Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Case studies: Animal health
 Case studies: Animal productio...
 Case studies: Natural resource...
 Case studies: Socio-economic...
 Case studies: Land tenure, conflict...
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Title: RRA notes
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089570/00013
 Material Information
Title: RRA notes
Series Title: RRA notes.
Alternate Title: Rapid rural appraisal notes
Proceedings of RRA Review Workshop, Sussex
Proceedings of the Local Level Adaptive Planning Workshop, London
Participatory methods for learning and analysis
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Creator: International Institute for Environment and Development -- Sustainable Agriculture Programme
Publisher: IIED, Sustainable Agriculture Programme
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: April 1994
Frequency: irregular
completely irregular
Subject: Sustainable agriculture -- Periodicals -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Sustainable agriculture -- Methodology -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: No. 1-
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: Some issues have individual titles.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: No. 19, published in 1994.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089570
Volume ID: VID00013
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 24385692
lccn - sn 92015492
 Related Items
Succeeded by: PLA notes

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Front Matter
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    Table of Contents
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    Case studies: Animal health
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    Case studies: Land tenure, conflict and institutions
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    Back Matter
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    Back Cover
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Full Text

RRA Notes

Number 20

Special Issue on Livestock

April 1994



Working for a Fairer World


.,frM3AMu ..puele

IE n

3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H ODD
Tel: (+44 71) 388 2117
Fax (+44 71) 388 2826

Established in 1971, the International Institute for Environment and
Development (IIED) is a policy research institute linking environmental
concerns with the developments needs of resource-poor people in the South
and with other global environment and development priorities.

The Institute's Sustainable Agriculture Programme promotes and supports
the development of socially and environmentally aware agriculture through
research, training, advocacy, networking and information dissemination.
Emphasising close collaboration and consultation with a wide array of
institutions in the South, research projects are aimed at identifying the
constraints and potentials of the livelihood strategies of those in the Third
World who are affected by ecological, economic and social change.


The principal aim of this series is to enable practitioners of RRA and PRA throughout the
world to share their field experiences and methodological innovations. Articles are
published on any topic related to Rapid Rural Appraisal, and topics are diverse, detailing
field and training experiences with the rapidly evolving methods of Participatory Rural
Appraisal. The terms PRA and RRA encompass a wide range of approaches with strong
conceptual and methodological similarities. These include Participatory Learning Methods
(PALM), Agroecosystem Analysis (AEA), Farming Systems Research, Rapid Assessment
Procedures (RAP), Participatory Action Research (PAR), Rapid Rural Systems Analysis
(RRSA), M6thode Acc616r&e de Recherche Participative (MARP) and many others.

The series is to be kept informal. This is intentional, so as to avoid the commonly
encountered delays between practice and the sharing of knowledge through publication. We
would therefore like to hear of recent experiences and current thinking. In particular, we
are seeking short and honest accounts of experiences in the field or workshops; what worked
and what did not; dilemmas and successes. They should be legible with clear drawings. In
addition, please send details of any training manuals, papers, reports or articles which will
be listed. (For more detailed information please see 'Guidelines for Authors' at the end of
this issue).

The RRA Notes series is currently funded by the SWEDISH INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY and the FORD FOUNDATION. This special issue has been supported by additional

Current issues are distributed free of charge to 2500 individuals and institutions in 100
countries. Backcopies are also made available, but in view of the demand for an ever
lengthening list of these, it is now necessary to recoup administrative and reprinting costs by
charging for backcopies. (See Contents of RRA Notes Backcopies and the Order Form at the
end of this issue for further details).




Edited by Kate Kirsopp-Reed and Fiona Hinchcliffe


Editorial: Pra and Livestock Development: Some Challenges ............................. 5
Cathy Watson and Adrian Cullis

Section A M ethods ................................................................................... 9

1. A Review of PRA Methods for Livestock Research and Development ................ 11
Kate Kirsopp-Reed

Section B. Case Studies: Animal Health ..................................... ........... 37

2. Ethnoveterinary Question List ............................................. ............... 39
Barbara Grandin and John Young

3. Planning a Community Animal Health Care Programme in Afghanistan .............. 47
Tim Leyland

4. Seasonal Disease Incidence in the Sanaag Region of Somaliland ........................ 52
David Hadrill and Haroon Yusuf

5. Livestock Healthcare for Tibetan Agro-Pastoralists: Application of
Rapid Rural Appraisal Techniques ............................................................. 54
Claire Heffernan

6. Evaluation of an Animal Health Improvement Programme in Nepal .................... 58
John Young, Henk-Peter Dijkema, Karen Stoufer, Narayan Ojha,
Goma Shrestha and Lava Thapa

Section C. Case Studies: Animal Production ................................................ 67

7. Sheep Husbandry Among Tzotzil Indians: Who Learns from Whom? .................. 69
Raul Perezgrovas, Marisela Peralta and Pastor Pedraza

8. The Progeny History Data Collection Technique: A Case
Study from Samburu District, Kenya ........................................ ........... 71
Karen lies

9. Rapid Appraisal Techniques: A Tool for Planning and
Managing Animal Health and Production Development Programmes ................... 78
M. Ghirotti

10. Ranking with Shagaa in Mongolia ................................. ............ 87
Adrian Cullis


Section D. Case Studies: Natural Resource Management ............................... 89

11. Browse Ranking in Zimbabwe ............................................................ 91
lan Scoones

12. Natural Resource Mapping and Seasonal Variations and Stresses in Mongolia ........ 95
Robin Mearns, D. Shombodon, G. Narangerel, U. Tuul,
A. Enkhamgalan, B. Myagmarzhav, B. Bayanjargal and B. Bekhsuren

13. Mapping of Seasonal Migrations in the Sanaag Region of Somaliland ................. 106
David Hadrill and Haroon Yusuf

Section E. Case Studies: Socio-Economic Dimensions ..................................... 113

14. Pastoral Production in Mongolia from a Gender Perspective ............................ 115
Louise Cooper and Narangerel Gelezhamstin

15. Historical Matrices: A Method for Monitoring Changes in Seasonal
Consumption Patterns in Mongolia ........................................................... 124
Louise Cooper and Narangerel Gelezhamstin

16. Livestock, Livelihood and Drought: A PRA Exercise in Botswana ..................... 127
Neela Mukherjee

17. Proportional Piling in Turkana: A Case Study .............................................. 131
Cathy Watson

18. Evaluation of a Community-Based Buffalo Project in Tamil Nadu ..................... 133
John Devavaram

19. The Problem and Solution Game .............................................................. 138
Jeremy Swift and Abdi Noor Umar

20. Success Ranking in Garba Tulla, Kenya ..................................................... 142
Stella Maranga

21. Livestock, Livelihood and Change: The Versatility and Richness of
H historical M atrices ................................................................................ 144
Karen and Mark Schoonmaker Freudenberger

Section F. Case Studies: Land Tenure, Conflict and Institutions ...................... 149

22. The Application of PRA Methods to the Study of Conflict Management
in a Pastoral Society ........................................ .................... 151
Michael Bollig

23. Institution Ranking and Social Mapping in Rural Mongolia .............................. 154
Robin Mearns and D. Bayartsogt

24. Livestock Rehabilitation Programme in Mozambique .................................... 157
Anabela Braganca

25. E ndnotes ........................................................................ 163

Contents of RRA Notes Backcopies ..................................................................... 166




Cathy Watson and Adrian Cullis
Intermediate Technology Development Group
Myson House, Railway Terrace
Rugby CV21 3HT, UK

Why PRA and Livestock?

Much of the PRA debate and literature thus far focuses on the collection of data on crop production,
and presents few case studies on methods for understanding livestock production and planning with
livestock owners. This special issue therefore attempts to bring together some examples of practice
and experiences in this field.

Among researchers and development practitioners alike, there is increasing recognition that the use
of the range of techniques known as PRA (as distinguished, often, from RRA) involves far more than
a series of methodologies for improving the speed or efficacy of data collection. PRA, if it is to live
up to its ideals, must form part of a much wider process of participatory planning, controlled by local
communities themselves (Chambers, 1992).

As the next century fast approaches, there is an increasing realisation among development agencies
(bilateral, multilateral and NGOs) that the efforts of the last few decades have substantially failed to
eradicate, or in many cases even reduce, poverty for many millions of people around the world. As
a result, the development debate is turning anew to the importance of poverty alleviation, and to the
emerging concept of livelihood security: it is now becoming recognized that poverty levels will only
be substantially reduced when livelihoods are made more secure, with all that that entails (Maxwell,

Livelihood security encompasses not only access to food and the resources required to produce it in
the present, but also those required to maintain production in the future, and the social networks
which are necessary for survival in the longer term. Among the vulnerable groups whose livelihoods
are under threat, are smallholder farmers and pastoralists, for whom livestock play a significant role
in the support of their livelihood and lifestyle. Development practitioners need to understand the
nature of these livelihoods if they are to address the issue of poverty alleviation.

What Role Can PRA Play?

The significance of PRA data collection techniques is that local communities potentially gain greater
access to and control over the process of understanding and analysing themselves, in which
development workers are engaged. This in itself is a welcome departure from more extractivee' forms
of data collection which historically have disempowered communities. Furthermore, the advent of
PRA, and the debates surrounding its good practice, have done much to expand the range of methods
of information collection for both research and for project appraisal.

However, the extent to which PRA is ultimately effective depends on the context in which it is used,
and the end point to which it is contributing. As highlighted above, PRA is only as participative as

the remainder of the process into which it fits. A fully participative exercise which involves the
community in analysing its own problems and even in preparing its own solutions, can be followed
by an implementation phase conducted and controlled by outsiders. John Devavaram presents an
example of this in his case study (this issue) of a buffalo restocking project in India. A participative
evaluation, using PRA techniques, resulted in the identification of key weak areas in the design of the
project and clear recommendations for improvement. However, the recommendations were not acted
upon, with the result that the community refused to participate in a later evaluation, feeling that their
previous input had been wasted.

Similarly, Hadrill and Yusuf, in their case study of Sanaag herders in Somaliland, explain that the
research on seasonal migrations, whilst making use of PRA techniques, was not in itself participatory,
in that it did not form part of a wider participative process involving joint planning with the
community. One of the positive outcomes of the research, however, was the identification of the need
for further, and more participatory, appraisal in the future.

Since this issue focuses largely on the actual practice of the various PRA techniques which have been
used in work with livestock owners, the end point of the work is understandably not always made
explicit. The challenge remains, however, for both researchers and development practitioners, to
ensure that the end point of participatory appraisal is not only participation by the community in
whatever activities ensue, but also a real increase in the livelihood security of the community through
the alleviation of poverty.

This is particularly but not only a challenge to researchers, for whom the direct links between their
research and an increase in livelihood security may be harder to make, though nonetheless imperative.
Participative involvement in a research project may in fact be more cruel than more extractive forms
of information collection, if the end point is not some tangible benefit to the community.
Expectations may have been raised further by the use of such methods for which the initiators may
have some responsibility'.

How Appropriate is PRA?

The appropriateness of PRA methods is also of central importance. PRA theory is characterized by
flexibility and adaptability, which encourages the practitioner to develop and enhance the techniques
according to the local context. Nevertheless, despite this recognition, there is still the danger of an
emerging 'new orthodoxy', which makes rigid a once open and flexible approach. Thus there is a
need for constant vigilance and a commitment to real adaptation and learning.

This is highlighted by several of the case studies found in this issue. For example, Braganca
questions the appropriateness of wealth ranking in a community recovering from many years of civil
war: the community had been so dispersed that the normal levels of knowledge of each others'
wealth were absent. Braganca also points out that the majority of women were absent, which
provides a considerable challenge not only for the obtaining of gender balanced information about the
community, but more importantly for participatory planning with the community.

Leyland too refers to the constraints due to the war: he explains that traditional decision-making
bodies have been broken down, with the result that ultimately the project planning was performed by
the outside NGO and the local mujihadeen leaders, in spite of the participative appraisal carried out.

'The recent workshop on PRA and Gender (IDS, University of Sussex, December 1993) involved
considerable discussion on the responsibility of those initiating participatory appraisal.



Leyland also explains the difficulties he encountered using graphics and pictorial representation, a
cornerstone of PRA techniques, with farmers in the Daye Chopan valley, Afghanistan. In this case,
oral communication proved more appropriate among communities unaccustomed to diagrams2.

Clearly, the challenge for PRA practitioners is to develop appropriate participatory processes in each
and every context. A key factor in this is not only a recognition of the wealth of indigenous
knowledge, but also a willingness to learn about indigenous forms of communication and adapt or
even reject PRA methods in response.

A further challenge for PRA practitioners involved in livestock development is the understanding of
the role that livestock plays in the community, in particular in securing livelihoods. While 'livestock'
is the unifying theme of this issue, the case studies cover examples from a wide range of livelihoods,
from pastoralists to small-scale mixed farming communities. In each community, the role of livestock
needs to be understood as part of the livelihood system for household survival, and the PRA methods
and techniques used need to reflect this. There can be therefore, no standard 'PRA for livestock'.


For PRA practitioners, then, the challenges abound: to ensure that participatory planning, in the
control of the local community, is an integral part of the PRA process; to make sure that that process
will actually contribute to the livelihood security of the community (or at the very least, not
undermine it); and to be flexible and adaptive in all contexts, in particular to be open to learn about
local communication methods and channels. Livestock specialists face the particular challenge of
understanding the varying roles which livestock play within the community, especially in relation to
the other factors which make up the livelihood security of the livestock owners. PRA is a useful tool
which can facilitate this understanding, whilst at the same time contributing to the empowerment of
those communities.


Chambers, R. 1992. Rural appraisal: rapid, relaxed and participatory. Discussion Paper 311.
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

Maxwell (ed.) 1991. To Cure All Hunger: Food Policy and Food Security in Sudan, p.2.
Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd., London.

2Gerard Gill (RRA Notes 18, June 1993) questions whether "some 'participatory' techniques are culturally
biased". He describes how he and colleagues unsuccessfully tried to use pie charts to explore cropping patterns
with Nepali farmers, and outlines the adaptation which was subsequently developed, which involved using
money as an analogy. This was based on a local tradition of using annas, the subdivision of the rupee, to
express relative quantity.






* ,



Kate Kirsopp-Reed
Old Town Farm, Otterburn
Northumberland NE19 1JZ, UK


During the past six or seven years a range of methods for participatory rural appraisal (PRA) have
been tried and tested in the field by development professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Most of these methods are continually being refined and adapted to cope with the diversity of local
ecological conditions and cultures. This paper reviews a selection of PRA techniques that are either
currently in use or which are believed to have potential application with communities who depend on
livestock for their livelihood.

Detailed examples of many of the PRA methods outlined in this paper can be found in the case studies
in this issue. While many PRA techniques are simple, others are more complex to implement,
requiring concentration, organisation and full participation. The best results are often achieved when
they are used flexibly and in sequence. Ultimately they provide a means of stimulating better
discussion, rather than an end in themselves.

The following list of techniques is by no means exhaustive. It has been drawn up merely to illustrate
the range of methods available.


Direct Observation and Village Walks

Perhaps the easiest and least time-consuming methods of learning about the local livestock
management and production system are through first-hand observation and the recognition of key
indicators. Direct observation, often combined with informal questioning, can yield a substantial
amount of general and specific information and should not be overlooked when conducting a PRA.
They can give an indication of a number of important aspects of the local farming system including:

* The health and nutritional status of the livestock;
* The members of the family responsible for the livestock;
* Livestock housing system;
* Grazing/feeding strategy;
* Milking regime;
* Care of young stock.

Walking with farmers around their fields or homesteads will often draw the researcher's attention to
local innovations or animal husbandry techniques which might otherwise have passed unnoticed.

'This paper draws on a PRA methods outline prepared by Andrea Cornwall, Department of
Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, for VetAid, Scotland.

Visiting a watering place or a communal dipping site also provides ideal locations from which to
observe types, breeds and numbers of livestock that are kept in, or pass through, the region.

During village walks and informal discussions it is important to be able to recognize key indicators
of the status and well-being of livestock. M. Ghirotti (p.78) explains that knowledge of these
parameters could help development professionals quickly assess the local livestock situation. This
knowledge should also help to understand and interpret qualitative data collected through PRA

Indigenous Knowledge

Knowledge of local calendars and classification systems often provides important information about
local farming systems. An initial understanding of these can avoid unnecessary questions later.
David Hadrill and Haroon Yusuf (p. 106) describe and explain the basis of a herders' calendar in
Somaliland. It is governed by the different celestial formations and seasonal climatic variations.
Disease incidence and nutritional management practices are strongly linked to this calendar. This
knowledge was important in the subsequent planning of an appropriate primary animal health care

Raul Perezgrovas, Marisela Peralta and Pastor Pedraza (p.69) discovered how little they and their
colleagues knew about the indigenous sheep production system used by Indian shepherdesses in the
Chiapas, Mexico. They were surprised to learn about the success and efficiency of the traditional
management system and the extent of local knowledge of sheep production. They only discovered
this by living with the shepherdesses and helping them with their daily chores and husbandry 0
practices. This provided them with opportunities to ask questions, carry out some of the daily tasks
for themselves and encouraged them to respect traditional practices.

