Concepts & Principles of RRA/PRA
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  • 1. Concepts and Principles of RRA/PRA/PLA
    Jaya Jung Mahat
    MSW 3rd Semester
    St. Xavier’s College of Social Work
  • 2. Describe key features, advantages and limitations of RRA & PRA
    Explain steps for the RRA & PRA
    Objectives of the Presentation:
    At the end of the session, the students should be able to:
    Describe brief history and origin of RRA & PRA approaches
    Describe the meaning of RRA and PRA
  • 3. History of RRA/PRA:
    Conventional approaches to natural resources management
    (Top-down transfer-of-technology)
    Farming systems research (FSR)
    (Development of alternative, improved and more participatory approaches)
    Developed in the second half of the 1970s
  • 4. Farming systems research (FSR)
    Farmer Participatory Research (FPR)
    (Direct involving the ultimate beneficiaries in on-farm research; socioeconomic methods developed to consider the interactions between on-farm and off-farm resource management. Recognize the value of ITK)
    Developed in the 1980s
    Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA)
    (Rapid collection of data by outsiders to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the complexity of rural societies)
    Began in the late 1970s
  • 5. Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA)
    Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)
    (Development of tools that helped farmers to collect, analyze, and present their own data and information)
    developed out of RRA in the early 1980s
    Participatory Learning and Action (PLA)
    (Participation should not only be limited to rural appraisals and the approach has learning for action as its basic essence)
  • 6. RRA & PRAcan be used for:
    General analysis of a specific topic, question, or problem;
    Needs assessment;
    Feasibility studies;
    Identification and establishment of priorities for development or research activities;
    Monitoring and evaluation of development or research activities; and
    Identification of conflicting interests between groups.
  • 7. Defining RRA
    There is no generally accepted definition of RRA. RRA is more commonly described as a systematic but semi-structured activity out in the field by a multidisciplinary team and is designed to obtain new information and to formulate new hypotheses about rural life. A central characteristic of RRA is that its research teams are multidisciplinary.
    RRA (and analogs) emerged in the 1970s as a more efficient and cost-effective way of learning by outsiders
  • 8. Principles of RRA
    Learning from (and with) the rural people
    Learning rapidly and progressively
  • 9. Robert Chambers describes the orientation of RRA as a "fairly-quick and-fairly-clean" appraisal, and as opposed to the fast and careless studies (he calls them "quick-and-dirty" studies) and the slow and excessively accurate approaches ("long-and-dirty").
  • 10. Park at your own risk!
  • 11. PRA
  • 12. Getting to Know
    The roots of PRA techniques can be traced to the activist adult education methods of Paulo Freire
    Robert Chambers argues that the approach owes much to "the Freirian theme, that poor and exploited people can and should be enabled to analyze their own reality."
  • 13. Defining PRA
    This technique of data collection aims to incorporate the knowledge and opinions of rural people in the planning and management of development projects and programmes.
    Not working FOR the people but WITH the people.
  • 14. Objectives of PRA
    Stimulate the community to identify the causes of its problems and collective aspirations;
    Facilitate communication with the community;
    Help the community to identify resources, experiences, and potential improvement;
    Identify interests and conflicts; and
    Motivate communities to develop self reliance in project development and management
  • 15. Core Concepts of PRA
  • 16. PRA Tools
    Semi-structured interviewing
    Focus group discussions
    Preference ranking
    Mapping and modeling
    Seasonal and historical diagramming.
  • 17. Methods used in PRA
    Secondary data reviews
    Semi-structured interviews
    Analytical games
    Stories and portrays
  • 18. Tips for doing PRA
    Do not lecture: Look, listen & learn
    Facilitate, do not dominate
    Do not interrupt or interfere
    Accept people’s errors
    Obtain opinions from all groups
    Use six helpers: What, Why, Who, When, Where, and How
  • 19. Good Features of PRA
    “Learning-as-you-go” Principle
    In the community
  • 20. Different disciplines
    Insiders/ outsiders
    Men and women
    Key features of the PRA
    (as a form of cross-checking):
  • 21. Triangulation
    Source of information
    (2) Various sources of information (diversity),
  • 22. Triangulation
    Tools & techniques
    (3) A mixture of techniques and tools
  • 23. Key features of the PRA
    • Interdisciplinary Team
    - Consists of members with different skills and professional backgrounds.
