The author describes problems encountered while supervising an on-farm research project in S.W. Nigeria. Her task of "testing" alley farming under field conditions was made particularly difficult as there was no word to describe "alley" in the local language. She devised solutions to these communication problems by involving a primary school in a drama production called the "fertiliser bush". Dialogue is given to show how concepts, such as poor production related to soil quality, could be put across easily through theatre.
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.
The methodology recommended by this document builds on rapid rural appraisal techniques. The author develops a framework for more effective analysis and design of community forestry activities. First, the framework analyses tenure issues within three broad tenure types: the holding, the commons, and the forest reserve. Second it examines, from the point of view of the household, the opportunities for tree planting and use under each of these three tenure systems. While it is recognised that there are obvious limits to the use of the rapid appraisal methodology, it should be possible to significantly reduce related design problems in projects through the procedures suggested in the publication. The author's knowledge of a forestry project in the Arusha region of Tanzania provides examples.
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.
Report from a community woodland resource management project run by ENDA (Environment and Development Activities), Zimbabwe. A workshop was held to identify key concerns, their solutions and any constraints which were then all worked into a piece of theatre which would expose conflict over trees. The play was then used to stimulate discussion in a community workshop. Community members were given questions to discuss and dramatise as short sketches. Through this process, participants identified more closely with the issues raised and were more motivated to tackle them. Minimal external direction was needed for this workshop.
Participatory Evaluation Process [PEP] is an "approach to development" which has been employed in some World Vision [WV] international offices during much of the 1980s. In this paper the main objectives of PEP are summarised. These are; 1. To involve beneficiaries in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluating programmes 2. To empower communities 3. to promote an environment of mutual trust and respect among community members. The remainder of the paper is devoted to a stage by stage description of the PEP process. These include; Community description, Information gathering - or "problem focus", Problem analysis, and decision making. This is a slightly outdated paper which makes a few of the 'classic errors' - for example, in terms of who actually analyses, lists and represents the data - but is included here, as another common example of a PE approach.
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.
Article focuses on the lowest-income groups of Khartoum and their struggle to find shelter in the city. After giving an overview of housing conditions and the ways in which poorer groups find accommodation, the author describes the legal and illegal housing submarkets. He argues that understanding these is essential in order to change housing and living conditions. Discussion then turns to government attitudes toward housing problems, and the description of the development of two low-income housing areas in Khartoum. Very little emphasis is placed on participation and nowhere is PRA or RRA methodology mentioned. In the conclusions, the author states that community participation is a realistic alternative to current policies, and that low-income groups have used it successfully for a long time. The author argues that limited public resources could be best put toward supporting community-based organisations who work to improve infrastructure and basic services.
Participatory Rapid Rural Appraisal in Wollo: Peasant Association Planning for Natural Resource Management.
The first section of this report comprises an introduction to the area in relation to its natural resources with particular emphasis on trees, and perceptions of trees by residents. The background to, and use of R/PRA is discussed, in the context of a workshop held on focusing on participation and trees. The methods used in RRA are discussed and a checklist of important issues given. In example case studies, local attitudes towards woodlands, private and communal tree planting, trees on arable lands, firewood and environmental problems were detailed, and linked to livestock and cropping constraints. From the R/PRA, a discussion of different problems and potential solutions was encouraged, and 'best bet' project actions worked out, although these were formulated away from the field, and taken back for further discussion. The report concludes with an evaluation of the workshop and the methodolgy (generally favourable comments although problems of expectation-raising and excessive focus on trees were mentioned). There was a felt need for further training and follow-up work.
This paper describes experiences in applying RRA techniques and principles to identify rehabilitation requirements of small irrigation systems in Zimbabwe. The authors conclude that the methodology was appropiate given that the schemes were small. Valuable aspects of using a RRA methodology were judged to be self-imposed discipline, the use of checklists, careful organisation and the use of existing information before visiting the schemes.
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.