Semi-Structured Interviews

Interviewing is one of the most important methods of gathering information, and often forms the core
of a good PRA. Used to explore issues arising from participatory exercises, and to generate
discussions which may lead to more visual techniques, semi-structured interviewing complements most
participatory research methods. Interviews and discussions can be carried out with selected or
randomly chosen individuals and groups. 0

Although practitioners should have a written or mental check-list of the minimum data to be collected, 0
they should also be flexible. Thus if new aspects of animal production or socio-economic conditions
crop up during the course of the questioning, she/he will be prepared to pursue these.

The following information is thought to provide the minimum data needed for livestock development
planning (Swift, 1981):

Total number of livestock species;
Herd and flock demographics: herd structure, fertility, mortality;
Output data: quantity and seasonal distribution of milk or eggs; 0
Offtake rates: age and sex of animals sold or slaughtered, rates of weight-gain in young
animals, days/hours worked by draft animals.



Figure 1. Form for Interviewing Cattle

Agroecological Zone:

Peasant Association:
Cow Number:
Cow Age:

Let us discuss this cow.
How many times did she calve?
Let us discuss the 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. calf.

Calf M/F If dead, what Where is If now in If sold, to If
No. cause and at this calf herd, what what sort of otherwise
what age? now? age? person, at disposed
what age? of, to
whom, at
what age?



Is this cow your own property, or are you looking after it for someone
else?...................................... .. .. ..... ..... ... ........ .. ................. ......

If someone else, what relation are they to you?.................................................

If it is your own property, how, when, and from what sort of person did you acquire
it?.................................... ......................................


No. Age? How acquired? If not born in If not born in
herd, purpose of herd, age at
acquisition? acquisition?



Source: IIED/ActionAid Ethiopia 1992. Look Who's Talking. PRA Training Course.

Case Histories/Animal Biographies

It is often difficult to obtain data on livestock output or mortality and fertility. However, by
systematically recording full animal life histories and genealogies, one can obtain this data in more
detail and with greater accuracy. Often livestock owners remember their animals' life histories
accurately and are not reluctant to part with this information. By simply shifting the emphasis of an
interview away from the owners and focusing on the animal, the discussion becomes much easier and
the information more detailed and reliable. In effect, livestock owners are used as translators for the
animals2. Swift (1981) suggests that a researcher visit the herd or flock with the owner and record,
on a standard form, the major facts and events of each female's life, including: 0

* How it entered and left the herd;
* Any partial property rights;
* Reproductive history;
* Fate and health status of offspring and siblings.

Figure 1 is an example of a form for interviewing cattle used by Getinet Lemma, of SOS Sahel,
during a PRA Training Course (IIED and ActionAid Ethiopia, 1992).

Case histories can be used with all types of stock. When used to investigate longer time periods, case
histories can lead to related discussions on change. Older animals make the best informants. The
process could start with where they were born and what significant things happened to them during
their lives. These can then be marked on a time-line (see below) and explored further.

Karen lies (p.71) presents a case study of a progeny history which she carried out in Kenya on behalf
of ITDG. She includes a structured question list which can be followed when interviewing farmers.
John Young et al. (p.58) used progeny histories with farmers in Nepal to investigate the fate of
offspring from adult female livestock and to explore the disease problem. From this information they
were able to calculate the rates of offtake through sale, slaughter and gifting, and loss through

It is also possible to calculate fertility, calving intervals and mortality within different years from
information collected through a case history. Case histories give researchers an idea of the entire
range of fertilities and mortalities. Thus they should provide more realistic data than averages
collected from many livestock in a single year. Furthermore, using animal histories to gather data
allows dynamic models of household herds, rather than aggregate herds, to be constructed. This
makes it possible to compare the herding efficiency, management strategies and consequential loss
of animals between individual households.

Ethnoveterinary Question List

Animal health is often ranked as one of the major factors limiting production by communities who
depend on livestock for their livelihood. Therefore the collection of local information about disease
causation, prevention and treatment is a basic requirement of an animal improvement programme.
Barbara Grandin and John Young (p.39) describe a systematic method for the collection of such data.
They recommend that it be carried out in two stages:

2Kassaye Hadgu, Mohammed Yissehak and Girmay Tekle present a cartoon in RRA Notes 15 which
gives details "of an interview with a cow".


1. Gathering background information on the local production system; species and breeds; the
local calendar; and local disease names.

2. Use of a questionnaire to gather detailed information about each disease.

This information can provide considerable detail on the local perspective of disease, which can vary
greatly between and within communities.

Participatory Maps and Models

Maps and models are simple, visual devices for representing information in an understandable format.
They capture, analyse and present information which would probably be less precise, less clear and
much less succinct if expressed in words. Instead of outsiders asking questions and recording answers
in notebooks, maps are constructed by the informants themselves.

Maps often make a good 'ice-breaker' at the start of a PRA because they can create a common
consensus and aid communication between different people. A map should act as a focus for
discussion and should be bold and simple in design. Being three-dimensional, models can promote
even greater discussion. Box 1 describes participatory mapping techniques:

Box 1. Participatory Mapping

Maps are best drawn on the ground this allows more people to see what is happening, and
paper may restrict the drawing of boundaries;

The mapping exercise should begin with the drawing of two local reference points, since the
concept of north at the top of the map is not universal;

Farmers are then asked to draw, mark and colour maps using local materials (sticks, stones,
grass, wood, coloured sands and soils). This should be done with the minimum of interference
and instruction from outsiders, other than to stimulate activity by open-ended questioning about
the map or model;

During the mapping exercise it is often useful to note which features were drawn in first and
by whom, and the discussions which arise around modifications of the siting of particular

Once complete, the map can be transferred onto paper for further discussion and to enable it to
be re-used or cross-checked with others. A key should be added to either identify various
topographical features or to represent agricultural products;

It is important that the exercise is repeated with informants representing different interests.

James Mascarenhas (RRA Notes No. 12) describes mapping and diagramming techniques in greater

There are several types of participatory maps and modelling exercises. They can have many uses for w
learning about and explaining the local livestock management practices, constraints and potentials,
as well as the socio-economic factors that affect livestock-keeping communities. Some examples are
discussed below.

Social and Wealth Mapping

Social maps are often used near the beginning of a PRA to locate and record household members and 0
social features in a village. They can be adapted to gather census material on the local livestock
population. Using a map which shows all the households in a given area, local people can mark in
the number of animals in each household, irrespective of ownership. Using arrows, the owners of
these animals (if not owned by the household), can be indicated. If several types of sharing
relationship exist, these can be marked onto the map using different colours or thicknesses of lines.
If the map is big enough, it may also be possible to mark those stock owned by individual household
members. Also the number of sick animals in each household can be illustrated. Alternatively,
several maps could be produced, each focusing on a particular theme.

Social/livestock assets mapping can easily be done in sequence with wealth ranking exercises (see
below). Wealth ranking can be carried out directly onto a community map, usually in conjunction
with a group discussion of the main factors that constitute wealth and well-being so that researchers
can gain an understanding of local wealth criteria. Anabela Braganca (p. 157) describes and illustrates
a participatory wealth ranking exercise that was carried out directly onto a map in Mozambique.

Social and livestock assets mapping can help to work out approximate populations, and can generate
discussions on sharing ownership of livestock or livestock products within households. Mapping can
also lead on to participatory network or systems diagramming techniques (described below).

Figure 2, taken from ActionAid and IIED (1992), is an example of wealth ranking using a social map.
It was drawn by two Ethiopian women who could read and write. They were asked what was
available in the tukuls (huts). This prompted them to describe and draw livelihood assets and family
members. The map yielded information on family size and composition, and numbers of chickens,
goats, sheep, cows and oxen. The same exercise, carried out with men, gave slightly different 0

John Devavaram (p. 133) explains that the SPEECH team carried out a social modelling exercise with
villagers in Tamil Nadu. This revealed that the existing caste system denies Daliths (members of the
'untouchable' caste) access to key resources in the village. It is unlikely that this information,
although vital for the success of the project, would have been learned during a formal question and
answer session.

Opportunities and Services Maps

Figure 3 shows a map, drawn by a facilitator and local farmers in Dilapa, Ethiopia, to investigate
opportunities and services in the area (IIED and ActionAid Ethiopia, 1992). This could equally be
applied to livestock to investigate the availability of veterinary care or local healers, marketing
opportunities, reserve grazing areas available during periods of shortages etc.



Figure 2. Social and Assets Map of 46 Households

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Figure 3. Opportunities and Services Map: Dilapa, Ethiopia


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Resource Maps

Resource maps and farm maps, drawn by local people, can be used to indicate which natural
resources in the area are used by livestock. They are often used in conjunction with a transect walk
across grazing areas. These maps can provide a valuable source of locally-specific information
relevant to livestock management. For example they may reveal the browse and fodder species found
in the region or the areas that farmers associate with disease.

Further suggestions for the use of resource maps include:

* Drawing separate resource maps for each different season;

* Mapping small areas of key resources to explain the factors that determine seasonal grazing
patterns (eg. the use of patches reserved for dry season grazing);

* To compare local ecological conditions before and after a significant historical event or the
introduction of a technical innovation.

Lively discussions and large amounts of information can stem from resource mapping exercises.
They can also lead into other activities such as preference ranking of feed types and seasonality
analyses. Resource maps can become complex and detailed so it may be beneficial to draw separate
thematic maps. Listed below are a number of examples of how resource maps can be used:

Use of Map Description

General John Young et al. (p.58) asked villagers to draw a map of Pyutar village. It
Resources shows a wide range of local resources: crops, livestock, grazing, forests, springs,
houses, fodder trees and topographical features.

Grazing Robin Mearns et al. (p.95) include a map drawn by a group of Mongolian
Resources women. It denotes the differing qualities of the grazing resources and their
relation to disease incidence. It also shows winter and summer shelters and

Key Resources Robin Mearns et al. (p.95) provide a map showing the location of key seasonal
grazing resources, drawn by a group of local farmers.

Topical Maps These are often drawn by local experts, eg, the soil, tree or water specialist.
Pastoral Grazing Both David Hadrill and Haroon Yusuf (p.106), and Robin Mearns et al. (p.95)
Cycle asked herders to document their seasonal movements. Mearns et al. show actual
distances travelled on a separate diagram. The herders' movements are drawn by
the facilitators on a map showing key topographical features such as rivers and
highlands. Watering points could also be plotted.

Impact A map could be drawn to record the past, and expected future, impact of pest
Monitoring and disease incidence, livestock breeds and species, pasture quality, fodder
resources etc.

Mobility Mapping

This mapping technique is described in detail by Heather Grady et al. in RRA Notes No. 10. Mobility
maps are used to determine where, why and how often men and women travel, either with or without
their livestock. They are particularly useful with pastoral communities. The informant's community
is drawn at the centre of the map, and other points represent possible locations where he/she might
travel. Concentric lines are drawn between the community and the destination. Separate maps are
9 drawn for each individual and notes are taken on the frequency of and reason for travel.

Louise Cooper and Narangerel Gelezhamstin (p. 115) describe their experience with mobility mapping
in Mongolia. Their maps illustrate the relative distances travelled by herding men and women in the

Body Maps

Andrea Cornwall (RRA Notes No. 16) used body mapping as a way of understanding people's
* knowledge and perceptions of their anatomy, physiology and the internal effects of certain diseases
or treatments. This method can also be used with livestock (Figure 4). People are asked to draw an
* outline of an animal, then mark in where the food goes, where offspring develop etc. It is important
not to lead by asking for structures, but to let people indicate them for themselves by focusing on
* processes. From this diagram further interviewing can lead to the marking in of other structures and
processes as well as to explanations and theories of disease causation and treatment.

Figure 4 illustrates a body map of a pig drawn by Baba Yemesi of Ado-Odo, Nigeria. In the map
he illustrates the symptoms of elede alarun, a disease that renders pigs unfit for consumption.

* Figure 4. Body Map of Pig Illustrating Symptoms of Elede Alarun


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Transects are systematic walks taken with farmers or key informants through an area. They are
useful when carried out near the beginning of a PRA to give an overview of the farming system and
natural resources in an area and focus attention on the different zones or micro-environments. They
can follow a loop, a water course, straight line or S-shape to fit in with the local topography.

Transect walks are recorded using sketches in the form of a matrix table with the relief of the transect
walked along forming the top of the table and the studied criteria listed in the left-hand column. Field
notes and comments are entered in the appropriate box.

In the context of livestock production, transects can be used to discover types and quality of grasses
and fodder trees, crops and by-products available as livestock feeds, communal grazing lands and
water sources.

Figure 5 shows the results of a transect carried out with villagers in Mongolia (see also p. 95). The
aim was to gain a general introduction to the area and to begin to identify grazing and other key

Participatory Diagrams

Diagrams can be an important tool for summarising, recording and analysing farmers' information.
As in mapping, it is necessary to repeat diagramming exercises with a cross-section of informants
representing different interests. Discussed below are a number of different participatory diagramming

Systems Analysis Diagram

A systems diagram can prompt discussions on the details of the livestock production system,

* Inputs;
* Outputs;
* Opportunities;
* Services;
* Constraints, together with solutions developed to cope with them.

The diagrams are usually drawn by individual farmers or household members and tend to work best
if done after farm or resource mapping, or once the farmer has listed his/her livestock assets and
available resources.

A central circle is drawn to indicate the number and type of livestock in the household. From this, S
inputs and outputs, markets and services are mapped and discussed. Flows of resources between the
different parts of the system can be indicated by arrows. The researcher asks open-ended questions
to encourage the informant to analyse the system thoroughly. Different colours or thicknesses of lines
can be used to mark labour inputs derived from different ownerships rights for livestock products.

A household system analysis, shown in Figure 6, was carried out by ActionAid (1992) with the
assistance of an Ethiopian farmer. The farmer was asked to draw his farm plots then list all the
inputs and outputs of the system. He included the labour of himself and his wife separately.




Figure 5. Transects Through Hukh Nuur Brigade, Mongolia





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Figure 6. Household System Analysis: Kitkita, Ethiopia

Man Woman
Ploughing Carrying sheaves
Sowing Carrying grain
Weeding Food preparation
Harvesting Fetching water
Transporting sheaves Grinding
Piling Cleaning house
01K Threshing Nursing
\/ Sifting Firewood
\ / / ,t Carrying grain Marketing

7 Storing Washing clothes

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Seed buying Herding cows
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Figure 7 shows a system diagram, drawn by a facilitator, to show the causes and treatments of human
diseases (IIED and ActionAid, 1992). However this could just as easily be applied to livestock.

Figure 7.

Systems Diagram of Diseases, Sources/Causes and Treatment

Process/Flow Diagrams

This method of diagramming is useful for summarising any sequence of events clearly. For example,
it can demonstrate, step by step, the process of a production operation. If costs are incurred at any
stage (including monetary and labour costs and returns) they are noted alongside. In this way the
diagram can become a simple production account. This exercise demonstrates both the complexity
of resource management and stimulates a range of discussions on related issues.

Process diagrams can also be used to investigate daily activity profiles for tending livestock or for
household duties. Flow diagrams can be used to investigate the sequences followed in the progression
of an illness ie. showing local diagnostic skills and facilities, together with treatments given at each
stage of the illness and any other significant factors.

A group of farmers in Pakistan, having discussed the farm profile, drew a systems flow diagram to
illustrate the flow of nutrients and other inputs into the farm (Figure 8). They drew the diagram on
the ground using pieces of straw, chalk, leaves, stones etc. and discussed the issues amongst
themselves, at the same time explaining them to the research team and answering further probing
questions (IIED and PSPDP, 1992a).


Figure 8. Systems Flow Diagram, Pakistan

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Venn Diagrams

Venn diagrams are mostly used to explore the relative importance of services and institutions to a
community. The technique uses circles, drawn in various sizes, to represent the relative importance
and range of individuals or institutions. Livestock owners are asked to position the circles according O
to the relationship between them, ie. the degree of contact and overlap in decision-making. An
alternative method is to draw lines between circles and the village circle, with the thickness of the line S
representing the strength of the relationship.
Venn diagrams can also be used to gather information on the relative importance of various livestock
diseases and the relationships between them. Perceptions vary with the position of the person
representing these relationships, so Venn diagrams could be repeated with a range of different people,
including owners of different types of livestock, vets, ministry and NGO staff. Braganca (p. 157) used
Venn diagrams in Mozambique to explore the relationship between villagers and government/non-
government institutions before and after the civil war.


