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.
The Nhlangwini Integrated Rural Development Project aims to empower local people, in order that they may improve their quality of life, by helping them develop strategies for addressing basic needs. The Nhlangwini Ward is situated in southern KwaZulu, South Africa. Three workshops were held over a period of three months during 1989. The first examined development problems in the area; the second specifically probed those problems associated with family planning; the third was a development planning workshop, employing visual techniques described in some detail by the paper. Participants were asked to draw local resources by imagining they could view the area from a helicopter. The process of adopting visual techniques has resulted in a change in emphasis - as a result of findings, the integrated development programme has switched approaches with regard to issues facing women, and in terms of its goal setting mechanisms.
Farmers of different wealth will have different problems and needs, and varying ability to adopt proposed technologies. Agricultural research should take into account such differences, in order that research priorities be correctly determined and the relevant innovations developed. This paper reports on a wealth ranking procedure carried out in three upland village in the Philippines: Pong-on, Barrack and Cogon. It contains sections on the following: the preparation for the project; the card sorting methodology adopted; and lessons learnt and recommendations. The ranking exercise was found to be quick and simple, and produced valuable results.
Appropriate methodology: an example using a traditional African board game to measure farmers' attitude and environmental images.
The recent growth in interest in the utility of indigenous environmental knowledge in Africa has brought more sharply into focus the cross-cultural limitations of many conventional geographical methods for collecting perceptual and behavioural data. There is a danger in uncritical reliance on transferred social science methodologies which often embody cultural assumptions exterior to the local culture. This paper explains the use of local traditional cultural forms, in particular the use of a Nigerian board game derived from Mancala. This type of multi-method approach, given carefully designed research programmes, could provide a variety of different learning formats and experiences for both research worker and farmer, and encourage mutual understanding and co-operation in agricultural research in developing countries.
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.
Brief notes on a village mapping project carried out in the village of G.N. Doddy, Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu, India. In an informal style, it describes the methodology adopted and the process used to draw up a caste profile of the village. Some of the key conclusions include: (1) rural people can draw and present diagrams when encouraged; (2) children are good at drawing and estimating distance, sizes and counts; (3) children also give information without fear and show no bias; (4) people identify with each other on the basis of caste; and (5) that it was however, difficult to ensure that the surveyers' opinions were not enforced on the participants.
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.
This paper considers ways in which farmers' own analysis, method and scope, can be documented and explored. It draws out the partially complementary nature and some of the differences with regard to PRA and FPR (Farmer Participatory Research). PRA methods tend to emphasize the visual, while FPR methods are more verbal and observation based. Visual methods have strengths. Farmers have greater capacity to diagram and analyse than most outsiders have supposed, and farmers are proving to be good facilitators of analysis by other farmers. The challenge is to further develop, spread, test and improve farmers' analysis through these and other methods.
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.
The chapter describes the procedure known as Agroecosystem Analysis. This rests on the assumption that analysis, understanding and approaches to improvement of an agroecosystem are best gained from strategic knowledge of that system, as opposed to an attempt to create a complete model. The analysis is based on a week-long workshop aimed at sythesising the approaches of people from different disciplines and attaining useful data from case-study sites. The object of such a workshop is to create key questions concerning an agroecosystem and to stimulate research into answers to those questions.
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.
This paper defines agroecosystems and examines the variety of strategies used to create such a system such as productivity, stability, sustainability and equitability. It states that agricultural development involves a trade-off between these properties. It demonstrates this through selected examples from agricultual history, including the origins of agriculture, manorial and modern Western agriculture and the Green Revolution in Indonesia. It is suggested that these properties may be used normatively as combined criteria for evaluating the performance of agricultural development programmes and projects.