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Participatory Rural Appraisal

  • By: Jessica Mercer
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) is a term used to describe the ever-expanding toolbox of approaches and methods that aim to empower and involve local people in decision making and planning for their future. PRA emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a synthesis of the traditions and techniques of participatory research, whose historical origins lay within applied anthropology and natural resource management. However, it significantly developed most directly from rapid rural appraisal (RRA), a series of techniques that were used by development practitioners and researchers to rapidly collect and analyze data in rural areas. RRA was more extractive by nature, resulting in the emergence of PRA in response to a call for more participatory techniques to enable and empower local people to take ...

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