A multi-disciplinery team researching the food system linkages of sweet potatoes carried out four week-long rapid rural appraisals (RRAs) in the uplands of northern Philippines. The aim was to involve farmers in identifying needs and opportunities for research and development. It was found that sweet potato is grown mainly for subsistence and/or as feed for swine, and that all the work except for the fencing of plots is carried out by women. Sweet potato is an important substitute for rice, especially in times of food shortage. The information was then verified in a dialogue forum involving equal numbers of men and women farmers, extensionists, researchers and policymakers. During the dialogue forum all those involved identified the most suitable areas for sweet potato research, which were then ranked according to various criteria to establish priorities.
This study focuses on sustainability in relation to people's visions of the future in Tamil Nadu, South India. The farmers' environmental awareness and ideas about resource use, as well as their visions for the future were analyzed. Information was gathered using various methods including transect walks, semi-structured group and individual interviews, and mapping. The methods used and the findings of the study are presented and discussed. The villagers perceived that the present system of land use was neither environmentally nor socially sustainable. Suggestions are made of ways to encourage local people to integrate environmental concerns into their agricultural and social planning.
This paper discusses the importance of indigenous irrigation systems that have operated sustainably on indigenous technical knowledge that has ensured their longevity. Modern techniques have often ignored the importance of this knowledge and the role of such knowledge needs to be enhanced in the future.
The Myrada Experience: The interventions of a voluntary agency in the emergence and growth of peoples' institutions for sustained and equitable management of micro-watersheds.
In 1984, MYRADA and the Government of Karnataka, with backing from the Swiss Development Co-operation, started working together in Gulbarga on a project focusing on watershed management. This booklet discusses invaluable practical lessons learnt so far in the PIDOW project about supporting people to better manage their natural resources. The first part discusses general lessons: critical indicators of success (sustainability and equity), people's priorities, the role of people's institutions, and why focus on people's participation in watershed management. The next three sections discuss strategies used in the intervention. They are applicable to projects in which Government and NGO are co-intervenors and operational partners; parts can certainly be adopted by an NGO-only project. The three sections deal with the entry phase, planning phase and implementation phase. The emphasis throughout is on the role of the NGO. The booklet ends with a case study of a situation which differs from the Gulbarga experience and the consequences of such differences in the process which takes place.
Participatory impact monitoring of a soil and water conservation programme by farmers, extension volunteers and AKRSP
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme supports soil and water conservation work on private land, a priority identified by villagers, as part of a watershed management project. Villagers suggested that monitoring should look at: erosion controlled; land reclaimed; moisture retention in soil (as inferred from crop growth); and productivity and income generation. The article goes through the process of participatory impact monitoring, illustrated by real results. The benefits of such monitoring are listed, most of them related to increased farmer understanding of processes and control over further experimentation.
The paper outlines how the Uttar Pradesh Watershed Management Directorate has been undergoing a programmatic and organisational transformation, from a standard Indian public sector approach to rural development and environmental management to a new participatory approach. It discusses the issues involved in transforming the organisation's approach to initiating a participatory method of village level planning during the first phase of the Doon Valley Project in the Himalayan foothills. Some of the problems encountered in implementing the new approach are discussed. The constraints derive partly from the Government's monolithic traditions in rural development, and from its advocacy of particular technology packages, many of which have hardly changed since the 1970s. Comparisons with two other experiences in the Philippines and Sri Lanka illustrate the need for patience and perseverence.
This dvd looks at the process of using PRA methods to analyse and devise solutions to the environmental problems facing a hill village in rural Gujerat. Denuded hillsides, erosion of topsoil and dying forests and streams were identified as the main problems. The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) worked with the villagers to create an action plan to change the future of the village. The process began with social and resource mapping to assess the resources of the village (02). A transect walk of the area surrounding the village where the forests have disappeared suggested sites for afforestation (05). A species inventory was compiled to list the properties and uses of different types of trees, grasses and plants (08). Matrix scoring of trees by groups of women reflected their responsibilities for providing food and fodder (10). Tree matrix scoring by men, on the other hand, demonstrated the men's greater interest in the commercial properties of trees (15). During the ensuing negotiations agreement was reached by men and women on the tree species to be planted (16). In the next stage a rootstock analysis was carried out to identify what already existed in the forest and what needed to be planted (18). Wealth ranking was used to identify the poorest households, to whom the opportunity of paid work in the seedling nursery was offered (21). The nursery was then established, with the agreement of all the villagers, on common land. In the final stage, a treatment map was drawn to determine what should be planted where and why (23), and the site was prepared for planting (25). The seedlings were planted by the whole village during the monsoon (26). The villagers then took responsibility for guarding the site (28). The process demonstrates how rights and responsibility for the forest can be handed back from the forest department to the people (32).
