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Overview of presentation

Introduction and Definition of PRA Origin of PRA Principles shared by PRA and RRA Exclusive principles of PRA What it is? Definition Principle Components Precepts of PRA Evolution in Details Whats in it? Where it is Applied? Practical Example Criticism Bibliography

PRA: Introduction and PRA : Participatory Rural Appraisal Definition

Components: People Knowledge Participation Planning Action It is a combination of different approaches to Share Enhance Analyze Plan Act For the betterment of the rural people with their participation The secrets behind the success of PRA are Decentralization Empowerment

PRA: Origin
PRA has been evolved from RRA (Rapid Rural Appraisal) In mid 80s the necessity of participation in rural

development became evident and the term PRA was born The understanding of PRA came mostly from field rather than academia PRA mostly focuses on the empowerment of people through participation The sustainability rate of PRA is high due to the participation of the local people The sense of ownership and belongingness helps to the success of PRA

Principles shared by PRA & RRA Reversal of learning

To learn of the local people Exploration, flexible methods, adaptable

Learning rapidly and progressively Offsetting bias

To be receptive rather than preconceived ideas

Optimizing tradeoffs
Understanding the usefulness of information

Crosschecking and approximation

Exclusive Principles of PRA

The authority to local people through decentralization

and confidence building Self critical awareness Mistakes are lessons to learn and to do better next time Personal responsibility The belongingness and ownership to the participants Sharing To discuss and argue about ideas in open forum with all stakeholders

What it is?
Participatory research is not an alternative

research method, but an approach that can be applied to any methodology survey, experimental, qualitative (Lilja and Bellon 2008). PRA methods, as they are often called, are visual and tangible and usually performed by small groups of people. (Chambers 2007) PRA comprised of different research tools to facilitate local people in

Analyzing information Practicing critical self-awareness Taking responsibility Sharing their knowledge of life and conditions to

As it has diverse application and has been

changing rapidly any effort to define it might be folly and unhelpful. An approach and methods for learning about rural life and conditions from, with and by rural people. (Chambers 1994)

Principle Components of PRA

Source: Chambers 2007.

Adopted from Chambers 2007

Originally evolved from Rapid Rural Appraisal

and spread fast in the 1990s. Shift in rhetoric: from top-down to bottom up, from centralized to local diversity, from blue prints to learning process. (Chambers 1994) Learning is two way system and respondents know better his/her daily encounter. Emphasis on the power relation between the researcher and researched. Practicing participatory research started since 1983 in Bangladesh.

Five streams which stand out as sources

and parallels to PRA are, in alphabetical order:

Activist participatory research; Agro-ecosystem analysis; Applied anthropology; Field research on farming systems; Rapid rural appraisal. (Chambers 1994)

Activist Participatory Research

The contributions of APR to PRA are more

through concepts than methods:

Common ideas: Poor people are creative and capable; Can and should do their own investigation, analysis and planning; Outsiders have roles as a convenors, catalysts and facilitators. The weak and marginalized can and should be improved.

Agro-ecosystem Analysis
Gordon Conway developed this approach in

Thailand at the University of Chiang Mai around the year 1978. It contributed much in current RRA and PRA through:
Transects (Systematic walks and observation); Informal mapping (Sketch maps drawn on site); Diagramming (Seasonal Calendars, flow and causal

diagrams, bar charts, van or chapati diagrams ) Innovation assessment (scoring and ranking different actions)

Applied Anthropology
PRA represents an extension and

application of social anthropological approaches, insights, and methods, crossfertilized with others. Insights and contributions from Applied Anthropology:
Field learning is flexible art rather than rigid

science; The value of field residence, unhurried participant observation, and conversations; The importance of attitude, behavior and rapport;

Field Research on Farming System

Have contributed to the appreciation and

understanding of
Complexity, diversity and risk-proneness of

many farming system; The knowledge, professionalism and rationality of small and poor farmers; Their experimental mindset and behavior; Their ability to conduct their own analysis.

Rapid Rural Appraisal

Has three main origins:
Disappointment: anti-poverty bias, rural

development tourism. Disillusion with questionnaire surveys and their confusing results; Cost-effective.

From RRA to PRA

Whats in it?

Where it is applied?
PRA applications include:

Natural Resource Management; Agriculture; Poverty and Social Programs; Health and Food Security Analysis.

Project Cycle
From inception to end. Participatory projects pull methods, attitudes and

values from PRA. Micro projects

Practical Example
VGDUP- Vulnerable Group Development for

What are the indicators?
Owning less than 10 decimals of land(0.04 ha) No ownership of production assets There are no active adult male house hold members Employment, if any is limited to day-laboring or domestic help The household is de facto headed by a women (divorced, abandoned, widow, unmarried)

PRA in this project Wealth ranking among the candidates

Whose Participation?: The criticism

... much of what currently passes as 'participatory'

involves local people taking part in other people's projects, according to agendas set by external interests. (Cornwall 1996) Remained donor driven and imposed. Lack of proper training distorts the overall objectives of this approach. Methods are often used to extract infos rather than to empower. Even the term carpet-bombed with PRA came forward due to its over utilization. Shortcomings of some methods like community meetings and widespread use of group discussion.

Lilja , Nina and Mauricio Bellon ; Some common questions

about participatory research: a review of the literature, Development in Practice, Volume 18, Numbers 45, August 2008.
Chambers, Robert; The Origins and Practice of Participatory

Rural Appraisal. World Development, Volume 22, No 7, pp 953969, 1994.

Chambers, Robert; From PRA to PLA and Pluralism: Practice

and Theory, Working Paper 286, IDS, 2007.

Cornwall, Andrea; Towards participatory practice: participatory

rural appraisal (PRA) and the participatory process in De Koning, Korrie and Martin Marion (1996). Participatory Research in Health: Issues and Experiences. Zen Books Ltd., London.