• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Editor's note
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Defining the concept
 The role of rapid rural appraisal...
 Issues facing the practitioner
 Potential problems
 Summary and conclusions
 Checklist for rapid rural appraisal...
 Supplementary checklist for RRA...
 Six models for rapid rural...
 Reference






Group Title: Networking paper - Farming Systems Support Project - no. 5
Title: Rapid rural appraisal
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00056184/00001
 Material Information
Title: Rapid rural appraisal the critical first step in a farming systems approach to research
Series Title: Networking paper
Physical Description: 36 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Beebe, James
University of Florida -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Farming Systems Support Project
Publisher: The Project
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla. ;
Washington D.C
Publication Date: [1985?]
 Subjects
Subject: Agricultural systems -- Research   ( lcsh )
Farm management -- Research   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 33-36).
Statement of Responsibility: James Beebe.
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00056184
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 12121347

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Editor's note
        Unnumbered ( 3 )
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Defining the concept
        Page 2
        Page 3
    The role of rapid rural appraisal in a farming systems approach to research
        Page 4
        Defining a farming systems approach to research
            Page 4
        Survey research versus rapid rural appraisal
            Page 5
        Roles for rapid rural appraisal
            Page 6
    Issues facing the practitioner
        Page 7
        Duration of the rapid rural appraisal - Participation on the papid rural appraisal team
            Page 8
        Participation on the rapid rural appraisal team
            Page 8
            Guidelines
                Page 10
        Research orientations
            Page 9
            Variability and averages
                Page 11
            Problems and opportunities - Individuals and communities
                Page 12
            Rational determinants of behavior
                Page 13
        Structuring the research time
            Page 13
            Page 14
        Information to be collected in advance
            Page 15
        Interviews
            Page 16
            Selection of repondents
                Page 16
                Page 17
            Interviewing individuals and groups
                Page 18
            Scheduling interviews - Getting better information from interviews
                Page 19
            Use of interpreters - Taking notes
                Page 20
            Locations for interviews
                Page 21
        Use of direct observation
            Page 21
            Page 22
        Preparation of the report - Getting results factored into decisions
            Page 23
    Potential problems
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Checklist for rapid rural appraisal data collection
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Supplementary checklist for RRA for a FSAR
        Page 30
    Six models for rapid rural appraisal
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Reference
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
Full Text













RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL;
THE CRITICAL FIRST STEP IN A
FARMING SYSTEMS APPROACH TO RESEARCH


Farming Systems Support Project


International Programs
Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611


Office of Agriculture and
Office of Multisectoral Development
Bureau for Science and Technology
Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523


NETWORKING PAPER NO. 5















RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL;


THE CRITICAL FIRST STEP IN A

FARMING SYSTEMS APPROACH TO RESEARCH















DR. JAMES BEEBE*
Acting Chief, Agricultural Operations Division
USAID/Philippines
APO San Francisco, CA 96528

















NETWORKING PAPER NO. 5



*The opinions and views expressed are those of the author and not
necessarily those of the United States Agency for International
Development.











Editor's note:


Networking Papers are intended to inform colleagues about farming
systems research and extension work in progress, and to'facilitate the
timely distribution of information of interest to the farming systems
network of practitioners throughout the world. The series is also
intended to invite response from the farming systems network to help
advance the FSR/E knowledge base and state-of-the-art. Comments,
suggestions and differing points of view are invited by the author or
authors. Names and addresses of the author or authors are given on
the title page of each Networking Paper.

Networking Papers do not necessarily present the viewpoints or
opinions of the FSSP or affiliated entities, but represent a statement
of the author or authors. Readers wishing to submit materials to be
considered for inclusion in the Networking Paper series are encouraged
to do so. Send typewritten, single-spaced manuscripts, ready for
publication. The FSSP does not perform an editing or production
function with Networking Papers other than to reproduce the author's
work and distribute it to a targeted audience. Distribution is
determined by geographic and subject matter considerations to help
select a sub-group from the FSSP mailing to receive the Networking
Paper on a case-by-case basis.





RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Table of Contents


1 Introduction 1
2 Defining the Concept 2
3 The Role of Rapid Rural Appraisal in a Farming Systems
Approach to Research 4

3.1 Defining a Farming Systems Approach to Research 4
3.2 Survey Research versus Rapid Rural Appraisal 5
3.3 Roles for Rapid Rural Appraisal 6

4 Issues Facing the Practitioner 7

4.1 Duration of the Rapid Rural Appraisal 8
4.2 Participation on the Rapid Rural Appraisal Team 8
4.3 Research Orientations 9

4.3.1 Guidelines 10
4.3.2 Variability and Averages 11
4.3.3 Problems and Opportunities 12
4.3.4 Individuals and Communities 12
4.3.5 Rational Determinants of Behavior 13

4.4 Structuring the Research Time 13
4.5 Information to be Collected in Advance 15
4.6 Interviews 16

4.6.1 Selection of Respondents 16
4.6.2 Interviewing Individuals and Groups 18
4.6.3 Scheduling Interviews 19
4.6.4 Getting Better Information from Interviews 19
4.6.5 Use of Interpreters 20
4.6.6 Taking Notes 20
4.6.7 Locations for Interviews 21

4.7 Use of Direct Observation 21
4.8 Preparation of the Report 23
4.9 Getting Results Factored into Decisions 23

5 Potential Problems 24
6 Summary and Conclusions 26

1 Checklist for Rapid Rural Appraisal Data Collection 28
2 Supplementary Checklist for RRA for a FSAR 30
3 Six Models for Rapid Rural Appraisal 31
.4 References 33


BEEBE 1985:








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL:

THE CRITICAL FIRST STEP IN A FARMING SYSTEMS APPROACH TO RESEARCH



It will perhaps always be a struggle to argue, however valid the
case, that it is better to be vaguely right than precisely wrong
(Carruthers and Chambers 1981:418).




1 Introduction


A practitioner interested in using Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) for
gathering information as part of a Farming Systems Approach to Research
(FSAR) is faced with different models, confusion in terminology resulting
from similar concepts with different labels and different concepts with the
same label, and a wide range of claims and counter-claims on the advantages
of different approaches.[1] This paper will introduce the basic concepts
of Rapid Rural Appraisal as the critical first step in understanding the
complex problems of farmers, clear up some of the confusion, identify
salient methodological issues, and suggest a checklist to enable the reader
to evaluate the quality of the exercise.

Rapid Appraisal can be quite harmful when the results are taken as the
"truth." Rapid Rural Appraisal will be counter productive if it gives undue
credibility to initial guesses and results in a failure to continue
collecting and systematically organizing information. RRA is a way of
organizing people and time for collecting and analyzing information where
time constraints demand decisions before a local situation can be fully
understood. Sometimes these decisions concern additional research such as
the content of a formal survey or the focus of long-term ethnographic
research. Oftentimes in a Farming Systems Approach to Research, decisions
must be made immediately after the RRA on interventions such as cropping



1. Even though the focus of this paper is the use of Rapid Rural Appraisal
in research on the complex problems of small farmers in developing
countries, RRA can be used for the design and evaluation of the feasibility
of proposed general development projects, including health, nutrition,
institutional development, systems management, income generation, and
natural resource conservation. After design, RRA remains relevant to
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these projects. Most of the
issues discussed in this paper are as relevant to the general use of RRA as
they are to the specific use of RRA for a Farming Systems Approach to
Research.


BEEBE 1985:1






RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


trials or other new technology. Even when the RRA will be followed
directly by an intervention, the assumption is that information on the
local situation will continue to be collected and organized. The
intervention itself becomes a way of better understanding the local
situation. Results of the intervention combined with the continued
application of the research methodologies of RRA should serve to correct
mistakes in the initial study, deepen understanding of the local situation
and modify the initial and future interventions.

One of the strengths of RRA is the flexibility to adjust it to specific
objectives. While much greater rigour in the use of the standard social
science methodologies is needed, RRA can not and should not have a single
standardized methodology. Local conditions, available resources and
specific research objectives should always determine how RRA is
implemented. Because of the options available, attention is needed to the
implication of the choice of specific research methodologies.

While this paper aims to be comprehensive in describing the most widely
discussed models of RRA used as part of a Farming Systems Approach to
Research, it does not pretend to be encyclopedic. Interested readers are
provided with references. Detailed discussion of nine specific issues
relevant to the use of RRA follows a brief discussion of the RRA concept
and its roles in a Farming Systems Approach to Research.






2 Defining the Concept


Rapid Rural Appraisal is defined as:

a study used as the starting point for understanding a local
situation; carried out by a multi-disciplinary team; lasting at
least four days but not more than three weeks; and based on
information collected in advance, direct observation and
interviews where it is assumed that all relevant questions can
not be identified in advance.

The phrase "Rapid Rural Appraisal" is taken from the title of a workshop in
October 1978 at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex,
UK. In addition to being called Rapid Rural Appraisal or Rapid Appraisal
(Chambers 1983), research methods meeting the above definition have been
referred to as "Sondeo" (Hildebrand 1982), "Informal Agricultural Survey"
(Rhoades 1982), "Rapid Reconnaissance" (Honadle 1979), "Informal Methods"
and "Reconnaissance Survey" (Shaner et al 1982) and "Exploratory Survey"
(Collinson 1981). The six models of RRA associated with these authors are
summarized in Appendix 1.


BEEBE 1985:2







RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Rapid Rural Appraisal has been described as: "modified survey" (Hildebrand
1982:289), "survey undertaken without questionnaires" (Shaner et al
1982:73), "informal", "exploratory", "largely unstructured interviews
combined with observation" (Honadle 1979:2), "organized common sense, freed
from the chains of inappropriate professionalism" (Chambers 1980:15), and
"a form of appropriate technology: cheap, practical and fast" (Bradfield
1981 quoted by Rhoades 1982:5).

