This paper describes the use of RRA to explore environmental and economic change over a period of twenty years as a result of dam building, within the Hadejia-Jama'are floodplain. The study was conducted in 27 sample villages and comprised of semi-structured interviews and field visits to examine villagers perceptions of changes in patterns of flooding and river flows, with timing determined using key events in Nigerian history. Ranking and scoring of activities before and after the construction of the dam were used to examine economic changes. The methods used allowed spatial patterns of economic and environmental change to be mapped and revealed significant differences between villages, for an area which had previously been considered homogenous. The potential of RRA to be applied in such a manner demonstrates its potential for planning on a regional scale.