    - All members of the PRA team should be involved in all aspects of the study, design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
    - The PRA team should always include women and, whenever possible, local people. PRA is a learning experience in which the participants also learn from each other.
  • 24. Key features of the PRA
    • Qualitative data, diversity of information
    • 25. PRA seeks diversity and differences in a qualitative sense rather than simplifying complexity to quantitative averages and statistical figures.
    • 26. Accuracy is achieved through drawing from diversified information sources, through cross-checking of data, and other methods for reliability.
  • Key features of the PRA
    Mix of appropriate techniques
    Appropriate techniques are mixedto tailor to the specific requirements of the study.
    These techniques should be clear, self-evident and simple, appropriate to local conditions and open for any modification that might be suggested by the local people.
  • 27. Key features of the PRA
    Rapid progressive learning, group interaction, and local knowledge
    PRA is cumulative learning from, with, and by local people, eliciting and using their criteria and categories, and finding, understanding, and appreciating local people’s indigenous knowledge.
  • 28. Key features of the PRA
    • Flexibility and context specificity
    Plan and survey methods are only structured to start with, and are revised, supplemented, detailed, adapted, and modified as the PRA fieldwork proceeds. These are to suit each new set of conditions and people involved.
  • 29. Key features of the PRA
    New roles of experts
    The PRA methodology is concerned with the transformation of existing activities and practices to improve the livelihoods of local people. The role of the external expert, researcher, extension agent is that of a facilitator helping people to carry out their own surveys and information gathering, thus preparing the ground for action and change.
  • 30. Key features of the PRA
    • Community participation
    Involving local people in the PRA survey to greatly facilitate understanding, analysis, and interpretation of collected data.
  • 31. Key features of the PRA
    On-the-spot analysis/on-site presentation
    Learning takes place in the field, and the analysis of the information gathered should be an integral part of the fieldwork itself.
    Results of the field study are evaluated by the entire team, whenever possible, before their departure, publicly presented, and discussed with community members.
  • 32. Key features of the PRA
    Multiple perspectives
    PRA recognizes that different individuals and groups make different evaluations of a situation, which leads to different action.
  • 33. Key features of the PRA
    Actions for change
    PRA is directed towards changes in perceptions, attitudes, and readiness to contemplate actions. The process of joint analysis and interpretation helps to define changes that would bring about improvement of livelihood conditions.
  • 34. Benefits of PRA methods
    • Empowerment of the local people
    • 35. Securing active involvement of the community
    • 36. Diversification and appreciation of local knowledge, encouraging/enabling the expression and utilization of local diversity while building on ITK
    • 37. Creating a culture of open learning with each other and with community members
    • 38. Setting research priorities
    • 39. Setting participatory extension program
    • 40. Policy review
  • Some typical dangers and limitations of PRA
    • Difficulty in getting exact information
    • 41. Difficulty in finding the right questions to ask
    • 42. Not enough time to spend in the village
    • 43. Danger of ‘rural development tourism’
    • 44. Difficulty in finding the right interdisciplinary team
    • 45. Lack of experience of team members, particularly lack of skills in the field of communication, facilitation, and conflict negotiation
    • 46. Team members do not show the right attitude, fail to listen, and lack respect
  • Some typical dangers and limitations of PRA
    • Overlooking opinions and demands of women, particularly by male team members
    • 47. Lack of institutional support and an open learning environment within organizations (centers, departments)
    • 48. PRA becoming a fashionable label to satisfy public, institutional, or donor expectations for ‘participatory’ approaches
    • 49. Villagers are occupied with farm work
    • 50. Villagers give unrealistic answers to receive more support (sometimes be the village headman)
    • 51. Actors involved in PRA research for action activities are not neutral
  • Writing results of the PRA
    The results of the PRA are usually written up, but reports are most valuable when treated as working documents.
    Presenting the results orally is also very important. It is normal that the PRA team members can not put down in writing everything they have learned during the fieldwork.
    The report should be written up and presented as soon as possible. Ideally, the first draft should be written ‘in the field’, while information is still fresh in the mind, before interruptions can occur, and while the team is still together.
  • 52. RRA VS PRA
  • 53. ThankYou
  • 54. Want to Share Something Creative
    What’s your idea?