Critics often dismiss RRA as "quick and dirty," and the approach of
"development tourists." Its proponents, on the other hand, usually justify
RRA in terms of budgetary, time and personnel constraints and given the
very real constraints in most Third World countries, this defense is
valid. Even critics admit that RRA is preferable to the prejudice and
preconvictions which are too often the basis for actions (Wood 1978). Even
if financial and human resources are available for the intensive and
expensive studies assumed as necessary to understand the complex problems
involved with rural development, time constraints often force decisions on
interventions before these approaches can produce results. Chambers
compares RRA with the longer and more expensive solutions usually preferred
by well-trained professionals. He notes that there are already too many
instances of rural studies where mounds of indigestible data have been
collected and:

". never coded, or if coded never punched, or if punched
never processed, or if processed and printed out, never examined,
or if examined, never analyzed or written up, or if analyzed and
written up, never read, or if read, never understood or
remembered, or if understood or remembered, never actually used
to change action. Rural studies must be one of the most
inefficient industries in the world. Benchmark surveys are often
criticized and yet these huge operations persist, often in the
name of science of evaluation, preempting scarce national
research resources, and generating mounds of data and papers
which are likely to be an embarrassment to all until white ants
or paper-shredders clean things up (1980:5)."

RRA cannot take the place of in-depth, long-term and scholarly studies that
will continue to be needed for some purposes. It can, however, usually
complement existing methods of inquiry and almost always can serve as the
beginning point for either interventions or additional studies. In a paper
published in 1949, G.C. Homans said:

"People who write about methodology often forget that it is a
matter of strategy, not of morals. There are neither good nor
bad methods, but only methods that are more or less effective
under particular circumstances."


BEEBE 1985:3








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


3 The Role of Rapid Rural Appraisal in a Farming Systems
Approach to Research


Rapid Rural Appraisal has been particularly useful as part of a Farming
Systems Approach to Research (FSAR). Because the discussion of RRA as part
of a FSAR is complicated by confusion over definitions, several of the key
concepts of FSAR are summarized below.




3.1 Defining a Farming Systems Approach to Research

All farmers, everywhere, are involved in farming systems. A farming
systems is defined as:

". .the complex arrangement of soils, water sources, crops,
livestock, labor, and other resources and characteristics within
an environmental setting that the farm family manages in
accordance with its preferences, capabilities, and available
technologies. Farmers manage the household's resources involved
in the production of crops, livestock, and nonagricultural
commodities (e.g. handicrafts), and may also earn income off the
farm (Shaner et al 1982:3)."

Research that focuses on the interdependencies among the components under
the farmers' control and between these components and the physical,
biological, and socio-economic environments is relatively new, and is
called a "Farming Systems Approach to Research". Shaner et al (1982:4)
summarizes a farming systems approach as:

". .farmer based, problem solving, comprehensive,
interdisciplinary, complementary, iterative, dynamic, and
responsible to society."

A major source of confusion is the reference of some authors to any
research that involves trials in farmers' field as "farming systems
research" and descriptions of "farming systems" in terms of the major crops
produced by the farmer. While FSAR requires trials in farmers' fields, not
all trials in farmers' fields represent a Farming Systems Approach. When
research centers only on the biological production potential of one or more
crops it should be called "cropping systems research". Inclusion of
livestock as part of cropping systems research does not make it a Farming
Systems Approach to Research unless economic, social and cultural issues
and the world beyond the farm gate are considered. Likewise, a description
of a cropping pattern (for example, corn followed by upland rice) that does


BEEBE 1985:4








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


3 The Role of Rapid Rural Appraisal in a Farming Systems
Approach to Research


Rapid Rural Appraisal has been particularly useful as part of a Farming
Systems Approach to Research (FSAR). Because the discussion of RRA as part
of a FSAR is complicated by confusion over definitions, several of the key
concepts of FSAR are summarized below.




3.1 Defining a Farming Systems Approach to Research

All farmers, everywhere, are involved in farming systems. A farming
systems is defined as:

". .the complex arrangement of soils, water sources, crops,
livestock, labor, and other resources and characteristics within
an environmental setting that the farm family manages in
accordance with its preferences, capabilities, and available
technologies. Farmers manage the household's resources involved
in the production of crops, livestock, and nonagricultural
commodities (e.g. handicrafts), and may also earn income off the
farm (Shaner et al 1982:3)."

Research that focuses on the interdependencies among the components under
the farmers' control and between these components and the physical,
biological, and socio-economic environments is relatively new, and is
called a "Farming Systems Approach to Research". Shaner et al (1982:4)
summarizes a farming systems approach as:

". .farmer based, problem solving, comprehensive,
interdisciplinary, complementary, iterative, dynamic, and
responsible to society."

A major source of confusion is the reference of some authors to any
research that involves trials in farmers' field as "farming systems
research" and descriptions of "farming systems" in terms of the major crops
produced by the farmer. While FSAR requires trials in farmers' fields, not
all trials in farmers' fields represent a Farming Systems Approach. When
research centers only on the biological production potential of one or more
crops it should be called "cropping systems research". Inclusion of
livestock as part of cropping systems research does not make it a Farming
Systems Approach to Research unless economic, social and cultural issues
and the world beyond the farm gate are considered. Likewise, a description
of a cropping pattern (for example, corn followed by upland rice) that does


BEEBE 1985:4









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


not refer to the complex interrelationships of the crops with the economic
and cultural environments should not be referred to as a "farming system".




3.2 Survey Research versus Rapid Rural Appraisal

As part of a Farming Systems Approach to Research, RRA is critical for
identifying the farm level problems that become the focus for research. It
is expected to provide the information needed for the design of on-farm
trials. Survey research can not substitute for RRA at this critical point
because survey research assumes that the problem is already sufficiently
known to articulate questions. RRA assumes that it is impossible to
identify all relevant questions in advance. A Questionnaire can not
identify unanticipated site-specific problems, and is limited to validating
problems articulated by outsiders. While RRA is not guaranteed to succeed
in identifying such problems, survey research based on a questionnaire can
certainly not.

Survey research is also rejected as a RRA substitute because it does not
consider data context and relies only on the prepared questions for data
gathering. "Units are sampled and weighed, contexts are not" (Stone and
Campbell 1984:36). Especially when survey research is not based on prior
qualitative research, it is subject to such serious non-sampling errors
that the analytical and policy conclusions based on such studies must be
questioned (Stone and Campbell 1984:36). The RRA based on intensive and
qualitative field work is a better starting point for research because of
its attention to context.

It is sometimes incorrectly argued that survey research is quicker and can
be done with less experienced and qualified researchers than RRA. While
data collection by survey sometimes requires less time, data analysis
almost always takes more time. Data usually must be coded, keypunched or
entered into a computer and then analyzed in separate steps and at places
removed from the research site. While survey enumerators may not have to
make many independent decisions, good survey research can not be carried
out without training and close field supervision. In addition, special
training in instrument design and data management ensures that surveys will
not be designed and analyzed by the FSAR site team.

Survey research as a starting point for a Farming Systems Approach to
Research deprives the participants of the opportunity for training and team
building across disciplines and perpetuates the practice of having
decisions made about the future of rural people by outsiders. Survey
research has a definite role in investigating agricultural development
problems. The argument here is that survey research should not be the
first step.


BEEBE 1985:5









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


3.3 Roles for Rapid Rural Appraisal

Rapid Rural Appraisal can provide the information needed for the design of
initial interventions as part of a FSAR, whether on-farm trials,
improvement of existing irrigation systems (Chambers 1983, de los Reyes
1984), agroforestry projects for upland farmers (Fujisaka and Capistrano
nd), or soil conservation and community organization projects (Lamug 1985).
RRA however has important roles beyond identification of initial
interventions. The objectives of any given RRA needs to be identified in
advance and the RRA structured to achieve them.

Building Foundations for Multi-disciplinary Teamwork. By educating and
developing teamwork among the multi-disciplinary individuals usually
responsible for carrying out FSAR, RRA serves as a necessary step in team
building. The social scientist or economist has an opportunity to
understand the farmer's perspective on production decisions and the
biological researcher or agronomist has an opportunity to identify major
shortcomings and compromises in management that do not fully use the
biological potential of the area (Collinson 1982:19). The chances of
success for a RRA may depend upon the exercise being treated as a learning
experience by all concerned, including learning from colleagues in other
professions (Chambers 1983:31).

Reorientation of Team Members. Scientists from research stations and
universities responsible for technology generation should, when possible,
be included as members of the RRA team. This will orient them better to
the entire range of constraints faced by farmers and help avoid the
development of inappropriate technology.

Improving the Quality of Subsequent Surveys. Experts on FSAR disagree on
whether the RRA should be followed by a formal survey (Rhoades 1982:6).
Proponents of the formal survey disagree among themselves as to whether it
is to be done before field trials begin (Collinson 1982:7) or can proceed
simultaneously with field trials (Shaner et al 1982:74). Everybody,
however, completely agrees that the RRA can be used to improve the design
and execution of any formal survey or more in-depth investigation that
follows the RRA. Formal follow-up studies are suggested to verify the
results obtained during the RRA and to collect baseline data that can be
used for evaluations. The RRA helps insure that the questionnaire is
understandable and relevant to farmers' circumstances and sensitive to
local issues (Rhoades 1982:6). Results from the RRA can be used to better
phrase questions by using the terms used by the farmers in a given area.
Results of the RRA can also be used to decide on the type and size of the
sample for formal surveys (Shaner et al 1982:74).

Define the Area to be Covered. In most cases the RRA will help identify the
geographic area for FSAR (Hildebrand 1982:290, Shaner et al 1982:74). If
the geographic area to be covered by FSAR has already been fairly well
established (Collinson 1982:7), RRA can help refine the boundaries.


