This community handbook is designed to help health workers address three questions: i) How do you measure community malnutrition? ii) What are the food problems in your community? iii) Which problems should you attack? A series of appendices describe various practical ways of measuring child development. Health workers are encouraged to analyse and act upon the various socio-economic causes of ill health. An extensive list of further information sources is provided, with little emphasis on methodology.
Conventional studies of child feeding practices are difficult and time-consuming, since family food use is a sensitive topic since it hinges on economic status and power relationships. The author argues that since "this information can only be obtained by workers trusted by the community, after both sides have understood and become concerned with the object of the investigation". The roles of an RRA facilitator in providing, collecting, interpreting and discussing information are outlined. Section 2 discusses 8 questions relating to feeding practices, covering problems with conventional food consumption surveys, trust between researchers and researched, the importance of relating reported to actual practices, evaluating 'satisfactory' feeding practices, understanding mothers' perceptions of practices, problems and obstacles to change, and the importance of sharing information for mutual learning between the interviewer and the community.
Community-Based Workshops for Evaluating and Planning Sanitation Programs: A Case Study of Primary Schools Sanitation in Lesotho
The Lesotho Primary Schools Sanitation Project, undertaken in 1976-9, had limited success. When a follow-up project was proposed, it was decided to hold workshops to find out the communities' views on how the follow-up should be designed. Workshop participants included school and community representatives, ministerial and donor agency representatives. This paper describes the results of those workshops held in March 1981. Most of the report discusses technical implications of the workshop discussions. A final section discusses the role of community based workshops in development planning.
This paper presents the results of an international workshop convened to examine verbal autopsy methods with the goal of achieving a consensus on methodological approaches. A verbal autopsy is an interview designed to identify specific medical syndromes, using information about the terminal illness elicited from relatives of the deceased person. Particular attention is paid to the difficulties of cause-specific mortality of children in developing countries.
The use of RAP in evaluation in UNICEF is briefly outlined in this paper. In UNICEF, a Rapid Assessment Procedure [RAP] exercise "includes as a central base, the use of techniques derived from the field of anthropology such as focus group discussions, observation, and unstructured one-on-one interviews, that form a body of mainly qualitative data". Normally the qualitative information derived from RAP will be used in conjunction with quantitative data, which might already be available, or which might be collected as part of a RAP investigation itself. Although the report includes an admission that "RAP is not a particularly useful type of method to use for evaluations of a participatory nature..", the author does point out that RAP evaluations do have an important role in encouraging participatory development processes in projects, and that RAP style evaluation "can be used, if so desired, as a way of instilling a sense that more peoples participation may be more desirable in a development project".
This paper describes how The Mazingira Institute in Nairobi created and used a series of illustrated learning packages on environmental issues to stimulate responses from school children. Annual competitions invited children to answer questions and submit essays and drawings on a variety of topics. The children's responses proved a valuable source of information on their perceptions of environmental issues, and traditional knowledge and action in their communities. The "information exchange with children" project helped children to link what they learned in school with what they heard from the elders in their community, and with what they could see and do themselves. The authors conclude that the distributed learning packages and responses gathered from children combine mass media with the education system, allowing the youth to address environment and development problems, and potentially linking with policy making.
Street children, hotel boys and children of pavement dwellers and construction workers in Bombay, how they meet their daily needs
This paper presents the results of research on how street children, hotel boys and the children of pavement dwellers and construction workers in Bombay meet their daily needs. Section two describes the factors which lead to children being in such circumstances and the inadequacies of public provision in meeting their needs. Section three describes the organisations responsible for undertaking the survey and the unconventional means by which contacts were made with the children. It also describes how involving the children in the survey became a means of establishing better contact between the children and the government agencies and voluntary organizations seeking more effective public responses to their needs and problems. Section four presents the findings of the research. (Author's summary)
Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA): A Status Review - a concept paper prepared for African Centre for Technology (ACTS)
This paper begins by tracing the development of RRA and later PRA. PRA is defined and its origins discussed. Eight steps involved in undertaking a PRA are outlined. Some assumptions or principles of PRA are outlined and its advantages are discussed. The next section discusses applications of PRA in Kenya. These have included water and soil conservation, child health, water and sanitation, natural resource conservation, irrigation and monitoring and evaluation. The paper then discusses problems and constraints of PRA, and challenges facing PRA. Training and institutionalisation are explored and the conclusion examines the role of the African Centre for Technology in PRA.
A guide to the collection, analysis and use of information about the cultural context of diarrhea - household and behavioural factors are identified in a cultural context. the aim is to facilitate the development, implementation and monitoring of programmes for the control and prevention of diarrhea. Part III is a field guide to the use of Rapid Assesment Procedures, many of which are closely related to PRA tools such as mapping, the use of key informants and checklists for informal interviews. Emphasis is placed on understanding the beleif system - how the body works, the causes and consequences of illness - and how the household and caregivers respond to diarrhea. The final section considers practical options for applying the information and testing (often through more formal methods) the generalisability of information.
Integrating formal sample surveys and Rapid Rural Appraisal techniques: summary based on Rapid Rural Appraisal techniques and the monitoring and evaluation of IFAD projects in Sudan
This summary is based on a report written for the Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the IFAD, with the general objective of examining the use of RRA methods for M&E. That report proposes a taxonomy of survey/RRA techniques and methods, which can be regarded as "a menu", thereby allowing choices to fit the precise needs of the user of information and institutional context. As such, the author argues, RRAs and formal surveys can be mixed to great effect. The criteria for such a taxonomy is outlined in this paper, as is a summary table of the main RRA techniques. The lessons from case study RRAs discussed in the original report are mostly positive, confirming "the value of weaving an RRA in to existing data" and showing how a low cost M&E system could be built on this. This is a useful and stimulating report with some clear summary diagrams and an extensive bibliography.
This report summarizes the result of the 2nd Internal evaluation of the ongoing 4th phase implementation of the 'Rural Family and Welfare Project'. The evaluation objective was not only to assess the current progress of the project and the willingness of the actors at the village level to sustain the program but also to 'test relatively new methodological approaches, mainly PRA, in order to further strengthen grassroot participation'. In doing so the report devotes a great deal of attention to exploring the ideology and rational behind the 'PRA approach' to M&E and provides an extremely useful summary of the key issues involved (in Chapters 1 and 2). There were six main methods applied in this evaluation: 'Rapport building with participants', 'Transect walks', 'Matrix scoring and ranking', 'Trend and situation analysis', 'Dramatized case study/role play' and 'Balloon opinion analysis'. Each of these methods are well introduced in the first two introductory chapters, while the results generated from their application are provided in the remainder of the report. An extensive bibliography is also provided in Chapter 7. This report presents a powerful, and well argued, case for the use of both PRA methods and a 'PRA orientation' in M&E activities (as the reported highly positive impact of these evaluation activities illustrates) while, in addition, it provides a well structured basic reference source for those interested in implementing such activities.