Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA): Analysis of Experience

Chambers, R. (1994) “Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA): Analysis of Experience”. World Development, vol 22, no 9, pp. 1253–1268.

The more significant principles of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) concern the behavior and attitudes of outsider facilitators, including not rushing, “handing over the stick,” and being self-critically aware. The power and popularity of PRA are partly explained by the unexpected analytical abilities of local people when catalyzed by relaxed rapport, and expressed through sequences of participatory and especially visual methods. Evidence to date shows high validity and reliability of information shared by local people through PRA compared with data from more traditional methods. Explanations include reversals and shifts of emphasis: from etic to emic, closed to open, individual to group, verbal to visual, and measuring to comparing; and from extracting information to empowering local analysts. Includes sections on community surveys and census. 

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