BEEBE 1985:6








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Alert Farmers and Local Officials. The RRA can be used to alert farmers and
local officials in the area of proposed activities and can be used to
locate cooperating farmers for on-farm trials (Shaner et al 1982:74).

Monitor Project Implementation. After initial design, RRA remains relevant
to implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Farming Systems Research.
Chambers (1980:2) notes that rural development projects are not like
construction works, with engineering blueprints which precisely
predetermine what will be done, but rather like voyages into uncharted seas
where direction and steering will change with new soundings and sightings.
RRA techniques will not prevent all shipwrecks; but may at least reduce
some of the dangers by showing more clearly and more quickly what is
happening.

Influence Key Decision Makers. The RRA can be used to influence and gain
the cooperation of key decision makers. Dr. Utai Pisone of Thailand
reports that national government officials, if invited to participate on
the RRA team, can be made aware of proposed activities and real problems
facing the local population (Farming Systems and Soil Resources Institute
and the Agency for International Development 1984). RRA can also be used to
provide experiential knowledge of local conditions to officials from donor
organizations (Beebe 1982:1). Any possible negative impact on group
discussion arising from the participation of high ranking government
officials and representatives of donor agencies should be carefully
considered before they are invited to participate.






4 Issues Facing the Practitioner


At least nine issues face practitioners of Rapid Rural Appraisal.
Resolution of these issues determine what will be discovered and how
results will be used. These issues are: (1) duration of the study, (2)
participation on the RRA team, (3) research orientations, (4) structuring
the research time, (5) information to be collected in advance, (6) use of
interviews, (7) use of direct observation, (8) preparation of the report,
and (9) getting results factored into decisions.


BEEBE 1985:7








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


4.1 Duration of the Rapid Rural Appraisal

While rapid appraisal has been defined as lasting between a few days and
three months (Honadle 1979:2), most authors suggest one to three weeks. In
determine the duration of RRA, the critical question is usually the minimum
time to be devoted to the activity. The most common problem is too much
rushing and haste. The key to good rapid appraisal is allowing enough time
to be observant, sensitive and eclectic and to follow up on leads
(Carruthers and Chambers 1981:418). Anything less than four days is
inadequate for carrying out discussions, and for identifying, discussing,
modifying and rejecting ideas that emerge from these discussions, and for
putting these ideas together in a usable form (Chambers 1983:28). An
appraisal that is too long may waste project time and cause participants to
view the RRA as a end in itself instead of as a tool for starting the FSAR
process. Anything less than four days is probably "Development Tourism",
and anything more than three weeks probable puts too much emphasis on RRA.




4.2 Participation on the Rapid Rural Appraisal Team

Team Size. Because of the important role of discussion between individuals
involved in implementing RRA and the need for several perspectives, RRA is
defined as a study carried out by a multi-disciplinary team. The argument
that it is necessary to have an integrated and coordinated approach to
research can not be used as an argument for having only one well-informed
and intelligent person do it all (Chambers 1983:23). RRA can not be done by
one person.

Smaller teams are preferred to larger teams and the ten-member Sondeo team
is probably too large. Members of large teams are more likely to talk to
one another and less likely to listen and learn from others than members of
small teams (Rhoades 1982:16). Large teams often intimidate farmers. Large
teams are also more likely to be conservative and cautious, and to take
longer to produce a report and recommendations (Chambers 1983:23).

Team Composition. The Sondeo (Hildebrand 1982:290) calls for a
multi-disciplinary team composed of five members from the "technology
testing team" including plant breeders, plant pathologists, economists, and
general agronomists and five members from a "socioeconomics team" including
anthropologists, sociologists, economists, agricultural economists and
engineers. The Exploratory Survey consists of a professionally trained
agronomist and economist (Collinson 1982:49). The disciplinary specialty of
team member is not critical as long as several disciplines are
represented. Both men and women should be included on the team (Shaner et
al 1982:74), and all team members should have some familiarity with all
aspects of the system being investigated (Chambers 1983:23).


BEEBE 1985:8








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


4.1 Duration of the Rapid Rural Appraisal

While rapid appraisal has been defined as lasting between a few days and
three months (Honadle 1979:2), most authors suggest one to three weeks. In
determine the duration of RRA, the critical question is usually the minimum
time to be devoted to the activity. The most common problem is too much
rushing and haste. The key to good rapid appraisal is allowing enough time
to be observant, sensitive and eclectic and to follow up on leads
(Carruthers and Chambers 1981:418). Anything less than four days is
inadequate for carrying out discussions, and for identifying, discussing,
modifying and rejecting ideas that emerge from these discussions, and for
putting these ideas together in a usable form (Chambers 1983:28). An
appraisal that is too long may waste project time and cause participants to
view the RRA as a end in itself instead of as a tool for starting the FSAR
process. Anything less than four days is probably "Development Tourism",
and anything more than three weeks probable puts too much emphasis on RRA.




4.2 Participation on the Rapid Rural Appraisal Team

Team Size. Because of the important role of discussion between individuals
involved in implementing RRA and the need for several perspectives, RRA is
defined as a study carried out by a multi-disciplinary team. The argument
that it is necessary to have an integrated and coordinated approach to
research can not be used as an argument for having only one well-informed
and intelligent person do it all (Chambers 1983:23). RRA can not be done by
one person.

Smaller teams are preferred to larger teams and the ten-member Sondeo team
is probably too large. Members of large teams are more likely to talk to
one another and less likely to listen and learn from others than members of
small teams (Rhoades 1982:16). Large teams often intimidate farmers. Large
teams are also more likely to be conservative and cautious, and to take
longer to produce a report and recommendations (Chambers 1983:23).

Team Composition. The Sondeo (Hildebrand 1982:290) calls for a
multi-disciplinary team composed of five members from the "technology
testing team" including plant breeders, plant pathologists, economists, and
general agronomists and five members from a "socioeconomics team" including
anthropologists, sociologists, economists, agricultural economists and
engineers. The Exploratory Survey consists of a professionally trained
agronomist and economist (Collinson 1982:49). The disciplinary specialty of
team member is not critical as long as several disciplines are
represented. Both men and women should be included on the team (Shaner et
al 1982:74), and all team members should have some familiarity with all
aspects of the system being investigated (Chambers 1983:23).


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RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


community; and (5) implications of viewing behavior as rational.




4.3.1 Guidelines

Even if there is agreement that RRA can not be based on a questionnaire,
there is considerable disagreement on the extent to which the team should
develop hypotheses and general guidelines before starting the RRA (Shaner
et al 1982:74). The Exploratory Survey (Collinson 1982:49) at one extreme
uses more than 11 pages of questions as guidelines. This detailed
guideline is to be followed closely, with all questions being asked of at
least some farmers. Interviews using such detailed guidelines are
incorrectly referred to as "unstructured." At the other extreme, the Sondeo
does not even offer a list of topics beyond what is proposed as an outline
for the written report. Failure to offer specific questions appears to be
premised on the belief that interviews with farmers or other people in the
area should be very general and wide-ranging, "because the team is
exploring and searching for an unknown number of elements" (Hildebrand
1982:291). It is claimed that a framework prepared before meeting farmers
will predispose team members toward their own ideas, thereby blocking out
opportunities to gain new insights.

This paper advocates the use of short guidelines prepared in advance, but
cautions against too much reliance on them. "In this early phase the
researcher is like an explorer, making a rapid survey of the horizon before
plunging into the thickets from which the wider view is no longer possible"
(Rhoades 1982:5). While one may begin with guidelines, important questions
and direction of the study emerge as information is collected. "One must
be able to accommodate new information and adjust research plans
accordingly "(Rhoades 1982:7). Rhoades (1982:9) proposes the following
short list of topics:


.What are the agro-climatic zones?
.What are the principle crops?
.What is the cropping (or post-harvest) system?
.What are the types of farmers?
.What are the farmers' practices?
.Why do farmers follow these practices?
.What do they feel are their main problems?

The responses to these wide ranging questions are used to decide the
specific topics to be emphasized during the remainder of the interview
(Shaner et al 1982:76). Even a comprehensive guideline need not be viewed
as an agenda to be diligently worked through, but as an aid to memory and a
reminder of what might be missed (Bottrall 1981:248 as quoted by Chambers
1983:25). "Not everything needs to be known. The key to rapid appraisal is
to move quickly and surely to the main problems, opportunities and actions"
(Chambers 1983:25).


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RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Teams should be composed of a mix of insiders and outsiders. It is not
always possible in FSAR to differentiate the insiders from the outsiders.
It is assumed that some team members are already familiar with the area,
(may even be from the area and are likely to remain there) and will provide
an insider's perspective to the problem. Other team members will be able
to share experience and knowledge from the outside. The outsiders'
participation can be extremely valuable to the insiders in identifying
possible options and in noting constraints that might otherwise be
overlooked. At the same time outsiders gain insights and knowledge that
can guide their research activities away from the farm.

Prior Training and Experience. The effectiveness of RRA is improved by
including as participants individuals who have already participated in
another RRA (Hildebrand 1982:292). Given the different approach to research
required by RRA, the presence of even one person on the team who feels
comfortable with the approach can mean the difference between successful
research and frustration. It may be that at least some members of the team
should participate in a trial-run RRA before doing one where the results
will be used. Opinions differ on the need for team training before going
to the field. Rhoades (1983:7) argues that because RRA is more art than
science there is no substitute for experience as the teacher. On the other
hand Collinson (1982:48) argues the need for pre-RRA training. Specific
pre-RRA training based on simulating RRA through the use of slides and role
playing has been suggested by the Farming Systems Support Project at the
University of Florida. Training in RRA has even been suggested as part of a
program of administrative development and management training (Honadle
1979:54). Rhoades (1982:5) seems to provide the best answer as to who can
do RRA. He asserts that anyone can do it--agronomists, extension workers,
biologists, and social scientists as long as they have a little time,
pencil, paper, common sense, and a down-to-earth approach to farm people.

