The paper follows up a workshop on household data collection for food policy needs. It provides an introduction to the use of R/PRA and its recent development, as well as comparing RRA and PRA, and looking at specific food policy applications. Examples of mapping, diagramming and ranking for food policy are given. The key issues identified are the increasing use of visual techniques, with the associated shift in control and increased participation, and the recognition of the role of qualitative, not quantitative, data in policy. Cost efficiency and speed are high, although a number of constraints are identified, namely the problems of jumping on the "bandwagon", and naming what remain essentially extractive excercises, "PRA".