The Nhlangwini Integrated Rural Development Project aims to empower local people, in order that they may improve their quality of life, by helping them develop strategies for addressing basic needs. The Nhlangwini Ward is situated in southern KwaZulu, South Africa. Three workshops were held over a period of three months during 1989. The first examined development problems in the area; the second specifically probed those problems associated with family planning; the third was a development planning workshop, employing visual techniques described in some detail by the paper. Participants were asked to draw local resources by imagining they could view the area from a helicopter. The process of adopting visual techniques has resulted in a change in emphasis - as a result of findings, the integrated development programme has switched approaches with regard to issues facing women, and in terms of its goal setting mechanisms.
In September 1991 a workshop on participatory methods for working with farmers was held for one national and eight provincial teams which comprise the Adaptive Research Planning Team (ARPT) in Zambia. Its main purpose was to evaluate the the bean or finger millet varieties that the groups had been working on. Matrices were the prime method of evaluation generated through discussions held with farmers. The paper looks at the setting up of the matrix, the ranking exercise and arguments with respect to the value of the three varieties. The matrices were concluded to be successful in highlighting each of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as indentifying the various characteristics of millet varieties. From the discussion with farmers, researchers were able to ascertain which characteristics of the varieties were most highly prized.
Ethnoveterinary Knowledge Among Pastoralists in Eastern Sudan and Eritrea: Implications for Animal Health, Participatory Extension and Future Policy.
This research is primarily a critique of the existing agricultural extension approaches, with substantial description and evaluation of indigenous knowledge among pastoralists in eastern Sudan and Eritrea, in the context of postwar reconstruction and development. It makes specific recommendations to advance the integration of indigenous knowledge in development as a way of enhancing the capacity of individuals and institutions to make good use of existing skills.
In October 1992, IIED conducted a PRA Training session for PATECORE and its partners, whose approach to land use management is widely known for its innovation and success. They operate in the Bam Province, Burkina Faso. This paper is a brief note, concerning the introduction of certain elements of PRA into their activities, notably network mapping and venn diagrams.
This manual has been developed for facilitators working on ActionAid's pilot literacy programme in Bundibugyo, Uganda. Following on from the Freirian model of literacy teaching, the programme has introduced PRA techniques to strengthen the discussion stage. Rather than having a literacy primer, the course is based on thirty units each of which uses a specific PRA technique (eg Hungry Season Calendar) together with visual "symbol cards" to generate discussion. Each unit includes an information section (eg how to build a maize store) and details on how to teach the key word. Practical teaching tips, such as timing and what to do about drop-outs, are covered as well as the theoretical questions, what is literacy? and why teach literacy? The appendices include illustrated examples of PRA activities and "symbol cards", ideas for post literacy, indicators for monitoring progress and criteria for recruiting facilitators.
The first section is a daily diary of the second part of the South South exchange held in India, which details the methods by which participation were acheived, the topics discussed and the individuals and organisations met. The second section focuses on the content of the exchange, focussing on specific issues such as credit, community organisation, livestock and watershed planning. Specific cases are discussed and there is an emphasis on "learnings" and "issues". The report winds up with a discussion of the context of PRA - including strengths and dangers - and the identification of a number of key issues. Thes include process, quality control, training, institutional aspects/ networking and policy interventions.
A major part of this twelve day workshop was spent in fieldwork, using the PRA techniques (listed in Section II) learnt in theory classes. This report describes in detail the methodology and findings of the field exercises, showing clearly the practical problems encountered (such as how to "reach" the women) as well as the lively and diverse information that can emerge from PRA activities. The fieldwork in Chimontu and Chongwe resulted in two methodological innovations : i) the seasonality analysis of illness was combined with trend analysis to show how illness had changed over ten years ii) the institutional diagram was used to show what the group would like to see in the area. Points about location of fieldwork, timing, structure of training and group composition conclude this report. The appendices include an interesting list of participants' concerns after completing the fieldwork, plus the actual visual results of the PRA activities.
Training Workshop on Participatory Rural and Urban Appraisal Methods for Participatory Poverty Assessment, Ghana
This training workshop was designed to introduce participants to appraisal techniques suitable for use in a Participatory Poverty Assessment study being conducted in Ghana by the World Bank. Written by one of two trainers, the report covers only the rural appraisal methods. The Darko field work section describes in detail the PRA methods, including sequencing, materials used and findings. Gender issues underlie the lively analysis: eg the wealth and well-being ranking shows how differently men and women tackled the activity. The report includes a list of topics covered in the theoretical sessions, comments on logistical problems on the course, and finally highlights the methodological innovations made (well-being ranking being superimposed on wealth ranking and the frequency distribution health matrix).
