It is argued that rural appraisal (talking with local people) needs to be undertaken by sanitary engineers to free them from five types of inhibition: 1) assumptions based on academic subdivisions; 2) the assumption that rural communities have no significant technology of their own; 3) a tendency to overlook opportunities for detailed improvements and go for technological solutions; 4) a failure to recognise the 'invisible' components of local technology - its software and organisational form; 5) assumptions based on professional or western cultural values.
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 document reports on an RRA conducted in the Upper Mille and Cheleka catchments development project in Wollo province, Ethiopia. Its goals were (i) to test the applicability of RRA to the work of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, and (ii) to analyse two peasant associations and suggest possible innovations to benefit their members. This introduction outlines a form of RRA known as agroecosystem analysis (AEA). Its methods and procedure of implementation are described: sub-groups examined diversification in space through mapping, transects, and analysing home gardens, and diversification in time through seasonal calendars. A second section examines the importance of diversification for security, improvement of production and purchasing power, and to act as a catalyst for overall development. The results of the RRA's in two peasant associations comprise the bulk of the report. For each, key issues are identified (e.g. land use, water resources, livestock, crops, health, forest resources), and strategies for diversification are examined (e.g. irrigation, land use patterns, revegetation, experimenting with new crops, clean water supply, development of home gardens, reforestation, credit etc.). The report ends with comments on the use of RRA in development planning and the role of RRA in developing management concepts and process in peasant associations.
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.
This report presents the results of a PRA focusing on natural resources management in Kenya. It contains descriptions of historical background on the locality, natural resources, water and soil conservation, agricultural practices, discussions of key social issues and infrastructure (health and education) and analysis of institutions and local leadership. Problems and opportunities are identified, and a village resource management plan was devised. Action by the community and other actors as a result of the PRA is discussed, and some problems in implementation are noted. The report ends with reflections on PRA and the participatory planning process. Positive reflections include enabling the community to undertake their own analysis, promoting an integrated view of development, and development of the village plan. Problems included insufficient participation by marginal groups and by women, and the feeling that PRA is inappropriate to statistical analysis.
This report is a review of the different participatory methodologies used in development throughout Africa. It includes overviews of the literature on participatory development, and participation in agriculture and natural resource management, forestry, health, credit, literacy, water, and urban programming. Numerous methodologies are outlined (e.g. animation rurale, auto-evaluation, GRAAP, Theatre for Development, RRA etc.). ACORD's experience with participatory methodologies in Burkina Faso, Mali, Uganda and Sudan are discussed in detail. There are annotated bibliographies on ACORD and key general publications relating to participatory methodologies, and lists of key institutions.
This paper addresses the apparent failure of most water and sanitation projects to bring about sustained behavioural change. Possible reasons examined are the focus on engineering interventions at the expense of hygiene education aspects, suggesting a need to improve hygiene education components and to re-examine the assumptions behind past hygiene interventions. This paper critically examines the assumptions behind previous hygiene and water and sanitation projects. What is omitted by these assumptions "is the effort to get at the root of people's problems to assist them in making decisions to change their own behaviour. This is a process of empowerment..." The paper therefore argues for the integration of hygiene education with participatory methods. To achieve this, three approaches are suggested: decentralisation of planning to the community; use of rapid appraisal methods; and use of participatory techniques.
A PRA exercise was carried out to analyse the positive and negative effects of drinking in a tribal area of India. Causal diagrams were produced of drinking habits and of women's status, showing the different consequences of birth of a female child as compared to a male child.
Participatory Rural Appraisal : utilization survey report: part 1. rural development area, Sindhupalchowk
Describes the main process, and explores the problems encountered, during the ACTIONAID-Nepal utilization survey in the Rural Development Area of Sindhupalchowk, in September 1991. Objectives of the survey were: to assess how far the ideas and assets which the community has developed with Action Aid Nepal are being utilised, and the community's perception of the impact of these; to involve the community and thus increase their understanding; to increase AAN's understanding of the conditions of the poorest. The week of survey work was carried out by teams which comprised of the Community Development Committee (CDC) members, other local people and staff facilitators - staff, but not community members, were trained in PRA. Selective tools and techniques of PRA methods were used to gather all the information; the village map (of which examples are given in the appendix) was the most extensively used, semi-structured interviews were employed to collect information on household's participation in activities, and time trend and preference ranking methods were also drawn upon. Problems encountered in the survey were that indicators had not been agreed through a participatory process, the three-day training in PRA techniques was found to be insufficient, and structured questions left gaps and revealed bias. The bulk of the report is devoted to the survey findings
This paper describes a game and a story that were presented during the workshop to show how PRA can "help people to address and resolve conflict". The TASO game (described in the appendix) was used to illustrate current HIV transmission rates in Uganda. The story showed how PRA exercises conducted by Redd Barna in Zimbabwe brought out women's and men's different views of a proposed irrigation scheme. The potential for PRA to help resolve such conflicts is the emphasis placed on "the value of good communication skills". Development workers need to learn "facilitation and arbitration skills" in order to deal with, rather than "glossing over" conflict and "failing to acknowledge the political dimensions to all our interventions". Psychological stress (particularly in relation to HIV and AIDS) also needs to be recognised as "a valid development issue".
This report describes the results of a training workshop on Participatory Environmental Assessement held in Cambodia. The initial training in Environmental Impact Assessment and PRA is briefly described, with some attention given to the concepts behind them. The results of an appraisal and planning process by two groups in separate villages are described in detail. Throughout, the report nicely illustrates the work done with diagrams, maps, etc. An extensive evaluation of the process by all involved, while specific to this workshop, provides interesting ideas for training in general.
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.