Group Dynamics: Research and Theory
Multi-Subject Farm Surveys Reconsidered: Some Methodological Lessons
It draws on the experience of the author with regard to socio-economic surveys carried out in Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa. It considers problems in sampling, farmers' responses, the interview situation, survey staff, and various problems with regard to recording accuracy and data processing. The paper concludes by noting 20 key aspects that should be taken into account when designing surveys. These include: (1) careful selection and training of staff; (2) the importance of learning the farming systems in advance; (3) where possible to choose farmers for whom the key parameters are known from other sources; (4) utilize at least one full time supervisor resident in the survey area with independent transport; and (5) allow two thirds of the total period for activities other than the field survey, ie. data processing.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Communicating With Pictures
This pamphlet summarises the results of a study conducted by the National Development Service on Nepal and Unicef. Teams of data-collectors went to nine different parts of Nepal showing illiterate villagers a wide variety of pictures in various colours and shadings. The results showed that most of the visual aids used by the health service were not recognised or misinterpreted by local people. Suggestions are made as to how visuals might be improved in response to feedback from villagers.
Communicating with Pictures
A research project was conducted in nine different parts of Nepal to find out how non-literate adults responded to a variety of pictures and diagrams. Findings of the study included : villagers do not expect to receive ideas from pictures, villagers tend to 'read' pictures very literally and that villagers do not necessarily assume that thee is any connection between the pictures in a series. It was found however that 'if a picture's message is explained to villagers, they will probably remember the message when they see the picture again'. This even proved true in the case of an abstract diagram illustrating the transmission of TB. The study also compared the kind of illustrations that were most readily understood.
Appropriate Methodology for Development Research
This paper discusses two related questions: Are research results usable? Are the data actually used in decision-making? Both are determined by the researcher's choice of research methodology. The links between choice of research methodology and the application of results is discussed through a simple conceptual model. A satisfactory link requires a decision to allocate part of research capacity to the evaluation of previous research. To demonstrate the difficulties involved in rigorous analysis, a case study of ten years of research for agricultural development in three East African countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania) is reviewed. Deficiencies in agricultural planning and in applied research for agricultural development are discussed in detail. The causes of ineffective applied research are viewed as lying in scientific culture. An example of applied research with implemented solutions is given, emphasising the benefits of participant research and management procedures for planning.