This video discusses to activities and outputs which aim to bring people together within a locality and enable them to take action. Village appraisals are surveys done by locals, often resulting in a booklet, which lists physical and social resources, to be used in negotiation over planning and in problem solving (01). They provide information for village planning and give villagers the chance to discuss what they want (03). Two examples show how village appraisals were used in the UK: one resulted in specific recommendations being presented to local government about transport and infrastructure, and led to change in the attitude of stakeholders to new developments (03-06); another enabled a village to approach local government and make demands, giving more hope to villagers (07-10). Parish maps show what resources are valued in a community. In one example this was done so that there was less chance that valued resources would be destroyed (10-14). Another example shows how five villages came together to raise awareness about natural conservation areas and footpaths (14-16).
Soft-Systems Methodology for Action Research: The Role of a College Farm in an Agricultural Education Institution
This paper concerns the use of action research within a research institute both to meet immediate objectives of the staff and to learn about the research methodology. In a situation characterised by decreased funding and curriculum reform based on the concepts of experiential learning, the Checkland soft-systems methodology was adopted to manage a change in the role of university farms using a consensus approach. Two outcomes of the research process were (i) improvement in financial returns in the farms, a better working climate and greater use of farms in experiential education, and (ii) the researchers learned about the methodology and how it is able to accommodate purposeful behaviour and issues of power. Following description of the initial situation, the paper outlines the steps involved in applying the soft-systems methodology to that situation.
This report describes an exploratory RRA conducted in Forbes Shire, NSW, Australia. Producers were interviewed and the information analysed by a multidisciplinary team. The report includes descriptions of the farming systems in the area; a discussion of problems identified; some general recommendations for action available to the research institute which carried out the survey; and a recommendation to set up a collaborative on-farm research programme.
The first RRA was carried out in Australia in 1988 with the aim of "forging closer links between researchers and farmers, utilising farmers' expertise and determining possibilities for future agronomic research in the area". It was also hoped to evaluate RRA as a "problem identification method in a developed country context". The RRA was carried out in two phases (exploratory and topical) with two teams of researchers from agricultural and social science backgrounds. The six most frequent problems, identified by producers and research team separately, are listed and a summary of the "action strategies" that were decided upon. Advantages of RRA over conventional survey methodologies included raising the profile of the School of Crop Sciences (who initiated the RRA exercise) in the Shire. The findings also supported the original assumption that "many of the problems that have been evident in developing countries are also evident in developed countries".
The author analyses maps both as a metaphor for knowledge and also as a major means of knowledge representation. The book is designed to exercise the skills of visualisation and visual analysis, which the author says are essential to any understanding of the basic theoretical issues of perception and cognition. The author considers maps as embodying shared examples of practice and believes that all maps have a "local, contingent and indexical character intimately tied to human purposes and action." While the book does not mention PRA or RRA in any context, it could serve as useful background reading before undertaking any mapping exercises or training.
This report presents the results of a village appraisal questionnaire conducted in three parishes in northern England. The questionnaire addressed education, transport, housing, recreation, services and general issues in the communities. The tabulated responses to the questions on local peopleÆs opinions on these issues are presented. There are also short discussions of particular issues such as road safety, litter etc., and of what should be done.
This book presents a participative action model to assist groups in developing the organisational, analytical and management skills required for community action to achieve sustainable use of land and water resources at the local level. Groups using this book are expected to develop participatory mechanisms for planning and implementing land and water management projects. It is aimed at developing self-learning skills by community leaders, extension officers and students in Australia. The contents are divided into short learning units in which outlines of theories, concepts and principles are followed by personal and group activities. The organisation of chapters follows the pattern of group development. It explains the philosophy of participative action in land care (Ch. 2); and discusses learning to work together, development of leadership skills and defining of roles and responsibilities (Chs. 3-5). The next eight chapters are on 'how to' aspects of group functioning: running a meeting, organising activities, planning, motivating oneself and others, effective communication, finding human and financial resources for projects. The last two chapters discuss how to keep momentum going and how to manage conflicts that accompany change.
This chapter from a guide to participatory land and water resource management, designed for community leaders and extension officers in Australia, discusses participatory planning for community action. Its main points are: the planning process consists of situational analysis, goal-setting, selection of solutions, development of implementation plans and monitoring and evaluation; seven steps are given to provide understanding of institutional planning undertaken by various agencies in the district; eight steps work through community planning by developing managerial skills; and eight techniques for improving participatory planning are described in detail. The chapter is written in a comprehensible and interactive style.
The Highlander Center, a non-profit adult education centre in Tennessee, is working in three rural communities where unemployment has been growing. Their role is "not to create jobs or development, but to help the community undertake a process of education and participatory research through which they could assess their own situation, define and implement strategies for themselves". This article describes briefly the methods used, such as oral histories, community mapping and drawings, videos and community theatre.
The Meadowell Estate in North Tyneside was described as a "disaster area, top of the league for crime, vandalism, drug abuse and despair". A facilitator was brought in by the Department of the Environment to help Meadowell residents to evolve their own Plan of Action and to develop the skills they needed. This report describes the whole process of community planning and implementation from 1988 - 91. The participatory methods used are described in detail and examples of materials illustrated. House-to-house surveys using Neighbourhood Talent sheets revealed human resources available locally, then groups ranked their suggested projects in priority using cards. A "Planning for Real" pack took groups through the stages of planning, assessing training needs and finding financial resources. The initial result was a 78% drop in crime and many "self-propelled" community projects. Other resident groups demanded similar planning exercises. A "working relationship between Us and Them (the council)" has now been established, suggesting benefits will be sustained in the long term.
The Highlander Center, a non-profit adult education centre in Tennessee, USA, offers night classes to help poor communities "undertake a process of education and participatory research through which they could assess their own situation, define and implement strategies for themselves." This article describes the methods used, such as oral histories, community surveys, community mapping and community theatre. A series of publications available from the Highlander gives more details of these methods.
This report presents the results of a village appraisal questionnaire conducted in a community in northern England. The questionnaire addressed health, education, elderly, transport, housing, services, employment and village life issues in the community. The tabulated responses to the questions on local people's opinions on these issues are presented. There are also short discussions of particular issues such as road safety, litter etc., and of what should be done.
This brochure describes how to do village appraisals in twelve sequenced steps. The methodology and material is aimed at rural communities in the UK. Such appraisals are aimed at describing local resources and facilities, assessing the options for achieving resources currently not possessed, and planning for the future. Village appraisals can involve parish councils and other local organisations such as schools, Women's Institutes etc. Everyone's opinion can be taken into account through this simple survey technique. A computer programme helps users choose questions from a menu, print a questionnaire and analyse replies.
These papers introduce an initiative by Common Ground in the UK to assist communities to value their surroundings, whether they are rare or not, by producing parish maps and displaying them in prominent places. These articles explain the rationale, and describe the process of initiating a map through community efforts to elicit different viewpoints and to display them locally. Several examples are presented.