The Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) has used PRA methods in a number of livestock projects in Kenya. This paper describes some of them, which have included the collection of base-line information and design of village animal health care (VAHC) projects, exploring traditional veterinary knowledge and the use of traditional medicines, and monitoring and evaluating animal health and restocking projects. The methods used include mapping, wealth and other types of ranking, interviews and discussion, ethnoveterinary interviews, progeny histories, workshops and diagrams. The paper also discusses some of the potential pitfalls as well as advantages of using PRA methods.
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The United Mission to Nepal (UMN) Animal Health Improvement Project (AHIP) has been training Village Animal Health Workers (VAHW) in Pokhara, Nepal for the last decade. During this time approximately 350 VAHWs have been trained. This article outlines some of the techniques that were used to evaluate the subsequent progress of the trainees. General village-level information was gathered using various participatory methods, including mapping, wealth ranking, production information, labour diagrams, proportional piling and annual disease calendars, transect walks and progeny histories. Semi-structured interviews were also carried out individually with male and female farmers and VAHWs to find out how the VAHWs assessed their own work and how the farmers viewed the service they received.
Validating the Wealth Ranking by Participatory Rural Appraisal Vs Formal Survey in Identifying the Rural Poor
This paper a) identifies classifiers of economic status used by rural communities in the area studied - Tamil Nadu, India, b) attempts to determine why local communitites and development professionals have used 'incorrect' criteria for this classification and c)compares standard economic household rankings with rankings using PRA methods.
This report and bibliography is intended to provide ACORD programmes with information on the literature concerning participatory development methodologies in Africa. The report provides an overview of the literature and identifies key documents and methods, as well as outlining ACORD's experience in four countries. The bibliography includes ACORD reports relating to participatory techniques, and annotations of easily available selected materials which would be of most interest to ACORD programmes. A list of institutes and organisations that specialise in the development of participatory techniques is also provided.
This paper focuses on methods which can be used to highlight food security issues and health problems in a community. A 'method' highlighted is the incorporation of local definitions of the issue - in this instance nutrition into the creation of hypotheses about the nature of the problem.
This article starts from the thesis that farmers of different wealth even in the same areas will have different requirements and needs. This is illustrated by doing research on wealth and priority ranking with farmers in three villages in the Philippines - Pong-on, Barrack and Cogon. There are good descriptions of the free listing and card sorting methods of problem and need prioritisation. The project preparation phase is discussed in detail, and emphasized as a crucial part of PRA exercises. The paper concludes with the assertion that if agricultural research does not incorporate local priorities then interventions will be inaccurate and wasteful.
The focus is on the use of PRA in water and sanitation planning, while recognising that other priorities are likely to emerge. There is a description of PRA; uses, tools and principals. A programme for field work is outlined, and each tool discussed in detail, with checklists of 'what to cover' and 'dos and donts'. The structure of the work is fairly rigidly defined, as is the proposal for working with the community on the programme after the PRA, where a community committee is chosen for liason.
Finding Out How People Prioritise Their Food Security Problems in Chad: The Challenges of RRA at a National Level
This paper presents a number of methodological innovations on RRA and PRA in the context of food security. It is interesting in the first instance because it reviews work done as a follow-up to a PRA workshop on household data collection for food policy needs. On the method front, there are examples of mapping, diagramming, ranking and how each method feeds into food policy decisions. An increased use of visual methods is highlighted, and the connected increase in participation in and ownership of the research by local people. Along with this is an increasing importance of qualitative data in food policy decisions. The paper also includes an introduction to and comparison of PRA and RRA. It concludes by commenting that an additional advantage of these methods is that they are cost-effective, but that this may bring a linked disadvantage - that PRA methods are used with the intention of "extracting" information.
This paper discusses wealth ranking and wellbeing ranking and describes, compares and contrasts them. The main advantage of wellbeing ranking is that wellbeing tends to be a less sensitive concept than wealth and therefore there is more likelihood of getting questions answered.
This article briefly outlines the evolution of PRA from RRA. The three foundations of PRA - methods; behaviour and attitudes; and sharing - are discussed. The article concludes with some thoughts on potential for the development of PRA in the 1990s in the areas of training and education, particularly in universities; among senior officials and academics, to bring them face-to-face with rural people; and enabling local people to take command of their resources and to determine what fits their needs.
PRA is described as a growing family of approaches and methods to enable people to share, enhanse and analyses thier knowledge if life and conditions, to plan and act. Here, teh origins of PRA are discussed - its sources identified as activist participatory research, agroecosystem analysis, applied anthropology, farming systems field research, and RRA. The shift from RRA to PRA is related to the differences between extraction of information and sharing - with the emphasis on changes in ownership of the "results". There has been a rapid explosion in the use of PRA, although the suitability of the label has been questioned.The menu of participatory methods is described, and the practical applications discussed. The spread of PRA is seen to be rapid, although concern is expressed that some reports may be exaggerated due to the "fashion" of PRA, and that many others remain inaccessible. It seems that dominant behaviour by outsiders may explain why it has taken until the 1990s for the analytical capabilities of local people to be better recognised and for PRA to grow, emerge and spread.
This paper is the third in a three-part series examining participatory rural appraisal. It reviews some of the practical and theoretical questions which have been raised as the spread of PRA accelerates. PRA approaches and methods are analysed in terms of how they have spread, quality assurance, dangers, potentials and strategies, and paradigmatic significance. Rapid spread has made quality assurance a concern, with dangers from "instant fashion", rushing, formalism and ruts. Promising potentials include farmers' own farming systems research, alternatives to questionnaire surveys, monitoring, evaluation and lateral spread by local people, empowerment of the poorer and weaker, and policy review. Changes in personal behaviour and attitudes, and in organisational cultures, are implied. PRA parallels and resonates with paradigm shifts in the social and natural sciences, in business management and development thinking.
This paper is the first in a three-part series examining participatory rural appraisal. It outlines the origins, principles, approaches, methods and applications of PRA from a perspective in early 1994. PRA has sources in activist participatory research, agroecosystem analysis, applied anthropology, field research on farming systems, and rapid rural appraisal (RRA). The differences between RRA and PRA, and the usefulness of distinguishing between them are discussed. Most of the known applications of PRA can be separated into four types of process: participatory appraisal and planning; participatory implementation, planning, monitoring and evaluation of programmes; topic investigations; and training and orientation for outsiders and villagers. The four major areas where PRA has been applied are natural resources management, agriculture, poverty and social programmes, and health and food security. Dominant behaviour by outsiders may explain why it has taken until the 1990s for the analytical capabilities of local people to be better recognised.
This paper is the second in a three-part series examining participatory rural appraisal. It sets out to present and analyse the principles, insights, validity, reliability and modes of PRA, and to understand the nature of its power and popularity. The more significant principles of PRA concern the behaviour and attitudes of outsider facilitators, including not rushing, "handing over the stick", and being self-critically aware. The power and popularity of PRA are partly explained by the unexpected analytical abilities of local people when catalysed by relaxed rapport, and expressed through sequences of participatory and especially visual methods. Evidence to date shows high validity and reliability of information shared by local people through PRA compared with data from more traditional methods. Explanations include reversals and shifts of emphasis: from emic to etic, closed to open, individual to group, verbal to visual, and measuring to comparing; and from extracting information to empowering local analysts.
This article looks at the general question of systems analysis and analyses the components of a 'system'. As such, it is useful for anyone concerned with working participatively with systems of any sort. The question of how RRA methods can be used in conjunction with agroecosystem analysis to develop research and development priorities is considered.