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.
This manual is intended for social science and medical researchers who require information quickly on a particular topic of study, to learn about social and cultural issues relating to disease control prevention and treatment. Listed applications include exploratory studies, testing ideas about new programmes, solving specific programme problems, evaluating programmes, and solving staff/management problems. Focus group discussions (FGD) can be "an effective way to get this information and to reveal the range of opinion in a community". FGDs "are formally constituted, structured groups of people brought together to address a specific issue within a fixed time frame and in accordance with clearly spelled out rules of procedure". This manual explains how to organise and conduct these groups. Part I describes the purposes, structure and conduct of FGDs, and some techniques for keeping discussion going. Part I is aimed at researchers or others responsible for a project and who may be training others to use FGDs. Part II is a series of training sessions for others involved in the project. Special attention is given to FGDs which use interpreters, and Pt. II section 5 discusses the importance of listening skills, being non-judgmental, and other appropriate behaviour. Examples used relate to tropical disease research.
This is a longer version of the paper by Lily in Koning (ed.) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Participatory Research in Health Promotion (1994). The paper outlines the background to the evolving Women's Development Project (WDP) in Bangladesh. It focuses on a health education component of the project, and gives an example of community mapping in a Bangladeshi village, conducted with village-based volunteer health educators (VHEs). The process of the exercise is reported, as are the reactions of the VHEs. The mapping exercise led to a discussion of the achievements and challenges faced, illustrating the potential role of mapping in enabling women to look at their own work in a new way. Other potential uses of PRA in the WDP are listed.
This well argued paper makes a case for harnessing the possibilities latent in indigenous knowledge in rural communities as the cheapest and most appropriate way to realise participatory development. It explores in detail the concepts of participatory development and indigenous knowledge of soils, vegetation, climate, pests, veterinary knowledge, agriculture, medicine, and engineering. It then discusses ways to build indigenous knowledge into the participatory agenda: resource inventory/mapping, environmental monitoring, and planning.
Following a brief introduction to PRA, the article describes the application of PRA methods to a study of reproductive health issues in a village in rural China. This involved health mapping, diagramming seasonality of disease, and a matrix ranking of preferred contraceptive techniques. The matrix is shown.
This book describes a grassroots approach to empowering people for democratic social change. It explains participatory research using exemplarly case studies on community organizing, femist theory and ecological movements from a range of locations in North America. It challenges the relevance and validity of academic social science research.
A comprehensive account of a large scale experimental PRA conducted for SCF in Vietnam. The approach taken and its justification (not agreed by all doners) is detailed. The methodology section is extensive, discussing the theory behind PRA, training, tools and fieldwork, as well as problems such as the external and timeconsuming production of the report. The final report gives details of the education system and educations problems encountered, in general terms and by specific commune. In some communes this is felt to be one of the most significant constraints, and potential solutions are discussed in detail.
The bulk of the document concentrates on indicators of malnutrition, famine and the ability of early warning predictors. The relationship between famine and nutrition is discussed. There is a section which deals with methodology of assesment, and is split between formal, qualitative data collection and quantitative assesments, predominantly RRA and PRA. The applications and analysis of quantitative data are discussed, with many of the criticisms of qualitative work being outlined, and a combination with quantitative work suggested.