This brief note summarises the author's experience of using PRA and RAAKs (Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Knowledge Systems) as a research method in exploring water users' perspective on performance indicators of an irrigation system. The result of a participatory study conducted by IIMI-Pakistan are discussed. The study outlines the performance indicators developed by water users and local responses to compensate for poor water performance. The potential of using PRA in large-scale irrigation systems are assessed and the need to recognise the relevance of incorporating various participatory research methodologies.
This article explores communication processes between irrigation engineers and farmers in Northern Senegal to identify opportunities for joint learning aimed at improving the design process of small-scale irrigation schemes. Scale models and maps are shown to be useful tools to facilitate dialogue.
This article is a case study from communities on the island of Leyte in the Philipppines where farmers were found to be using a wide range of technologies to try to stop environmental degradation. The article reports on how visual mapping methods were developed and used to study the role of the agricultural information system in helping farmers to cope with change and improve sustainability.
Drawing on case studies from six countries, this report examines recent innovative applications of PRA in research, development and impact analysis of irrigation and water resource management programmes. The case studies are taken from different socio-technical contexts and range from the use of PRA to examine water user's perspectives of irrigation performance to watershed management planning. Lessons learnt from the examples are outlined and finally challenges and opportunities for the use of participatory methods in water resource management are summarised. Issues considered include, confusion over definitions and objectives, the degree of importance placed on methods, confusion over the role of professionals, the influence of politics and power, measuring of impacts, complementarity between conventional research methods and PRAand finally the challenge of institutionalising participatory approaches in government bureaucracies.
Irrigation management transfer in Turkey : early experience with a national program under rapid implementation.
Presents the case study of the Accelerated Irrigation Transfer Program in Turkey whereby transfer of government built and operated systems has taken place. The case study is of particular interest because of the speed of the process and also because the transfer of responsibility has been to local village or municipal governments or representative federations of villages or municipalities rather than to farmer associations which has been the norm in other countries.
The process adopted for transferring management responsibility is documented and reveals that there has been little participation by water users. Factors facilitating the process are identified and an initial assessment of impacts, benefits and costs is made and potential future problems and challenges suggested.