In summary: (1) it is impossible for an individual to carry out RRA and
smaller teams are preferred to larger teams: (2) team composition is not
critical as long as there is a mix of technical backgrounds and insiders
and outsiders; and (3) special training and prior experience with RRA are
desirable but not necessary, and professional training is not as important
as common sense and good observational skills.




4.3 Research Orientations

Implicit assumptions often determine to a large extent what happens during
RRA and how the results are interpreted. The next five sections of this
paper will cover important research orientations with implications for RRA
when used as part of a Farming Systems Approach to Research. These sections
consider: (1) whether guidelines should be used and if they are to be used,
how long they should be; (2) whether the team should seek averages or
emphasize variability; (3) whether to focus on problems or opportunities;
(4) whether to focus only on individuals or also look at groups and the


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RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


The definition of Rapid Rural Appraisal is premised on the impossibility of
identifying all relevant questions in advance. Research based primarily on
the use of a prepared questionnaire is thus not consistent with the RRA
definition. Despite arguments against the use of very long and very
detailed guidelines; the use of short guidelines is advocated but only if
there is not too much reliance on them.




4.3.2 Variability and Averages

Even though variability, especially in resources, may be the most important
characteristic of a population, researchers who seek homogeneous
"Recommendation Domains" are likely not to perceive it. Some approaches to
Farming Systems Research assume that well-defined, homogeneous systems can
be identified to simplify procedures for generating and promoting
technology (Hildebrand 1982:290). It is assumed that homogeneous cropping
systems reflect similar adjustments to restrictions faced by farmers, and
that since they all have made the same adjustments, they must all be facing
the same agro-economic conditions. It is even suggested that the cropping
pattern, referred to by Collinson as the "farming system" represents the
interaction between natural, economic and cultural circumstances and the
farmers priorities and resource capabilities.

Experience, however, has shown that these assumptions are often incorrect
and that within any given geographic area are several "cropping patterns"
and within any given cropping pattern numerous "farming systems." Instead
of trying to define the average, the RRA team is urged to seek variations
in the general practices of the area (Shaner et.al 1982:76). Typologies of
farmers can be based on factors such as the size of holding and the purpose
of production as well as the cropping system (Rhoades 1982:20). Trying to
understand why variations occur helps the team understand why farmers use
certain practices. Towards the end of the RRA, the team should estimate
the approximate frequencies of farmers who use different practices.
"However, remember that typologies are merely ways of organizing thinking
and that farmers cannot be so easily stereotyped. Do not automatically
assume that all farmers in a type will behave the same" (Rhoades 1982:20).
Where variability is as great as it is under rainfed conditions, failure to
consider variability can lead to very incorrect analysis of problems faced
by farmers. Recognition of the tremendous variability of these areas
should lead to new research approaches that recognize the limited
applicability of any given technology (Beebe 1978). Attention to
variability should also lead to new extension approaches that present
farmers with options that they can adapt to their existing systems as
opposed to packages of technology that they are expected to adopt instead
of their existing system.


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RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


4.3.3 Problems and Opportunities

Most RRA teams concentrate on identifying problems. While this can be a
useful beginning point, it is not necessarily the most cost-effective
approach since not all problems are worth solving (Chambers 1983:12). The
determination of whether problems are worth solving depends on costs,
benefits and alternatives. The alternative is the exploitation of
opportunities. A problem orientation seeks to diagnose the deficiency,
evaluate present status against some original design specification and look
for ways of easing constraints. An opportunity orientation seeks to
identify the potential, evaluate the present situation against what might
now be achieved, and look for ways of exploiting resources.

"There is a sense in which some problems are opportunities. But
not all are. And not all opportunities begin as problems. It is
not a question of either a problem-orientation or an
opportunity-orientation, but of a balanced mix. The recurrent
danger is that preoccupation with problems will prevent the
recognition and exploitation of opportunities (Chambers
1983:13)."

Since most research naturally tends to be problem oriented, the RRA team
should give at least some attention to opportunities.




4.3.4 Individuals and Communities

Since most information is collected from and about individuals, the RRA
team may fail to consider the importance of community organizations and
groups. While an individual may appear to have control over a resource and
to have freedom to make decisions without reference to others, community
opinions may in fact govern decisions. Only a group can make certain
decisions. Timing of agricultural practices may depend on labor
availability and this may be determined by when others in the community
time their practices. Timing of agricultural practices may have to be
coordinated to prevent having the only crop ready for harvest and thus
inviting damage by pests and predators (Beebe 1982:10). The RRA team should
carefully consider the influence of groups and the local community on the
actions of individuals. Failure to do so can result in suggestions for
change that will never be implemented.


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RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


4.3.5 Rational Determinants of Behavior

The success of FSAR depends on viewing rural people as rational. The first
step in understanding the problems of most target groups is to realize that
rural people are rational. Empirical research throughout the Third World
has shown that the behavior of rural people is purposive to satisfy the
following priorities (Collinson 1982:19):


(1) social and cultural obligations of their community,
(2) reliable supply of preferred foods day in and day out,
(3) supply of cash to provide additional basic needs, and
(4) extra cash.

The RRA team needs to pay attention to the relative importance that
individuals attach to the above priorities. Programs promising extra cash
are not likely to be of interest to individuals who are trying to ensure a
reliable supply of preferred foods. RRA as a methodology implicitly views
farmer behavior as rational. The task for the RRA team is to determine the
relative importance that individuals attach to priorities ranging from
satisfying social obligations to gaining extra cash.




4.4 Structuring the Research Time

Opinions differ considerably on to how to structure the time of a RRA, but
there is almost universal agreement on the importance of dividing time
between collecting data and team interaction to make sense out of the
collected data. Interaction between researchers at the end of each day and
at the end of the field work is essential in determining the success of the
RRA. Collinson (1982:7) suggests that one of the three weeks devoted to the
RRA be spent in team interaction and reaching conclusions.

Scheduling RRA time can ensure that time for group interaction will be
adequate and that a variety of different activities can be covered in a
short period of time. While two models are presented below, the success of
a RRA does not depend upon following any given model.

The most time-structured RRA model is the six-day Sondeo. The first day is
for general reconnaissance of the area by the whole team as a unit, with
group discussions following each interview. For the next two days the
larger team is divided into pairs consisting of one biological scientist
and one social scientist. After each half or full day, the entire team
meets to discuss what was learned and to formulate tentative hypotheses to
explain the local situation. Following the discussions, the team pairs are
changed to maximize interdisciplinary interaction and to minimize
interviewer bias. Hildebrand (1982:291) insists that the importance of the


BEEBE 1985:13









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


4.3.5 Rational Determinants of Behavior

The success of FSAR depends on viewing rural people as rational. The first
step in understanding the problems of most target groups is to realize that
rural people are rational. Empirical research throughout the Third World
has shown that the behavior of rural people is purposive to satisfy the
following priorities (Collinson 1982:19):


(1) social and cultural obligations of their community,
(2) reliable supply of preferred foods day in and day out,
(3) supply of cash to provide additional basic needs, and
(4) extra cash.

The RRA team needs to pay attention to the relative importance that
individuals attach to the above priorities. Programs promising extra cash
are not likely to be of interest to individuals who are trying to ensure a
reliable supply of preferred foods. RRA as a methodology implicitly views
farmer behavior as rational. The task for the RRA team is to determine the
relative importance that individuals attach to priorities ranging from
satisfying social obligations to gaining extra cash.




4.4 Structuring the Research Time

Opinions differ considerably on to how to structure the time of a RRA, but
there is almost universal agreement on the importance of dividing time
between collecting data and team interaction to make sense out of the
collected data. Interaction between researchers at the end of each day and
at the end of the field work is essential in determining the success of the
RRA. Collinson (1982:7) suggests that one of the three weeks devoted to the
RRA be spent in team interaction and reaching conclusions.

Scheduling RRA time can ensure that time for group interaction will be
adequate and that a variety of different activities can be covered in a
short period of time. While two models are presented below, the success of
a RRA does not depend upon following any given model.

The most time-structured RRA model is the six-day Sondeo. The first day is
for general reconnaissance of the area by the whole team as a unit, with
group discussions following each interview. For the next two days the
larger team is divided into pairs consisting of one biological scientist
and one social scientist. After each half or full day, the entire team
meets to discuss what was learned and to formulate tentative hypotheses to
explain the local situation. Following the discussions, the team pairs are
changed to maximize interdisciplinary interaction and to minimize
interviewer bias. Hildebrand (1982:291) insists that the importance of the


BEEBE 1985:13








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


discussions following a series of interviews cannot be over-stressed. On
the fourth day before the team returns to the field for more interviews,
team members are assigned a written section of the report. After half a
day in the field, the team begins to write the report. All members should
work at the same location so that they can circulate freely and discuss
points with each other. On the morning of the fifth day, team members
return to the field to collect missing data. In the afternoon of the fifth
day, each team member reads his or her written report to the group for
discussions, editing and approval. As a group, the team approves and
modifies the presentation. On the sixth day, after the report is read
again section by section, conclusions are reached and recorded. When this
is finished, the conclusions are read once again for approval and specific
recommendations are then made and recorded.

Instead of dividing the RRA by days, Chambers (1983:29) divides it by weeks
and the weeks by activities. He notes that the activities could follow
many patterns and suggests the following as one possibility:


(1) Briefings and discussions with local officials and
project staff, and the drawing up of an information
matrix identifying (a) what information is needed,
(b) who will obtain it, (c) where it will be obtained,
and (d) how should it be obtained.
(2) General field familiarization in pairs or small groups.
(3) Comparison of impressions, assessment of priorities, etc.
(4) Flight over the area.
(5) Main field visits using techniques taken from Hildebrand's
Sondeo, Collinson's Exploratory Survey and Rhoades's
Informal Agricultural Survey.
(6) Evening discussions alternating between team discussions
and group discussions with farmers. "A good deal of
open-ended brainstorming is indicated, avoiding premature
closure on solutions."
(7) The completion of a tentative plan with main alternatives
and listing of further information to be obtained.

