PRA and theatre for development in Southern India.
This video looks at some of problems associated with questionnaire surveys and suggests that PRA methods provide an alternative way of understanding the situation and needs of a community. It documents the process of carrying out a one-day PRA with a rural community in Bangladesh. Questionnaire surveys do not always yield accurate information and are often time-consuming for respondents (03). Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is an alternative approach which attempts to overcome these problems (05). Being taught new activities by the villagers is one way of establishing a rapport between the outsiders and the community (06). The methods used during the PRA include transect walks to record the physical features of the village (08), mapping (10), modelling (13), mobility mapping (16), seasonality calendars (16), venn (or chapati) diagrams (17), group discussions about the changes which have taken place in the village in the last 20 years (17), matrix ranking (18), and sharing and observing indigenous practices eg the multi-cropping system (22). The maps, matrices and graphs were presented to the rest of the village to get feedback and cross-check for accuracy (23). Finally, the day's findings were discussed by the team (24).
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).
The video documents a three-day PRA exercise which was carried out by Activists for Social Allternatives (ASA) with village women in Tamil Nadu, India. The PRA focused specifically on issues relating to women, and also acted as a training exercise for NGO representatives. The exercise began with a discussion of the participant's expectations of the workshop (02). They then divided into four groups to do family profiles, village mapping, village modelling and time-lines, each with a focus on women (03). In the family profiles the status of different generations of women in individual families were investigated. It was found that accross all castes and generations women lacked education and were excluded from decision-making and participation in common issues (05). Maps and models were made of the village and details about the marital, health and family status of women were then added before being transferred onto charts (06). The time-line showed the main events which had occurred in the village during the last 30 years, with a particular focus on the status of women (09). The day ended with group presentation and evaluation of the day's activities (10). On the second day the groups did wealth ranking (12), seasonality diagrams (14), and livelihoods (15). During the final day the women produced venn (or chapati) diagrams and a linkage chart (17). In their discussions the different groups identified similar problems, solutions and opportunities. The women realised their problems were not unique and recognised the importance of solidarity and working together (18).
This document is a report of a workshop held by NEPAN. The role of communication in the development process was discussed and also the experiences of information services adopted by individual members of NEPAN and member organisations. These discussions were then used as the basis for developing appropriate communication strategies for NEPAN.
Despite many initiatives to assure food access, and growing economies, high levels of undernutrition persist in much of Asia. In this Working Paper Robert Chambers and Gregor von Medeazza explore the increasing evidence that this is due to the continuing high incidence open defecation (OD), combined with population density, which has mulitiple debilitating outcomes. With the focus on diarrhoea-related ill health, there has been a relative neglect of other often subclinical and continuously debilitating faecally-transmitted infections (FTIs) including environmental enteropathy (EE), other intestinal infections, and parasites. The authors show how institutional, psychological and professional factors interact to perpetuate a blind spot to understanding that OD affects health in many different ways and is a key factor in tackling undernutrition.
The report describes a two-and-a-half day workshop on PRA and poverty alleviation in Mongolia. The workshop focused on issues of local poverty and introduced PRA techniques as a means to identifying causes and potential solutions. It also provided a discussion forum for the exchange of ideas between sum officials, bag governors, representatives of herders and sum centre poor, and outsiders. A brief introduction to participation and PRA and its context in Mongolia was followed by a poverty analysis exercise to establish the local situation. Various PRA techniques were introduced - semi-structured interviewing, mapping, matrix scoring, seasonal calendars and daily activities. The final sessions introduced the SWOT analysis and planning methodology (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to bring the focus from general analysis to planning.
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 lengthy and detailed document represents a summarised report of the second Internal Evaluation of an ongoing Fourth phase implementation of the above named project in Bangladesh. The objective of this evaluation was both to assess the progress
of the project and to test some new methodological approaches that had been applied in order to further strengthen grassroots participation. The methods utilised were mostly PRA and they were applied at the beneficiary level. The emphasis was laid on the potentials of the participants to evaluate the present situation and outline realistic future options. The document is split into six major chapters which in turn outline the Terms of Reference, a discussion of the principles of PRA and a short introduction to the methods applied. Chapter three presents the executive summary which leads to a more extensive discussion of the findings in Chapter four. The observers comments and recommendations are used to draw some conclusions applicable for the on-going fourth phase implementation and for the planning of a fifth phase. The last chapter includes some appendices of the basic orientation and
results from the evaluation. A bibliography is added at the back.