We Could Do What We Never Thought We Could
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).