Figure 9. Farmers' Problems and Solutions Diagram: Pakistan

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Network Diagrams

This technique can be used to investigate the different networks surrounding livestock production.
For example, the livestock of one household can be taken as the central focus and the human network
around them explored. Alternatively, livestock can be plotted onto a map showing households. Links
are then drawn to indicate sharing relationships and animal or product ownership.

Decision Trees

Decision trees are useful for discussing the range of strategies available to livestock producers.
Decision trees can also be used to discuss the issues surrounding new strategies before they are
implemented for example the decision-making process and consequences of adopting a cross-
breeding programme or a cut-and-carry feeding system. A tree could also be drawn to illustrate
interlinked production problems or solutions.

Livelihood Analysis

This exercise encourages people to consider their sources of income and expenditure and reflect upon
past and present coping strategies in times of shortage. John Devavaram and his research team S
(p.133) carried out a livelihood analysis with project beneficiaries in Karaikeni village, Tamil Nadu.
This revealed which activities provided the greatest source of income and gave an idea of typical 0
expenditure patterns.

Problem and Solution Diagrams

Figure 9 provides an example of a problem and solutions diagram drawn by a group of farmers in
Pakistan. The farmers started by drawing themselves in a circle in the centre and marking in the
different problems they faced. A separate diagram was then drawn for perceived and actual local

Diagrams to Investigate Change Over Time 0

Seasonality Analysis Calendars 0

These are simple diagrams (Figure 10) that indicate the seasonal distribution of activities. They are
often used to explore constraints and opportunities. The months/seasons can be written along the top
of the diagram (according to the local concepts of time), with the activities relating to livestock
management entered below. Calendars normally represent a 12-month period but can be extended
to 18 months. This allows for the seasonal agricultural cycle and denotes differences between years.
Calendars can also take on a circular pattern (IIED and PSPDP, 1992a).

Seasonality analysis calendars can be used to indicate trends over an average year, an adverse year 0
or the present year. A similar technique can be used to explore relative change across longer time
periods years or decades. This may be done, for example, to investigate the effectiveness of the
introduction of veterinary services, dipping operations or by-product feeding programmes. Calendars
generally portray management or production criteria but they can have many different and specific
themes. A selection of these themes is listed below, and some are outlined in further detail in the
case studies in this issue of RRA Notes.


Figure 10a. Seasonal Calendar: Availability of Fodder and Grazing, Ethiopia

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Figure 10b. Livestock Disease Calendar (Source: Konde, 1993)

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Rinderpest (Beyene)

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Type of Calendar Description

Availability of fodder/ Shortage of fodder was identified as one of the major problems in
grazing resources Girara, Ethiopia. A calendar was drawn by 12 farmers to investigate
the situation further (IIED and Farm Africa, 1991). This is shown in
Figure 10a.

Disease incidence David Hadrill and Haroon Yusuf (p.52) set up a matrix showing local
seasons along the top, above a list of the main livestock diseases. They
asked informants to score the different diseases to show which seasons
they occurred in. See also Figure 10b.

Seasonal production Factors affecting livestock production, including inputs/outputs,
constraints and opportunities. The following case studies all include
seasonal production calendars drawn by farmers: John Young et al.
(p.58), M. Ghirotti (p.78), Robin Mearns et al. (p.95).

Seasonal food availability Neela Mukherjee (p.127) prepared a calendar with villagers in
Botswana to show the type and quantity of food available in a typical
year. This shows the seasonal importance of livestock products in the
villagers' diets.

Income and expenditure John Devavaram (p.133) asked farmers to include details of their
income and expenditure in their seasonal calendar.

Work pattern/division of Louise Cooper and Narangerel Gelezhamtsin (p. 115) use a monthly
labour calendar to show the amount of time spent by men, women and children
on livestock related activities throughout the year. Distinct seasonal
activities, such as lambing, haymaking, shearing etc., are clearly
marked on the calendar. Livestock related activities are plotted
alongside domestic activities to help illustrate and explain the gender
differences in labour allocation.

Activity Profile

Daily activity profiles can be used to explore typical activities and routines, including livestock and
household duties. They should be carried out with different farmers (male and female) during the
various seasons of the year. Activities are charted during each hour of the day and the amount of
effort, time taken and location of work are recorded. Louise Cooper and Narangerel Gelezhamtsin
(p. 115) did this in Mongolia, by asking women to describe their typical day.

Time Lines and Time Trends

Time lines are often a good starting point for further PRA activities and exercises. They illustrate
diagrammatically past events which the community remember as being significant. Historical
information can often be elicited by encouraging people to recite songs, poems or plays. Time-lines
can also be used to show the changes that have occurred in a community. For example, it can
indicate changes in farming systems (eg. access to community resources) or monitor the impact of
an introduced technology (eg. destocking/restocking initiatives, dipping programmes). Ato Metenas
was interviewed by researchers about his livestock (Figure 11). He chose to begin his story in 1954
and he explained every event in the past responsible for the loss or reduction of his livestock (Farm
Africa and FFHC/AD, 1992).

Figure 11. Time-Line: The History of Ato Metena's Cattle Herd, Ethiopia

Constraints Effect =n livestock

1954 2 ha farm land
2 family size
2 cows (after crop yield selling)
1957 increased the No. by 1 M & 1 F calf
Died CBPP 1959 loss of 1 heifer
L.s size 2 cows & 1 young bull
1960 2 cows gave birth to 2 F calves
L.S size 2 cow3s 1 young bull 2 F calves
1963 increased the No. by 1 M calf from 1 cow
L.S size 2 cows 1 ox 2 heifers 1 M calf
Died abortion 1964 1 cow died
L.S size 1 cow 1 ox 2 heifers 1 M calf
1965 2 heifers gave birth to 1 M & 1 F calves
L.S size 3 cows,1 ox,1 young bull,lM & 1F calves
Sold for 1966 1 young bull & 1 cow sold
land tax L.S size 2 cows, 1 ox, 1 M & 1 F calves

1967 Increased the No. by 1 calf (F) from the cow
E.S size 2 cows. 1 ox, 1 young bull, 1 heifer
1970 Increased the No. by 1 M & 1 F calves
L.S 2 cows, 2 oxen, 1M & 1 F calves 1 heifer
Killed 1971 Loss of 1 M & 1 F calves (died)
Black leg L.S size 2 cows, 2oxen 1 heifer

1973 Increased the No, by 2F & 1M calves
L.S size 3 cows, 2 oxen 2F & 1M calves
Lost due to 1974 Loss of 1 cow (death)
drought L.S size 2 cows, 2 oxen 2 heifers, 1 young bull

1977 Increased the No. by 2 M calves
L.S size 2 cows, 2 oxen 2 heifers, 1 young bull
2 M calves
1981 Increased the No. by 2 F & 1 M calves
L.S size 4 cows, 5 oxen 2 F & 1 M calves
Expired 1982 Loss 1 ox, 2 calves 1M & 1 F (death), 1 cow
CBPP L.S size 4 cows 4 oxen, IF calf

1983 Increased No. by 1 M calf
L.S size 3 cows, 4 oxen, 1 F & 1 M calf
1984 L.S size 3 cows, 4 oxen, 1 M & 1 F calves

Historical Maps and Transects

Historical transects, resource and social maps can be a valuable resource for exploring change over
time. Firstly, people can be asked to draw maps of the present situation, and then of what the area
was like as far back as they can remember. This can also lead into mapping and perceptions of the
future appearance of the area.

Maps and transects with specific themes (eg. livestock production) can be drawn to give an insight
into how and why a situation has arisen and assist with discussions on constraints and opportunities
for owners of livestock. Anabela Braganca (p.157) asked farmers to draw a transect to illustrate the
effect of the civil war in Mozambique on crop and livestock production and natural resources in the
area. Robin Mearns et al. (p.95) asked herders to draw a transect to demonstrate perceived seasonal

Historical Transect: Ecological and Seasonal Change, Tsagaan Khutul,

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and ecological changes in Tsagaan Khutul, Mongolia. This is shown in Figure 12.

Historical Matrices

Historical matrices are useful for understanding communities' livelihood and coping strategies, past
and present. They can help to explain why changes have taken place and often lead into discussions
on what people felt may happen in the future.

Karen and Mark Schoonmaker Freudenberger (p.144) discuss the use of historical matrices in the
context of livelihood strategies, coping strategies in times of crisis, and natural resource use. The
informants choose the time period and name some significant past events. These form the top of the
matrix. The components of the issue being studied (coping strategies, resource use etc.) are listed
horizontally. Beans, seeds or stones can then be used to show the relative importance of each activity
or resource in each historical period. It was found that people put their minds in a certain time period
and remembered how things were then before moving on to the next time frame. Louise Cooper and
Narangerel Gelezhamtsin (p. 124) also used matrices to record changes in consumption patterns in

Preferences and Proportions

Wealth Ranking

Wealth can be a sensitive topic, especially in pastoral societies and herders may be suspicious of
questions coming from outsiders about livestock ownership. Wealth ranking methods ensure that
individual households do not feel targeted by researchers. Wealth ranking by sorting cards was
pioneered by Barbara Grandin (1988) during work in Kenya with pastoral communities.

It is done by interviewing informants individually and asking them to list the households in the
community. The name of each household is copied onto a separate card. The informants then sort
the cards into groups according to the relative wealth status of the households. By using a number
of informants, and cross-checking their answers, a fairly accurate picture can be obtained. The
informants' own positions in the ranking can be determined through cross-checking with the other
informants. Robin Mearns et al. (1992) discuss wealth ranking with herders in Mongolia in RRA
Notes 15, which is a special issue on wealth ranking.

Wealth ranking is an essential starting-point for most PRA activities. By grouping the community
into different wealth strata, it allows the research team to be aware of how attitudes, decision-making
criteria and production priorities are affected by wealth. It reveals much about local terms for wealth
and the factors which distinguish the different groups. It also leads easily into discussions on
livelihoods and vulnerability and provides a baseline against which the impact of future interventions
can be measured.

Preference Ranking and Scoring

Preference ranking and scoring methods are effective participatory tools for learning people's
categories, criteria, choices and priorities with respect to agricultural issues. They work best if used
after wealth ranking exercises. Ranking lists items of interest (eg. browse species, livestock breeds)
in order of preference. For example, from a list of six fodder types, informants are asked which is
the best and why. They are then asked which type is second best, and so on.

Scoring differs from ranking in that informants are asked to give each item a score, using beans,
stones or seeds, according to how popular it is. The higher the number of beans assigned, the more
popular the item. John Young et al. (p.58) used preference ranking methods in Nepal to determine
the relative importance of farmers' problems.

Matrix Ranking and Scoring

If the researcher wants to carry out preference ranking and scoring for a number of variables, this
can be simplified by using a matrix. Matrices enable a range of different items to be assessed against
selected criteria. Local criteria are listed in the rows of a matrix, and items in the columns. The
items can either be given a score, or ranked against each criterion.

For example, for fodder species, informants would be asked to decide which are the most and least
palatable, nutritious, available etc. Alternatively participants may put piles of stones, seeds etc. into
boxes for semi-quantitative scoring. The criteria themselves can also be ranked to show which are
considered to be of most importance.

Figure 13 shows how preference scoring matrices were used by researchers in Pakistan (IIED and
PSPDP, 1992b) to compare the different attributes of a variety of livestock. Matrix ranking can be
used for a variety of planning purposes. Listed below are examples of how researchers have used
matrix ranking to gather livestock-related information, and their location in this issue:

Theme Researcher Page No.

Institution Ranking Robin Mearns et al. 154

Livestock Preferences Anabela Braganca 157
Neela Mukherjee 127

Fodder Preferences/Constraints Anabela Braganca 157
Ian Scoones 91

Wild Fodder Neela Mukherjee 127
Tim Leyland 47

Disease Issues Tim Leyland 47
Grandin & Young 39

Animal Losses Adrian Cullis 87

Problem and Solution Ranking Jeremy Swift & Abdi Noor Umar 138
John Young et al. 58

Success Ranking Stella Maranga 142
Household/Livestock Tasks Cooper & Gelezhamtsin 115
John Young et al. 58

Figure 13. Preference Matrices for Livestock: Pakistan


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Proportional Piling

A range of livestock issues can be examined in this way, including the distribution of livestock
mortality among households, percentage of income from different sources, estimates of stock numbers
in the area etc. Local natural materials, such as beans or seeds, built into piles, can be used by
informants to illustrate their perceptions of relative proportions. Pie charts, bar charts and diagrams
can then be drawn from these piles.

Figure 14 shows a bar chart, drawn on the ground by Gama Gujar and his mother using chalk and
small stones. It illustrates the effect of different fodder types on milk yield (IIED and PSPDP,
1992a). The concept of litres was suggested by the facilitators. Cathy Watson (p.131) used
proportional piling to investigate the relative contribution to household food supply of the different
economic activities in which Turkana households are engaged.

Figure 14.

Proportional Piling: Effect of Fodder on Milk Yield, Pakistan

Milk Yield

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Summarised below is the range of production information that could be gathered with the help of local
informants using some of the participatory tools described in this section:

* Seasonal trends in mortality, morbidity and nutrition;
* Estimates of mortality and morbidity among large livestock populations;
* Perceptions of the internal anatomy of various types of stock;
* Local knowledge of disease causation and treatment;
* Processes and preferences in the treatment of sick animals;
* Resources available to livestock, through seasonal resource mapping;
* Time-line issues that affect livestock;
* Time trends in livestock, through seasonal resource mapping;
* Daily activity profits for larger stock;
* Browse and fodder preference;

Further information can be also be gained on the wider economic and social systems of which
farmers, as owners and careers, are a part:

* Livestock population assessment, by livestock mapping;
* Distribution of livestock per household, by social mapping;
* Stock loaning and sharing relationships;
* Modes and sources of acquisition and disposal of livestock;
* The perceived status of livestock in relation to other assets;
* Opportunities and services mapping for livestock purchase, sale and vet care;
* Systems analysis of inputs and outputs based around livestock and concerning both
beneficiaries of livestock labour and products, and the environment;
Seasonal or daily labour inputs to livestock care by different household members;
Livestock preferences;
Matrix of veterinary care providers, by disease;
Proportional income from livestock products;
Ranking of uses of livestock products to the household (differentiated by users);


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West Africa. Agricultural Administration 8: 485-492.





FI-^^ ^^ ^"^:


Barbara Grandin
32 Sturgiss Road, New Jersey 08824, USA

John Young
Intermediate Technology Development Group
Myson House, Railway Terrace
Rugby CV21 3HT, UK

This article focuses on the collection and use of ethnoveterinary data in the context of community-
based animal health training programmes in Kenya. The programmes ranged from pastoral areas such
as Samburu and Pokot, to settled farming in Meru and Machakos and were carried out by the Kenya
Livestock Programme (KLP) of the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) in
collaboration with various community-based NGOs. This article discusses the lessons learned in the
programme to date and directions for the future.

Data Collection for the Kenyan Livestock Programme

The KLP has begun to identify a 'minimum data set' necessary to design and monitor the progress
of community-based animal health (CBAH) programmes (Grandin et al., 1991). KLP has adopted
a set of data collection techniques, which are flexible enough to be adapted to each project's
requirements but standard enough to provide the minimum data and allow for comparisons across
projects. These techniques include literature reviews, informal participant observation and discussions
(eg. with farmers, project personnel, government veterinary staff), as well as following more formal

Wealth Ranking to describe the differences between richer and poorer households, especially
with regard to livestock keeping, problems, access to veterinary services, etc. (Grandin,

Progeny Histories to provide basic information on offtake, fertility, mortality (cause, age,
seasonality) over a longer time-frame than is normally covered in single interviews (Grandin,
1984; Young, 1987).

Ethnoveterinary Interviews which provide information on both local people's disease
nomenclature and symptoms, causes, traditional and modern treatments for various diseases.

* Household-Level Data Collection to elicit more information on producers' perceived problems
and stated needs with regard to livestock production.

* Participatory Rapid Appraisal techniques including problem and success ranking, seasonal
calendars, mapping and diagramming.

The Ethnoveterinary Question List

The question list was first developed and implemented in Kenya Maasailand by Barbara Grandin and
her assistant Elijah ole Timpaine in 1984. It can indicate the general level and depth of knowledge

on animal diseases and provide a list of local disease and symptom names. It provides information
on the animals affected, signs by which people recognize them, how they are caused, whether they
are seen to be contagious and whether there is a well known and effective traditional or modern
medicine. There are two main stages of data collection:

1. Collecting background information
2. Implementing the question list

Stage One: Collection of Background Information

General Information

Knowledge of the following aspects of livestock production is required:

The local production system: it is necessary to gain a basic understanding of the livestock production
systems in the area. To ensure that representative informants are selected, particular attention should
be paid to the division of labour within households eg., who is responsible for, manages and treats
sick animals. It is important to separate out cultural ideals of labour division from the actual S

Species of animal kept, breed differences and age divisions: information is required on the local
definitions of animal ages or other characteristics that are said to be strongly related to disease
incidence and seasons of the year. This allows discussions on types of animals affected and seasonal
occurrences to be more easily understood in ensuing interviews. This information is best collected
specifically in the context of disease incidence since many languages, particularly pastoralists', have
very elaborate terminology.