Training Workshop for the Young Farmer Researchers for the Survey of Indigenous and Traditional Crops in Gwanda District
The first section focuses on training techniques for PRA. There is an emphasis on the use of role play, for semistructured interviewing. Both bad and good interviews were improvised. The second section concentrates on the field visits, detailing both the methodology and the findings. After each technique there is a section on 'new learnings' which details both interesting aspects of the villagers agriculturall systems, and the facilitators thoughts on the use of PRA. Maps, matrices, time lines and interviews were used. The final section is composed of individual assesments of the training session and the field work.
Rapid Assessment of the Food and Nutrition Security Impact of the CARE Food Programming Activitites in Eastern Shewa and Western Hararghe
A rapid food security assessment was carried out in Eastern Shewa and Western Hararghe to determine what CARE food-assisted projects have been undertaken, and what impact they have had on the participants. To determine whether the projects were properly designed, a rapid assessment of the household food security situation in each project area was carried out. Peasant Associations were selected on the basis of accessibility, main economic activity, distance from main roads, and history of food assistance. Two villages in which CARE assistance was not provided were surveyed in order to compare project areas with nonproject areas. Information sources included a document review, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Other interviews were conducted with government agencies, and collaborating institutions such as United Nations organizations and other NGOs.
Information Collection for Risk-Mapping in the Mopti Region, Mali: Field Report on Methodological Questions
Save the Children Fund is currently involved in the development of an operational method for mapping risk of and vulnerability to food insecurity. This report is the result of field work to collect information on food security and the household food economy in the Mopti region of Mali. This will be used to build up a regional case study applying risk mapping methodology to this region. The methodology involved the collection of information from key informants on sources of food and income, expenditure on food, value of savings and food stocks for households of different degrees of poverty. Information derived from informants and secondary sources was also collected on migration, use of wild foods, and prices in cereal and livestock markets. The paper highlights some of the practical difficulties of finding suitable key informants and considers whether the information they provide is suitable for the risk mapping model. It asserts the need for consistent and skilled interviewing, with considerable advance knowledge of an area, and a capacity to discern biases of respondents.
Monitoring Food Security and Coping Strategies: Lessons Learnt From The SADS Project of Save The Children Fund (UK), Mopti Region, Mali: Field Report on Methodological Questions
SCF(UK) established a local food security monitoring project called SADS in the Mopti region of Mali, which has been operational since 1987. It aimed to identify who was vulnerable, where, when and why, and to provide appropriate information to decision makers. This working paper describes some of the lessons learnt from the experience of monitoring food security and coping strategies. Information was collected by field staff from rural people, and this paper examines the use of such qualitative and semi-quantitative data, and the problems associated with using local knowledge systems. The approach to data collection belongs loosely to that associated with RRA. Information was collected by project staff using checklists and semi-structured interviews with key informants, listening to oral histories and discussions at village meetings. SADS also uses sentinel sites called 'listening posts' which are located in positions to gain insight into larger areas. Information was collected on agricultural and fish production, on-farm stocks, off-farm employment, consumption and migration. This was supplemented by secondary data, particularly on rainfall. Seasonal calendars were drawn up to show food access, activities and coping strategies for different producer groups, and this has led to the use of seasonally specific monitoring indicators. SADS shows that a relatively low cost methodology for monitoring food security can be established, based mainly on socio-economic data, that can provide timely and reliable warnings of localised food insecurity.
This paper argues in favour of moving beyond simple preference ranking in P/RRA as conventional methods produce limited data which is often misinterpreted. While ranking enables participants to define their own criteria for discriminating between items, it does not give an overall preference order because different items may have different weightings, so simple adding up would give misleading results. Asking participants to list items subjectively from best to worst overcomes this but still leaves the difficulty of interpreting the gap between ranks. Another alternative is to ask participants to give points to all the items being considered, so that simply adding up the scores allows different items to be compared. A number of ways to improve scoring are presented and illustrated using examples taken from an assessment of a food-for-work programme in Merti-Jeju district, Ethiopia. The study was carried out with women in villages to investigate food preferences, and help choose appropriate commodities for the programme. Techniques include qualified preference which compares one item to another and 'shopping' which simulates choices between many items with different market values. It is considered that these methods give better quantitative information and provide a useful way to explore real-world preferences in different circumstances.