This reports on the activities of an Integrated Pest Management scheme and particularly its Extension and Women Project in the Philippines. The project highlights the role of women farmers and assists them in performing their role with appropriate technology, if one exists, and if not, develops one with their participation. The programme comprises a multi-disciplinary group of researchers consisting entirely of women. The participatory research approach is concluded to lessen the lead time for introducing the technology to its subsequent learning and adoption. It makes the client feel involved in the process and also gives her the option to decide whether it will benefit her or not. The paper accepts the inherent limitations of the approach and the need for fine-tuning the methodology proposed.
This concerns the problems of wealth ranking, a method used mainly to describe the relative wealth of people in one discrete area, comparing like with like, and its application to more than one community. A problem arises when there is a need to stratify a number of communities which may, as a whole, vary in terms of their wealth. Different types of community, in terms of wealth, may well fall within the boundary of a single project area, thus it is important to deal with such issues. Attached to the letter are three descriptions of adaptations made to the standard wealth ranking technique. Generally in all three cases, wealth ranking was based on predefined criteria, except in the third, where criteria were developed after the initial comparative ranking was undertaken.
A theoretical framework for data-economising appraisal procedures with applications to rural development planning
The paper's objective is to construct a general framework which will increase the useful data, while reducing the cost of data collection in developing countries. The search for useful principles proceeds from the economics of information, via Karl Popper's principle of error reduction, and the use of information cybernetics in public decision-making, to the design of more cost-effective models of development processes, and the significance of alternative hierarchical administrative structures for the utility obtained from primary data. These components are combined into a unified logical framework. An integrated approach to management information is identified as a desirable adjunct for its application in practice.
Indigenous People's Knowledge and Informal Agricultural Extension and Research in Southern Amazonia: the case of the Mynkys.
The status of local agricultural knowledge in relation to the formal scientific, institutionalised agricultural knowledge of the research and extension services in southern Amazonia is analysed through detailed case study of the experience of the Mynky Indians of Mato-Grosso, Brazil. In this case study, the internal dynamic of the agricultural knowledge systems and practices of the Mynky Indians is examined in relation to other rural inhabitants of Amazonia, church as well as state. It discusses land-use systems and agriculture, Mynky social structure and the historical interaction between the Mynky and the development process. Finally, the paper looks at rural people's knowledge versus theoretical basis of scientific rationality.
The purpose of this book is to outline the role of sociological analysis in the design of agricultural investment projects. The paper deals with a wide-range of disciplinary approaches including rural sociology, anthropology, farming systems diagnosis, "reserche/developpement", poverty alleviation, people's participation, gender analysis, common property resources, rapid rural appraisal and social soundness analysis. The paper is intended to assist managers to make informed choices between different types of sociological surveys and data-gathering methods. [Abstract based on mimeo version]
It introduces the idea of rapid appraisal within the context of rural development. Its key themes are the cultural tensions that arise in rural development research efforts; the scope of RRA, its function and principles, and its challenge in developing a new professionalism, based on rigour and cost effectiveness. In emphasizing the need for eclecticism, inventiveness and versatility, and in questioning some conventional values in research, especially in statistics, it does not undervalue traditional standards and methods where they fit well. It acknowledges that it is easy to be rapid and wrong.
The report on a five-day workshop, organized by the Bay of Bengal's Programme - Post Harvest Fisheries Project and Outreach, which looked at various aspects of PRA. Topics examined included post-harvest activities, credit, women and government links. Exercises were carried out helping to familiarize the workshop participants with certain PRA techniques: matrix scoring, trend diagrams, wealth ranking and the like. An actual series of PRA activities were carried in a small coastal village - Alikuppam, as part of the workshop. The paper also reviews the comments of various groups attending the workshop, as to the application of PRA in their areas of concern. These groups included NGO staff, policy-makers and planners as well as more senior staff from government. This article also contains excerpts from a conversation between Peter Colaco and James Mascarenhas, director of OUTREACH, who acted as the principal resource person for the workshop.