Local seasons of the year: a basic understanding of the local seasons is useful as they often correlate
with disease outbreaks.

Eliciting Disease Names S

The second step for collecting background information involves the elicitation of all known livestock
disease names in the language of the community. This works particularly well with a small group
as the stories and ideas of one informant often spark the mind of another. However, there are several
biases that should be avoided.

* Seasonality: producers are most likely to mention diseases of the current season. After those
are elicited, ask specifically for diseases most prevalent in other seasons and/or year round.
Also, make sure that all species are mentioned, including equines and poultry.

* Severity of disease: producers are most likely to give the names of the most serious (ie. fatal) S
diseases so make sure that chronic diseases and those which are not fatal, but may lead to
production losses, are also recorded. 9

* Incidence of disease: it is useful to ask the group whether there are diseases that appear only
periodically otherwise one might miss major epidemics that sweep through an area, or
conditions that appear only in unusual climatic circumstances.

40 0


These biases can be dealt with after the initial listing of diseases. Researchers can prompt the group
of farmers to name other diseases by reminding them that they are interested in chronic diseases,
diseases of other seasons and so on.

The above information can be recorded on index cards. The back of each card is a useful place on
which to write comments about the disease and the cards can be sorted and resorted to check for
duplications. Cards also facilitate pulling the information together later. In the first interview the
name of each disease can be written on an index card. These are checked later to avoid recording
multiple names for the same disease or the same name (often a body part) referring to several, quite
distinct syndromes.

In subsequent interviews the cards can be pulled out as each name is mentioned, and discrepancies
checked. In some cases a group will have thought of a disease that previous groups have missed; in
other cases, dialect or other differences (eg. level of colloquialism) will be picked up. This helps the
investigator to learn when there are different names for the same disease as well as the factors that
lead people to use these different names.

Stage Two: Implementing the Ethnoveterinary Question List

The second stage involves asking a list of questions about an individual disease. It can be asked of
three or more informants, chosen to represent relevant diversity in the community (by age, gender,
wealth, location etc.). In most circumstances it is best not to ask about more than two or three
diseases at a single interview to avoid interview fatigue and hasty answers. It is not necessary to ask
the same few informants about all the diseases.

If there are traditional healers in the area, it is useful to include several, in addition to ordinary
producers, in order to have a basis for comparing generalists' with specialists' knowledge. By asking
a number of different people it is possible to get a good idea of whether the information is in general
circulation or restricted to specialists and whether there are consistent views or a multitude of
different views.

It is important that the interviewer spends time explaining the data wanted and why, stressing the
value of the knowledge of local people. At no time should the informant be interrupted with the
comparisons with Western views or treatments.

The specific questions are on the whole straightforward; the questions can be asked at the particular
depth required for the specific project. Farmers and pastoralists are usually quite happy to talk about
their animals' health. Often the problem is having them tell you more than you can possibly absorb,
rather than there being gaps in the information.

This type of ethnoveterinary information can also be collected informally just by talking to people and
asking questions. However a fairly fixed question list, such as the one below, has the advantage of
ensuring that all points are covered and that data both within and across sites is comparable:

The Questions

Question 1. What species, ages and sexes are affected?

It might be important to distinguish different breeds where there are local and cross-bred animals.

Question 2. Is there seasonality or other timing to the appearance of the disease? 0

This question requires knowledge of the local calendar. Where seasons are not the only timing
variable the answers often reflect the correlations that producers see between other events and the
disease under discussion, although they do not necessarily see a causation. For example, the Maasai
clearly recognize that malignant catarrh outbreaks follow the period when wildebeests migrate in
Maasailand and calve down.

Question 3. Does it usually affect one animal or a group of animals at the same time?

This is best asked broadly ie, "Can the disease spread from animal to animal. If so, how?" Avoid
technical terms such as contagious or infectious which may be limiting and not easily translated with
accuracy. This question often leads naturally into a description of what people believe causes disease.

Question 4. What causes the disease (may be natural, spiritual or both)?

This may pose difficulties if the animal keepers know the interviewer is a veterinarian and/or a
foreigner; they are unlikely to admit to a belief in the spiritual causation since they know many
outsiders believe these ideas to be backward.

Question 5. Are there ways to prevent/avoid this disease?

Preventative measures are most commonly reported with contagious infectious and vector-borne
diseases and often include isolating animals, avoiding certain pastures at certain times, hygiene, etc.
Sometimes prevention are mentioned with treatments, especially when they involve traditional herbal
or other remedies (or vaccinations).

Question 6. Describe the main symptoms in their order of progression and timing if possible ie,
what is the first symptom seen, what is the second symptom seen, when etc. and what
is the symptom, if any, that makes you decide it is this specific disease?

Here the skill and interest of the researcher is critical to ensure the proper recording of what is said
and probing for more details. It is useful to indicate what is the definitive symptom since several
diseases may have identical clinical signs. In Pokot producers were asked specifically "Are there any
similar diseases, if so, how do you tell them apart?" in order to try to find out the key differentiating
features. 0

Question 7. Are there any traditional treatments available? Basically, what are they? How are 9
they obtained? What happens when used?

Details of treatments are not recorded at this stage but it is useful to note the main ingredient and/or
action. There may be problems with informants providing information on traditional treatments if
they fear this will preclude their gaining access to western drugs. Given its general nature the 0
question may lead to superficial answers which is why Questions 10 and 11 have been added.
Question 8. Are there any modern treatments available? What are they? Where can they be
obtained? What happens when used?

This provides useful information about the level of understanding of local people about western 0
medicines including types, dosages, mode of application.

What usually happens if the animal is not treated?

General outcome questions are very difficult to answer; "Some die or some get better" are common
and reasonable answers as many other factors may intervene.

Question 10. When did you last have (or know of) an animal with this disease?
Question 11. What happened to it?

In agricultural areas where livestock numbers are low, to avoid numerous null answers this question
can be changed to refer to the last time the farmer heard of an animal with the disease. These
questions give an idea of the frequency with which a disease occurs in an area. It is useful to know
how common a disease is seen to be both for its potential impact on livestock production and to
understand how well producers are likely to be acquainted with it.

The questions also serve as mini case studies of actual rather than ideal or generalized situations and
often indicate deviations from the expected in terms of actions taken, outcome and sometimes reasons.
For example, one producer replied that his animal was very old so he decided to slaughter it rather
than waste time and money on trying to cure it.

Interviewer Skills and the Question List

As with any formal or informal data collection techniques the quality of the information depends on
the quality of the interviewer and the relationship between the informant and the interviewer. Skills
in administering the question list are critical. The decisions arising must be based on farmers'
knowledge, not on the researcher's knowledge.

To accurately conduct interviews in the areas of indigenous technical knowledge the interviewers
themselves must be reasonably knowledgeable about the area under discussion, have a well-developed
vocabulary (or be willing to meticulously record vocabulary and definitions) and a clear understanding
of the purpose of the questions. Otherwise they are likely to misunderstand replies, to filter out
important information and/or to lump together points which the producer has disaggregated.

Interviewers using the ethnoveterinary question list should possess or be trained in the following

* Respect for local beliefs;
* A sound knowledge of animals, production and diseases;
* Knowledge of the indigenous vocabulary for animals, production and diseases;
* Knowledge of medicines and their dosages; and
* Reasonable knowledge of animal health issues.

The translation and phrasing of questions is important. In the Samburu project, two pairs of assistants
administered the household question list which asked when the household last had a sick animal.
Despite pre-translation and review of the questionnaire, the two groups used different phrases for
sickness. As a result, one pair was told only of animals with serious illness, while the other were
told of both serious, mild and chronic illness.

If the assistant does not have a deep respect for local beliefs this will inevitably be conveyed in the
interviews and producers are unlikely to give detailed responses, particularly to questions about
causation and traditional treatment. The fact that enumerators, extension agents and so on are from

Question 9.

the local area does not necessarily mean that they will have the requisite skills for studies of
indigenous knowledge. The Maasai research assistant was successful mostly because he carefully
recorded indigenous vocabulary and he pointed out and tried to resolve discrepancies at the time of

Using Data from the Ethnoveterinary Question List

Using the Information in Training of Animal Health Assistants

The information is useful at many stages: project design; implementation; and evaluation. At the
most basic level it is impossible to even talk to livestock owners about animal diseases without
knowing the local names of diseases and how producers talk about them. Beyond that there are three
major decision areas where ethnoveterinary information can be helpful.

1. Deciding Who to Train: Intermediaries or Producers

The question list indicates the level of veterinary knowledge amongst farmers within a given area.
In the Meru region of Kenya, primarily a cropping area, the question list indicated that there was a
relatively low level of ethnoveterinary knowledge among local farmers; they often failed to recognize
disease symptoms until the animal was very sick. Thus, individual farmers were selected and trained
to recognize and treat common simple diseases so that they could provide a basic animal health service S
to their neighbours. This decision flowed logically from the pre-existing levels of ethnoveterinary
knowledge and cultural traditions about reliance on traditional animal health specialists.

In Pokot, a pastoral area, the same approach was not successful. On re-examination of the question
lists responses showed a very high and consistent ethnoveterinary knowledge, so it was decided to
provide training directly to the Pokot pastoralists. Here, there is a strong tradition of each household
having the knowledge and skills to treat diseases and on the whole pastoralists wanted to be trained
themselves, rather than rely on an intermediary for veterinary assistance, particularly of a routine

The successful incorporation of women into either type of training requires an appreciation of both
their traditional and their changing roles in livestock keeping, as well as certain cultural norms which
could facilitate or hamper their freedom to move around the countryside.

2. Deciding What Should be Included in the Training

It is important to know which diseases are common and which concern farmers so that subsequent
training can address their particular needs and priorities. The results from the question list will help
to clarify this. On the whole, people know more about the things that concern them most so the
spread and depth of knowledge of a disease will indicate its importance. S

It may be helpful to ask livestock keepers to rank the diseases (using their local names) according to
various parameters. These parameters could include the most common, the most fatal, those causing
the most loss of production, or those most easily treated. This can yield interesting information,
which is sometimes significantly different to the perceptions of local government staff or traditional
animals specialists. Table 1 presents information about cattle diseases collected from farmers,
government staff and traditional healers in Meru. The information is compared, and although a
certain level of agreement is seen, some perceptions differ markedly.

Common Cattle Diseases Reported by Different Groups in Meru'.

Common Local English Names Farmer Traditional Vets and Health
Name Groups Healers Assistants
njoka Helminthiasis +++ +++ ++ +

nthiana Anaplasmosis + + + + + + +

mauri Pneumonia + + + + + +

meetho Conjunctivitis + + + +

ikai,itaa Theileriosis (ECF) + + + + (1984)

mutombo Trypanosomiasis + + +

kurema njau Dystochia + + +

ugere Mange + +

nyongo 'Liver' ++ -
ikunguri FMD + -+ (1984)

kunguru Gid +

Code: + + + very common, + + common, + uncommon, not reported. The dates in parentheses represent
the last outbreak of the disease recorded by the government veterinary service.

3. Deciding the Approach to Take

Training should be based on what people already know in terms of nomenclature, symptom
recognition, appropriate drugs and dosage rates. The descriptions of the signs of the diseases, and
which animals are commonly affected can be used to assess the degree of overlap between local
disease entities and the etiological definition of the modern veterinary medicine. The general level
of agreement and detail used by livestock keepers to differentiate the different diseases will determine
the amount of additional training they need in disease diagnosis. Understanding how farmers think
diseases are caused is important in training on disease prevention or routine treatments and it is
important to know what and how much producers understand about drugs and dosage rates.

Current and Future Directions in the Use of Ethnoveterinary Information in the Kenya
Livestock Programme

The project hopes to breach the divide between traditional and modern treatments and to ensure that
modern treatments are not needlessly recommended if there are equally efficacious local ones. As
a first step the programme is beginning to investigate the reported efficacy of traditional treatments
for the common simpler diseases.

'Source: Young, 1987.

Table 1.

Ranking of Traditional Treatments

In addition to the information collected through workshops and interviews traditional healers and
farmers are asked to rank the diseases elicited in the background phase according to the efficacy of
their traditional treatments. This uses a card sorting technique, as in wealth ranking. In Machakos,
in a pretest of the technique, 29 diseases were ranked by two farmers (of varying ethnoveterinary
skills) and a traditional healer. The knowledgeable farmer knew of traditional treatments for 25 of
the diseases, the less knowledgeable farmer treatments for 12 and the healer 26. As one would expect
the healer generally ranked traditional treatments more highly than the farmers, but overall there was
fairly strong agreement on there being quite effective traditional treatments for five diseases and none
for another 11. Other diseases were more ambiguously classified and require further study. It is
hoped that such ranks will enable the programme to select several reportedly successful treatments
for more in-depth study so that they can confidently be included in training.


ITDG are building a database of ethnoveterinary knowledge and local names for animal disease using
information collected from herders. This knowledge could provide the government veterinary
department with information for monitoring diseases in the regions The Drought Contingency Unit
could use disease incidence as an indication of drought and impending food shortages. The KLP
hopes to use evidence of the sophistication of indigenous veterinary knowledge, alongside monitoring
information indicating the effectiveness of the community-based animal health programmes, to
encourage government and non-government programmes to take a similar perspective.


Grandin, B.E. 1984. Towards a Masaai Ethnoveterinary. Manuscript. International Livestock
Centre for Africa, Addis Ababa.

Grandin, B.E. 1988. Wealth Ranking in Smallholder Communities: A Field Manual. Intermediate
Technology Publications Ltd., London.

Grandin, B.E., Thampy, R. and Young, J. 1991. Village Animal Healthcare: A Community Based 0
Approach to Livestock Development in Kenya. Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd., London.

Young, J. 1987. Livestock Production in Meru, and Implications for a Livestock Programme at
Kamujini Farmers' Centre. Intermediate Technology Internal Report.



Tim Leyland
VetAid, Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine
Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland


Arghandarb Valley in the Daye Chopan district is one of the least developed in Afghanistan. It is
situated in the southern foothills of the Hindu Kush at an altitude of 1900-2900m. Rural development
has been disrupted here by 13 years of war. Agricultural production is mostly subsistence with
almonds providing a cash income. Sedentary farmers till gravity-fed irrigated fields with oxen and
grow cereal crops as a staple. They also raise cattle, sheep and goats as a source of dairy products
and meat. Significant numbers of transhumant pastoralists who keep sheep and goats and camels are
located in the area and enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the sedentary farmers.

Health Unlimited, a medically-orientated NGO, has been working with the Daye Chopan community
for the past eight years, running an integrated rural development programme. In response to requests
from farmers for assistance to improve animal health, they recently asked VetAid to investigate the
local situation.

Neither NGO knew much about the community's agricultural production system and even less about
localised animal health problems in the Daye Chopan area, which lies outside the range of the Afghan
Government Veterinary Service. Although a small-scale survey of animal management practices in
Afghanistan was conducted by Findlen (1990), VetAid still had little notion of the community's
production priorities and needs.

Participatory Rural Appraisal

VetAid project staff decided to carry out their own survey of the Daye Chopan community using
participatory research methods. Their aims were to discover:

The decision-making process and abilities of individuals in the community;
The problems affecting different wealth groups, as perceived by the community;
Cultural restraints;
Physical restraints;
The indigenous technical knowledge of the area (such as recognition of diseases and ability
to control or treat them, feeding strategies etc.).


VetAid wanted to involve the community fully in the project, so participatory techniques were chosen
to encourage people to analyse their problems and identify potential solutions. A comprehensive range
of PRA tools were tried and tested throughout the survey with the full cooperation of the people of
Daye Chopan. Methods included:

* Informal structured interviews, using a compact tape recorder;
* Key informant interviews, using a compact tape recorder;
* Group interviews, to discuss and cross-check information;
* Diagrams, movement of livestock maps, transects and seasonal calendars;
* Wealth Ranking;
* Pair-wise ranking and direct matrix ranking;
* Progeny histories;

The research period was scheduled to run for three months. Of the above techniques informal
structured interviews formed the crux of the survey. Wealth ranking was most useful in classifying
the community's problems while other ranking techniques were good at determining how people saw
their options. S

Wealth Ranking

The method described by Grandin (1988) was used at the start of the survey in three separate villages.
Existing lists of landowners and farmers were used to carry out a formal stratified survey of livestock
numbers and wealth indicators. Wealth ranking showed how the different sectors of the community
perceived wealth. In addition, by dividing the community into different wealth groupings, it helped
to identify how problems and production priorities were related to wealth.

