This dvd looks at the process of using PRA methods to analyse and devise solutions to the environmental problems facing a hill village in rural Gujerat. Denuded hillsides, erosion of topsoil and dying forests and streams were identified as the main problems. The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) worked with the villagers to create an action plan to change the future of the village. The process began with social and resource mapping to assess the resources of the village (02). A transect walk of the area surrounding the village where the forests have disappeared suggested sites for afforestation (05). A species inventory was compiled to list the properties and uses of different types of trees, grasses and plants (08). Matrix scoring of trees by groups of women reflected their responsibilities for providing food and fodder (10). Tree matrix scoring by men, on the other hand, demonstrated the men's greater interest in the commercial properties of trees (15). During the ensuing negotiations agreement was reached by men and women on the tree species to be planted (16). In the next stage a rootstock analysis was carried out to identify what already existed in the forest and what needed to be planted (18). Wealth ranking was used to identify the poorest households, to whom the opportunity of paid work in the seedling nursery was offered (21). The nursery was then established, with the agreement of all the villagers, on common land. In the final stage, a treatment map was drawn to determine what should be planted where and why (23), and the site was prepared for planting (25). The seedlings were planted by the whole village during the monsoon (26). The villagers then took responsibility for guarding the site (28). The process demonstrates how rights and responsibility for the forest can be handed back from the forest department to the people (32).
The video documents a three-day PRA exercise which was carried out by Activists for Social Allternatives (ASA) with village women in Tamil Nadu, India. The PRA focused specifically on issues relating to women, and also acted as a training exercise for NGO representatives. The exercise began with a discussion of the participant's expectations of the workshop (02). They then divided into four groups to do family profiles, village mapping, village modelling and time-lines, each with a focus on women (03). In the family profiles the status of different generations of women in individual families were investigated. It was found that accross all castes and generations women lacked education and were excluded from decision-making and participation in common issues (05). Maps and models were made of the village and details about the marital, health and family status of women were then added before being transferred onto charts (06). The time-line showed the main events which had occurred in the village during the last 30 years, with a particular focus on the status of women (09). The day ended with group presentation and evaluation of the day's activities (10). On the second day the groups did wealth ranking (12), seasonality diagrams (14), and livelihoods (15). During the final day the women produced venn (or chapati) diagrams and a linkage chart (17). In their discussions the different groups identified similar problems, solutions and opportunities. The women realised their problems were not unique and recognised the importance of solidarity and working together (18).
This film addresses issues of community management in the context of a government-funded irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh, India. It looks at the problems farmers faced as a result of uneven water distribution, and how their greater participation in managing the scheme provided viable solutions. Irrigation was seen as the key to responding to growing pressure to increase food production (01). Yet with the construction of large-scale irrigation systems farmers became recipients and were no longer the planners and operators of their own systems (03). The loss of control over water distribution, combined with poor maintenance of the canal network, meant that those at the head of the system had too much water while those at the tail received too little (10). A meeting was held for farmers from all the villages concerned to discuss the problems and ways of resolving them (24). A map was drawn showing the water outlets and cropping patterns in the irrigated area. After much discussion a consensus was reached regarding water distribution, canal maintenance, and cropping patterns. Penalties for violation were also agreed (28). Having conducted their own analysis of the problems and devised their own solutions the commitment of the farmers was assured (29).
The DVD documents a PRA exercise which was carried out in a village in Karnataka in south India, facilitated by the NGO group MYRADA. The PRA started the process of developing an integrated plan for the watershed with the village community. The film focuses on the sequence and methods used during the PRA. The first activity was an ice-breaker and equaliser, where the outside participants attempted to perform routine village tasks (02). Next, seasonality diagramming provided information on rainfall, employment patterns for men and women, and patterns of income and expenditure (04). Watershed resource mapping and modelling (06) and transects then gave more detailed information about the watershed (07). At an evening group meeting the information which had been gathered was presented and discussed, with a focus on the major issues and how they were to be dealt with. The villagers decided that it was important to reforest the upper catchment to minimise erosion (12). A matrix ranking of local trees was then carried out to determine the use and importance of different species to the villagers (13). This provided the basis for deciding the mix of species for the reforestation plan. Time lines and venn (or 'chapati') diagrams of village institutions depicted the social environment of the village (16). Wealth ranking information was added to a social map (17). The PRA concluded with an evening social event for all the participants (20).
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).
This film records a week-end PRA training workshop run in the village of Kabripathar in Gujerat. It was hosted by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) as part of a series of international training workshops. The main economic activities in the village are agriculture and migrant labour, and the villagers are mostly poor and illiterate. The surrounding area has been deforested as a result of intensive cutting for industry and other population pressures (00). A reforestation programme was implemented by the state government but, because the villagers were not consulted, and anyway had different priorities, the scheme was unsuccessful (01). The PRA began with mapping and modelling to provide information about the village and its environment which would form the basis for other exercises (03). During a transect walk the trainees learned about the physical features and natural resources and how these are used by the villagers (04). A special feature of the AKRSP approach is the use of extension volunteers and master extension volunteers. These are local experts chosen by the village organisation for their ability to communicate and specialist skills, such as a knowledge of forestry (04). With their help AKRSP is able to work more effectively over a wider area. A village census was conducted with the women to give a social snapshot of the village (07). A rootstock assessment was carried out to count and record the number of trees according to species, and the results mapped out (09). The extension volunteers facilitated a dialogue to enable the villagers to assess needs, identify problems and set priorities (10) AKRSP was then able to extend financial, technical and managerial support (12). A planning stage was added to the PRA to assess the financial aspects and impact of the project (13). On the second day the results of the tree ranking were presented and a wealth ranking was carried out (14). The PRA training concluded with a seasonality analysis of household livelihoods and illness (14).
This video looks at some of problems associated with questionnaire surveys and suggests that PRA methods provide an alternative way of understanding the situation and needs of a community. It documents the process of carrying out a one-day PRA with a rural community in Bangladesh. Questionnaire surveys do not always yield accurate information and are often time-consuming for respondents (03). Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is an alternative approach which attempts to overcome these problems (05). Being taught new activities by the villagers is one way of establishing a rapport between the outsiders and the community (06). The methods used during the PRA include transect walks to record the physical features of the village (08), mapping (10), modelling (13), mobility mapping (16), seasonality calendars (16), venn (or chapati) diagrams (17), group discussions about the changes which have taken place in the village in the last 20 years (17), matrix ranking (18), and sharing and observing indigenous practices eg the multi-cropping system (22). The maps, matrices and graphs were presented to the rest of the village to get feedback and cross-check for accuracy (23). Finally, the day's findings were discussed by the team (24).
Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA) is an NGO working in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu in south India (01). This video records a four-day PRA run by ASA which focused on the watershed in two villages, and also acted as a training workshop for NGO activists (03). During the first day of the workshop time lines and maps were drawn to illustrate the social composition and health aspects of the village (05). The findings of each group were presented to the other villagers at the end of the day so the accuracy of the information could be cross-checked (09). The second day focused on seasonal calendars (11), matrix ranking (15), wealth ranking (16), venn (or chapati) diagrams (18) and trend analysis (19). On the third day the physical features of the village were investigated through transects and models of the watershed (20). A land use capability map was then prepared which proposed land use options and land and water management practices (21). The last day focused on identifying problems and solutions. Steep slopes, lack of rainwater percolation, landslides and soil erosion emerged as some of the problems. Solutions included tree planting and water and soil conservation (22). A budget was then worked out with local, government and donor agency contributions. The exercise generated information and ideas with the villagers as resource persons, and demonstrated their capacity to plan and budget for themselves (23).