This working paper provides an evaluation and a critique of participatory research, specifically in the field of social sciences and agronomy (Agriculture, Nutrition, Alimentation). Reviewing the relevant literature, it summarises the basic participatory methodologies and investigates the limits of participatory research. The potential participatory research offers to the CRDI is brought forwards, notably as regards project evaluation.
Ce document de groupe de travail fournit une Úvaluation et une critique de la recherche participative, et ce spÚcifiquement dans les sciences sociales et l'agronomie (Agriculture, Nutrition, Alimentation). Passant en revue la littÚrature sur la recherche participative et sur son origine, ce document rÚsume les mÚthodologies participatives fondamentales et souligne leurs limites. Les implications de la recherche participative pour le CRDI sont mises en avant, notamment leurs apport en termes d'Úvaluation de projets.
This paper reports on research carried out on the use and effectiveness of participatory materials on child health, which were developed at community workshops, by the Kumasi Health Education Project in Ghana.
A high degree of satisfaction with the new materials was reported by teachers and health workers who had been trained in the new materials, when asked to carry out self-reporting questionnaire. This was found to contrast with the results of focus-group discussions of mothers attending well baby clinics, at home, in market places and with pupils at school who reported a low level of exposure to the new materials, although those who had been exposed to them were satisfied with them and recalled the messages well.
A need exists for food security indicators, for use in targeting food security programs, to be both simple to derive and use. This document reports on research to develop such alternative indicators which combined both quantitative and qualitative approaches for identifying indicators of poverty, food insecurity and undernutrition. Participatory rural appraisal techniques and ethnographic case studies were used to identify locally determined indicators of food insecurity.
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.
This brief paper is a write up of the experiences of an evaluation team using PRA tools in an impact evaluation of a community based programme providing drinking water (a MYRADA project in Mysore District, Karnataka State, India). The impact evaluation took place over only two days, but, as the paper highlights, some very pertinent lessons resulted from the experience. Six main tools from the 'PRA bag' were used in the evaluation: 'water system map', 'focus group discussions', 'time allocation drawing', 'seasonality of disease', 'individual interviews' and 'observation walk'. On the basis of these methods (and patient facilitation work by the PRA team), it was revealed that the any first impressions of a 'perfect' drinking water system were, in fact, unfounded. Serious (but rectifiable) flaws in the project - in terms of efficiency and equity of access - were exposed and, as a result, the local community became involved in identifying some remedial actions. This extremely useful, and clearly written, paper concludes with a frank discussion of some of the problems with the use of PRA tools, which according to the author, primarily stem from a poor understanding of group dynamics and good facilitation techniques.