In general people had no misgivings about talking about relative wealth, but were more reluctant to
actually quantify it. On the whole, there was general agreement between informants on the rankings
assigned to households. The wealth ranking exercise provided useful background information for
follow-up discussions on livelihoods, vulnerability and the options which people felt were open to

Direct Matrix Ranking

Having identified the various wealth groupings, informants were asked to rank their most limiting
socio-economic problems. This led on to a discussion of the factors which were limiting production
and, more specifically, animal health disorders. This method of problem analysis allowed people to
isolate and prioritise those situations which could realistically be improved using the minimum of
resources. S

Disease Ranking

Disease was mentioned as a problem by all wealth sectors keeping goats and sheep but it was most
significant for the Koochi pastoralists. Questioning and ranking focused on the nature of the problems
and the traditional methods of dealing with them. People generally agreed about which diseases were
worst, but the biggest problem was translating Pushtu names for diseases into scientific terms. This
was because Pushtu names describe particular symptoms which might be caused by a number of
pathogens, and it was often difficult to match these described symptoms to specific diseases. Thus
western-trained vets face a language and communication barrier which can only be partially solved
by using participatory methodologies. S

Pushtu names for diseases were recorded and details of symptoms, occurrence, local treatment and
proposed control methods noted. Table 1 shows the results of this ranking exercise. This shows that
a small number of diseases were constantly ranked as most important, regardless of relative wealth
strata. Ranking helped people clarify the disease problems and potential solutions available to them.
The treatment and control of diseases that were ranked as being most important were included in the



Farmers' Ranking of Diseases Affecting Livestock

Rank Pushtu Disease Names English Disease Names

Sheep and Goats

1 Tak Anthrax/acute
2 Loey Pneumonia syndromes

3 Garg Liver fluke

4 Rikhak/Maknai Helminths

5 Busmarg/Goat death Contagious caprine pleuro
pneumonia (goats only)

6 Poon Sarcoptic mange (goats only)


1 Gomarg Haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS)

2 Kundreze HS, pneumonia

3 Pehrey Ruminal stasis?

4 Thin Liver fluke, TB?

5 Thin and pica Phosphorous deficiency

6 Tamba Frothy bloat


1 Tigawooni HS, anthrax
2 Poon Sarcoptic mange

3 Much Wahooni Surra

Donkeys and Horses

1 Bogmara Anthrax

2 Maria Glanders, strangles, pneumonia

3 Schumard Colic

4 Shar shar bandh Exertional myopathy


1 Shinee Red mites

2 Kunabuki Newcastle's disease

Table 1.

curriculum for the training of Basic Veterinary Workers (BVWs). VetAid staff also had the
opportunity to collect information on local diseases whilst they were treating sick animals or carrying
out post-mortem examinations.

Fodder Ranking

The availability of adequate amounts of winter livestock feed is one of the main problems in the Daye
Chopan district. To help overcome this shortage, wild plants are collected from the mountain sides
in the spring, sun dried and then fed to camels, cattle, sheep and goats in the winter. Farmers and
their families collect as much wild fodder as possible, especially if they can only cultivate a limited
amount of winter fodder. The type of plants collected depend upon the location. These plants are
ranked below (Table 2) according to their value as feed and their palatability.

Ranking of Value and Palatability of Wild Plants
Winter-feeding Goats

Collected for

Name Month Collected Palatability Value Other

Koumarla May 1 2 Difficult to collect.
Supplement: donkey, horse,
Pooshee (wild May/June* 2 1 Difficult to collect.
rhubarb) Supplement: cow, camel,
donkey, horse, sheep.
Shinshoobi May* 4 3 Grows on irrigation channel
(wild mint) banks. Supplement: donkey,
horse, sheep.
Spearki (wild May* 5 5 Easy to collect, causes
lavender) sickness in sheep

Woosha May* 3 4 Easy to collect. Supplement:
donkey, horse, sheep.
Sturkgh May* 6 5 Supplement: donkey, sheep.

* sun dried at place of cutting, transported to winter housing by donkey

Seasonal Calendar

Drawing seasonal calendars helped both the VetAid staff and the farmers to visualise and consolidate
the livestock management system, seasonal health and production problems. However it was
discovered that people found it difficult to express themselves by drawing. People traditionally
communicate using speech in this area writing and drawing are not common methods of conveying
information. Frequently interviews took place in settings that were not conducive to using pictures,
eg. inside a carpeted home where it was necessary to use paper and pens, themselves a foreign media.
Hence, the underlying concept and purpose of using diagrams as a form of communication was not
always understood by the informants.


Table 2.

Project Planning

The use of PRA methods to encourage communities to make their own decisions was only partially
successful. The war has caused the breakdown of traditional decision-making bodies. As a result the
local mujihadeen commander is responsible for community welfare and any community development
proposals have to be approved by him. The community have lost the impetus to organise themselves
and are quite willing to accept the advice of outsiders. Individuals were given the opportunity to
express their own needs and analyse their own problems but it was left to VetAid and local
mujihadeen leaders to propose the ensuing development programme.

The survey brought to light a severe animal health problem, affecting the poorest members of the
community most seriously. The community leaders were consulted about ways of solving this
problem and raising production in a sustainable manner, both economically and ecologically. The
result was a project to train livestock keepers (who became known as Basic Veterinary Workers) to
treat, prevent and control the most serious diseases, as ranked by the community. The training builds
upon existing livestock knowledge, useful traditional beliefs and practices recorded during the survey.
The project also plans to train shopkeepers in the use of anthelmintics and flukicides. The Basic
Veterinary Workers (BVWs) were not paid whilst being trained, instead they were to benefit from
the sale of medicines at a profit after the training. Farmers readily accepted the project and expressed
willingness to pay for the previously unavailable drugs.

The training was carried out on-site by Afghan paravets (previously trained in Pakistan) using
practical training techniques suitable for illiterate people. Further training in the use of locally
available medicines, the management of revolving funds and disease treatment was to be provided at
regular intervals during the next two years. The BVWs received loans to buy their basic medicine
kit and assistance with securing drug supplies.

The effects of training were assessed using structured informal interviews and monitoring forms.
These asked about the effectiveness of the newly introduced drugs and the farmers' use of the service
provided by the BVWs. Monitoring forms were designed to be completed by illiterate farmers and

The project hopes to lay the foundation for similar projects in other areas. Neighbouring communities
have been contacted and are receptive to the idea of training members of their communities as BVWs.
The interaction with farmers during the participatory survey has helped to establish a good working
relationship with the Daye Chopan community. The Afghan paravets will be given PRA training so
they can carry out a participatory appraisal themselves using the tools found useful in Daye Chopan.
These locally tried and tested techniques can help the paravets to monitor and evaluate their work in
order to become more sensitive to the needs of the local farmers. It was considered imperative, if
the projects are to be sustainable, for the community to participate in evaluating their problems and
discussing the solutions.


Findlen, C. 1990. Afghan Koochi Animal Management Practices. Tufts University School of
Medicine, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.

Grandin, B. 1988. Wealth Ranking in Smallholder Communities: A Field Manual. Intermediate
Technology Publications Ltd., London, UK.


David Hadrill and Haroon Yusuf
Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine
Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland 0

Participatory research methods were used with herders in the Sanaag region of Somaliland to build
up a detailed picture of their lifestyle. This research was initiated by ActionAid and designed and
supported by VetAid as part of a pastoral development programme.

Seasonal Disease Calendar

One of the techniques used by the project management team was to draw a seasonal disease calendar
with a village elder and a group of interested herders, based on the local calendar (Figure 1). The
calendar provided the following information:

An indication of the different types of disease that are prevalent in the Sanaag;

The diseases which the herders consider to be important or less important. Up to three
stones were placed on the calendar to indicate the importance of each disease;

The seasonal incidence of individual diseases.


The project team members were able to use this information to plan a Primary Veterinary Assistant
training programme (see Hadrill and Yusuf, this issue of RRA Notes).

Only the most common diseases and those that were most important to the herders were addressed
during training. Information on the seasonality of disease incidence, together with knowledge of the
herders' grazing movements, enabled more effective drug distribution.

The team were surprised to discover that common ailments that cause loss of production, eg.
helminths, were considered by the herders to be less important than infrequent, but often terminal,
infectious diseases.

'This paper was extracted from a report written by David Hadrill for ActionAid, on the Sanaag Livestock
Health Programme, November 1992.

52 t

Seasonal Calendar: Disease Incidence


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Claire Heffernan
11 Old Coach Circle
Hampden, MA 01036


Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) and Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) research techniques are
relatively new to the primary health care arena. Recently, there has been much interest in the
application of these methods in information gathering for livestock healthcare delivery systems.

This Rapid Appraisal (RA) focused on the primary livestock healthcare system and knowledge of
livestock diseases and healing among Tibetan agro-pastoralists of the Himalayas. This study took
place in the village of Ringmo, in Shey-Phoksundo National Park in the Dolpa District of Nepal'.

Shey-Phoksundo National Park comprises an area of 3,555km. Much of the park lies to the north
of the main Himalayan range. Approximately 2,800 people, mostly agro-pastoralists of Tibetan 0
descent, reside in the park (Bajimaya, 1990). Livestock herds are comprised mainly of yak and yak-
hybrids with cattle and goat herds more common in the lower elevations of the park.

Ringmo village is located on the perimeter of Lake Phoksundo, in the northern corridor of the park.
The Tibetans of this village are followers of the Bon Po sect of Buddhism. The village has residents
from mid-spring to late fall each year. During the winter, families and herds move south to
temporary settlements at lower elevations. Most of the herds in this village were comprised of yaks
with a few cattle. Unlike other areas of the park, few yak/cow hybrids were observed. The breeding
of yak/cow hybrids is considered unpure and religiously frowned upon, thus the few zho (male) and
zhom (female) hybrids observed, had been purchased from Tibetans from areas further north, who
held no such religious objections.

Study Objectives

The objectives of this study were to:

Outline the primary livestock healthcare delivery system;

Define cultural beliefs toward animal disease and healing;

Obtain an understanding of seasonal migrations and animal husbandry techniques;

Determine community-driven needs for veterinary inputs.

'This RA was part of a larger project undertaken by the Institute of Forestry and USAID Nepal,
examining National Park resource use. This portion of the project took place over a six week period in August
and September, 1992.


Open-ended interviews with individuals from each household and key informant interviews provided
the basis for most of the information of the study. Stocking numbers and migration patterns were
mapped for each household and corroborated by key informants.

Key Informant Interviews

Three key informants were identified by the community members as having special knowledge of
livestock healthcare. One key informant, the village animal doctor, unfortunately was on a trading
expedition to Tibet at the time of the study. His son, however, was able to supply some specialised
information on the nature of several diseases and treatments from having observed his father. The
village mayor was also considered a knowledgeable source because of his standing in the community.
The third key informant was an animal shaman from a neighboring village. He was considered by
all to be an expert in the area of livestock healthcare and was called upon to treat difficult clinical
cases and disease outbreaks.

Key informants were first asked to identify commonly occurring diseases. As these diseases were
identified and discussed, specific questions were asked regarding clinical signs, causality, seasonality
and post-mortem signs. Discussions about disease were viewed as an exchange of information from
both sides and not simply an informal question and answer session. Many diseases are common to
farmers the world over (such as mastitis) and thus presented the opportunity to share information.
Herders became much more interested in the process and gave more detailed information when
common ground was found.

All three key informants easily detailed the clinical signs and seasonal occurrences of these diseases.
Post mortem signs were unknown in most cases. Due to the religious restrictions, the slaughter of
animals is prohibited. Thus, the carcasses of sick animals are almost never consumed and are usually
buried. Consequently, knowledge of internal anatomy is poor. The animal shaman was the only
informant interviewed that could outline disease processes in internal organs.

Individual Interviews

Herders easily talked about livestock husbandry, however most were reluctant to discuss livestock
disease. There are two possible reasons for this. Buddhists consider animals to be spiritual beings.
The nature of most illness, both human and animal, is considered spiritual (caused by an unlucky
encounter with harmful ghosts and spirits). Commonly, throughout the Himalayas, many of the
secular population prefer not to advance opinions on disease and illness because they believe there
is a correct answer they do not have access to (Desjarlais, 1992). Secondly, unlike other pastoralists
societies, laymen do not treat sick animals. Even in cases of dystocia (difficult birthing), herders will
not pull calves, but defer to the two animal healers in the area. Thus, knowledge of livestock illness
and disease is specialised and considered a matter of great learning.

From our interviews, it also became apparent that women were reluctant to discuss livestock at all
and referred us to older male relatives, even though women are the primary caretakers of livestock
during the summer months when most men are on trading expeditions to Tibet or Jumla, Nepal.

Livestock Disease Ranking

This exercise was undertaken in order to gain an understanding of herders' perceptions of the
importance of livestock disease within their production system. Herders were asked to name the

diseases that caused the most problems in their herds. 0

The most serious problem indicated by household informants was Cumar Po a poisoning caused
by eating certain species of grass. This grass is found beside trails in the lower elevations. The
clinical signs of this disease are dramatic with hematuria (bloody urine) and slow wasting. Most
informants were able to give us specific information about this disease. First, as the nature of most
diseases are spiritual, this disease was one of a few which did not have 'other worldly' associations,
thus informants felt the most comfortable talking to strangers about it. Additionally, this disease is
more common in the fall and the study took place in August and September.

Key informants, on the other hand, provided very different information regarding disease ranking.
Diarrhoea was considered the number one disease problem in adult animals. It occurred year round,
with a high seasonal incidence in the winter. Diarrhoea was also the major cause of calf mortality.
Key informants also linked poor nutrition, which caused 'weakness', as a factor in this disease.

It became apparent from this exercise that disease ranking is complex and data often cannot be taken
at face value. For example, many herders who mentioned Chumar Po as their biggest disease
problem, did not have animals who would have been exposed to it (yak or yak hybrids used on
trading expeditions). Also, herders were aware of the species of grass that caused this disease and
avoided areas where it grew. Thus we had to look for other cultural reasons that might cause herders
to mention this disease most often.

Livestock Numbers

Many pastoralist and transhumant populations are sensitive about questions regarding livestock
numbers. The residents of Ringmo were no exception to this, and informants tended to exaggerate
herd sizes. This was most common amongst the poorest members of the village. Thus, when
attempting to accurately determine stocking numbers, triangulation is extremely important. First
visual inspection and direct counts should be utilised when possible. The seasonality of the study is
also often important. During the summer herds are kept communally and it is easy to perform direct
counts of community totals. In the winter, households keep cattle and yak/cow hybrids in shelters
at night with the yaks ranging close by, thus household numbers would be easier to acquire.
Numbers were broken down into adult yak and nak (female yak), calves and yearlings; adult zho and
zhom, calves and yearlings; and adult cow male and female, calves and yearlings. As different
cultures determine the age of animals differently, it is important to determine what constitutes the age
of an adult. All numbers were verified by key informants.


The use of PRA/RRA methods in livestock healthcare systems research is at an exciting stage of
development. These techniques gear researchers toward gathering information with a socio-cultural
grounding. Among pastoralist populations where herding livestock is a culture and social matrix, as
well as an economic livelihood, traditional research methods that ignored these factors created
lopsided and illogical development practices. 0

In the Himalayas, religious beliefs and livestock healthcare are inextricably linked. Among the
Tibetans of Dolpa, we found a sophisticated livestock healthcare system that has developed over
centuries. Knowledge of this belief system is vital to the formation of effective governmental and
non-governmental interventions.


Globally, pastoralists exist in some of the most inhospitable and demanding environments in the
world. Systems for survival have developed over centuries. RRA techniques allow researchers some
insight into these survival strategies. Our study among the Dolpa Tibetans at the 'roof of the world'
allowed us to glimpse the realities that make yak production systems viable in the Himalayas. One
of the risks of doing rapid appraisals, such as this one, is to focus only on the problems and miss the
larger picture. It was important for us to remember that a culture that has survived for centuries at
14,000 feet must be doing something right.


Bajimaya, S. 1990. Socio-Economic, Community Development and Tourism Survey in Shey
Phoksundo National Park. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal.

Desjarlais, R. 1992. Body and Emotion: The Aesthetics of Illness and Healing in the Nepal
Himalayas. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.


John Young
Intermediate Technology Development Group
Myson House, Railway Terrace, Rugby CV21 3HT

Henk-Peter Dijkema, Karen Stoufer,
Narayan Ojha, Goma Shrestha and Lava Thapa
United Mission to Nepal, PO Box 126, Kathmandu 0


The United Mission to Nepal (UMN) Animal Health Improvement Project (AHIP) has been training
Village Animal Health Workers (VAHW) at the Rural Development Centre farm in Pokhara for
approximately ten years. The trainees are selected by community development projects run by the
UMN and other organizations, and come primarily from many different parts of the mid-hills of
Nepal. Since the start of the project approximately 350 VAHWs have been trained and the trainees
have been followed-up to find out how they are progressing.

This paper is taken from a report on a project evaluation, and outlines some of the participatory
techniques that were used by the team during the evaluation.

