PLA 24: Critical Reflections from Practice

This issue of PLA Notes brings together social anthropologists, policy makers, NGO development workers, economists, ecologists and trainers to reflect critically on the practice of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA).

Article, 30 September 1995
Participatory Learning and Action
A journal for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike.

October 1995

Guest Editor: Andrea Cornwall

This edition is devoted to a much-needed debate about the use of PRA. 

PRA has proven to be a powerful and often beneficial strategy for participatory development.  Despite these and other positive changes, there remain many questions about the use of PRA. Some of the key areas of concern which have been identified by PRA trainers and practitioners were outlined in the article entitled 'Sharing Our Concerns' in PLA Notes 22. 

This issue is divided into two sections. The first focuses on PRA and Social Anthropology, while the second deals with Politics and Practicalities. 

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Content can be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided the source is fully acknowledged. 

Follow the links below to download the whole issue or individual articles in pdf format.

Download the complete issue.


Editorial: critical reflections on the practice of PRA
Irene Guijt and Andrea Cornwall

PRA and Social Anthropology

Context and Complexity: Anthropological Reflections on PRA
Andrea Cornwall and Sue Fleming

Participatory Rural Appraisal: A quick-and-dirty critique
Paul Richards

PRA and anthropology: challenges and dilemmas
Ian Scoones

Trades in different worlds: listening to refugees' voices
Rachel Hinton

Social analysis in participatory rural development
David Mosse

Participatory appraisal and education for empowerment?
Korrie de Koning

Consensus or cover-up? the limitations of group meetings
Johan Pottier and Patrick Orone

Politics and Practicalities:

PRA, social tremors and rolling heads: thoughts on PRA and empowerment
Judith Appleton

Participatory methods: precipitating or avoiding conflict?
Parmesh Shah and Meera Kaul Shah

Linking PRA-based research to policy
Victoria Johnson

Making the best of going to scale
Robert Chambers

Only playing with beans? participatory approaches in large scale government programmes
Christoph Backhaus and Rukman Wagachchi

Participatory approaches in Save the Children Fund, UK
Louisa Gosling

Development of PRA in Francophone Africa: Lessons from the Sahel
Bara Gueye

The respective merits of RRA and conventional methods for longer-term research
Kathrin Schreckenberg

PRA: a new literacy?
Anna Robinson-Pant

Tips for Trainers: What is PRA? a participatory learning game
Rachel Hinton