The second week is used for testing, rejecting and modifying proposals.
The second week is considered very important because it is when the less
obvious snags and opportunities are likely to be seen.

Even before deciding on how to structure the RRA time, it is necessary to
decide on whether to invest in a preliminary visit by one or two members of
the team (Chambers 1983:28). This advance team could be expected to explain
the forthcoming RRA, find a place to work, arrange vehicles, identify a few
local participants for the first interviews and request maps, reports etc.

In summary: (1) considerable time must be allocated to team interaction;
(2) adherence to any given schedule is not critical, but tentative
schedules can help optimize the use of time and can ensure time for group
interaction; and (3) a preliminary visit by a team member may be useful.


BEEBE 1985:14








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


4.5 Information to be Collected in Advance

Chambers (1980:8) notes that despite the wealth of information in archives,
annual reports, reports of surveys, academic papers, government statistics,
etc., RRA participants tend to ignore them and to start de novo. This
failure to collect basic data in advance of the RRA means that field
research time is wasted in collecting already available data. It also
means that important research leads and topics suggested by this material
may be missed.

Secondary data often provides good information on physical environmental
factors such as rainfall patterns, soil types, etc., but usually contain
little information about actual behavior and inadequate information on the
socioeconomic and biological aspects of the local system (Shaner et al
1982:73 and Honadle 1979:39). The amount of data to be collected in advance
should be a factor of the specific RRA objectives, the available resources
for data collection, and an assessment of data vadidity. Very few RRA
teams will want to invest the up to three months required to collect all of
the advanced detailed information recommended by Collinson. Instead teams
will usually want to select items most relevant to their RRA from the list
he proposes (Collinson 1982:17):


1. Natural circumstances
a. Rainfall, amount, and reliability
b. Seasonal temperatures
c. Soil characteristics and topography
d. Pest and disease incidence as a source of uncertainty
of crop output

2. Institutional circumstances
a. Types of marketing and supply channels
b. Types and reliability of food distribution channels
c. Extension and credit programs: the types of programs,
the number and types of participants
d. Land tenure arrangements
e. Farmer groups, whether voluntary, organized, official
or unofficial, and the planned and actual functions

3. Economic circumstances
a. Population numbers and density, and settlement pattern
b. Available area and production figures
c. Marketed products, volume and trends for outputs sold
and inputs purchased, food purchased, relative volume
and trends over years and between seasons, prices,
trends over the years and over the calendar, and
marketing margins.


BEEBE 1985:15







RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Sources of secondary data include the national census, reports of village
administrators, local marketing or credit offices, local extension service,
agricultural publications, consultant studies (Shaner et all982:72),
feasibility studies, design documents, evaluations, administrative reports,
and organizational by-laws (Honadle 1979:39).

Since one of the most difficult early decisions in an RRA is defining the
geographical region to be studied, Rhoades (1982:8) suggests the use of
aerial photos, and land-use, relief, or ecological maps. "In fact, do not
even think of going to an area without at least one map, preferably a
topographic map."

A RRA uses interviews and direct observation to build upon information
collected in advance. Information collected in advance will (1) save time
and suggest additional areas of inquiry for the RRA; (2) be more valid on
physical and environmental factors than on socioeconomic and biological
aspects of the local system; (3) be determined by the objectives of the
study and often a sub-set of that proposed by Collinson; and (4) include
maps or aerial photos.




4.6 Interviews

An important way of learning about local conditions is to ask local
participants what they know. Individual knowledge, however, varies
greatly. People also differ greatly in their willingness and verbal
capabilities for expressing information (Pelto and Pelto 1978:73). Some are
widely knowledgeable, whereas others depend on their friends for routine
information.

Seven related issues concern interviews as part of RRA: (1) selection of
respondents, (2) individual versus group interviews, (3) timing of
interviews, (4)strategies for getting the most out of interviews, (5) use
of interpreters, (6) note taking, and (7) appropriate locations for
interviews. It is assumed that RRA interviews do not use a formal
questionnaire but at most a checklist of questions as a flexible guide.
The interview is usually the most important research methodology used by
the RRA and is the only methodology discussed as part of the Sondeo.




4.6.1 Selection of Respondents

Two types of individuals are usually interviewed. The "individual
respondents" can tell about what they actually do with special attention to
their role in the system being investigated, while the "key informants"
with their more extensive knowledge can talk about the system beyond their


BEEBE 1985:16







RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Sources of secondary data include the national census, reports of village
administrators, local marketing or credit offices, local extension service,
agricultural publications, consultant studies (Shaner et all982:72),
feasibility studies, design documents, evaluations, administrative reports,
and organizational by-laws (Honadle 1979:39).

Since one of the most difficult early decisions in an RRA is defining the
geographical region to be studied, Rhoades (1982:8) suggests the use of
aerial photos, and land-use, relief, or ecological maps. "In fact, do not
even think of going to an area without at least one map, preferably a
topographic map."

A RRA uses interviews and direct observation to build upon information
collected in advance. Information collected in advance will (1) save time
and suggest additional areas of inquiry for the RRA; (2) be more valid on
physical and environmental factors than on socioeconomic and biological
aspects of the local system; (3) be determined by the objectives of the
study and often a sub-set of that proposed by Collinson; and (4) include
maps or aerial photos.




4.6 Interviews

An important way of learning about local conditions is to ask local
participants what they know. Individual knowledge, however, varies
greatly. People also differ greatly in their willingness and verbal
capabilities for expressing information (Pelto and Pelto 1978:73). Some are
widely knowledgeable, whereas others depend on their friends for routine
information.

Seven related issues concern interviews as part of RRA: (1) selection of
respondents, (2) individual versus group interviews, (3) timing of
interviews, (4)strategies for getting the most out of interviews, (5) use
of interpreters, (6) note taking, and (7) appropriate locations for
interviews. It is assumed that RRA interviews do not use a formal
questionnaire but at most a checklist of questions as a flexible guide.
The interview is usually the most important research methodology used by
the RRA and is the only methodology discussed as part of the Sondeo.




4.6.1 Selection of Respondents

Two types of individuals are usually interviewed. The "individual
respondents" can tell about what they actually do with special attention to
their role in the system being investigated, while the "key informants"
with their more extensive knowledge can talk about the system beyond their


BEEBE 1985:16








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


own limited participation.

Interviews are conducted with an opportunity sample of purposely selected
"individual respondents" who are likely to be beneficiaries of any program
being planned or implemented. They should be chosen because they represent
a cross section of the expected target population. An opportunity sample
of farmers would include farmer leaders, farmers who have tried recommended
technologies, innovative farmers who have successfully developed improved
technologies, women farmers who are both members and heads of households,
farmers who represent major cropping systems in the area, very poor farmers
with very limited resources, and traditional farmers who have resisted new
technology. The bias of interviewing only men must be avoided. "Normally
all family members are involved in agricultural decision-making and
especially in regions of high male labor outmigration, women, old people,
and children are the backbone of farming (Rhoades 1982:13)."

The already difficult task of trying to identify appropriate technology for
an ecological zone is complicated through a widespread tendency to select
larger, "better" (more successful) farmers as respondents for surveys and
as cooperating farmers for field trials. Following Honadle's (1979:45)
strategy for avoiding biases when investigating organizations, the RRA team
could ask for the names of one or more farmers who disagree with all
decisions, generally promote trouble, and never cooperate with development
programs. Responses from these persons should provide valuable
cross-checks and reveal useful insights that may not result from the other
interviews. Better information is collected from "individual respondents"
when it is clear to both respondent and RRA team members that questions
concern only the individual's knowledge and behavior, and not what he or
she thinks about the knowledge and behavior of others.

Key informants, however, are expected to be able to answer questions about
the knowledge and behavior of others and especially about the operations of
the broader systems. Key informants are accessible, willing to talk, and
have great depth of knowledge about an area, certain crops, credit,
marketing and other problems. Key informants relevant to a RRA as part of
a Farming Systems Approach to Research would include bankers, landlords,
ministry officials, merchants, middlemen, extension agents, buyers of
agricultural products and suppliers of inputs. While both Chambers
(1980:13) and Rhoades (1982:14) appear to limit the term "key informants"
to non-farmers, some farmers can be sources of information about the
broader system beyond their own experiences, and some non-farmers such as
landlords will only be able to tell about their own experience, and are
thus "individual respondents." It is worthwhile spending time asking who,
or which group of people, are most knowledgeable, and then working with
them (Chambers 1980:13). "Do not believe everything key informants say but
do not pass up the old-timers who enjoy talking" (Rhoades 1982:14).

In summary, the important issues for the RRA team are (1) being able to
differentiate between "individual respondents" and "key informants"; (2)
ensuring that "individual respondents" are purposely selected to represent
the variability that exists within the community; and (3) ensuring that


BEEBE 1985:17








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


"key informants" are selected to include individuals able to describe the
broader system beyond their own direct participation.




4.6.2 Interviewing Individuals and Groups

Group interviews can be extremely useful in collecting information such as
(1) natural resource information (traditional names for soil types and
their location),(2) local histories (age of the community), and (3)
depending on the culture, certain sensitive information (land quality and
size of landholding). Group interviews can be used in some cultures to
collect information on topics where an individual may be penalized if he or
she replies truthfully, but where a group talking about the community may
not feel threatened (Chambers 1980:14). Often similar topics can be taken
up in interviews with group and "key informants." Group interviews where
individuals are free to correct each other and discuss issues can identify
variability within the community and prevent an atypical situation from
being confused with the average.