Evaluation Procedure

The evaluation was based on existing information within AHIP, some new information from projects,
information from organizations involved in VAHW training and two field visits to Lalitpur and Palpa
Districts. Two areas were chosen as case studies, because they have many AHIP-trained Village
Animal Health Workers who have been working for a number of years. Consequently a large amount
of information is available from their projects.

The villages are relatively accessible and whilst one is reasonably well developed the other remains
fairly traditional. During the visits four members of the team stayed in the villages to collect general
information from groups, men, women and local VAHWs, while two members visited and
interviewed as many neighboring VAHWs as possible.

Participatory Research Methods

General Village-Level Information

The team collected background information from groups of men and women in the village using the
following participatory methods:

* Map: showing the location of houses, crops, forest, grazing areas, grazing areas associated
with disease, nearest sub-centre, VAHWs' homes etc.


* Wealth Ranking: to stratify village members according to wealth.

* Production Information: information gathered on livestock keeping, including the type of
livestock kept and why, their contribution to the household, all inputs (grazing, food,
supplementation, housing, routine activities) and outputs (milk, dung, cash from sales, deaths,
births etc.) and the action taken when animals are sick.

Labour Diagram: showing division of livestock keeping tasks by gender and age.

Proportional Piling and Annual Disease Calendars: for disease and general problems with
livestock. First problems were listed and then proportionally piled to discover relative
importance of each problem. Next, disease calendars were constructed with villagers;

* Transect walks: to meet farmers and women to check land use, animal husbandry etc. against
ground map and other discussions, and also to conduct individual interviews.

* Progeny Histories: for all adult females (buffalo, cow, goat, sheep) in herd. Information
gathered for each offspring in turn including its sex, and its subsequent fate (see Table 1 for
further details).

For all the above topics, an attempt was also made to establish the extent to which the situation has
changed within the last ten years.

Semi-Structured Interviews with Farmers and VAHWs

The team also interviewed male and female farmers and VAHWs individually. Through the use of
a question list to guide the interview and maintain consistency, these interviews were more focused
and structured than those described above. The interviews with the farmers were designed to gather
information on the service they receive from the VAHWs, including:

* The frequency with which VAHWs have treated their livestock;
* The success of that treatment;
* The amount they were charged for this treatment; and
* How they feel the service could be improved.

The interviews with the VAHWs aimed to assess:

* How they were coping with their work;
* How much treatment they have given;
* The catchment area in which they work; and
* Ways in which they feel the training, or their own work, could be improved.

VAHWs were also asked to sort the household cards previously used during the wealth ranking
exercise, according to whether they had treated, or vaccinated any animals belonging to each
household. This was done to see if there was any bias by wealth or caste in the people they had

Application of Participatory Research Methods in the Field

There now follows a more detailed account of how the methods described above were applied in the

South Lalitpur District

Three village development committees were visited in South Lalitpur District Ikudol, Pyutar and
Asrang. Although they are less than 50 kilometres from Kathmandu and the district headquarters in 0
Patan, they are still fairly remote. The area is characterized by ridges and hills up to 8000 feet
transected by river valleys 3500 feet below.

Between 1981 and 1987, the project sent 32 farmers to the Rural Development Centre (RDC) farm
for AHIP training as Village Animal Health Workers. According to the Community Health and
Development Project (CDHP) staff, 24 of them are still treating sick animals in their villages. On
this visit we met 11 of them, six of whom are regularly treating animals. Of the remaining five, two
are treating very few animals while three have stopped work altogether.

During the visit we used a number of rapid appraisal techniques including wealth ranking, mapping,
diagramming and semi-structured interviews to learn about the area. We were particularly interested
in the social organisation, agricultural and livestock practices, general and livestock-related problems,
and how the village animal health workers are working.

First farmers were usually asked to draw a map of their part of the village and to discuss any related
issues arising from this exercise. Some of the team would then carry out a transect walk, observing
farms and interviewing people as they went along. Wealth ranking was used to explore wealth-related
differences in farming techniques, livestock ownership and access to help when animals are sick.

Livestock-Keeping and Problem Ranking in Ikudol

We asked a group of farmers to name and then rank the general problems they had in their village.
We then asked the same group to describe all the inputs required for, and outputs derived from their
animals, and how they varied during the year. The results of this have been included in a seasonal
calendar (Figure 1). By allocating beans to each task, they were asked to show who did the work.
Finally we asked them to name and rank the various problems they had with their animals.

Resource Map of Pyutar

Pyutar Village Development Committee area is on the far side of Ikudol, down in the valley towards
the Bagmati river. It is flatter, lower, and much more fertile. There are more people, the farms are
closer together and a much wider range of crops are grown including rice, finger millet, various
beans, pigeon peas, maize, vegetables, mustard, sesame, buck wheat and bananas and various fodder
trees. There are more murrah and cross-bred buffalo and cattle.

We asked Krishna Bahadur Thing to help us to draw a map of the village (Figure 2). While doing
so he told us that 15 years ago, the whole hill behind the village was forested, and that the whole area
was wetter. Vegetables grew better then, and there were more cattle and goats which were taken out
grazing. On the other hand the Bagmati River was wider and less predictable then, and now it is
possible to cultivate more rice fields along its banks.



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Figure 2. Farmers' Map of Ward Three, Pyutar Village

Progeny History in Ikudol and Pyutar

During the farmer interviews in both villages, we asked what had happened to the offspring from
every adult female animal on their farm. Table 1 shows the results and gives an indication of rates
of loss through sale, slaughter, gifts and disease. Where the age of death was known, all of the
buffalo deaths occurred under six months of age; four out of 17 (c. 25%) at less than one month old
and 10 out of 17 (c.60%) below three months old. In cattle three of the five reported deaths occurred
at less than one month old, as did seven out of eleven goat deaths.

Table 1. Progeny History: The Fate of Offspring of Animals in Ikudol and Pyutar

Males Females Total

BUFFALO (no. females =38) n % n % n %

Retained 11 28 23 51 34 40
Sold 23 58 10 22 33 39

Given for share 1 3 1 1

Died 5 13 12 27 17 20
Total 40 47 45 53 85 100

CATTLE (no. females = 8)

Retained 5 63 4 36 9 47

Sold 2 25 2 11

Given for share 2 18 2 11
Died 1 13 4 36 5 26

Exchanged 1 9 1 5

Total 8 42 11 58 19 100

GOATS (no. females = 20)

Retained 7 14 18 36 25 25
Sold 32 65 19 38 51 52
Given for share 2 4 2 2
Died 9 18 5 10 14 14

Slaughtered 1 2 5 10 6 6

Lost 1 2 1 1
Total 49 49 50 51 99 100


Palpa Valley District 0

The village of Baugha Pokhara Thok is about 12 kilometres from Tansen town, along a ridge away
from the Palpa valley. It is not as developed as some of the villages in the Palpa valley because it
does not have any irrigated land. Despite a number of development activities in the village,
agriculture and especially livestock keeping is still largely traditional. However, many men from the
village are, or used to be, in the Indian army, and therefore bring a lot of money into the village
through wages and pensions.

From this village, eight VAHWs have been trained by AHIP and one by the government. According
to CDHP, seven of these are still active. Although, as on the visit to South Lalitpur a number of
rapid appraisal techniques were used to learn about livestock keeping in the area, on this shorter trip,
the team mainly concentrated on the work done by the VAHWs and their relationships with the
community and CDHP.

Livestock Keeping: Division of Labour by Wealth Class

The information obtained from the wealth ranking was used in this exercise to assess how the division
of labour is affected by wealth. Khem Bahadur Ale is a farmer ranked top in the wealth ranking
exercise (Rank 1). He has a big family and many different types of livestock. He allocated beans
to each of the tasks involved in livestock keeping to show who does the work (Figure 3a).

However, Man Kumari gave rather a different picture (Figure 3b). Her father is in wealth rank 5, 0
they have four cows and a pig and her mother is very ill and cannot do much work.

Livestock Problem Ranking by Wealth Class

The results of the wealth ranking exercise were also used to understand how wealth affects people's
perceptions of livestock-related problems. Khem Bahadur Ale is another farmer ranked top in the
wealth ranking exercise. He considered lack of grass to be the biggest problem, followed by disease
and the lack of grain (Figure 4a).
However, Sumitra K.C. has only two buffalo, three oxen and five goats. Her husband is in wealth
rank three and has an outside job. Her perceptions differ slightly she ranked the lack of water first 0
followed by disease and the lack of feed (Figure 4b).


64 d*

Figure 3. Division of Livestock Labour by Wealth Class

a) Wealth Rank 1 Farmer

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Raul Perezgrovas, Marisela Peralta
Universidad Autonoma de Chiapas
Campus III, Centro de Estudios Universitarios
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Pastor Pedraza
Unidad de Germoplasma Ovino-UNACH, Felipe Flores 14
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas 29200, Mexico


The aims of agricultural technicians and development professionals are to help 'less fortunate'
individuals to improve their crop or livestock production. However, it is easy to picture them in the
field giving instructions, recommending hybrid seed, or new agrochemical/veterinary products,
inspecting animals and writing prescriptions. But even if effective for the commercial producer, such
knowledge and technologies are not always adopted by peasants or smallholder farmers, often because
they simply cannot afford to.

Educated technicians are not used to receiving, let alone asking for, advice from peasant farmers.
If they were to adopt a more humble approach they would probably find that farmers cooperate with
them and they achieve better results. Local people may lack formal education but they have plenty
of experience and empirical knowledge that technicians should look into and learn from. Using an
ethnoveterinary approach, we were able to look deeper into indigenous knowledge, and to understand
that we can learn a great deal about animal management and health when (and if) we listen carefully
and respectfully to those who, educated or not, know better.

Our work among Indian shepherdesses in Highland Chiapas, in Southern Mexico, proved to be a most
rewarding experience. Most of these women are illiterate, only speak their own language (Tzotzil)
and live simple lives. They live in small hamlets in the mountains, and are responsible for daily
household chores as well as grazing and watering the family flock.

The sale of sheep, wool and crafts provides an important source of income for Indian families in the
Chiapas. Technicians from several government agencies have tried to raise the productivity of their
sheep over the past few years. They attempted to introduce modern husbandry practices and highly
productive sheep breeds; schemes that were effective for commercial producers in other regions.
However in the Chiapas they have failed. The Indian farmers did not understand'why their 'sacred'
sheep should be harmed by injections, culled because of their age or low productivity, or killed for
meat. They did not like the newly introduced breeds of sheep because they were always 'sad' and
sick, and were often dead within a few weeks of arriving in the area.

Research Methods

During the early 1980s we tried a new method of improving sheep husbandry management with the
Tzotzil Indians. Indian shepherdesses have been rearing animals for over 450 years in a different,
but nevertheless successful way, so we studied their traditional management system. With the
assistance of an Indian woman as an interpreter we talked individually to many shepherdesses from

different villages. We walked with them whilst their flocks were grazing. We helped them to build
wooden shelters for sheep and to gather plants and herbs for a sick animal. We sat for hours and
chatted while some of the women transformed wool fibre into woollen garments, and we also shared
scarce food and bad weather.


As a result, we obtained plenty of useful information, which we discussed and analysed until the
complete picture of the sheep management system became clear. More importantly, we underwent 0
a change in attitude, becoming students whilst allowing the Indian women their role as expert
teachers. We learned to observe carefully and to listen, and to respect their opinions.

It became evident why the original approach of the educated government technicians had failed.
Without close contact with the shepherdesses, how could they have imagined that their
recommendations were not only out of context but opposed to the culture of the Tzotzil Indians? In
Highland Chiapas, sheep are sacred animals. They are named, cared for and respected as part of the
family. The Tzotzils' religion prohibits the consumption of mutton and every Indian woman
constantly prays to the Holy Shepherd, John The Baptist, for her sheep to be healthy and protected 0
from 'wind' or 'evil eye'.

Besides this 'heavenly' protection, shepherdesses have designed and perfected a series of management
practices that have proved to be very effective in keeping the animals in good condition. For
example, parasites are controlled by rotating grazing sites, using grass-made muzzles, watering
directly from buckets, and restricting access to meadows and streams. Nutritional imbalances are dealt
with by supplementing the diet with mountain salt. Reproduction is managed by trading rams and
isolating newly-lambed ewes, and sick animals are treated with plants.

These management practices are based on old pastoral traditions from Spain, ancient Maya customs
or a blend of both. Furthermore, they can be scientifically translated into veterinary or animal
husbandry terms. The whole management system is currently in the process of experimental
validation, and the results will be used as the basis for future development programmes in the
highland region.

This 'improved' traditional management system, along with a rediscovered local breed (Chiapas
sheep), stands a better chance of being adopted by the Indian shepherdesses since it came from them
in the first place and because it is designed for the existing culture and context of sheep husbandry
in the mountains of Chiapas.




Karen Iles
Carlton House, 19 The Highway
Hawarden, Clwyd CH5 3DG


This article focuses on the use of progeny histories to collect information on aspects of livestock
production. The Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) has used this technique
extensively in studies carried out to develop community-based animal health care programmes in
various parts of Kenya.

In 1989, Oxfam requested the help of ITDG in developing the animal health component of their
livestock and restocking programme in Samburu district. Samburu district is located in the semi-arid
rangelands of northern Kenya. Livestock are the primary means of livelihood for the majority of the
pastoralists living in this region. They provide food, household commodities, a source of cash and
perform numerous social functions.

As a first step, we carried out a study to determine the following:

* The nature of animal health problems in the area;
* Existing levels of veterinary knowledge amongst pastoralists; and
* Animal health services already available, both indigenous and Western veterinary services.

This was done using both formal and informal techniques. The formal techniques consisted of wealth
ranking, a short household questionnaire, an ethnoveterinary question list and a progeny history
question list. The informal techniques included discussions with pastoralists and government staff,
use of key informants, observation of husbandry practices, and a review of relevant literature. The
progeny history technique was therefore used in conjunction with a variety of other data collection

Progeny History: Methodology

Progeny histories can be used to collect information on a large number of animals in a short period
of time. The technique is relatively straight-forward and easy to carry out. In the Samburu study
pastoralists enjoyed talking about their livestock during the interviews, and were quite happy to
provide the required information.

Progeny histories are essentially livestock genealogies, which describe the fate of all the offspring of
a given female animal. They provide quantitative data on the fate of animals that have left the herd
or flock. This includes information on voluntary offtake, such as number of animals sold, exchanged,
given away as gifts and slaughtered for food, as well as animals that have died as a result of disease,
drought, predators or other causes such as theft.

Samburu Cattle Production Categories

Livestock Samburu Nearest Translation/Comment

Female Nkashe Lelerie Young calf
Nkashe Pus Grey calf

Nkashe Botor Big/senior calf

Nkarami Weaner Full grown

Ntawo Heifer

Ntawo e Laigoni Heifer of bull

Mtawo e Laong'o Cow Heifer of steer, birthed 1 or 2
Nkiteng Mature cow, birthed 3+ times
Male Lashe Lelerie Young calf
Calf ---------
(castrated) Lashe Pus Caf Grey calf

Lashe Botor Big/senior calf

Larami Weaner Full grown

Laong'o le sile Steer of debt
Laong 'o le lauget Steer of Leuget ceremony
Surnash Castrated Bull

Laong'o le ntawo Steer of heifer

Laong'o le Lashau Okuni Steer Steer of 3 calves
Laong 'o le Ong 'uan Steer of 4 calves

(entire) Lashe Lelerie Young calf

(castrated) Lashe Pus Calf Grey calf

Lashe Botor Big/senior calf

Larami Weaner Full grown

Lpole Young Bull Not mounted

Lponos Bull Young but mounted

Laingoni Bull Mature bull

Source: Sperling, 1987 (where further information on goats, sheep, donkeys and camels can be found).


Table 1.

Background Information Required

Before using the progeny history technique it is essential that certain background information is
known. This is essential to ensure that the data collected is relevant and accurate. This will require
the assistance of both a veterinarian/livestock production specialist and a social scientist. Also critical
to the process are dialogue and participation with the livestock owners themselves. Background
information should be collected on the following:

* Local Disease Knowledge. A list of diseases and disease syndromes recognized by livestock
owners living in the area should be compiled in the local language. Attempts to translate
these into Western veterinary equivalents for the purposes of the interview can be problematic
and is best avoided. This is because pastoralists frequently categorise disease according to
observable signs rather than causal agents, as is the case with western veterinary medicine.
During the interview diseases should be recorded in the vernacular to avoid confusion and to
ensure accuracy.

Local Age Categorisation. Pastoralists like the Samburu rarely age their animals in years.
Instead livestock are categorised according to maturity, physiological state, reproductive
history and potential, and barter value (Table 1). Such systems are detailed and accurate but
often complex and must be clearly understood. To ensure accurate data collection and to
avoid errors brought about by translation, age categories reported by respondents should be
recorded in the vernacular language during interviews. The categories can be later simplified
(for example into years and weights) for analysis.

