The key theme of the paper is the inherent capacity of farmers for analysis and the problems encountered as a result of ignoring this characteristic. This lack of acknowledgement has undermined and impinged upon the effectiveness of many rural development programme. Drawing on experience gained from a Watershed Management Programme run by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, this paper aims to set the record straight. Its particular concern is the generation of suitable technologies, through participation, which benefit farmers and rural communities. It portrays farmers as analysts, and describes various methods which have evolved with regard to rainfall analysis and crop planning and impact studies. Participatory mapping-types and applications are discussed: resource maps, watershed maps, thematic maps, social maps, base line maps, and monitoring and impact maps.