Honadle (1979:39) refers to group interviews as an informal "delphi"
technique. Informed persons are engaged in a dialogue designed to expose
varied interpretation of events, policies or objectives. The investigator
makes extensive use of "What if?" questions to develop a logical sequence
and to focus participant attention on different contingencies. Group
interviews must be skillfully orchestrated to be effective (Van Der Veen
1983:173).

Experience suggests that group interviews may reveal what people believe
are preferred patterns as opposed to what actually exists. A very detailed
description of the local crop rotation system by a group of farmers was
later found not to be practised by any of them exactly as described (Beebe
1982). Even when some topics have been covered by a group interview, the
same topics should still be covered with individuals. The question changes
from "What do farmers generally do?" to "What do you do?". Because the
presence of others often influences answers, those who are present during
an interview should be noted. The presence of the local extension worker
may influence farmers' comments about the extension service. Visits to
farmers' fields provide the opportunity to be alone with the farmers
without the influence of others.

The number and length of interviews are assumed to be determined by common
sense and local conditions. Relatively homogeneous populations require
fewer interviews than highly heterogenous populations. Depending on the
approach, between 15 (Collinson's Exploratory Survey) to 80 individuals
(Hildebrand's Sondeo) are interviewed. The guidelines by Collinson
(1982:49) require up to eight hours to administer, and he thus suggests
that not all points be raised with all farmers. Use of Collinson's
guidelines results in a composite picture based on information from
different farmers. This approach assumes a highly homogenous population


BEEBE 1985:18








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


and is not appropriate for identifying variability within the group. His
suggestion of spending between one to two hours per farmer, however, is
probably a good guideline for all individual respondent interviews.

In summary, skillfully orchestrated group interviews have a very important
role in RRA. Group interviews are useful in collecting certain information
and in providing important leads for further investigation. Many topics
taken up in group interviews will also need to be covered in individual
interviews. The RRA team should (1) note the possible influence on
responses of the presence of others; (2) where possible conduct some
interviews without the presence of others; and (3) limit interviews to
between one and two hours.




4.6.3 Scheduling Interviews

The timing of the interview can be extremely important and the interviewer
has to be aware of the daily work schedule, seasonal activity, work habits,
climate, and their effect on farmers' willingness to talk (Rhoades
1982:15). Collinson (1982:21) suggests conducting interviews during the
growing season and preferably one to two months before the harvest period.
While it is desirable to observe operations, the sensitive interviewer will
ensure that the interview does not hamper important work. The RRA team
should be aware of the impact of timing on the responses and where
possible, choose the optimal season and the time for interviews. Both the
season and time, and their possible impact on the interview should be
recorded.




4.6.4 Getting Better Information from Interviews

The RRA team should get people to talk on a subject and not just answer
direct questions. The interview should be a dialogue or process where
important information develops out of casual conversation. The key to
successful informal interviewing is to be natural and relaxed while guiding
the conversation to a fruitful end. "Talk with people and listen to their
concerns and views" (Rhoades 1982:17). Rhoades (1982) recommends the
following to improve the interview:


"Don't pull out an official-looking questionnaire."
"Oversized vehicles bearing official looking numbers
driven by chauffeurs should if possible, be avoided."
"Walk as much as possible."
"Do not go in large numbers."
"Be sensitive to the fact that people may be suspicious
of you."


BEEBE 1985:19








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


To get respondents to talk instead of just responding to questions, they
can be asked to tell their life histories. Other techniques for increasing
dialogue include the use of ratings and ranking where the respondents are
asked to group or rank a series of fellow farmers, occupations, problems or
other lists of items. Respondents can also be asked to complete in any way
they want statements where the first few words are provided (Pelto and
Pelto 1978:78-94). One suggestion for collecting some quantitative data as
a first step towards a formal survey is the use of ranking scales developed
from responses to the open-ended question: "What is the most important
problem you have in producing...? The second most important, the third,
and so on?..." It should be noted however that concerns elicited through
this approach will depend upon the season (Rhoades 1982:24). Traditional
board games such as "count and capture" to get farmers' perceptions of
weeds, pests and farm methods can also be used (Barker 1978).

Better ways of getting answers other than asking straight questions are
numerous. Even as the RRA team works to improve the quality of dialogue
with respondents based on questions, team members should experiment with
other ways of getting respondents to talk about the subject under
investigation.




4.6.5 Use of Interpreters

Ideally all members of a RRA team should speak the local language. In the
real world, one or more members of a RRA team may not speak the local
language and an interpreter will have to be used. Interpreters should be
chosen carefully to ensure that they understand the questions. Before the
interview, the team should go over the interview strategy with the
interpreter, emphasizing that the team is interested in more than just
"answers" to "questions".

The interpreter should not be physically between the speaker and the person
being interviewed, but rather beside or slightly behind so that his or her
function is clearly indicated. The team member should speak in brief
sentences using a minimum number of words to express complete thoughts.
The interpreter should be given time to translate before proceeding to the
next thought. The team member should talk directly to the respondent, as
if the respondent could understand everything said (Bostain 1970:1).




4.6.6 Taking Notes

Opinions differ over the desirability of recording information in front of
respondents. Some believe that writing down the information during the
interview restricts the spontaneity of respondents' reactions (Shaner et al


BEEBE 1985:20







RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


1982:74). Others recommend writing down everything and keeping complete
field notes. Rhoades (1982:19) points out the obvious, "Whether one should
take notes ... depends on the situation."




4.6.7 Locations for Interviews

As a general rule interviews should be conducted under conditions most
relevant to and revealing about the local system being investigated.

"The successful survey may require sloshing through muddy fields,
scrambling along rocky paths and dangerous slopes, or whiling
away hours in fly-ridden tea shops casually talking with
farmers. The surveyors must be country-oriented, grubbing out
information in fields, market places, bars, or wherever farmers'
daily routines carry them (Rhoades 1982:7)."

Wherever possible, interviews should be carried out in farmers' fields with
visible evidence of farmers' management before the RRA team (Collinson
1982:20, Shaner et al 1982:73, and Rhoades 1982:7). Interviews in the field
permit more confidential discussions. Actual observation permits the
identification of new topics for discussion. Conducting as many interviews
as possible in the farmer's fields is an important part of direct
observation. The RRA team should always note where interviews were
conducted.




4.7 Use of Direct Observation

Direct observation is an important RRA tool that can be used to validate
data collected in advance, provide multiple checks on data collected from
interviews, and suggest additional topics for interviews. Direct
observation prevents RRA from being misled by myth (Chambers 1980:12).
Since rural people, like others, sometimes have unrealistic beliefs about
their values and activities, direct observation and multiple checks on
information are desirable. The RRA team should keep their eyes open for
patterns in crop production, land use, and farmer behavior (Rhoades
1982:14). RRA depends on walking, seeing and asking questions.

Two special techniques have been identified for systematic direct
observation as part of RRA for a FSAR: agroecological transect and field
plotting. An agroecological transect may be as simple as walking away from
the road at a right angle (Chambers 1980:15) or may involve the use of
altimeter, aerial photos, and topographical maps. Observations are made
along a cut or cross-section of a territorial expanse wherein fields are
mapped, and cropping patterns and practices observed through space. The
transect is especially appropriate where changes in topography and natural


BEEBE 1985:21







RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


1982:74). Others recommend writing down everything and keeping complete
field notes. Rhoades (1982:19) points out the obvious, "Whether one should
take notes ... depends on the situation."




4.6.7 Locations for Interviews

As a general rule interviews should be conducted under conditions most
relevant to and revealing about the local system being investigated.

"The successful survey may require sloshing through muddy fields,
scrambling along rocky paths and dangerous slopes, or whiling
away hours in fly-ridden tea shops casually talking with
farmers. The surveyors must be country-oriented, grubbing out
information in fields, market places, bars, or wherever farmers'
daily routines carry them (Rhoades 1982:7)."

Wherever possible, interviews should be carried out in farmers' fields with
visible evidence of farmers' management before the RRA team (Collinson
1982:20, Shaner et al 1982:73, and Rhoades 1982:7). Interviews in the field
permit more confidential discussions. Actual observation permits the
identification of new topics for discussion. Conducting as many interviews
as possible in the farmer's fields is an important part of direct
observation. The RRA team should always note where interviews were
conducted.




4.7 Use of Direct Observation

Direct observation is an important RRA tool that can be used to validate
data collected in advance, provide multiple checks on data collected from
interviews, and suggest additional topics for interviews. Direct
observation prevents RRA from being misled by myth (Chambers 1980:12).
Since rural people, like others, sometimes have unrealistic beliefs about
their values and activities, direct observation and multiple checks on
information are desirable. The RRA team should keep their eyes open for
patterns in crop production, land use, and farmer behavior (Rhoades
1982:14). RRA depends on walking, seeing and asking questions.

Two special techniques have been identified for systematic direct
observation as part of RRA for a FSAR: agroecological transect and field
plotting. An agroecological transect may be as simple as walking away from
the road at a right angle (Chambers 1980:15) or may involve the use of
altimeter, aerial photos, and topographical maps. Observations are made
along a cut or cross-section of a territorial expanse wherein fields are
mapped, and cropping patterns and practices observed through space. The
transect is especially appropriate where changes in topography and natural


BEEBE 1985:21








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


conditions are relatively rapid such as in mountainous regions (Rhoades
1982:21). Field plotting consists of systematic mapping of fields in terms
of their crops and observed farming practices. In a day, data on several
hundred fields in an area of open terrain with good roads can be recorded.
Since such field observations are "time frozen," histories should be
collected from farmers on some of the fields (Rhoades 1982:24).

