The author argues the need to include women's issues in an RRA, since "analysis of likely or actual "before" and "after" situations are less obvious for women than for men". The "tarmac bias" is more significant for women than for men, so the RRA approach can offer significant gains. The article outlines how the RRA process can explore women's issues, but stresses the danger of "compartmentalising them" within the eventual overall report.
Underutilisation of Public Sector Health Facilities in IMO State Nigeria, A Study with Focus Groups: Final Report
Ten focus group sessions were held in Imo State Nigeria to explain the under-utilization of public sector health services. Groups consisted of village women, village men, elementary school teachers, traditional medical practitioners, male civil servants, female civil servants and nursing staff. Rural and urban sites were selected in major sub-cultural zones. Focus groups revealed under-utilization had several causes: limited accessibility of services; high user costs; lack of supplies; uncaring attitudes of staff; nepotism and financial misappropriation. Implications for government action are suggested: strategies for reducing costs; making health care more accessible; improving the quality of services and educating the consumer. The role of the state in health care may need clarification to ensure it complements non-state health care provision. Suggestions are made for further research in which focus group studies can be used throughout.
This paper follows from the recognition that meeting food needs requires that women's roles in production and food systems are taken into account. International agricultural research centres have paid little attention to the demands of domestic post-harvest technologies, being given a low priority in the determination of research agenda. Gender-specific varietal preferences for seed or stock selection have also been ignored. In addition to methodological weaknesses built into current research programming, insufficient attention has been paid to the institutional barriers which inhibit the exchange of experience and information between women and agricultural researchers and extension agents. The paper begins by suggesting why gender matters. The second section discusses seed technology and gender issues. The third section raises questions of methodology (discussing socio-economic research, farming systems research and policy research). [This section may be of particular interest to PRA collection users]. Further sections discuss research-extension linkages, and the measurement of inputs. The final three sections are case studies of the impact of technical change in agriculture on women in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This long and detailed study describes how the mandal (administrative area) of Devikere in Jagalar, Karnataka State was selected as the appropriate site for an Action Aid anti-poverty project. A socio-economic survey was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team using mainly RRA techniques. The methodology employed appears to have much in common with farming systems research. A section of the report is devoted to health issues. This includes: nutrition and food availability; mother and child wellbeing, health practices and beliefs; the environment; housing; occupation and health services. The anthropological/ethnographic technique of using case studies of individuals adds a strong human dimension to the study. Separate sections are devoted to women, infrastructure and sanitation, and socio-economic conditions.
Thirty-seven women attended a women-only PRA in South India organised by HIDA/MYRADA Agroforestry Network. The objectives for holding the PRA were to enable women to interact more freely and to focus on issues of interest to women "like health, nutrition, labour and migration, childbirth practices". Observations made about how the PRA differed from "mixed" PRAs included: the level of sharing was more personal, women discussed methods more than content, women did not need as many tea and smoke breaks! Innovations were made, such as timing from 6 - 9am to fit in with women's work schedule and more use of role play and pictures to introduce issues, since not many women were literate. Findings of field exercises are included as an appendix.
A three day training workshop and three weeks of fieldwork were conducted by a team of nine women in two parts (one typically urban and the other typically rural) of the Gaza Strip. The purpose was to understand the social and economic roles of women better, to obtain more information on women's projects and teach PRA methods to other women. A wide range of PRA tools were used. The PRA covered all aspects of women's socio-economic wellbeing including health. In the urban areas, health problems include the psychological and physical stress consistent with exposure to military activities. Possible development alternatives are discussed and ranked: a health clinic is the first of four alternatives in the rural area and the third of seven in the urban area
The paper summarises an RRA conducted over nine months in the Parbhani district of Maharashtra. There were four aims: 1) to evaluate techniques of RRA as a basis for community assessment, nutrition planning and programmes; 2) generate insights into factors that influence the nutritional status of rural inhabitants; 3) recommend interventions to improve nutrition; 4) identify problems for further research. In depth interviews and group discussions were held with 200 families. Results generated an insight into agricultural practices, cash cropping, marketing, storage practices and infant feeding practices.
Participatory development of a irrigation scheme: The Nyandusi Women Horticultural Scheme, Nyanza Province, Kenya
This paper presents an analysis of the Nyandusi horticultural scheme in Nyanza Province, Kenya. The focus is on how the women members, landowners and agency staff participated at crucial stages of the scheme's design and implementation. Key issues discussed: Lessons for future farmer participation in design and implementation of schemes by themselves; effect of farmer participation had on the final outcome of the scheme; the complexity of the the factors involved in such design.