It sets out to discuss the rise of agroecosystems analysis and rapid rural appraisal, as well as charting participatory methods of analysis. More specifically the paper contains sections on the following: (1) agroecosystem concepts; (2) agroecosystem analysis; (3) Rapid Rural Appraisal; and (4) Participatory Analysis.
There is a brief review of Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) and Agroecosystem Analysis (AA). The concepts underpinning these methods, particularly the emphasis on locally attained data, are explained, and their application is expounded. The multidisciplinary aspect of these methods is focused upon. There is a detailed bibliography.
Rapid Rural Appraisal strategies for collecting and analysing data: Papua New Guinea Export Tree Crops Study
This paper establishes models for the collection and analysing of data for the Papua New Guinea Tree Crops Study. Four schemes of rural data collection are distinguished: pure monitoring; research for large-scale projects; research that is participatory and small-scale; and, research that strikes a balance btween the second and third schemes. The paper states that the Papua New Guinea Export Tree Crops Study requires characteristics from all of these schemes and attempts to provide a sythesis of "top down" and "bottom up" approaches for this study.
Sustainability in Agricultural Development: trade-offs with productivity, stability, and equitability
This paper aims to estabish a working definition of sustainable agriculture. The paper advocates Agroecosystem Analysis, using the concepts of agroecosystems, agroecosystem hierarchies, agroecosystem properties and their trade-offs to stimulate interdisciplinary analysis. The paper argues that defining sustainability in terms of preservation or duration has little practical value. Long-term experiments to measure persistence are of research interest but take too long to constitute a practicable analytical method. By contrast, measuring the ability of an agroecosystem to withstand stress and shock is a subject for experiments using classical agricultural mothods. High sustainability is not the only desirable aspect of agricultural production and in many situations it may be necessary to trade a degree of sustainability for higher levels of productivity or equibility.
The book is aimed at any individual who is attempting to understand, with limited time and resourses, any local system. It describes Agroecosytem Analysis (AA), an exploratory Rapid Rural Appraisal methodology. AA is a systematic but flexible workshop procedure, based on systems analysis, for determining research and development priorities in rural development. The book aims to supplement readings from a bibliography that is supplied.
It focuses on social processes, experiential, practical and political elements which are often overlooked in the literature on agricultural research and extension. Methodological issues raised by a shift in theoretical perspectives from a structured to diverse approach are explored. A broader view of the 'farmer' is called for: an approach that locates farmers, researchers and extensionists as social actors within the process of agricultural production and extension. Methodology in agricultural research and extension is clarified at the outset, with challenges to mainstream thinking in agricultural development reviewed. The paper finally explores ways to enrich current agricultural research and extension through new forms of practice.
This paper clarifies "the role of methodology in agricultural research and extension", reviews a)"challenges to mainstream thinking in agricultural development" and b) recent participatory methodologies and explores ways to enrich current agricultural research. It does not consider PRA itself except as one of a range of methods. Rather the paper seeks to contextualise PRA within other participatory methods, and within historical developments that have led to the development of these methods.
It describes and discusses the extension paradigm and qualitative research methodology known as "Rapid Rural Appraisal", in relation to a farmer focused survey conducted in the MIA by a multidisciplinary research team, referred to as the "Griffith RRA". The paper compares two extension approaches: the Transfer Technology (TOT) and Farmer First paradigms. It then concentrates on the latter, looking specifically at the "Griffith" approach and the subsequent analysis. It is concluded that there is significant potential for the RRA methodology to enhance farmers' participation in extension and research.
It concerns an attempt to describe the origins and process of the "Griffith RRA" approach, developed by staff at Charles Sturt University, and looks at what a team learnt from a specific RRA exercise of this nature, during January 1993. The paper includes a section looking at the methodology of this exercise; the background to the "Griffith RRA" methodology; a look at the results of the analysis; followed by a discussion of its findings. One of the main conclusions of the paper is that researchers using RRA must be prepared to trust and stick to their aims and draw honest insights from qualitative data, rather than looking for quantitative analysis to apply when none was intended at the outset.