Since 1989 the experience with PRA in Francophone West Africa has grown enormously. There is now a French language newsletter on PRA and networks have been established in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. These networks focus much of their efforts on PRA training with the aim of: strengthening the capacity of relevant institutions to use participatory approaches in their work; maintaining standards in the use of PRA methods; and identifying obstacles to PRA development in the region. The article analyses the problems encountered in trying to achieve these aims and suggests some possible ways forward.
This case study provides an example of a participatory multi-institutional, extension approach to seed development and dissemination.
This report reviews the impact of methodological contributions for assessment amongst NGO development initiatives in West Africa. The review is an effort to provide Oxfam UK/I and Novib staff with the advances made in this region. The report discusses the kinds of impact that Oxfam and Novib development projects are trying to achieve as well as relevance to impact assessment in the West African context. Through the use of participatory methods of impact assessment, it examines the evaluation methods of various organisations in West Africa.
Can Participatory Evaluation Meet the Needs of all Stakeholders? A Case Study: evaluating the World Neighbors West Africa Program
Participatory techniques are being used to a greater or lesser degree and in a variety of ways by more and more evaluators. This case study is a description of the methodology used during the participatory evaluation the author facilitated of the World Neighbors programmes in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Togo and Mali). During the one-week evaluation process in each of three programme sites a variety of participatory techniques were used, including PRA with villagers, focus group discussions, interviews with community leaders, roundtable discussions with representatives of other agencies working in the local area etc. But, did this process meet the needs of all stakeholders? At the village level participants gained new perspectives on the effect of the programme on their lives. The programme staff learned how to improve monitoring, routine evaluation, analysis and reporting. At the Area-wide Strategic Planning Conference, ideas and recommendations from the evaluation process shaped new action plans. Hence, the author argues the effectiveness of a community development programme should be measured in terms of how it influences decision-making by all stake-holders with responsibility for future plans.
Training In Participatory Planning And Research Methods In The Sahel: A Programme For The Strengthening Of Capacity In The Marp.
This is a project proposal developed by the Dry lands and Sustainable Agricultural Programmes of the IIED for a four programme, 1993-96 in Participatory Planning Methods in some Sahelian countries; Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Senegal. Although it focuses on MARP, it traces the history of PRA and RRA. It looks at the IIED's support of MARP in the Sahel. The strengths and weaknesses of MARP are discussed, with a reference on MARP and PRA.
Jos Plateau Environmental Resources Development Programme, Nigeria - Project Identification using Rapid Rural Appraisal, October 1991: Part I (interim report 21) selection of communities and collaborative workshop/ Part II (interim report 22) Marit villag
The Jos Plateau Environmental Resources Development Programme [JPERDP] (Nigeria) aims at developing a viable approach to rural development in the tin-mining region of the Jos plateau. The approach was by 1991 already moulding itself around two twin thrusts, namely, action research and capacity building. Part I of the report contains the selection process used to identify and contact cooperating communities for part of the phase two of the JPERDP, and also goes on to document the action-oriented collaborative training workshop. Two communities were selected, Marit and Wereng, according to a set of selection criteria offsetting common biases in rural development. Part II and III are village reports from the villages of Marit and Wereng.
A report on a 9 day RRA training exercise, which discusses the rationale behind the use of RRA, details four days of field experiences and detailed reflections on both the content of the course and the field training. Both positive aspects and concerns were expressed. The participants on the training course were split into three groups for field work, and the second section of the report illustrates their experiences in the form of case studies. A brief description and history of each village is followed up with detailed information about seasonality, cropping patterns, food processing, nutritional and livestock issues. There are numerous illustrations. As well as an analysis of farmers constraints there is a detailed discussion on the methods and approach used.
The paper discusses a project which aimed to acheive agricultural diversification by encouraging the production of cotton in the Gambia. An evaluation was carried out by the ODA's food strategy group in association with the Ministry of Agriculture. The object of the rapid appraisal was to identity constraints in its expansion, to examine the distribution of its benefits between and within households and to assess its potential as a cash crop alternative to groundnuts. The methodology of the appraisal is decribed, which involved investigating the organization of farm labour and technical aspects of cultivation.
This is a selection of letters and memos from FAO offices sent in reply to an IDS request for information on the use of PRA in policy research. Most replies indicate little such application of PRA. the last letter, however, concerns the use of PRA in a fisheries programme in Guinea. 45 fisheries department staff were trained in PRA. This resulted in a series of reports, prepared by national staff without requiring any further outside assistance, being one of the reasons why the reports seem to have had an impact on policy decisions at the ministry level.