It draws on the experience of the author with regard to socio-economic surveys carried out in Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa. It considers problems in sampling, farmers' responses, the interview situation, survey staff, and various problems with regard to recording accuracy and data processing. The paper concludes by noting 20 key aspects that should be taken into account when designing surveys. These include: (1) careful selection and training of staff; (2) the importance of learning the farming systems in advance; (3) where possible to choose farmers for whom the key parameters are known from other sources; (4) utilize at least one full time supervisor resident in the survey area with independent transport; and (5) allow two thirds of the total period for activities other than the field survey, ie. data processing.
It looks at the principles and the methodology employed on a research project in northern Nigeria, which involved the collection of both farm management and nutritional data. The study was a wide ranging one; as such clear decisions about the type of data to be collected was made on the basis of time costs. The use of registered-non registered, continuous - one point and data cores are described and discussed. From these follow the means of sample stratification using these principles. Some ideas for improving RRA are suggested.
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 paper follows from the recognition that meeting food needs requires that women's roles in production and food systems are taken into account. International agricultural research centres have paid little attention to the demands of domestic post-harvest technologies, being given a low priority in the determination of research agenda. Gender-specific varietal preferences for seed or stock selection have also been ignored. In addition to methodological weaknesses built into current research programming, insufficient attention has been paid to the institutional barriers which inhibit the exchange of experience and information between women and agricultural researchers and extension agents. The paper begins by suggesting why gender matters. The second section discusses seed technology and gender issues. The third section raises questions of methodology (discussing socio-economic research, farming systems research and policy research). [This section may be of particular interest to PRA collection users]. Further sections discuss research-extension linkages, and the measurement of inputs. The final three sections are case studies of the impact of technical change in agriculture on women in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Contains sections on the following: what is wealth ranking; why is wealth ranking needed; background work needed before carrying out wealth ranking; actual informant ranking; computing the actual score and grouping; an example of wealth ranking from Maasailand, Kenya, and from Meru district, Kenya; and finally, gives some suggested further reading. An appendix contains a check-list to help those wishing to carry out a wealth ranking exercise.
The paper discusses an experiment with a method of participatory research which was carried out during two research projects in Kenya Maasailand in the period 1976-1979. One project concerned the impact of drought on the people of Kajiado District; the other was an evaluation of Kenya's Foot and Mouth Disease Control Programme. The study shows that under a particularly favourable set of circumstances, significant interaction between the research team and the rural community was possible. However, an attempt to replicate the research approach in a different area under different circumstances proved an abject failure.
The Agro-Forestry Project in Burkina Faso: An Analysis of Popular Participation in Soil and Water Conservation
This is a brief summary of the well-known Projet Agro-Forestier (PAF) in Burkina Faso, which has had much success promoting rock bunds as a soil and water conservation and harvesting method. One reason for success is considered to be the strong involvement of farmers in the design and building of the bunds, which are basically an improvement of a traditional technique. Another factor is the strength of the bunds. The fact that a few women have also been trained is mentioned, but also that more attention should be given to them considering their important role in agriculture.
The report, written for an Arid Lands Workshop, very briefly discusses the main issues in SWC in sub-Saharan Africa. A list of "do's" for participatory soil and water conservation are then briefly discussed, which are mostly to do with the organisational side of SWC, rather than the technical. A short analysis is made of the character of Oxfam-funded SWC projects which concludes that the Oxfam projects are innovative and successful at getting the local population involved when compared to other such projects in the area. Four short case studies, from Burkina Faso, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, end the report.
This book concerns wealth ranking and is useful because it considers the process in detail from questions about why wealth ranking is needed and what it can be used for, to an excellent section on preparatory work needed before wealth ranking can be carried out, informant ranking and converting qualitative to quantitative data by using computer scoring. It concludes with a case study of a wealth ranking exercise with Masaai people in Kenya. There is a list of further suggested reading and an excellent checklist of issues that need to be considered when a wealth ranking exercise is carried out.
Using Rapid Rural Appraisal for Project Identification. Report on a training exercise in Jamare local government area, Bauchi State, Northern Nigeria
A pilot course on project identification was run for 24 heads of local government departments in several states in Northern Nigeria. The first course was based on fieldwork and focussed on applying RRA techniques for the purpose of project identification. This report evaluates the training programme from a methodological perspective, pointing out mistakes that were made, such as using a questionnaire instead of a checklist. The analysis also shows the importance of working out participants' specific training needs and developing a model to meet these. PRA activities are not described, but some findings are given
This paper examines the application of Rapid Rural Appraisal techniques to assess the causes, dimensions and characteristics of food insecurity. A procedure referred to as a Rapid Food Security Assessment (RFSA) was carried out during November 1989 in nine communities in North Sudan using a methodology based on the 'Sondeo' approach to RRA. Interviews were carried out with representative households in the various communities using a checklist as the basis for an unstructured conversation. Although the surveys did not use wealth ranking, an effort was made to understand social stratification by asking villagers to estimate what proportion of different types of households made up the villages. More conventional data from markets was also used. The RFSA confirmed that in years with poor rainfall, the landless are doubly affected as wages fall and food prices rise. This has led to recommendations about income support through public works and grain price stabilisation.
Discusses an ENDA project working on community woodlands, where community theatre was used to stimulate discussion on the local forest resource. Group discussions focused on the woodlands, trees and changes in the forest over time. There was agreement that there were few trees, and that they were declining in number, due to drought, overpopulation and mismanagement. Constraints and potential solutions were identified. There were few gender differences in awareness. The play was created from the key issues identified by these small group discussions by improvisation of scenes in the home, field and forest. It was felt that these plays were interesting and constructive, and that the momentum came from within the community with little external direction needed, and community "ownership" of the theatre.
The author had to field test alley cropping in Nigeria with limited-resource farmers. There was much resistance to a concept which did not translate well into any local language, thereby creating confusion. Alley cropping also promoted tree planting when local practice required clearing them; women were especially reluctant to plant trees on their land as it could lead to repatriation of their land by their men. Together with several villagers and teachers, the author came up with a play about the 'Fertiliser Bush' which could be performed by community members. The fertilizer idea was locally well- understood and the use of drama was traditionally respected and enjoyed.