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.
In order to obtain detailed information about project participants's daily tasks, particularly in a gender context, 139 calenders were constructed for one specific day. The timeline focused on all the activities undertaken during that day, including agricultural work. Men did more agricultural work than women, although women worked harder overall. Of the 103 agricultural workers surveyed, the men spent more time with livestock, both were involved in nursery work, and men carried out slightly more work in the fields. The other projects studied were water and santitation, women's income generating projects and education. The gender difference in perception of agricultural tasks is noted, which relates closely to time spent talking, resting and in 'reproductive' chores.
Farmer Participatory Research in North Omo, Ethiopia: report of a training course held in Rapid Rural Appraisal.
This report from a 12 day Farm Africa training exercise concentrates on two field based case studies of farmer participatory research, which identify major farmer constraints and opportunities for research. Background to the training structure and PRA methodologies is given only in the appendices. Work in the two field sites was assisted by NGOs currently active in those areas. For each case study, a brief description of the sequence and objective of tools used is given, with numerous diagrams and details of findings. There were large quantities of information generated about each location, both in terms of social aspects and land use, as well as perceptions on agricultural issues. Numerous rankings were conducted, which dealt with all aspects of crops and fodder. Several constraints were identified, along with options for farmer participatory research and experimentation.
This is the report of a study designed to reach some broad conclusions about social, economic and cultural change in rural and peri-urban communities of mainland Tanzania. It draws on previous accounts and on group interviews and other RRA methods. Substantive findings concern the responses of members of rural communities to the process of economic liberalisation and their reception of constitutional reforms leading to the adoption of a multi-party political system. Regarding methodology, the study confirmed the value of combining existing literature with fresh fieldwork, although problems of generating generalisable conclusions from location-specific material are acknowledged. Focus-groups were found to be particularly useful, when combined with the possibility of drawing on the long-term field experience of researchers.
Community Participation in Planning Resource Utilisation from within a National Park: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
The Ugandan national parks service is setting a strategy of multiple use within its parks, with community participation in the management of forest areas. The aim is to allow harvesting of non- timber forest products in a sustainable manner. 7 'pilot' communities have been identified, and PRA is to used in these areas to undertake JFM. Community committees have been set up, although they consist mostly of local leaders. A number of historical and visual techniques attempted in order to promote small and large group discussions, and collaborative forest management agreements. Both the community and the national parks board appear to be happy with the progress so far.
The article is a concise explanation and illustration of the use of RRA, especially focusing on livestock related issues such as disease, production, marketing etc. It suggests possible techniques to be employed in the investigation of these issues.
Conserving resources and increasing production : using participatory tools to monitor and evaluate community-based resource management practices.
This case study presents examples of field uses of participatory tools for monitoring and evaluations of community-based resource management. The study is based on the premise that analytical tools developed through the rapid and participatory appraisal process (PRA) have applicability for monitoring and evaluation. It further builds from the assumption that by helping local communities select and monitor indicators, devise and record baseline data systems, there is a greater likelihood that local projects will increase sustainability, productivity, and transparency. Data is derived from field work carried out in 1996 in three communities in Kenya. Findings of the study concluded that participatory methods can help identify community-based indicators to measure impacts of resource management effectively and at low cost, which can have meaning both for the local community as well as for regional/national policy and decision makers (such as NGOs or government units). A summary of indicators used in all three communities is provided, including the tools used, where and how they were applied, and their effectiveness. The study further concluded that participatory methods were useful in developing effective baseline data which may be used by the community to inform district and regional policy and planning staff about more effective ways of implementing local development. The study highlights the need for building and strengthening two way linkages of information based on partnerships between local and national institutions, viewed as essential for achieving sustainability in livelihood production and resource conservation. Final sections discuss the factors that seem most influential in the adoption of resource management practices, and identify key areas for future research.
This video explores numerous issues surrounding participatory poverty assessments (PPAs), using the example of a PPA in Tanzania. A key issue is the identification of the poor, about which appropriate information is needed to inform government policy. In contrast to traditional surveys of income-poverty, the PPA provides a way to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor and to enable this perspective to influence policy. The importance of the involvement of policy makers in the PPA is stressed at several points in the video. This involvement contributed to chantes in attitudes to the poor within government and a recognition of the need for a corresponding change in government development tactics. The findings of the PPA were presented at policy workshops and contributed to changes in thinking about the nature and characteristics of poverty in Tanzania, as well as more specific policy reforms. The PPA primarily used PRA methods and visual materials developed by local artists in the PPA. The methods shown include, mapping, discussion of well-being, wealth ranking with villagers and district officials, 'story with a gap' and seasonality analysis. Among the highlighted findings of the PPA are that: indicators of poverty are location specific; intangible indicators of deprivation are important; strong gender differences exist in the prioritisation of problems; the poor adapt to seasonality through complex coping strategies. The PPA also revealed that participatory methods could be used to construct time series price data for rural Tanzania, which had not previously existed. The links between the PPA's findings regarding the causes of poverty and the implications for policy are highlighted, including access to land, agricultural policy, lack of production inputs, environmental degradation and access to credit and savings.
Mbarara University of science and technology community based health care programme : picking the pieces.
This article traces the history and progress of the Community Based Health Care Programme initiated by the Mbarara University Faculty of Medicine in 1992. In the article students reflect on their experiences of the programme and reveal how their attitudes towards PRA and working with communities changed over time as a result.