Important Local Events. The names and dates of recent events in history, such as droughts
and major ceremonies, can be compiled in order to date out-breaks of disease, and assist in
determining the age of animals.

* Social Organisation of the Community. The sample of people interviewed should be
representative of the community as a whole so that the results of the survey can be applied
generally to that population. This requires some method of stratifying the community. In
the Samburu study the wealth ranking technique was used. Communities were stratified
according to wealth, which is defined by pastoralists as the number of animals owned.
Wealth is known to effect factors such as animal husbandry practices, offtake and response
to disease outbreaks (Iles, 1990). For the progeny histories, pastoralists from poor, middle
and wealthy households were interviewed. Use of the wealth ranking technique requires some
knowledge of the social organization of the community.

The Progeny History Question List

The technique involves conducting an interview with the owner or herder using a structured question
list, illustrated in Box 1. The informant is first asked to select from the herd or flock, an adult
female animal that has given birth. Interviews are best conducted at the homestead near to the
livestock corral so that the animal under discussion can be seen. The informant is then asked the
questions listed in Box 1. Responses are recorded systematically in a notebook. It is important that
they are written clearly in a predetermined format for ease of coding. Analysis is straightforward and
may be carried out by hand or computer.

Box 1. The Progeny History Question List

First explain to the livestock owner that the point of this exercise is to find out what problems he/she has
with his animals. If he/she only tells us about the good ones, then we won't know what the problems
are. We need to find out about good, average and poor animals so that we can plan the programme.

Write the person's name, manyatta name, and card number down, then:

1. Ask the livestock owner to give the names of six bloodlines' of animals and from this ask
him/her to choose two good ones, two average ones and two poor ones. Pick an adult female
animal in his/her boma which has had calves, kids or lambs. Write them down. If he/she has
less than six lines, just write down the ones he has.

2. For one good animal, write down the name and ask:
Where did it come from?
How many pregnancies?
How many abortions?
If still in herd, is she pregnant, dry or barren?

3. Then for each birth ask:
Was it a single or a twin? (record twins separately)
What happened to it?
Age now, or age when left herd?
If it was female and is still in the herd and has given birth, then write its name down as the
mothers name -1. For subsequent ones, number them sequentially.

4. When you have finished all the births of the original animal, repeat questions two and three for
each of the female offspring which gave given birth2.

5. Repeat questions two and three for at least one average and one poor animal, and time-
permitting, for the other three animals. If the owner does not have that many lines in his herd,
then do all the lines that he/she has.

Source: Iles, 1990.

From this, detailed information on exactly what diseases (as defined by pastoralists) animals are dying
of can be determined. The precise diseases affecting certain ages and classes of livestock can also
be quantified, and this information can be used to determine mortality rates. The progeny history
technique also provides data on herd and flock structure, and from this information on fertility can
be derived. An advantage of progeny histories is that they provide data over an extended period of
time (approximately 5-10 years), compared to other single interview techniques, such as
questionnaires, which often only provide information over a short time frame. Information from
progeny histories can be used to illustrate patterns in the fate of livestock over time so that trends can

'In Maasai this translates literally as 'house' (B. Grandin, pers. comm).

2Barbara Grandin reports that it was possible to go back in time to cover the progeny history of the
'mothers' of each live female. One woman went back 30 years to the animals she was given on her wedding
day! This gives a much longer time frame for information than just using animals in the herd. This is
particularly important for exploring episodic events and long-term cyclical impacts (Grandin, pers. comm.).



be identified. Unexpected, irregular events such as droughts and major disease outbreaks can be
taken into account.

The type of questions asked during progeny history interviews can be varied depending on the
objectives of the study. For instance, if disease incidence and transmission is the focus of interest,
then probing questions on disease classification, age/sex specific disease impacts, symptoms and
treatment can be explored. However, if livestock functions are of more interest, then more probing
can be invested in exploring the motivation behind sales, the contexts for animal purchase etc. (B.
Grandin, pers. comm.).

Case Study: Progeny Histories in Samburu District

In the Samburu case, the interviews were carried out in the vernacular language by Oxfam staff who
were themselves pastoralists. The responses were recorded in English. Elders made up the majority
of the people who were interviewed.

Table 1 and Figure 1 illustrate examples of the type of data collected in Samburu district. For
example, 66 per cent of cattle born into the herd remain in the herd (Table 2). Of the goats and
sheep that left the herd 54.2 per cent died as a result of disease (Figure 1).

Table 2.

Overall Fate of Offspring, Samburu District

Fate Camels Cattle Goats/Sheep
(_n=42) (n= 144) (n= 121)
Still in the herd 61% 66% 60%
Died: disease 23% 12% 22%
Died: drought 1% 4% 1%
Died: other causes 5% 4% 7%
Sold 4% 9% 6%
Slaughtered 2% 2% 2%
Exchange/gift/loan 4% 3% 3%

Source: Iles, 1990.

Lessons Learned

Progeny histories are limited in that they do not provide information on such topics as livestock
owners' attitudes (for example towards traditional medicine), or data on chronic, non-fatal diseases
which may nevertheless be important from the pastoralists' point of view. Progeny histories should
therefore be used in conjunction with other data collection techniques such as ethnoveterinary question
lists, informal interviews and sentinel herd studies, if a wider understanding of the constraints to
livestock production is required. Other lessons learnt during the study are discussed below.

Figure 1. Fate of Smallstock Leaving the Flock (as percentage of total leaving)

Died, other c

Died due to disease


Died, drought


Source: Iles (1990)



0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 00 00 00 00 0 0 0 0 0 0


Experience from Samburu illustrates the critical role that interviewers play in the collection of data
using the progeny history technique. The interviews can be carried out by extension workers, as was
the case in the Samburu study. However, it is important these interviewers are given training in
interview techniques and have ample practice in asking questions and recording the responses
accurately and systematically. Training should also provide them with a clear understanding of the
purpose for the questions and to what use the data will be put. Interviewers should have a knowledge
of and respect for the local culture and traditional livestock practices. If not, their lack of
understanding will inevitably be conveyed and pastoralists are unlikely to provide detailed and
accurate information, or even be willing to devote much time to the interview. The interviews are
best carried out by people fluent in the vernacular language, who will also be aware of how questions
can be asked in a way that is appropriate to the culture.

Adapting Questions to the Local Culture

Testing the technique before it is used as part of a larger study is essential to ensure that the questions
themselves are culturally appropriate. For example, in the Samburu case there was a problem over
the question about the number of abortions an animal had had (Box 1). The Samburu tended not to
regard these as a pregnancy, so that the number of pregnancies for a single animal could potentially
be under reported. The interviewers overcame this problem by broaching the question through

The Size of the Data Set

Even though information can be collected rapidly through progeny histories, the coding and entering
on computer of this data can be time consuming, especially if a large number of animals are involved
(3000 in the Samburu case). To avoid wasting time and resources, the number of animals on which
data is required should be calculated, and from this the number of interviews carefully planned.


The progeny history technique is an extremely useful method for collecting accurate information in
a culturally sensitive way. It compliments other data collection techniques, in particular providing
quantitative information to verify qualitative data gathered through discussions.

Progeny history techniques work best with more important, valued species. Everywhere cattle data
has been better than for smallstock species. Largestock give birth less often, rarely twin and so
histories are easier to remember.


Grandin, B.G. 1988. Wealth Ranking in Smallholder Communities: A Field Manual. Intermediate
Technology Publications Ltd., London.

Iles, K. M. 1990. Oxfam/ITDG Livestock Project. Report of Base-Line Study and Implicationsfor
Project Design. Intermediate Technology Development Group, Rugby,UK.


M. Ghirotti
Central Technical Unit
General Directorate for Development Cooperation
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Via S. Contarini 25, Rome, Italy

This paper describes the steps taken to perform a rapid appraisal (RA) to provide a quick, systematic
and cost-effective picture of livestock conditions and veterinary problems, especially in agropastoral 0
communities. The original RA was carried out in the Central Ethiopian Highlands in 1985 and
further tested and improved in various areas of Ethiopia, Zambia, Guatemala and Namibia.

The collection of appropriate data is crucial for the planning, management and evaluation of animal
health and production interventions. Some data collection techniques use detailed, baseline surveys
but they involve a number of constraints. Rapid appraisal (RA) methods have been developed to
overcome these limitations and to capitalise on farmer experience.

Main Stages of a Rapid Appraisal

Deciding the Appropriate Type of RA

Firstly researchers should decide which type of RA will most effectively achieve their objectives.
McCracken et al. (1988) describe three different classes of rapid appraisal:

1. Exploratory: identifies the general features and constraints of the livestock production system
at the start of a development programme.

2. Monitoring: evaluates the progress or impact of development activities.

3. Topical: focuses on more specific issues.

A fourth class is suggested here:

4. Framework: carried out alongside existing investigations to put into context the results of
more selective studies. This was carried out in southern Zambia to identify husbandry
practices, cultural and environmental factors. It helped to interpret the results of a sero-
epidemiological investigation on major cattle diseases and to identify valid and acceptable
control measures (Ghirotti et al., 1991).

'A more complete description of this methodology has been published in the Proceedings of the meeting
of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine held at the University of Edinburgh, 1-3
April 1992. 6


Constitution of the Team

The team should consist of a maximum of four persons, ideally including:

* A veterinarian, with sound knowledge of animal production, epidemiology and disease
An ecologist, with a background in pasture management and animal population dynamics; and
A social scientist, acquainted with pastoral and agropastoral societies.

Each should apply an inter-sectoral approach to problem analysis and solving. The team should also
include local technical officers.

Identification of Target Areas and Communities

The target population should be stratified according to the variables to be investigated. These may
include the main eco-agricultural systems, the different socio-economic groups or the presence or
absence of a given factor eg. vaccination. If it is not possible to include all villages, the target area
can be based on representative villages. However the potential sources of bias and the dangers of
generalising must always be considered in the choice of villages (see below).

Desk Reviews and Interviews of Professionals

Before performing a preliminary field visit, secondary information should be collected. Geographical
and meteorological data as well as maps are some of the most important data required. Valuable
practical advice can be obtained from experienced professionals who have previously worked in
livestock development, disease control, on-farm research and other community-based programmes.

Informing Central or Local Authorities of the Study Objectives

Administrative and technical authorities should be informed about the scope of the study and their
approval should be gained. Officers can be an excellent source of reliable information on the
livestock situation in the study area. Records from vaccination campaigns or dip tanks may provide
rough estimates of livestock populations (especially for large ruminants).

Preliminary Visit to the Communities

The preliminary visit allows the research team to present and discuss the purpose and objectives of
the study with the community. It also allows the team to obtain background information on the local
farming and livestock system before starting deeper investigations. The preliminary visit will involve
the collection of information using a combination of the following techniques:

* Semi-structured interviews with key informants;
* Individual interviews on selected topics using questionnaires;
* Direct observation;
* Case histories;
* Group interviews with farmers or livestock owners;
* Workshops.

Accurate information can only be collected from farmers if their trust is gained. Informal leaders
should be contacted their support is often essential in gaining this trust, especially in areas where
government authorities may be disliked. It should be borne in mind that questions about flock or
herd size may raise suspicions about future taxation. The endorsement of the team by the community
is therefore crucial and community leaders can play a key role here as mediators.

During this preliminary visit the main environmental features, as well as social and ethnic groups are
identified and recorded. The information to be systematically collected at this stage relates to three
main areas: background information, production information and seasonal information.

1. Background Information:

* Estimation of number of herds and households present in the area;

* People's reasons for keeping animals: their role in the farming system and in the
economics of the household;

* Presence of development programmes and facilities in the area (eg. crushes, dip tanks,
veterinary clinics). Development constraints, including the arguments for and against existing 0
or potential development activities;

* Main environmental changes and events occurring over the past years (for example the
introduction of new farming practices, or disease outbreaks in the area). Especially important
are factors that may have caused changes in production strategies, husbandry practices,
livestock performance or disease occurrence;

* Vernacular names of the most common human and livestock diseases, their importance and
spatial and temporal distribution. Presence and distribution of pests and vectors of diseases.
Local health beliefs and care systems.

2. Production Information

* Species and breeds of livestock kept and the main husbandry practices: including spatial
distribution and changes in species and breeds of livestock kept in the past. The presence or
absence of species and breeds can be used as indicators (eg. browsers rather than grazers as
a sign of land degradation, degree of susceptibility to diseases);

* Gender division of labour, especially for livestock husbandry tasks;

* Average production figures and their seasonal patterns: fertility, milk or egg production,
productive career, different types of offtake (rough percentage of sales, exchanges, gifts or

* Foods of animal origin most commonly produced, consumed or sold, including the use of
other animal products or by-products (eg. dung, horn, rumen content). The existence of any 0
food taboos should also be established;

* Main sources and availability of feed (including use of by-products) and water;

* Main markets for livestock and wildlife products.


3. Seasonal Information

* Local cropping calendars;

* Seasonal variations in labour demand: meetings with farmers and eventual project activities
involving their active contribution should be concentrated in the slackest periods of the year;

* Important festivals: animals are slaughtered mostly for ritual purposes during festivities.
Post-mortems of these animals may provide information and specimens. Some operations on
livestock are also ritually performed on such days: in the central highlands of Ethiopia
castration of bulls is carried out on Maskal, an important local festivity (Ghirotti and
Woudyalew, in press);

* Seasonality of supply, demand and prices for livestock and wildlife products.

Data Collection

From the results of the preliminary visit and the suggestions provided by the community, the final
research objectives can be identified by the team. Data is then collected which focuses specifically
on these issues.

Identifying the Sample Unit

For sampling purposes, two different clusters can be chosen for livestock data collection: the
household unit and the grazing unit. The former is recommended for an exploratory RA, whilst the
latter is useful for the analysis of a selected livestock species.

For example, in the Ghibe valley of Ethiopia, on average only one herd in five contains a bull. If
each herd is considered separately rather than as part of the overall livestock situation, it would be
difficult to understand the reproductive performance of individual herds and the overall dynamics of
the livestock system. Where land is communal, the steps in selecting the herds are as follows:

* Estimate how many grazing units there are in the area;
* Identify the criteria for their formation;
* Decide which have to be studied on the basis of such criteria;
* Analyse their composition;
* Make a list of livestock owners;
* Interview some of the owners.

Methods of Data Collection

The information gathered during the preliminary visit will help to design question lists to research the
issues which the team has decided to concentrate on. A question list helps to standardise answers and
draws explanations and opinions from the farmers. It should concentrate on a few selected
quantitative features which, integrated with the information already gathered through the semi-
structured interviews, can give an accurate picture of the situation.

Interviews with pastoralists should never focus on herd or flock size. Instead they should concentrate
on production dynamics (seasonal distribution of events such as calving or mortality) and qualitative

information (eg. epidemiology of diseases, husbandry practices). In each herd or household the
following data can be recorded for ruminants and equine species:

* The number of births or deaths of calves, kids or lambs (under one year of age) within the
last 12 months;
The number of adult females of reproductive age (conventionally, in traditional systems: cattle
over four years of age and sheep and goats over one year old);
The number of adult females not of reproductive age (ie. heifers between two and three years S
of age);
The number of adult uncastrated males (over one year of age);
The number of adult castrated males (eg. oxen);
The number of adults which have died within the last 12 months;
The number of animals sold, slaughtered or given away within the last 12 months.

From this data it is possible to estimate herd fertility rates (calving, kidding, lambing percentages),
mortality percentages below or above one year and offtake rates. The relative proportion of the
different age/sex classes can provide additional information, not only on herd growth, but also on the g
main purposes for keeping livestock. For fowls, information should be collected on:

Number of adults and chicks owned;
Number of births and deaths of chicks during the last 12 months;
Number of adults sold, slaughtered or given away during the last 12 months.

Bee-keeping and breeding rodents are often important additional sources of food and income which
can be investigated.

Collection of Specimens: some external specimens can be collected for further investigation faecess,
ectoparasites). Performance measurements can also be made, such as milk offtake, body scoring and 5
weight estimation. It is not advisable to approach animals too closely and insistently in order to avoid
irritating the owners. A few case histories can be recorded on the spot to check earlier answers.

Avoiding Bias

When using RA techniques, the researcher must be aware of the possible ways in which biases may S
arise. These are often a result of the following:

The presence of outsiders can influence people's behaviour. Responses may be altered to
please, confuse or deceive the researchers. Expectations can be aroused and answers may
reflect more what people wish than what they know and think;

* In group discussions and meetings, the literate and members of the elite may receive more
attention than others. People may avoid openly expressing their opinions in public;

* Cultural bias. An 'outsider' researcher often has the cultural expectation that every question
will receive a straightforward, spoken answer, and that the answer will be concise.

Biases can best be avoided by being aware of the above factors. Using correct sampling and S
questioning techniques and making direct observations will also help to reduce them.