This film records a week-end PRA training workshop run in the village of Kabripathar in Gujerat. It was hosted by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) as part of a series of international training workshops. The main economic activities in the village are agriculture and migrant labour, and the villagers are mostly poor and illiterate. The surrounding area has been deforested as a result of intensive cutting for industry and other population pressures (00). A reforestation programme was implemented by the state government but, because the villagers were not consulted, and anyway had different priorities, the scheme was unsuccessful (01). The PRA began with mapping and modelling to provide information about the village and its environment which would form the basis for other exercises (03). During a transect walk the trainees learned about the physical features and natural resources and how these are used by the villagers (04). A special feature of the AKRSP approach is the use of extension volunteers and master extension volunteers. These are local experts chosen by the village organisation for their ability to communicate and specialist skills, such as a knowledge of forestry (04). With their help AKRSP is able to work more effectively over a wider area. A village census was conducted with the women to give a social snapshot of the village (07). A rootstock assessment was carried out to count and record the number of trees according to species, and the results mapped out (09). The extension volunteers facilitated a dialogue to enable the villagers to assess needs, identify problems and set priorities (10) AKRSP was then able to extend financial, technical and managerial support (12). A planning stage was added to the PRA to assess the financial aspects and impact of the project (13). On the second day the results of the tree ranking were presented and a wealth ranking was carried out (14). The PRA training concluded with a seasonality analysis of household livelihoods and illness (14).
Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA) is an NGO working in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu in south India (01). This video records a four-day PRA run by ASA which focused on the watershed in two villages, and also acted as a training workshop for NGO activists (03). During the first day of the workshop time lines and maps were drawn to illustrate the social composition and health aspects of the village (05). The findings of each group were presented to the other villagers at the end of the day so the accuracy of the information could be cross-checked (09). The second day focused on seasonal calendars (11), matrix ranking (15), wealth ranking (16), venn (or chapati) diagrams (18) and trend analysis (19). On the third day the physical features of the village were investigated through transects and models of the watershed (20). A land use capability map was then prepared which proposed land use options and land and water management practices (21). The last day focused on identifying problems and solutions. Steep slopes, lack of rainwater percolation, landslides and soil erosion emerged as some of the problems. Solutions included tree planting and water and soil conservation (22). A budget was then worked out with local, government and donor agency contributions. The exercise generated information and ideas with the villagers as resource persons, and demonstrated their capacity to plan and budget for themselves (23).
Divided into 4 regional and one worldwide section, this bibliography includes a wealth of material on all aspects of PRA. The first section, on Nepal, includes a number of titles in Nepali and includes publications by local organisations and Nepalese branches of international ones, as well as work within Nepal carried out by other agencies and individuals. For Nepal, there is a focus on forestry issues. In all sections, the subject matter covered ranges from forestry, agriculture, methodology, health, training, gender, women, evaluation, etc. The titles within each regional section are not ordered, but each item is described systematically. Articles are defined as thoeretical or practical, by region, by subject matter, classification, tools, a summary and key words.
Outlines the process of preparing a village resource management plan in Sri Lanka. The villagers used mapping, seasonal calendars, matrix ranking and chapati diagramming to analyze their situation and identify problems and solutions. The exercise was part of a PRA training programme for civil servants from five government departments, many of whom found it very rewarding and demonstrated a strong commitment to the participatory planning approach.
This report is of an RRA training workshop which was carried out in one of the pilot sites of the Bhutan-German Integrated Forest Management Project in Wangdi District, Bhutan, in 1995. The first part of the report outlines the purpose and approach of the different methods, and how they were used in the field. They included mapping, transects, semi-structured interviewing and focus group interviews, seasonal calendars, tree ranking, institutional diagramming, wealth/well-being ranking, 'vision-drawing' by children, and problem ranking. The results were then presented at a feedback meeting with municipality representatives. The second part of the report presents the findings of the RRA.
The North Western Dry Zone Participatory Development Project in Sri Lanka attempts to introduce a participatory approach in all stages of programme planning and implementation. This booklet on user's guidelines on PRA techniques has been developed using the recent experience of PRA conducted in the project area. Brief guidelines are given on how to use the following techniques: mapping and modelling, seasonal analysis, wealth ranking, venn diagrams, matrix scoring and ranking, transects, change and trend diagrams, and semi-structured interviews. Participatory village resource management planning is also briefly discussed.
Linking Government policies and programs with community resource management systems : what is working and what is not?
Agenda of 5th Forest Network Meeting.
They can do it : part 1 : field testing a framework of participatory planning in six villages for participatory forest management program.
This document reports on a participatory process developed for community forestry management planning in Kerala.
A framework which consists of entry, preparatory and planning stages is outlined. For each of the phases the objective is outlined, the tasks to be carried out detailed step by step and the desired end result set out. Results and experiences from piloting this framework are documented. Finally, a three stage framework for participatory implementation of the plans developed is suggested.