Direct observation of "key indicators" often provides more valid and less
costly information than other research methods. The use of "key
indicators" for RRA is discussed in detail by Honadle (1979). Examples of
key indicators include: (a) soil color to indicate particle size
distribution, fertility, and drainage properties (Stocking and Abel 1979 as
quoted by Chambers 1980:9); (b) birth weight of children to indicate health
and nutrition in an area; (c) housing to indicate poverty or prosperity
(Honadle 1979:14); (d) soap inventories in village shops to indicate
changes in purchasing power (Honadle 1979:19); (e) the appearance of new
bicycles and sewing machines in areas adjacent to a project activity to
indicate degree of trickle down of benefits (Honadle 1979:10); and (f)
transfers and turnover in organizations to indicate organizational
capability.

Where locally accepted a camera can be an important research tool for
direct observation. Photos can be used to document conditions before an
intervention. Sometimes the RRA team can do the farmer a favor by sending
or returning with photos of the farm or family (Rhoades 1982:19).

One strategy for improving observational skills is to record only actual
observations in the field notes. Field notes should contain what is
actually seen and heard as opposed to the observer's interpretation of the
event. Far too often the field notes will say something like:

The farmer was angry because the price of rice had dropped.

The more useful field notes would report:

The farmer ran towards the marketing board office with a large
field knife in his hand. Before entering the office he was
restrained by his companions. He could be heard screaming "The
buying price this year is not even as high as the price they paid
last year." (adopted from Pelto and Pelto 1978:70).

Field notes limited to careful observations can often prevent the observer
from imputing false meaning to people's actions (Honadle 1979:42).

Direct observation can be as important as interviews for RRA. Thus the RRA
team is encouraged to use special techniques that can improve direct
observation such as: (1) agroecological transect and field plotting, (2)
"key indicators" as proxy measures and (3) cameras. Finally, to improve
observational skills, the RRA team is encouraged to maintain carefully
written field notes.


BEEBE 1985:22









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


4.8 Preparation of the Report

The RRA is not complete until the report is finished, despite claims by
some that the RRA report is of secondary value because it is written by the
same team that will be working in the area (Hildebrand 1982:292).
Descriptions of the Sondeo and the Exploratory Survey include specific
suggestions for preparing the report. The Sondeo guidelines for report
preparation appear particularly relevant to the preparation of a single RRA
report during a short time. Team members are assigned a portion of the
report to be written on the fourth day. With all members working at the
same location, individual sections of the report are drafted and additional
trips are made to the field if data is missing. Each team member reads his
part to the group for discussion, editing and approval. The team approves
or modifies the individual sections of the report. On the final day,
following a repeat reading of each section, conclusions are drawn and
recorded. Upon approval of conclusions on second reading, specific
recommendations are made and recorded.

The Exploratory Survey results in separate reports by the economist and the
agronomist (Collinson 1981:15). The economist's report is based on
responses to the "Detailed Guidelines" while the agronomist's report
focuses on production and compromises between present and ideal technical
practices. Since this approach appears to minimize team interaction, it
should probably be avoided.

The organization of the report is not as crucial as the need to finish it
quickly. Initially the team should not worry too much about grammar and
style since re-writing can come later. "It is important to get the
information down while still fresh on everyone's minds" (Rhoades 1982:26).
The goal is to write a report that reflects the interdisciplinary nature of
RRA.




4.9 Getting Results Factored into Decisions

"Good rapid appraisal will be bad rapid appraisal unless it leads to better
performance" (Chambers 1983:30). Most RRA models assume that since the RRA
team will be involved in the decisions, results of the RRA will be factored
into the decisions on subsequent interventions. Experience in the
Philipines, however, suggests that even when subsequent activities are
implemented by the same RRA team members, the RRA results are not always
used in making decisions (Farming Systems Development Project-Eastern
Visayas 1983:32).

The failure to base subsequent activities on the RRA findings can be
explained in several ways. It is easy to overlook the overriding role in


BEEBE 1985:23








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


final decisions of non-team members such as senior government officials,
researchers and experts from universities and experiment stations, and
representatives from funding agencies. Their role in decision making
argues for their inclusion in RRA. Since this is not always possible,
decisions influenced by non-team members should be documented. Perception
of team members of the likely type of intervention to follow the RRA may
prevent the team from considering other problems that are even more
important. Even problems for which there are no recommended actions or
proposed solutions should be documented in the report.

Chambers (1983:15) makes three recommendations to increase the chances of
RRA influencing decisions:



a. full involvement of project staff,
b. meshing with current programs including budget allocations,
c. priority to what can be done soon.

The most critical element in ensuring the use of the RRA results is not to
let the report be shelved away "only to gather dust" (Rhoades 1982:26). The
RRA should be the guide for the future and should constantly be upgraded as
the activity progresses. The RRA report should include "updates" at given
intervals such as every six months. Updates should be based on new data
and better understanding of the situation. Updates should identify and
justify present activities inconsistent with the original report. It is
not enough to assume that RRA results will be factored into decisions,
instead specific strategies are needed to increase the chances that results
will be used.






5 Potential Problems


If RRA is to be a useful research tool, several pitfalls must be avoided.
These include over reliance on the initial finding, too much focus on RRA
as an end in itself, insufficient time and effort resulting in "Development
Tourism," failure to recognize the difference between RRA and a baseline
study, and lack of agreement on what constitutes RRA resulting in serious
questions about the confidence that can be placed in the data.

Diagnosticism. The belief that a quickly done RRA at the outset of a
project can provide a sufficiently valid understanding of the situation to
serve as bases for all future interventions is dangerous. The RRA is best
used as a heuristic device to initiate additional formal studies and
interventions. Results of participant observations and additional formal
studies that document the response to interventions can eventually lead to


BEEBE 1985:24









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


sound conclusions. Price (1982:4) suggests that the final conclusion will
usually be at odds with the initial appraisal since first guesses are often
wrong. Initial guesses given undue credibility because they are results of
RRA can lead to irrelevant research.

Inappropriate Focus. Investing too much time and effort in RRA can delay a
project. It can also confuse the uses of RRA as a tool and as an end
product. Recognizing the limits of RRA can prevent inappropriate focus.
The objective should not be to produce good RRA reports, but rather to do
good Rapid Rural Appraisals that will produce information for better
decisions.

Development Tourism. RRA when carried out with insufficient time and
inadequate planning is nothing more than "development tourism--the brief
rural visit by the urban-based professional"(Chambers 1980:2). The same
biases that cause development tourism to underestimate rural poverty apply
to RRA done incorrectly. These include (1) roadside bias although it is
known that poorer people are often out of sight of the roadside; (2)
project bias since only places with projects are visited; (3) bias of
personal contact since those met by rural tourists tend to be less poor,
more powerful, men, service users, adopters, active, non-migrants, and
"inevitably, those who have not died"; (4) dry season bias since most
travel occur during the post-harvest dry season while the worst time of the
year for poorer people is the season before harvest; (5) bias of politeness
and protocol since courtesy and convention may deter rural tourist from
enquiring about and meeting the poorer people (Chambers 1980:3).

Other potential problems RRA shares with Development Tourism include: (1)
too much attention to the observed things and activities, but not enough to
the relationships (seeing the indebtedness but failing to see the
relationship of interest rates, wages, patron client relations, etc.); (2)
failure to recognize that what is seen is a "snapshot," a moment in time
and not trends that may be more significant; (3) failure to recognize gaps
left by disciplines which are not represented among the team and the less
obvious gaps which lie between the disciplines themselves and their
traditional territories and concerns.

Trying to do RRA for FSAR in less than four days will usually result in
development tourism. General adherence to the use of a multi-disciplinary
team and combination of semi-structured interviews, information collected
in advance, and direct observations will minimize problems of development
tourism.

Baseline Studies. Since the RRA collects only limited quantifiable data,
and since the sample is an opportunity sample, purposely chosen and not a
random sample, its future use for project evaluations is limited
(Hildebrand 1982:292). Even though it is a mistake to think that a RRA can
replace a baseline survey, the RRA provides an important first step for
considering difficult questions of evaluation on impacts, trends and
causality (Chambers 1980:16).


BEEBE 1985:25









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Checklists and Confidence in the Data Produced. Flexibility in adapting RRA
to specific study needs and available resources is the most important
strength and of the methodology. The same flexibility that is so critical
to making the study relevant to the local situation, when abused permits
individuals to do anything, on almost nothing, and call it "Rapid Rural
Appraisal". The lack of agreement on what constitutes RRA and the lack of
discussion on methodology in most RRA reports make it difficult to estimate
the degree of confidence that can be placed in the data (Honadle 1979:3).
Standard methodology could solve this problem but only at the expense of
the needed flexibility. The alternative to standardization is to document
the methodology as part of the RRA report.

Two checklists to be attached to the RRA are proposed below. The first is
a general checklist while the second is a supplement for Farming Systems
Approach to Research. In addition to allowing readers to judge the quality
of the work, these checklists will remind the RRA team of important issues
during the appraisal.






6 Summary and Conclusions


The importance of RRA for FSAR can not be overemphasized. The RRA is the
key first step in identifying farm level problems. RRA is a way of
organizing people and time for collecting and analyzing information where
time constraints demand immediate decisions before the local situation can
be fully understood. RRA provides the starting point for gaining better
understanding, over time, usually through a combination of additional
formal studies, documenting the responses to interventions, and participant
observation. Consistent with FSAR, RRA assumes that in the beginning not
enough is known of the problem to articulate specific questions. Since
questions needed to investigate the problem can not be articulated, survey
research based on questionnaires can not substitute for RRA.

An important advantage of RRA is its flexibility. To standardize the
methodology would limit this flexibility. Yet, to make RRA more useful to
a Farming Systems Approach to Research and to prevent it from falling into
the traps of "development tourism" there is a need to establish minimal
requirements, to use more efficiently standard tools of social science, and
to pay closer attention to the implications of the choice of research tools
and research assumptions.

