What is PRA through PLA and RRA towards planning, monitoring and evaluation?

What is PRA, PLA and RRA ?

PRA represents Participatory Rural Appraisal. PRA has been used for needs assessment of rural communities. It is based on comprehensive participation of different and diverse group of propel in the community. PRA is a technique where community people are involved and facilitated to analyze their own situation as well as for their learning to formulate alternative choices for strategic actions to solve problems affecting their lives. . This makes the PRA as a useful tool for planning, monitoring and evaluation of any kind of community development project. The role of outsiders is limited to facilitation only. Based on specific situation and objective PRA is also termed as PLA -meaning Participatory Learning and Action. RRA is termed as “Rapid Rural Appraisal” RRA is used by outsiders to gather in-depth information about specific situation in the community.

Some major PRA tools

Wealth ranking: The wealth Ranking is designed by the community peoples them by using their own criteria in order to identify the relative wealth status of the different groups of people in a particular community. Wealth Ranking helps to segregate poorest, poor and rich people in the community and different strategic development actions can be undertaken targeting specific group of people in the community.

Diagrams and maps:
• Maps-show details of a geographical area and its utilization.
• Social maps- Maps of village or area showing different social groups in the community.
• Mobility maps-This map shows the mobility pattern of different social groups in the community and their relationship with outside worlds.
TransectsTDrawing of a main land-use zone of a specific area.

Time lines; shows sequence of different events.
Time trends; shows the change of things overtime.
Seasonal calendars: shows relationship of various activities (agriculture, health, income-earning, etc with seasonal variations.
Historical profile: shows an overview of different historical events.
Venn diagram: shows the mapping of major institutions and agencies and their connectivity for various development actions.

PRA, PLA and  RRA  serve as very useful and potential tools to aiding  project development, implementation and management; and problem analysis, monitoring and evaluation.

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