The Gamba Protected Areas Complex (GPAC) in Gabon is an Integrated Conservation and Development Project designed to conserve ecosystems in the Guinea-Congo Basin and promote sustainable natural resource development. This article presents a socioeconomic survey undertaken by members of the local community using PRA techniques. The objectives of this survey were to determine the boundaries of terroirs villageois (buffer zones within which sustainable use of natural resources would be permitted), gather qualitative and quantitative information on the life of rural communities living in this area and develop the rapport needed for participatory management. The article outlines some of the PRA tools used aswell as emphasising the need to allow time to build rapport and trust within communities. It highlights the importance of using both qualitative and quantitative approaches in the Gamaba Complex through two examples, firstly, geographic positioning and delimiting of terroirs villageois and secondly, measuring damage caused by elephants to food crops.
This four-part video aims to merge recent developments in PRA with existing conceptual frameworks on gender to provide a practical and thorough approach to gender analysis in natural resource management. It is intended as a training tool to enable fieldworkers to understand and incorporate gender issues in their work. The first section gives a summary of the analytical framework subsequently illustrated by three case studies. It is structured as a series of short themed segments (2-10 mins) which allow trainers to select what suits their specific training objectives and to stimulate discussion on related topics. The trainers' guide provides extensive suggestions for the use of each segment (34 mins). The following sections present three case studies from different cultural and environmental contexts. They demonstrate several PRA methods in detail and can be used in a training context as fieldwork examples, or for more in-depth exercises. The case studies are accompanied by hand-outs in the trainer's guide. The first case study looks at the use of coastal mangroves and other natural resources by women and men in two neighbourhoods near Karachi, Pakistan. The methods demonstrated include natural and social resource mapping, venn diagrams, a matrix of income sources, a pie diagram of fuel use, and a matrix of fuelwood types (28 mins). The second study of natural resource use and management issues in two villages in Burkina Faso shows seasonal calendars, transects, a matrix of land-use types, natural and social resource mapping, and a flow diagram (28 mins). The third case study explores biodiversity in forests and agriculture, historical change, and land use and management issues in Brazil. It demonstrates the use of seasonal calendars, transects, flow diagrams on deforestation and the impact of medicinal plants on local work, and a matrix of maize varieties (28 mins).
This paper focuses on the Tana Beles area in Gojam, Ethiopia, where in the mid-1980s almost 80,000 people were resettled from different parts of the country. Many of the settlers experienced severe difficulties in adapting to the new environment . These difficulties, combined with the implementation of a large-sc ale infrastructure project with a very top-down approach, resulted in a strong material and psychological dependency on external aid and assistance. Following the suspension in 1991 of all foreign projects in the area, the challenge has been to enhance the transition from emergency aid to self-reliant and self-sufficient development. The paper describes how PRA techniques were used to explore general adjustment problems and constraints, needs and priorities, as well as the expectationsand aspirations of the settlers. It was found that 'in this specific context of general upheaval, PRA represents a particularly useful approach to understand how people react to such disruption and develop new coping strategies'. Furthermore, in development projects characterized by 'project dependency' PRA introduces a valuable external stimulus favouring self-awareness and a crucial means for encouraging people to become self-reliant.
Describes how storytelling was used during a PRA training course in Cameroon. The stories provided a useful entry point for discussion on issues such as nature conservation. The paper concludes that storytelling can be an appropriate way of initiating a dialogue with local people on potentially conflictual issues.
A participatory methodology for community-based land and resource use planning: a case study from Tanzania
This paper provides a brief account of a participatory methodology used in the development of land and resource use plans in Tanzania's rift valley. In recent years population pressure has led to increasing land and resource use conflict between the three groups - agriculturalists, pastoralists and hunter-gatherers - who inhabit the area. A participatory approach was used to provide an understanding of the complex issues involved and to build trust and cooperation between the different groups. Mapping, transects, seasonal diagramming, semi-structured and open interviewing were used in the process of involving stakeholder groups in developing land and resource use plans for their village territory.
Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) was used to assess people's perceptions of the benefits and difficulties of their life near Mole National Park in northern Ghana. PRA was frequently the only approach acceptable to villagers biased by years of mistrust and conflict with the Ghanaian Department of Game and Wildlife (GWD). The paper briefly recounts the methods used and problems encountered, the most significant of which was the suspicion and antagonism towards GWD by the villagers. Reviewing some of the lessons learned, the paper concludes that 'if obtaining community participation is crucial to ensuring the sustainability of protected areas then PRA must be viewed as an important component of any conservation approach'.
This is a newsletter which describes the formation of the Midnet PRA group and includes a number of very short articles and thoughts on practitioners experiences with PRA in Southern Africa. Experiences shared include working with young people, in education, with periurban communities, for catchment management and for land reform. The methods used are discussed with details of venn diagrammes for community organisation, historical time lines. There are reports from trainings in Namaqualand and Namibia. The thoughts that emerged from evaluation/ reflection and planning meetings included the ideas of rapid learning and sharing and the need for more training. The final article summarises the PRA and gender workshop held at IIED in December 1993.