A five day workshop for trainers of PRA was held in the Emmental valley, Switzerland. Participatory mapping and transects were carried out with local residents, as well as theoretical sessions using new training methods, such as a "mood metre" to provide constant feedback. The PRA Problem Solving Exercise questions around fieldwork protocol ("What would you do if..?") are attached as an appendix.
The article traces the development of RRA and PRA in relation to earlier and parallel methodologies, and outlines their core principles and practices. PRA is distinguished from RRA by the extent to which people are involved in carrying out the analysis and own the resulting information. The three pillars of PRA - behaviour, methods, and sharing - are discussed, with a strong emphasis on the importance of behaviour and attitudes. The article also highlights some problems and dangers, and concludes with some practical tips for using PRA in the field.
Exploring the potential for primary environmental care: rapid appraisal in squatter communities in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
This paper discusses the methods of collecting information in a field study carried out in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) a suburb of Salvador. The study was part of a training exercise for students of the "International Course for Primary Health Care Managers at District Level in Developing Countries" based in Italy. The study also aimed to explore the potential for Primary Environmental Care and identify ways by which the local health district could support squatter communities. A rapid appraisal was carried out in three squatter communities. Secondary data was analysed, life history interviews were conducted, a "risk map" was drawn in which local participants geographically located problems, focus groups and ranking, key informant interviews, ten institutions with an interest in environmental issues were interviewed, and a feed-back meeting was held for all community members. It is concluded that RRA is well suited to study fast-changing environments, a potential danger of the exercise is taken to be undue expectation-raising of the local community. Finally "microplans" are introduced as a possible means of making RRA action oriented. Five pages are devoted to illustrations arising from the exercises.
This study represents some of the lessons learned over three years by the Indian NGO, The Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA). The origins and principles of PRA are outlined. Six case studies of PRA are given of which two are health-related. Herbal PRA: herbal practitioners identified 144 herbs and their uses, a historical time line of diseases and treatments was constructed (this is given in an appendix). Twenty most important herbs were identified which the herbalists promised to help raise in village herb gardens. Health PRA: this was conducted as a training exercise with 20 NGOs in Tamil Nadu. PRA exercises helped replace curative notions of health care with a focus on the socio-economic causes of ill health. The results of a wealth ranking and a health matrix are presented in the appendixes.
In the West African nation of Togo mid-level health workers are being routinely trained to conduct focus-group interviews with mothers of children under five. The intent is to establish qualitative data bases that complement conventional survey data. The authors document the findings of a five-day training programme during which health workers collected data from 81 focus groups (324 mothers). Two unanticipated effects emerged: firstly that the focus group method democratized data gathering by forcing health workers out of their perceived roles as experts and teachers; secondly that by stimulating this shift in roles community competence was enhanced, thereby promoting collaborative programme planning by health workers and target villages. Evidence is given that focus-group discussions paved the way for highly successful education campaigns which dramatically increased child vaccination rates.
Effective health planning requires good quality data, but many health facilities lack the ability to provide this. Health questions often have to be answered within specific research studies. Microcomputers are now generally recommended and used by researchers for data analysis at the end of projects. The article reviews the use of microcomputer based management of data collection during a study. A selection of pojects are described, all of which have used microcomputers in a decentralised fachio, closer to the point of data collection. The main advantages of this approach are a significant reduction in error rates, and the ability to produce data quickly.
This article outlines one of a series of workshops conducted for NGOs and local Government officials in Tamil Nadu by the Society for Peoples' Education and Economic Change (SPEECH). The 23 participants spent four days learning PRA theory and conducting fieldwork in a village near Tiruchuli. The workshop also analysed group dynamics and recorded the very favourable impressions of participants. Examples are given of village maps, models, matrices and linkage diagrams.
This brief article describes some of the problems the authors encountered conducting pile sorting and free listing with women in a slum area. It emerged that these women did not view their health problems in "lists" but rather as part of the socio-cultural context of their lives. The authors discover a more effective way of involving participants is to organise group meetings on specific topics.
This article consists of observations arising from the author's visits to several NGOs on the Indian sub-continent. Four main suggestions are made: conduct limited direct observations; use pile sorting techniques with key informants; experiment by modifying the pile sort technique; conduct key informant interviews on issues relating to the context of women's health.
This paper presents the results of an international workshop convened to examine verbal autopsy methods with the goal of achieving a consensus on methodological approaches. A verbal autopsy is an interview designed to identify specific medical syndromes, using information about the terminal illness elicited from relatives of the deceased person. Particular attention is paid to the difficulties of cause-specific mortality of children in developing countries.
This study focuses on sustainability in relation to people's visions of the future in Tamil Nadu, South India. The farmers' environmental awareness and ideas about resource use, as well as their visions for the future were analyzed. Information was gathered using various methods including transect walks, semi-structured group and individual interviews, and mapping. The methods used and the findings of the study are presented and discussed. The villagers perceived that the present system of land use was neither environmentally nor socially sustainable. Suggestions are made of ways to encourage local people to integrate environmental concerns into their agricultural and social planning.
This paper describes work carried out by ActionAid in Vietnam on poverty identification and programme interventions which have been designed in response. A wealth-ranking exercise led to the production of village ranking lists, which highlighted significant socio-economic differences between the villagers. Some of the difficulties encountered in using the method as the basis for planning interventions are also discussed.
El diagn¾stico se llev¾ a cabo en el marco del 5 Taller sobre DRP de la UADY del 15 al 25 de Noviembre de 1994 en Merida. El fin de este trabajo de campo tambiÚn era contribuir al proyecto de "Evaluaci¾n de proyectos agroecol¾gicos campesinos" que se va e realizar en esta zona de Yucatßn. El DRP dur¾ 4 dÝas, el equipo trabaj¾ en le comunidad de Mama, que partenece a las ciudades de Tekit y Oxcutzcab en Yucatan, MÚxico. El objetivo del DRP era: conocer las percepciones de los campesinos acerca de la labranza mÝnima a travÚs de una anßlisis participativa enfoqueando en la dinamica campesino-campesino. Se utilizaron la major parte de las herramientas del DRP.
VIPP: Visualisation in participatory programmes : a manual for facilitators and trainers involved in participatory group events.
This manual is intended as an introduction to VIPP (Visualisation in Participatory Planning), a system whereby groups plan together using colour coded cards to brainstorm and prioritise options. VIPP is described as more democratic than ZOPP but, unlike PRA, is intended for use by literate planners rather than villagers themselves. Some of the VIPP techniques are similar to PRA, such as 'single or multi-dot questions' as a form of ranking. Drawing is used as a technique to discuss what development means. The manual includes detailed instructions on 'icebreakers' as well as information on equipment and training methods used within VIPP.
Este es el informe de resultados del tercero equipo interdisciplinario del Curso Taller Intensivo sobre DRP organizado por el Programa Bosques, Arboles y Comunidades Rurales, la Universidad NUR y otras entitades mßs durante el mes de Mayo de 1994. El diagn¾stico fue realizado entre el 17 de Abril y el 14 de Mayo en la comunidad de El C¾ndor, provincia Ichilo, Dept. de Sta. Cruz, Bolivia. El documento consta de dos partes: la primera corresponde a la sistematizaci¾n de la informaci¾n secundaria, en la segunda parte se encuentran los resultados del taller en cuyo proceso el equipo se integr¾ con el equipo local, compuesto por los comunarios elegidos en Asamblea por la comunidad misma.