To achieve these objectives, a definition of RRA is proposed and the
following suggestions are made concerning nine important methodological issues:


BEEBE 1985:26










RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


(1) use at least four days but not more than three weeks;

(2) use a small team with a good mix of technical backgrounds;

(3) use short guidelines as memory aids and
increase attention to variability, opportunities,
and communities and groups;

(4) structure research time to allow for team interaction;

(5) use information collected in advance;

(6) improve the quality of interview information through
careful selection of individual respondents and
key informants, use of group interviews, use of strategies
other than asking straight questions, correct use of
interpreters, and combined interview and direct observation;

(7) improve the quality of direct observation by using special
techniques, key indicators, and cameras;

(8) complete a single team report quickly; and

(9) ensure that results of the report get factored into decisions.

Data checklists are suggested to remind RRA team of important issues during
the appraisal. Completed data checklists attached to the RRA report enable
an outside reader to determine the level of confidence that can be placed
in the study.


BEEBE 1985:27









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


1 Checklist for Rapid Rural Appraisal Data Collection



Title:[1]

Objectives:



Field work dates:

Report completion date:

RRA Team composition
Name Occupation/technical background Language[2] Local[3] Experience[4]

1

2

3



Number of hours spent in field collecting data__

Number of hours spent by team in discussions of data

1. Title: should include the name of the geographic or
administrative unit and the unit of analysis.
2. Language use categories
1. Exclusive use of respondents' first language
2. Use of respondents' second language
3. Mixture of respondents' first and second languages
4. Mixture of respondents' languages and use of interpreter
5. Exclusive use of interpreters
3. Categories for whether local or outsider:
1. From site, living and working there
2. From general area,but not living and working in the site
3. From outside the area
4. Categories for prior experience
0. No prior experience doing RRA
T. Participation in a training course on RRA
1. to n. Number of prior RRAs


BEEBE 1985:28








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Information collected in advance and reviewed by the team


Types of information collected by direct observation


Number of individual respondents interviewed

Method of selection


Place of interviews

Among individual respondents approximately what percent were:
women %,old people %, youth____ %
from among the poorest 25 percent %
from among the 25 percent who live farthest from the road
(note average distance in km. from road)
from significant ethnic or cultural minorities %
from those identified as "trouble makers" %

Number of key informants interviewed

Method of selecting key informants


Positions/occupation of key informants: Topics they reported on


Date set for reviewing and updating this report:


Topics for group interviews: Composition of groups


BEEBE 1985:29








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


2 Supplementary Checklist for RRA for a FSAR



Percentage of interviews done in farmers' fields %

Number of fields where histories were collected_

Number of seasons of the average cropping history

Growth stage of major crops during the interviews

Major categories of farmers and approximate percentage in each group







Major categories of cropping patterns and percentage in each group







Social organization or community groups important to the farming system


BEEBE 1985:30









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


3 Six Models for Rapid Rural Appraisal


1. Sondeo. Theis model was developed by the Agricultural Science and
Technology Institute-Guatemala (ICTA) and has been summarized by Peter
Hildebrand in several papers (1981, 1982). The Sondeo orients the team
responsible for identifying new technology for trials in farmers' fields.
Descriptions of the Sondeo provide minimal guidance on the questions to be
asked, and detailed, day by day procedures and guidance on who should be on
the team and how team members should relate to each other.

2. Reconnaissance Survey. Farming Systems Research and Development:
Guidelines for Developing Countries by Shaner, Philipp and Schmehl (1982)
identifies the Reconnaissance Survey as the critical steps in a Farming
Systems Approach to Research. Reconnaissance Survey is an informal method
for collecting primary data needed for decisions on research to be
undertaken on farmers' fields and as a means of developing team work and
establishing rapport between the Farming Systems Research team and the
farmers. The Reconnaissance Survey is less structured than the Sondeo but
gives more attention to different methods of data collection. It is
presented as a general approach capable of using specific methodological
guidance found in the Sondeo and the Exploratory Survey.

3. Exploratory Survey. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement
Center (CIMMYT) East African Farming Systems Research Program developed the
Exploratory Survey in response to the need for a cost-effective research
program consistent with a small pool of trained scientists and a limited
budget for recurrent expenses. Michael Collinson, an agricultural
economist, describes the Exploratory Survey as the "pivotal" step in the
adaptive research cycle. The survey uses a very detailed checklist of
questions as a guide for the interview. Since the guidelines are very
extensive, not all points are raised with all farmers, but a composite
picture is built up based on interviews with different farmers. The
results are used for diagnosing farming problems and opportunities.

4. Informal Agricultural Survey. The Informal Agricultural Survey was
developed at the International Potato Center, Lima, Peru by Robert Rhoades,
an agricultural anthropologist. The Informal Survey pays more attention to
the study process than to its contents. This method emphasizes the need
for creativity and the importance of experience as a teacher. Direct
observation is emphasized.

5. Rapid Reconnaissance. George Honadle, of Development Alternatives Inc.,
presents Rapid Reconnaissance as a methodology for organizational analysis
and development administration. Honadle examines quick, impressionistic
data collection procedures and suggests ways of improving them. Emphasis
is on the use of indicators or proxy measures, the organization and


BEEBE 1985:31









RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL BEEBE 1985:32



management of rural development and on the need for participatory
approaches in carrying out the studies.

6. Rapid Appraisal. The best overall defense of Rapid Rural Appraisal and
the most comprehensive discussions of its' weaknesses are to be found in
Robert Chambers's (1980) paper "Shortcut Methods in Information Gathering
for Rural Development Projects", and Carruthers and Chambers's (1981)
"Rapid Appraisal for Rural Development." Specifics on the methodology of
carrying out Rapid Appraisal not found in these general articles can be
found in Chambers's (1983) description of the use of Rapid Appraisal for
the design of an activity to improve existing canal irrigation systems.








RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


4 References


Barker, D.
1978 Using a Traditional African Board Game to Measure
Farmers' Attitudes and Environmental Images. Paper
presented at the Preliminary Workshop on Rapid Rural
Appraisal, October 1978. Institute of Development
Studies. Sussex, U.K. Manuscript.

Beebe, James
1978 Resources, Information and Decision Making Skills: A
Study of Filipino Rice Farmers in a Central Luzon
Barrio. Ph.D. Dissertation. Stanford University.
Stanford, California.

1982 Rapid Rural Appraisal, Umm Hijliij Breimya, El Obeid,
Northern Kordofan. USAID. Khartoum, Sudan. Manuscript.


Belshaw, Deryke
1981 A Theoretical Framework for Data-economising Appraisal
Procedures with Application to Rural Development
Planning. In Rapid Rural Appraisal. IDS Sussex
Bulletin. 12(4):12-22.

Bostain, J.C.
1970 Suggestions for Efficient Use of an Untrained
Interpreter. Handout. In Agency for International
Development Orientation Briefing Notes, June 1979.
Washington, D.C. Manuscript.


Box, Louk
1984


Survey on Trial: Sociological Contribution to Adaptive
Agricultural Research. Department of Rural Sociology of
Developing Countries, Wagening Agricultural University.
The Netherlands. Manuscript.


Carruthers, Ian and Robert Chambers
1981 Rapid Appraisal for Rural Development. Agricultural
Administration. 8(6):407-422.


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RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Chambers, Robert
1979 Rural Development Tourism: Poverty Unperceived. Paper
presented at the Conference on Rapid Rural Appraisal,
December 1979. Institute of Development Studies.
Sussex, U.K. Manuscript.

1980 Shortcut Methods in Information Gathering for Rural
Development Projects. Paper for World Bank
Agricultural Sector Symposia. New York. Manuscript.

1983 Rapid Appraisal for Improving Existing Canal Irrigation
Systems. Discussion Paper Series No. 8. Ford
Foundation. New Delhi, India. Manuscript.

Collinson, Michael P.
1981 The Exploratory Survey: Content, Methods and Detailed
Guidelines for Discussions with Farmers. In CIMMYT
Eastern Africa Economics Programme Farming Systems
Newsletter. April-June. Nairobi, Kenya.

1982 Farming Systems Research in Eastern Africa: the
Experience of CIMMYT and Some National Agricultural
Research Services 1976-1981. Michigan State University
International Development Paper No. 3. Department of
Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University.
East Lansing, Michigan.


Davis, James A.
1971 Elementary Survey Analysis. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

de los Reyes, Romana
1984 Sociotechnical Profile: A Tool for Rapid Rural
Appraisal. Institute of Philippine Culture. Ateneo
de Manila University. Manila, Philippines.

Farming Systems and Soil Resources Institute and USAID
1984 Proceedings: Tri-Mission Workshop on Rainfed
Agriculture, February 27-29, 1984. SEARCA. Farming
Systems and Soil Resources Institute. College,
Laguna, Philippines.

Farming Systems Development Project--Eastern Visayas
1983 Process Evaluation Report. Ministry of
Agriculture--Region VIII, Visayas State College of
Agriculture, and Cornell University. USAID. Manila
Philippines.


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RAPID RURAL APPRAISAL .


Fujisaka, Sam and Doris Capistrano
nd Community Appraisal for Social Forestry: Lessons and
Implications from Calminoe. Program on Environmental
Science and Management. College, Laguna, Philippines.
Manuscript.

Homans, George C.
1949 The Strategy of Industrial Sociology. American Journal
of Sociology. 54(4).

Hildebrand, Peter
1981 Combining Disciplines in Rapid Appraisal: The Sondeo
Approach. Agricultural Administration 8(6):423-432.

1982 Summary of the Sondeo Methodology Used by ICTA. In
Farming Systems Research and Development: Guidelines
for Developing Countries. W.W. Shaner, P.F. Philipp
and W.R. Schmehl. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Honadle, George
1972 Organization and Administration of Integrated Rural
Development. Working Paper No. 1. Rapid Reconnaissance
Approaches to Organizational Analysis for Development
Administration. Development Alternatives, Inc.
Washington, D.C.

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BEEBE 1985:36




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