The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) works with village communities in Gujarat State, India. This paper describes how village analysts are trained in participatory appraisal and planning. Details are given on how the training programmes are designed at the village level, with defined stages in the training process. Training leads to a "local cadre of village analysts... who can take up the responsibility of initiating the development process". The constraints of such a process are highlighted. The case is argued for "investing more in training village analysts and trainers as opposed to the development of a body of external professionals who continue to dominate the decision-making process".