skills of a growing number of staff members will gradually increase SCFs capacity to use PRA. Participatory methods are also seen as having a useful role to play in turning SCF into a more child-focused agency, and in helping to develop partnerships between SCF, local communities and partner organisations.