Farmers of different wealth will have different problems and needs, and varying ability to adopt proposed technologies. Agricultural research should take into account such differences, in order that research priorities be correctly determined and the relevant innovations developed. This paper reports on a wealth ranking procedure carried out in three upland village in the Philippines: Pong-on, Barrack and Cogon. It contains sections on the following: the preparation for the project; the card sorting methodology adopted; and lessons learnt and recommendations. The ranking exercise was found to be quick and simple, and produced valuable results.
Appropriate methodology: an example using a traditional African board game to measure farmers' attitude and environmental images.
The recent growth in interest in the utility of indigenous environmental knowledge in Africa has brought more sharply into focus the cross-cultural limitations of many conventional geographical methods for collecting perceptual and behavioural data. There is a danger in uncritical reliance on transferred social science methodologies which often embody cultural assumptions exterior to the local culture. This paper explains the use of local traditional cultural forms, in particular the use of a Nigerian board game derived from Mancala. This type of multi-method approach, given carefully designed research programmes, could provide a variety of different learning formats and experiences for both research worker and farmer, and encourage mutual understanding and co-operation in agricultural research in developing countries.
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.
This paper describes the results of applying wealth and income ranking techniques in a society spatially and culturally distant from the ones where it had been applied previously. With regard to the income rank, income data from 38 households in a rural Indian village wereg collected for the cropping year June 1985 to May 1986. Assets considered for the wealth rank were: land, animals and the number of people engaged in employment. The paper concludes that wealth ranking is a useful technique of stratification for the area of India in which it was tested. It is reasonable to assume from this that the technique could be used in other parts of India.
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.
Farmer-based methods: farmers' diagrams for improving methods of experimental design in integrated farming systems
This paper describes a method of farmer participation which aims at more sustainable farming systems. In this method groups of farmers draw conceptual models on paper or on the ground using sticks, seeds, ash, or whatever is to hand to improve on-farm experimental design. Material flow models help farmers see how diverse enterprises can be integrated. Examples from India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Malawi are given. Farmers' drawings foster two-way communication between researchers and farmers. The participatory methods described can help many more farmers integrate agroforestry and aquaculture into their farming systems for better livelihoods and regenerated environments.
Farmer-first qualitive methods: farmers' diagrams for improving methods of experimental design in integrated farming systems
This paper presents examples of how farmers' diagrams put farmers' ideas and knowledge first in on-farm research priority setting, experimental layouts, and integrated farming-system design. Although they concern the integration of aquaculture and agriculture, these procedures are just as useful for those wanting to integrate agroforestry, livestock, or any new enterprise into the farming system. It advances the idea that farmers' diagrams can improve field methods in on-farm research. Qualitative methods are directed at putting farmers' ideas first, increasing the number of farmers able to participate, and orienting technology testing to farm-system levels. The paper illustrates how farmers' diagrams can help put farmers' ideas about on-farm research priorities, experimental layouts, and integrated-farming-system designs first.
In order to obtain detailed information about project participants's daily tasks, particularly in a gender context, 139 calenders were constructed for one specific day. The timeline focused on all the activities undertaken during that day, including agricultural work. Men did more agricultural work than women, although women worked harder overall. Of the 103 agricultural workers surveyed, the men spent more time with livestock, both were involved in nursery work, and men carried out slightly more work in the fields. The other projects studied were water and santitation, women's income generating projects and education. The gender difference in perception of agricultural tasks is noted, which relates closely to time spent talking, resting and in 'reproductive' chores.
It describes why and how wealth ranking was used in the early stages of a collaborative policy research and training project in Mongolia. The Policy Alternatives for Livestock Development project aims to facilitate the transition from a command to a market economy in the extensive livestock sector which dominates the Mongolian rural economy. The paper addresses the role and value of wealth ranking by card sorting in the research and training process, and its sequencing with other activities, rather than the technical details of the method itself. Wealth ranking served two principle purposes, one direct and one indirect. It enabled the team parsimoniously to target the use of other research methods in subsequent rounds of fieldwork by means of positive sampling. This paper contains sections on the following: the research context, the direct use of wealth ranking, indebtedness, availability of labour, and the indirect uses of wealth ranking.
As part of the UNICEF relief programme to Angola, a technical team carried out a ranking exercise upon which this paper reports. It took place between December 1991 and June 1992. Ranking is defined here as a process of priority ordering, in this case administrative areas in relation to the need for assistance. It used the knowledge that informants possessed from the country, at a national level, as well as from the provinces. No quantitative data were used. The ranking technique was expected to provide a rational framework to deal with time and resource constraints. The paper looks at the ranking process at a central and provincial level, as well as looking at the limitations and potential of the approach. It concludes that ranking was useful with regards to outlining the humanitarian issues in Angola; however, its efficiency depends very much on the choice of information source.
Instructions are given on how to form groups under the following headings: random (groups), pre-allocated, mixed, homogenous, self-selected, formed through moving on. Plus and minus points for each method of group formation are noted, as well as any "tips" around logistics.
In the West African nation of Togo mid-level health workers are being routinely trained to conduct focus-group interviews with mothers of children under five. The intent is to establish qualitative data bases that complement conventional survey data. The authors document the findings of a five-day training programme during which health workers collected data from 81 focus groups (324 mothers). Two unanticipated effects emerged: firstly that the focus group method democratized data gathering by forcing health workers out of their perceived roles as experts and teachers; secondly that by stimulating this shift in roles community competence was enhanced, thereby promoting collaborative programme planning by health workers and target villages. Evidence is given that focus-group discussions paved the way for highly successful education campaigns which dramatically increased child vaccination rates.
This article cautions against placing too much faith in pictures used in PRA. Since attributed meanings are informed by prior experience, it is not straightforward that illiterate people read pictures in the same way. Interpretations of pictures representing home grain storage with farmers, their wives and children were tested, and compared with drawings done by farmers. examples of 'misunderstandings' and differing interpretations are given. The paper concludes that pictures should be field tested, or better still, drawn by participants.
Report of participatory project identification and development, Shama, Western Region, Ghana, 14 - 23 April 1997
This report is a summary of a workshop held by the HelpAge Association, to enable its volunteer members facilitate a process with the older people they work with to identify and analyse their situation and decide on activities to some of their problems.
This short paper explores the potential for using theatre as "an effective means of both feeding back and following up some of the issues raised by RRA". Whereas initial RRA training is above all practical, follow-up work has tended to be carried out on paper by a planning team. Dramatisation can be used by communities to explore development opportunities. Two techniques are described : i) the RRA team creates a drama loosely based on themes expressed earlier by the community ii) a more structured workshop approach where participants dramatise the issues themselves. The advantages of theatre are that it is open-ended and minority groups are allowed to have a voice.