A comprehensive and clear guide to training, with techniques aimed at all types of participatory training. It opens with a discussion of some concepts commonly considered as 'participation', and discusses their perceptions of participation and the ideas behind participatory training. This is contrasted with traditional teaching methods. All stages are discussed - from the planning and design of the workshop to techniques available. This is exemplified by field examples. The bulk of the book is devoted to short descriptions of different training methods. These include ways of forming groups and ways of 'waking' participants up during long sessions. There are also details of different techniques which can be used to introduce the concepts of participation and dialouge, such as Johari's window, and other behavioural 'games'. Each technique is clearly illustrated, with diagrammes and focusing on visual and participatory methods.
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This thought-provoking article reflects on issues around PRA, after the author attended a two day workshop in the UK. Srivastava questions the "mystification" of PRA techniques through using technical labels, such as "transect", and goes on to discuss the political dimensions of "empowerment through PRA". Using examples from her experience of working with poor women in India, she stresses the need for PRA "not to become a one-way process ...of eliciting knowledge from the people."
Participatory Rapid Appraisal for Community Development: a training manual based on experiences in the Middle East and North Africa
This manual is aimed primarily at NGOs and assumes that trainers have a prior knowledge of PRA techniques. The first section deals with how to plan and organise a training course in PRA, suggesting a set of questions, the ten steps of planning and giving checklists for planning, for materials and examples of warm-ups. The second section describes the individual training sessions in detail, covering the theoretical background to PRA (including PRA versus other research techniques) and a session on each PRA technique introduced. Each method is accompanied by handouts that could be photocopied, suggested activities and hints for the trainer. Particular emphasis is placed on PRA as part of a project planning process, suggesting an "innovation assessment and sustainability matrix" exercise. General fieldwork guidelines are included, but no detail of how to carry out individual activities in the field.
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.
PRA methods are being used to study the effect of dams and drought on the fishery of a floodplain in 24 Nigerian villages. The problems and solutions devised to carry out participatory mapping and ranking exercises in such an area are described in detail, including the materials used.
From participatory appraisal to participatory practice: viewing training as part of a broader process of institutional development
Training alone will not be able to promote a participatory approach in a top-down bureaucratic institution. Other factors, such as funding base, organisational procedures and institutional priorities, may also have to change. Case-studies from Production Through Conservation programme, Lesotho and Soil and Water Conservation Branch, Kenya, illustrate that "it is possible to change the operational procedures and institutional cultures of large, bureaucratic public agencies, but this transformation is "neither easily nor quickly achieved". Seven conditions necessary for such a transformation are identified from the case-studies.
Process Notes on the Training of Trainers and the National PRA Workshop of the Self-Help Support Programme of Interco-operation, Sri Lanka
This comprehensive report, written in narrative style, describes the process of organising a full-scale national workshop on PRA in Sri Lanka. The workshop also provided the opportunity to train four trainers of trainers. In preparation, the trainee facilitators explored two approaches to PRA training (methods vs. attitudes), and selected key themes for the programme. The activities of both the planning stage, the actual workshop and the review are explained in detail (eg games, buzz sessions, role play, frameworks for planning and evaluation, materials /background articles used). The field work was carried out in two villages in Tangalle District with the idea of developing a strategy for SSP to follow up. Organisational aspects of the field work are covered, but not findings nor descriptions of the actual activities
Training Workshop for the Young Farmer Researchers for the Survey of Indigenous and Traditional Crops in Gwanda District
The first section focuses on training techniques for PRA. There is an emphasis on the use of role play, for semistructured interviewing. Both bad and good interviews were improvised. The second section concentrates on the field visits, detailing both the methodology and the findings. After each technique there is a section on 'new learnings' which details both interesting aspects of the villagers agriculturall systems, and the facilitators thoughts on the use of PRA. Maps, matrices, time lines and interviews were used. The final section is composed of individual assesments of the training session and the field work.
The Women's Development Project (WDP) of CARE-Bangladesh trains women in 441 villages as local health educators. A mapping activity was conducted in a village in Tangail with thirteen of these women. In three "para" (neighbourhood) groups, the women drew maps using sticks and flour, showing the households that they worked with and which new health practices (family planning, latrine etc) they had adopted. The maps (which are given in Figure 1) made the health workers aware of their achievements and helped them plan for the future. The article ends with a list of uses of participatory mapping in WDP's work as a whole.
A three week PRA course was run for Redd Barna, a Norwegian NGO, with twenty participants from Ethiopia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. These extracts describe the trainer's preparation, her emphasis on "approach" before introducing methods and organisation of groups for fieldwork. A day-by-day schedule lists the themes covered in theory sessions - certain activities (Chairs Game, Mapping for Mars) are described fully in the participants' words. The fieldwork activities are not described here, but available in a full report from Redd Barna, Zimbabwe.
Reflections around the tensions between male fieldworkers and Women's Project Officers on an Oxfam project, lead to the idea that RRA training can help to raise gender awareness. The RRA approach encourages fieldworkers to listen, to see that communities are not "homogenous blobs" and to abandon preconceived ideas. A case-study from Sierra Leone shows how a social map drawing activity done separately by men and women revealed their different perceptions and needs. The second case-study shows how RRA work in Ghana caused male fieldworkers to change their views of women's position in the community. The next most important step would be to "transform fieldworkers' anger and resentment into positive pride in their awareness of difference".
This paper describes the use of risk-mapping being developed by Save the Children Fund (UK) in collaboration with the FAO for the purposes of food aid allocation and targeting. The risk-mapping project was initiated because of the need for a method which incorporates a wider range of socio-economic information than is currently being used, and which is simple enough to be operationally useful over a wide geographic area. The paper asserts that the risk-mapping framework is able to bridge the gap between the informal, qualitative knowledge of the local informant and the statistical quantitative data of the household survey. SCF is currently carrying out fieldwork to see if it is possible to obtain semi-quantitative data from key informants and communities. A computer program has been developed which undertakes straightforward calculations on the data to arrive at the proportion of the population with a food deficit of a given size. The aim is to develop a user-friendly database in which relevant information, largely from key informants, is clearly organized and presented.
This paper looks at two attempts by nutritional consultants to use a stress calendar to improve community nutrition. This technique involves plotting factors affecting nutrition on a monthly basis to see when there is likely to be a deterioration of nutritional status. Initially this was used to assist Save the Children Fund (Norway) establish the food, nutrition and health situation in their community development project area in East Palpa, Nepal. Using a diagrammatic nutritional calendar it was shown that months corresponding to the rainy season experienced a bunching of stress factors and consequent child mortality. There, the outcome was the decision to concentrate resources before the rainy season to familiarise villagers with the oral rehydration treatment of diarrhoea. Secondly it was used to examine at what time aquaculture could improve nutrition in villages on the Chipata Plateau, Zambia. Here the team noted the consumption of various foods throughout the year and they decided that the availability of fish could make a significant contribution to the diet and income of the poor. It is considered therefore that the way stress calendars portray information has a number of advantages, particularly the timing and nature of relevant interventions.
A comparison of two pieces of research for Save the Children, Norway which set out to compile "stress calendars" to improve community nutrition. There is a clear discussion of the research technique - plotting nutrition factors on a monthly basis, to establish when in the year nutritional status is most likely to be at risk. Case study areas were East Palpa, Nepal and Chipatu Plateau, Zambia. Although a smilar research technique was used, the object of the exercise was different in each case. In Nepal, the exercise determined that the greatest problems existed during the monsoon which fed into a decision to concentrate nutritional support in the period before monsoon. In Zambia the exercise determined when aquaculture could best be targetted to improve nutritional status in the villages.