This is a write up of a situational analysis using participatory rural appraisal methods, carried out in Kistagiri village, Andhra Pradesh, India. The objective of the analysis was to gain an understanding of the decision-making process of farmers in the matter of fodder selection for large cattle. It consisted of three stages: (1) farmers were asked to indicate the fodder they used; (2) fodder was presented in pairs, and farmers asked to select the better; and (3) a list drawn-up of various fodder characteristics and qualities, which were then matched against the various fodder under analysis. Finally, conclusions are drawn from the process.
This paper argues that although farmer participation in agricultural research has yielded valuable results, it does not constitute a new direction for agricultural research; it does not provide a basis for significant reorientation. Similarly, methodological innovations in participatory research add to the reportoire of techniques available for adaptive research but contribute to, rather than replace, principles that have been developed for more conventional research. The main concern expressed by the book is that farmer participation raises but does not solve three key issues: the development of agricultural technology for diverse conditions; the problem of sustainable resource management; and the need for better targeting of research towards resource-poor farmers.
The appendix to this report gives "a brief introduction to the methods of data and information collection that are appropriate to both preparation and evaluation of smallholder projects". The concepts and approach of RRA is briefly described as one of the methods. Numbered steps give useful tips for preparation of research under headings transport, accommodation, timing, interpreter.
Using Rapid Rural Appraisal for Project Identification. Report on a training exercise in Jamare local government area, Bauchi State, Northern Nigeria
A pilot course on project identification was run for 24 heads of local government departments in several states in Northern Nigeria. The first course was based on fieldwork and focussed on applying RRA techniques for the purpose of project identification. This report evaluates the training programme from a methodological perspective, pointing out mistakes that were made, such as using a questionnaire instead of a checklist. The analysis also shows the importance of working out participants' specific training needs and developing a model to meet these. PRA activities are not described, but some findings are given
Developed from an "experiential learning exercise" in Agro-ecosystem mapping held at Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa, this book could form the basis for a training programme on the following mapping methods : map of typography & hydrology, map of enterprises, map of social groups and transect of agro-ecological zones. Section A describes the training programme with the emphasis on field exercises covering the above methods. Case-studies based on the findings and templates (suitable for xeroxing for overhead projection) summarising training objectives and activities, are given in separate sections. The appendices contain articles for background reading.
LEARN (Local Environmental Analysis and assessment of Rural Needs) is a development research approach designed to put people's priorities first, be cost-effective, and tackle rural environmental problems. Though similar to RRA, LEARN differs in that it is concerned with the "interrelationship between the environment and social processes" and distinguishes between outsiders' (etic) and insiders' (emic) knowledge. "Intelligent ignorance", a low profile entrance, selection of informants, observation and open-ended questions are all key to the LEARN approach. Methods used and findings from the Waza Logone region of North Cameroon illustrate how LEARN can help in "preparing research proposals and identifying development opportunities".
This paper examines the application of Rapid Rural Appraisal techniques to assess the causes, dimensions and characteristics of food insecurity. A procedure referred to as a Rapid Food Security Assessment (RFSA) was carried out during November 1989 in nine communities in North Sudan using a methodology based on the 'Sondeo' approach to RRA. Interviews were carried out with representative households in the various communities using a checklist as the basis for an unstructured conversation. Although the surveys did not use wealth ranking, an effort was made to understand social stratification by asking villagers to estimate what proportion of different types of households made up the villages. More conventional data from markets was also used. The RFSA confirmed that in years with poor rainfall, the landless are doubly affected as wages fall and food prices rise. This has led to recommendations about income support through public works and grain price stabilisation.
The methodology recommended by this document builds on rapid rural appraisal techniques. The author develops a framework for more effective analysis and design of community forestry activities. First, the framework analyses tenure issues within three broad tenure types: the holding, the commons, and the forest reserve. Second it examines, from the point of view of the household, the opportunities for tree planting and use under each of these three tenure systems. While it is recognised that there are obvious limits to the use of the rapid appraisal methodology, it should be possible to significantly reduce related design problems in projects through the procedures suggested in the publication. The author's knowledge of a forestry project in the Arusha region of Tanzania provides examples.
Examines the distinction between tree and land tenure, and the significance of this for forestry and other development projects. The use of rapid appraisals is discussed, with a range of techniques from the use of secondary documents and exisitng legal systems, to the discovery of informal rights. Discusses the sensitivity of tenure information, and importance of individual and group interviews, and sketch maps. The emphasis is on the importance of rights, particularly women's rights, to trees and tree products. Tenure rights may vary between individual holdings, the commons (where community rights and organisations are important) and Forest reserves. Predominantly RRA, even some questionaire use.
Discusses an ENDA project working on community woodlands, where community theatre was used to stimulate discussion on the local forest resource. Group discussions focused on the woodlands, trees and changes in the forest over time. There was agreement that there were few trees, and that they were declining in number, due to drought, overpopulation and mismanagement. Constraints and potential solutions were identified. There were few gender differences in awareness. The play was created from the key issues identified by these small group discussions by improvisation of scenes in the home, field and forest. It was felt that these plays were interesting and constructive, and that the momentum came from within the community with little external direction needed, and community "ownership" of the theatre.
This paper focuses first on a few general issues: 1) how sketch mapping can be used in rural resource management projects; 2) the process of sketch mapping and; 3) the types of maps which may be useful. It is asserted that it is important to get away from the traditional view of accuracy as equivalent to locational correctness, accuracy needs to be defined in terms of purpose. "Hypothetical" maps might be employed to present a range of possible land uses which would form the basis for discussion. The second section presents two case studies where sketch mapping has been used as a diagnostic tool for studying indigenous forest management systems. 1) In Harayana, India, several types of participatory mapping were used; local geography, local land use patterns, resource distribution and resource condition. 2) A different mapping technique was used in the mountainous Mardi Khola area of Nepal; a sample of transects indicating types of land use were the main basis for discussion. The transect maps provided a generalised picture from which to derive hypotheses for further research.
This book is the outcome of a two week field-based workshop. The focus is on two villages in the proximity of Khartoum. Several PRA/RRA techniques were used: secondary data analysis; mapping; transects; seasonal calendars; preference ranking; matrix ranking; wealth ranking; venn diagrams and key informant interviews. RRA techniques offer an approach to understanding the complexity of tree management at regional, village, group and individual levels. At regional level the influences on tree management relate to changing patterns of wood product supply and demand and the interaction of urban and rural markets. At village level uncertainty over economic, tenurial and environmental control are key influences governing the management of trees. Preferences for trees by different village groups influence assessments of the costs and benefits of alternative tree management options. Different socio-economic groups have varying and competing interests in the wood economy. The use of RRA enables the development of integrated insights for a more effective understanding of incentives for tree management in Sudan.