It concerns the experience of Krishi Gram Vikas Kendra (KGVK), a NGO sponsored and supported by the Usha Martin Group of Industries. It has conducted a series of PRA training exercises for government officers from watershed and forestry programmes, for voluntary agencies, research institutions and other NGOs. This paper describes one particular PRA camp at Mahilong, Bihar, which had two purposes. Firstly, to ascertain more information about the area and project sustainability, and secondly to train others in the required methodology. The paper discusses the sequence adopted at the camp, special features of the programme and the opportunities the camp gave to discuss issues with farmers from the area.
Participatory Modelling in North Omo, Ethiopia: Investigating the Perceptions of Different Groups Through Models: Training Course Report
The paper deals with the subject of participatory modelling. It asks how such a process can portray a picture of a community that does not merely reflect the view of the dominant group. The paper reports on efforts to compensate for the effects of an often dominant group - men. While on a training course in northern Omo, Ethiopia, a group of women and children were asked to make their own model on the ground adjacent to the men. The issue of water availability, a subject not brought up the men, appeared to be key. As result, the paper concludes by highlighting the need for participation to encompass all groupings within a community.
Participatory Impact Monitoring of a Soil and Water Conservation Programme by Farmers, Extension Volunteers and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme
AKRSP supports village institutions in undertaking soil and water conservation on the private land holdings of farmers as a part of the watershed management programme, identified by the villagers as one of their priorities for natural resource management. This paper examines this process with regard to the village of Madargadh. The programme has at its centre the Extension Volunteer, who prepare watershed treatment plans and maps for their village. They are trained in conducting impact studies in order that the impact of soil and water conservation programmes be assessed after the rains. The paper reports on: the sequence of participatory impact monitoring; the process of impact monitoring; recommendations of farmers, made in the light of analysis of impact data; and the application of participatory impact monitoring for natural resource management projects on the general level.
The paper reports on the MYRADA Kamasamudram project and reviews its objectives to: (1) plan a micro watershed in a participatory way; (2) provide more experience in PRA methods for staff; (3) train staff; and (4) to introduce the PRA approach to appraisal to the villagers. The paper contains a brief note on the exercises conducted, the highlights of the exercise, the opinion of participants, and the method and extent of adoption of the key features discussed by the participants.
Rapid Rural Appraisal Field Training and Research Exercise Including an Assessment of the Impact of a BRAC Deep Tubewell Group
This report describes how RRA techniques were introduced to six fieldworkers, to enable them to assess the performance of a BRAC supported village tubewell group. RRA/PRA techniques are summarised on a chart, with particular attention to their sequence. Each technique is then described in terms of "applications and procedure", the latter given as numbered instructions. The field work explored issues such as implications for women, employment opportunities, seasonal effects of the deep tubewell project. Findings are also given in diagram form, with a list of equipment used and day-by-day summary of the study.
The paper describes a short exercise which was designed to explore the potential use of RRA/PRA for BRAC, an NGO working with rural people in Bangladesh. The first part of the report provides an overview of the applications and procedures for using various RRA/PRA techniques. The second part presents the findings of an attempt to use RRA methods to assess the performance of a BRAC-supported village deep tubewell group.
This article describes a three day workshop on PRA conducted by the NGO SPEECH in Tamil Nadu, based in a village where SPEECH was working. The main purpose of the PRA was to discuss the rehabilitation of an irrigation tank network, while introducing the concepts of PRA to the participants. Several techniques were taught and practised: timelines, participatory mapping, modelling, seasonal calendars. One of the group activities documented was the construction of a matrix of six trees according to eight criteria, illustration included. There was initial resistance to the discussion of trees in gardens, but apparently good discussion on the growth and suitability of different trees both near homesteads and on communal lands, along the bunds and on wastelands. The general concensus at the end of the workshop was positive, in terms of the use of PRA in daily planning activities.
This paper reviews efforts in the early 1970s by both governmental and nongovernmental bodies in rehabilitating minor irrigation systems with the aim of enhancing performance, water management practices, productivity and rural living conditions. The strategies adopted varied with each minor irrigation scheme. These variations in intervention methods related to selection criteria, planning and implementing procedures, farmer participation and management practices. Comparative assessments are carried out and recommendations for sustainable improvement and management of village irrigation systems given.
This paper discusses the importance of indigenous irrigation systems that have operated sustainably on indigenous technical knowledge that has ensured their longevity. Modern techniques have often ignored the importance of this knowledge and the role of such knowledge needs to be enhanced in the future.
This paper describes problems prior to rehabiltiation and associated irrigation management innovations in the Kimbumlyana Oya Irrigation Scheme in 1979. Included in the new developments was a simplified form of technical guidance for farmers. Organized farmer participation was used in the operation and maintenance of the system through a water issue board. The explicit role given to farmers increased their confidence and as a result it was possible to introduce systematic rotational water distribution, advance the cultivation calendar, and increase cropping intensity.
Social reality of people's participation; some experiences of people's participation in a revolving fund for sustainable family planning farming in Sri Lankan irrigation settlement
This paper draws on the experiences in the Mahaweli development project. It advocates that policy formulation should not be isolated from the analysis and understanding of the logic of human practice in local areas. Although not explicitly dealing with PRA it has a strong participatory theme that highlights the benefits of greater participation system analysis. Participatory development and appraisal, it is argued, should start with the interactions and strategies in the organization in family life; the crucial starting point for the development of any analysis.
The paper argues that PRA is a distinctive and innovative method because it is problem-focused. It offers a unique opportunity for researchers to work in partnership with farmers or the rural poor in joint identification of the range of local variables which may be connected to a given problem. Here the need for a user perspective to become integral in research and development is identified; farmers need to be viewed as subjects and not objects. It is suggested that the phrase "user" could be more appropriately replaced with the term stakeholder which incorporates all those who have a vested interest in the efficient and effective operation of systems. This would encompass a range of parties from the farmers to policy makers. Six roles for stakeholders are suggested for future research and development: * Providers of information * Partners in identifying research and development priorities * Partners in developing research, management strategies and technologies * Partners in experimental management of the resource or new technology * Partners in assessing performance of a technology or management strategy * Partners in training and institutional development
This paper examines aspects of improving irrigation system performance through better farmer organisation. The paper reviews an action research project carried out on small, isolated irrigation systems built and managed by farmers in Nepal. Farmers in systems suffering from poor cooperative operation and maintenance were taken to observe the practice of well organised farmer managed systems. The positive impact associated with strong local organisations on performance were demonstrated to the visiting farmers. The underlying theme of the paper is effective governance; establishment of viable institutions. Strong participation in organisation and management was a principle taken back to 19 irrigation systems. Early results indicated a positive impact on performance, highlighting the importance of greater organised participation on operation and maintenance and hence agricultural production.
Primary Environmental Care: New Institutional Processes for Supporting Soil and Water Conservation and Harvesting
A brief history of soil and water conservation and harvesting work worldwide concludes that it has been too dominated by external ideas and intervention and it has often been ineffective or harmful. Two new approaches, Rapid Catchment Analysis in Kenya and the work of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in India, are introduced as ways in which external institutions can provide more effective support for locally run processes. The steps involved are described in some detail. Performance indicators and the role of support institutions are also described. The report ends with five guidelines to be considered by external support institutions for effective environmental care.