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.
Rapid Rural Appraisal - Emergence of a Methodology and its Application to Irrigation: A Bibliographical Review
This comprehensive work presents a thorough review of RRA applications to irrigation. The paper is introduced with a brief overview of the emergence and needs that led to the widespread emergence of RRA. It provides a good background to understanding the basis and rationale for the widespread adoption of RRA, and its particular usefulness to irrigation system analysis. The bibliographic selection is deliberately selective and not aimed to be comprehensive. However, it still provides a useful selection of material on irrigation applications of RRA.
Rapid Rural Appraisal - Emergence of a Methodology and its Application to Irrigation : a Bibliographical Review
This is a comprehensive review of the emergence of RRA and its applications to irrigation. It is a guide to numerous other texts on method, particularly with regard to irrigation system analysis.
One of the first papers to outline the suitability and merits of rapid assessment techniques in measuring the performance of existing canal irrigation systems. This was a response to the growing need to find cost effective methods to make manageable demands on staff, and to identify implementable actions with early benefit. The experience of irrigation systems assessment using traditional and more innovative techniques are outlined. Conclusions are drawn from these experiences and four key factors to success are put forward: standard programs traditionally have 'bad fit'; appraisal on the whole system; an operational plan, continuity and commitment for implementation. The paper provides a detailed account on how to approach rapid rural appraisal for irrigation systems, and provides generally applicable guidelines.
This paper describes experiences in applying RRA techniques and principles to identify rehabilitation requirements of small irrigation systems in Zimbabwe. The authors conclude that the methodology was appropiate given that the schemes were small. Valuable aspects of using a RRA methodology were judged to be self-imposed discipline, the use of checklists, careful organisation and the use of existing information before visiting the schemes.
The Agro-Forestry Project in Burkina Faso: An Analysis of Popular Participation in Soil and Water Conservation
This is a brief summary of the well-known Projet Agro-Forestier (PAF) in Burkina Faso, which has had much success promoting rock bunds as a soil and water conservation and harvesting method. One reason for success is considered to be the strong involvement of farmers in the design and building of the bunds, which are basically an improvement of a traditional technique. Another factor is the strength of the bunds. The fact that a few women have also been trained is mentioned, but also that more attention should be given to them considering their important role in agriculture.
The report, written for an Arid Lands Workshop, very briefly discusses the main issues in SWC in sub-Saharan Africa. A list of "do's" for participatory soil and water conservation are then briefly discussed, which are mostly to do with the organisational side of SWC, rather than the technical. A short analysis is made of the character of Oxfam-funded SWC projects which concludes that the Oxfam projects are innovative and successful at getting the local population involved when compared to other such projects in the area. Four short case studies, from Burkina Faso, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, end the report.
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.