The Nhlangwini Integrated Rural Development Project aims to empower local people, in order that they may improve their quality of life, by helping them develop strategies for addressing basic needs. The Nhlangwini Ward is situated in southern KwaZulu, South Africa. Three workshops were held over a period of three months during 1989. The first examined development problems in the area; the second specifically probed those problems associated with family planning; the third was a development planning workshop, employing visual techniques described in some detail by the paper. Participants were asked to draw local resources by imagining they could view the area from a helicopter. The process of adopting visual techniques has resulted in a change in emphasis - as a result of findings, the integrated development programme has switched approaches with regard to issues facing women, and in terms of its goal setting mechanisms.
Activitists for Social Alternatives, an Indian NGO, began to use PRA in order to reach the poorest villagers. This report describes their experiences since 1990, under the specific areas where PRA workshops were conducted: tank rehabilitation, watershed development, herbal medicine, women's issues, health and income generation (non agro based). The "process" section of the annexures describes in detail the PRA methods used and findings (including diagrams and pictures): village modelling, trend change, seasonality and linkage activities were used to explore women's perspectives on health and social issues. The Gender PRA training workshop was attended by women from 22 villages - sharing their personal problems "developed a strong bond and solidarity which later led to the formation of a women's coordination committee". They took up issues like "eve teasing, child marriage, dowry, wage and deserted women" and "feeling the need for educating the public about the problems of women, planned for an International Women's Day celebration this year".
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".
The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) had two main objectives: i) to assess the effectiveness of participatory methods as a means of collecting baseline information; ii) to identify indigenous indicators of women's health and wealth status. A 'smorgasbord' of participatory methods were used; social and demographic mapping; health and wealth ranking; timeline and focus group discussions; key informant interviews and life histories of women. Fieldwork was conducted in a village where the BRAC had been active for five years and another where it had been involved for six months. Participatory methods were confirmed as a means of gathering information 'quickly and relatively accurately.' A 'remarkable consistency' emerged as to indigenous indicators of women's status from which BRAC constructed a seven component measure of household well-being: food security; land ownership; types of income; agricultural assets; homestead condition; days off work due to illness and education.
Participatory Rural Appraisal was conducted in two villages in Southern India in order to supplement formal survey information. One of the objectives was to develop a procedure for determining emic indicators of health and nutrition security. Four types of PRA were employed: i) participatory mapping (conducted separately by women and men) - to identify 'high' and 'low' risk households; ii) food charts - participants use beans to indicate the relative importance of foods consumed; iii) women's activity chart - beans are used to indicate the relative time spent on daily activities. iv) seasonality chart - this method was conducted with small groups (differentiated by gender and caste) to understand the yearly changes in rainfall, harvest of staples, food consumption, labour demand, childhood illness and women's illness. An ethnographer used in-depth interviews, key informant interviews, focus group and participant observation to conduct six household case studies in the two survey villages. The PRA techniques generated emic indicators of food-security which could be compared with the etic indicators of the formal survey.
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.
Two RRAs were carried out by interdisciplinary teams over a period of five weeks in two areas of Benin where malnutrition was considered a problem "this mixture proved effective, permitting not only a comprehensive analysis of the problem, but also comprehensive remedial action". Chapter 1 describes RRA techniques in nutrition and health, Chapter 2 is focused on the methodology employed, Chapter 3 discusses the findings, Chapter 4 compares the RRA results with those obtained from three quantitative studies. In Chapter 5, the methodology used in the two RRAs is reassessed and recommendations are made to researchers and development workers who want to follow a similar approach.
This paper explains how various PRA exercises have been used to help health - and other - workers think through and challenge the assumptions that they make in their work. Thus the process of conducting the exercise is often in some ways more important than the outcome. Examples are given of PRA which has led to reversals in learning in Asia and Africa. It is concluded that PRA does not solve problems but rather reveals the complexity of the problems encountered - PRA is not a fad or fashion but a fundamental challenge to conventional approaches to development.
Finding Out How People Prioritise Their Food Security Problems in Chad: The Challenges of RRA at a National Level
This paper presents a number of methodological innovations on RRA and PRA in the context of food security. It is interesting in the first instance because it reviews work done as a follow-up to a PRA workshop on household data collection for food policy needs. On the method front, there are examples of mapping, diagramming, ranking and how each method feeds into food policy decisions. An increased use of visual methods is highlighted, and the connected increase in participation in and ownership of the research by local people. Along with this is an increasing importance of qualitative data in food policy decisions. The paper also includes an introduction to and comparison of PRA and RRA. It concludes by commenting that an additional advantage of these methods is that they are cost-effective, but that this may bring a linked disadvantage - that PRA methods are used with the intention of "extracting" information.
The introduction to this book asserts that RRA has been used in coastal communitites, but "what has been lacking so far are attempts to use RRA systematically in looking at fishing communities, their way of life and livelihood, and the coastal ecosystems in which they live". This manual attempts to fill that gap. It is specifically intended as an introduction to RRA for people in departments of fisheries, local fisheries services and NGOs.
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 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.
The death of the clinic? Linkages betwen the changing and multiple production roles of urban women and their health status in the Dominican Republic
This thesis reconsiders women's health status from the perspective of changing and multiple productive roles. A reading of Foucault's 'The Birth of the Clinic' is used to problematise both the current focus of health care and the system of measurement through which it sees and represents the world. Shifting social and economic boundaries have radically altered the terrain of health policy and thus, health indicators are no longer focusing attention on the most central health issues. It is suggested that the apparatus of health indicators and their system of measurement is now inappropriate (from the author's abstract). The methodology combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. Chapter six focuses on the qualitative aspects of the research and would have the most relevance to urban PRA. A week of participatory urban appraisal was conducted in a slum in Santo Domingo. The purpose of the reserch was to gain an understanding of how women perceive the changes in their productive roles and the impact these changes have had on their health status. Methods used included semi-structured interviews, card sorting, constructing activity and time lines, ranking and scoring, and constructing a community map and history.
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.