Figure 1. Transect of Sidama Awrajia (Ethiopia)



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Summarising and Presenting RA Results

Several types of diagrams are widely used to summarise and present the collected information.
Besides histograms, bar, pie charts and maps the most commonly used are:

* Transects. These summarise the most important features of the different areas and ecozones,
and are useful in showing spatial differences and trends (Figure 1);

Seasonal calendars. These highlight the temporal patterns of human activities, production and
biological events (including diseases). These factors can also be plotted against climatic data
(Figure 2);

Flow diagrams and decision trees. These can present clearly the key factors which may
influence decision-making and the consequences derived from such decisions or other

Data Analysis and Interpretation of Results

The data should be analysed as quickly as possible. The accuracy of the data collected can be
established by comparing data obtained from different sources. Significant differences should be
investigated and hypotheses for these differences made and tested while the team is still on the site.
Comparisons between grazing units and households can be made by converting the different size and
species into Tropical Livestock Units (TLU). A TLU is commonly an animal of 250kg liveweight.

Feedback and Discussion with the Community

The results of the appraisal, their different interpretations and possible solutions should be openly
discussed in summing-up meetings with the farmers concerned. This confirms the data and ensures
that the team does not have a misleading picture of the area.

The answers gained through RA should lead to the identification and selection of practical
development projects. If the relevant authorities approve these suggested practical solutions and if
the resources are available, some of them should be implemented.

The RA should have revealed the degree of trust which local farmers felt towards the researchers.
If it revealed a high level of trust, more accurate sampling and measurements can be used in the
future (eg. blood sampling). Interested farmers can be involved in future studies or pilot project
activities. The reasons for a lack of interest perhaps shown by others can be investigated. Thus RA
becomes a tool for understanding the community.


Because of their qualitative nature, rapid assessment methods are not a substitute for standard
epidemiological techniques. However they are a good complement to these more quantitative
methods. Their main value lies in their ability to quickly identify those factors which arejeopardising
improved utilisation of animal resources. The aim of the development professional is to find practical
solutions to straightforward problems. The use of field methods which identify and include the

farmers' viewpoint and involve the community as much as possible certainly assist with this difficult


Ghirotti, M., Semproni, G., De Menghi, D., Mungaba, F.N., Nannini, D., Calzetta, G. and Pagnico,
G. 1991. Sero-prevalences of selected cattle diseases in the Kafue flats of Zambia. Vet. Res. Comm.
15: 25-36.

Ghirotti, M. and Woudyalew, M. (in press). Madosha: traditional castration of bulls in
Ethiopia. In: Mathias-Mundy, E., McCorkle, C. and Schillhorn van Veen, T. (eds) Ethnoveterinary
Research and Development. Kegan Paul International, London.

McCracken, J.A., Pretty, J.N. and Conway, G.R. 1988. An Introduction to Rapid Rural Appraisal
for Agricultural Development. Sustainable Agriculture Programme, IIED, London.




Adrian Cullis
Intermediate Technology Development Group
Myson House, Railway Terrace
Rugby CV21 3HT, UK


Extensive livestock production forms the mainstay of the Mongolian economy, providing employment
for almost 40 per cent of the population. Policy Alternatives for Livestock Development in Mongolia
(PALD) is a research and training project involving collaboration between the Research Institute of
Animal Husbandry and the Institute of Agricultural Economics in Mongolia, and the Institute of
Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the UK. A number of studies have been carried
out as part of this project (see also Cooper and Mearns et al., this issue of RRA Notes), including an
investigation, in late 1992, into the potential of rainwater harvesting for fodder production. Seasonal
fodder shortage is a key constraint to livestock productivity, and one which will probably be
exacerbated by the liberalisation of the Mongolian economy.

The investigation into fodder constraints and the potential for rainwater harvesting involved interviews
with herders in three districts, as well as with key informants (administrative staff and co-operative
leaders). During the discussions with herders, the team learned about Shagaa, which is a bag of
sheep and goats' knucklebones (Figure 1). Each facet of the bone represents a different livestock
type. One side represents a camel, another a horse, and so on for sheep, goats and cattle. The bones
are used like dice or counters in about 20 different games. Most households appeared to have a bag
of 30-40 bones.

Figure 1. A Shagaa Bone

Aims of the Exercise w

The team decided to make use of the Shagaa bones for a ranking exercise with herders to rank winter
livestock losses over the last 10 years.


The herders were very familiar with the names of the years (based on the Chinese years) and so were %
able to divide the pile of bones between lines drawn on the floor representing each of the 10 years.
When the exercise was complete, the piles were subdivided into livestock types within each year.
This exercise was a combination of time trends and proportional piling.

The technique proved useful in illustrating the trends in livestock losses over the years and providing
a basis for discussion. As is often the case with participatory techniques, the level of interest was
very high, with many people gathering round to offer advice and contribute to the discussion. The
exercise was enhanced by the use of the bones, which to the herders already represented animals (the
pastoral equivalent of ranking with beans or seeds).

The research team felt that the Shagaa bones had enormous potential for much wider use in ranking
and other participatory techniques with Mongolian herders, especially using the different facets of the
bones to represent the livestock types.


This paper is based on: Cullis, A., Jigjidsuren, S. and Bujantogtoh, T. 1993. Preliminary Assessment
of the Potential of Rainwater Harvesting for Fodder Production. Policy Alternatives for Livestock
Development in Mongolia, Research Report No.6. Research Institute of Animal Husbandry and the
Institute of Agricultural Economics, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and the Institute of Development Studies,
University of Sussex, UK.







lan Scoones
International Institute for Environment and Development
3 Endsleigh Street
London WC1H ODD


This short paper reports on the use of browse ranking in southern Zimbabwe. Two types of ranking
were conducted. First, a simple scoring of a full list of all available trees in the area was carried out.
Next, a more focused matrix ranking explored a few key species against a range of criteria. In
combination these ranking exercises provided important information for a local woodland management

Browse Scoring

A recently compiled dictionary of local tree names (Wilson, 1987) was the main requirement for the
initial ranking exercise. This listed all the trees found in the area with vernacular and scientific
names. This list provided the checklist prompt for a discussion held with five livestock owners. For
each tree named on a card the group indicated three pieces of information. These were:

The tree part eaten (leaves, litter, bark, fruit);
The effect the tree has on grass growth (promotes, no effect, hinders);
A rating of fodder preference (highly favoured, eaten on occasions, only eaten in drought,
never eaten).

The group indicated their assessment using local markers (eg, maize grains or stones as counters).
This process was repeated three times for different livestock species (cattle, donkeys, goats) (Scoones
and Madyakuseni, 1987).

Since there were 120 trees on the list, this exercise took several hours on two occasions. The
composition of the group changed over the period (with the exception of two people who remained
throughout). This did not appear to matter as there was remarkable consistency in response and
rarely a sustained dispute over the ratings. All informants were however adult men; the question of
whether women or children would have rated the species differently was not pursued on this occasion.

The 32 browse species rated by the farmers as highly favoured by cattle were compared with
Walker's (1980) recommendations based on such factors as crude protein content, digestibility etc.
The availability of each species was also considered in the comparison. This information had been
gathered in a separate study of browse availability in the area. Table 1 lists the results of the
comparisons for cattle.

The results showed that livestock owners' rankings tally closely with quality assessments based on
chemical analysis. A similar correlation between chemical analyses of browse material and herders'
rankings has been shown by other studies. For instance Wolfgang Bayer found that the top third of
30 species ranked by Fulani pastoralists in central Nigeria had significantly higher nitrogen and
phosphorous contents, as well as dry matter digestibility, than the middle third of the species ranked
(Bayer, 1990).

Table 1.

Trees highly favoured' by cattle, plus indicators of (1) local availability and (2)
whether important browse species according to scientific analysis.

Local shona name Botanical name 1 2

Mubhondo Combretumn apiculatum *

Mububuhnu Grewia flavescens *

Mubvumira Kirkia acuminata *

Muchakata Parinaria curatellifolia *

Muchechete Mimusops zeyheri

Mudyahudo Strychnos potatoruin

Mudzviri'nombe Vangueria sp.

Mupwezha Combretum collinum/fragrans *

Mususu Tenninalia sericea *

Mufupa Tarenna neurophylla

Mugaragora Boscia albitrunca

Muhumbakumba Bridelia mollis

Mujerenga Acacia nilotica/rehmannii *

Mukamba Afzelia quanzensis

Mumveva Kigelia africana

Munanga Acacia nigrescens/polycantha *

Mununguru Flacourtia indica *

Muonde Ficus sur

Mupanda Lonchocarpus capassa *

Mupane Colophospennum mopane *

Mupangare Dichrostachys cinerea *

Mupfura Sclerocarya birrea *

Mupumbu Acacia galpinii *

Murungu Ozora insignis

Mushuku Uapaca kirkiana

Musumha Diospyros mespillifonnis

Rusungwe Euphorbia tirucalli

Musvimwa Lannea stuhlinanni

Musvita Ficus sycamnorus

Mutarara Gardenia spatufolia *

Mutechani Combretum hereroense *

Mutehwa Grewia bicolor *

Matrix Ranking and Scoring

Matrix ranking and scoring can be used to explore the criteria of choice between different trees in
more detail. Table 2 shows the results of one such exercise.

During a discussion on drought, the importance of browse for sustaining cattle was raised. Mr
Shanduka mentioned five trees that he regarded as particularly important in sustaining cattle both in
droughts and in other years. Samples were found of each of the trees from around the homestead.
These were laid on the ground in a row. To establish the important criteria each tree was compared
with another in turn, with the questions "what is good about this tree?" or "what is bad about this
tree?". This probing continued for some time until the full range of criteria had been mentioned.
In this case only five criteria were offered.

We then proceeded to the matrix scoring. 20 beans were allocated to each criteria and Mr Shanduka
showed how he believed they should be distributed between the five trees.

Table 2. Matrix Ranking by S. Shanduka

Criteria Mupane Muhhondo Mupanda Mususu Mupwezha
Early shooting of leaves 7 4 5 2 2
Good taste; salty 7 4 5 2 2
High water content 13 7
Dry leaves can be eaten I 19
OVERALL 1 4 3 2 5

At the end of the discussion Mr Shanduka was asked to rank the trees in terms of overall preference.
This was investigated further when a scoring of the criteria was explored. This showed that early
shooting was by far the most important criterion (13 beans). This was followed by the importance of
dry leaves as fodder (5 beans). Taste/salt and water content were not regarded as so important (1 bean
each). The weighting of the criteria meant that mopane (C. mopane) and mususu (T. sericea) were
ranked highest in the overall ranking


Ranking exercises may provide apparently complex information very easily, but the investigator must
be aware of some of the drawbacks or potential complications. The following guidelines may be
important in the context of browse ranking.

* Do not confound preference with availability. Livestock may eat virtually any browse if it
is available and other, more preferred fodder, is not. This does not mean that such species
should be concentrated upon for browse development, as there may be other less common,
and so less known, species that may have potential.

* Differentiate between livestock species. The results reported here have all referred to cattle
(although rankings were done for other species). Due to differences in mouth parts and
digestive physiology different livestock species can make use of different browse species.

Differentiate between plant parts. Different parts of a browse tree can be eaten (leaves,
twigs, bark, pods/fruits) and in different states (fresh or dry). This may be important in
differentiating between species. For instance, T. sericea was found to be highly favoured
because of the fodder quality of dry leaves in the dry season. 0

Take note of seasonal phenology. Particular species may be important during particular 0
times. For instance, fruiting (eg., of Acacia pods) may be highly seasonal. Similarly the
palatability of leaves may vary due to the build up of tannins and other secondary chemicals. 0

Drought years are often different. The extreme conditions of a drought year may provoke 0
very different foraging patterns. For instance, in the drought years of 1991 and 1992 in
Zimbabwe totally new species were used by livestock. Such species should not be ignored
in fodder development plans, even if they are only used occasionally, as they may be critical
for the long-term sustainability of livestock populations.

Investigate with different informants. Knowledge about browse fodder is not evenly
distributed within herding communities. It is important to repeat ranking exercises with
different people to get the full range of ideas. For instance, children often know a lot about
foraging behaviour from their observations while herding animals. Older people may offer 0
insights into patterns of use in the past and may suggest browse species that had once been
common and could be the focus for regeneration. 0


Browse ranking with livestock owners can be a quick and effective way of finding out about fodder
preferences and availability in an area. Rankings of fodder quality by livestock owners are highly
correlated with indicators of fodder quality derived from chemical analysis. Such ranking exercises
can thus provide high quality information without the need for expensive and time-consuming
laboratory analysis. Ranking methods can therefore be useful planning tools for helping to design 0
fodder improvement programmes with herd owners.


Bayer, W. 1990. Use of native browse by Fulani cattle in central Nigeria. Agroforestry Systems
11: 217-228.

Scoones, I. and Madyakuseni, J. 1987. Local perceptions of the contribution of Trees to Browse and
their Effects on Grass Production in Mazvihwa Communal Area. Unpublished report to ENDA-
Zimbabwe, Harare. 0

Walker, B. 1980. A review of browse and its role in livestock production in southern Africa. In: 0
Le Houerou, H. (ed). Browse in Africa. ILCA, Addis Ababa.

Wilson, K. 1987. Research on Trees in Mazvihwa and Surrounding Areas. Unpublished report to
ENDA-Zimbabwe, Harare.



Robin Mearns, D. Shombodon, G. Narangerel, U. Tuul,
A. Enkhamgalan, B. Myagmarzhav, A. Bayanjargal and B. Bekhsuren

Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK
Mongolian Research Institute of Animal Husbandry and
Mongolian Institute of Agricultural Economics
Ulaanbaatar 36, Mongolia


This paper documents fieldwork carried out in 1991 during the initial stages of a collaborative policy
research and training project in Mongolia. The Policy Alternatives for Livestock Development
(PALD) project aims to facilitate the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy in the
extensive livestock sector which dominates the Mongolian rural economy.

Since the fieldwork reported here was carried out, many changes have taken place in rural Mongolia.
Most significant of all has been the dismantling of the pastoral collectives and the privatization of
formerly state or collective-owned animals. The fieldwork, however, is reported in the 'ethnographic
present' of 1991.

This report describes a few of the research methods used during the training of Mongolian research
team members and gives details of their outcomes. The training programme concentrated on the use
of participatory or rapid rural appraisal techniques. Fieldwork was carried out in the Arkhangai
aimag (province) representing the forest/mountain steppe ecological zone and the Dornogobi aimag
in the Gobi desert and desert-steppe zone.

The research consisted primarily of case studies of two former brigades, one in each aimag, with
extensive semi-structured interviewing conducted at household level and supplementary interviews at
aimag and negdel (agricultural collective) levels.

Participatory Research Methods

The programme of research and methods used in each of the two zones followed a broadly similar
pattern. First, interviews were held with officials at the aimag, sum (district) and negdel (collective)
level. The aims of these were to:

Introduce the research team;

Explain the purpose of the project;

Acquire aimag statistics, local maps and secondary information.

Next, field research was carried out in a single brigade (50-100 households) within each negdel. The
research team stayed overnight with herding families in their ger (felt tent), which allowed interviews

to take place well into the evening, when the herders are less busy. The team divided into pairs or
groups of three to conduct semi-structured interviews or participatory diagramming sessions with
individual herding men and women or small groups of herders.

The first methods to be used in each brigade were generally wealth ranking and participatory mapping
and transects.

Wealth Ranking

The wealth rankings were designed to understand local perceptions of wealth and to produce a simple
wealth classification of households in each brigade. This helped to stratify the brigade population and
assisted later interviewing on a range of issues for which it was important to understand household
background (Mearns et al., 1992).

These methods helped the team to explore the diverse range of circumstances and to begin to
understand the different needs and priorities of poorer and better-off households.

Participatory Mapping and Transects

Participatory mapping and transects were used to gain a general introduction to each brigade and to
begin to identify grazing and other key resources, patterns of seasonal mobility etc. Some team
members travelled by horseback which made for extra conviviality in interviewing the herders they
met along the way. Covering transects in this manner was a way of avoiding some of the most
common biases that arise in conventional field studies, ie. only talking to more visible and accessible
households. It also gave herders a chance to point out things of interest along the way.

Use of Checklists

A checklist of issues was prepared to guide the field research process. These issues were explored
using a number of participatory techniques, including:

* Semi-structured interviewing;

* Diagramming of labour distribution, production and other seasonal variations; S

* Preference ranking exercises (eg. for fodder species or animals);

* Historical analysis, especially of ecological change; and

* Basic income and expenditure surveying, including estimates of income in kind.

The households to be interviewed were selected from each of the wealth classes identified during the
wealth ranking exercise. The checklist of issues used during the interviews is summarised below. S

Checklist of Issues as a Guide for Field Research

Household production and marketing strategies, risk and vulnerability

Seasonal labour profiles (men, women, children)
Flexibility of women's labour between productive/domestic activities
Income/expenditure patterns
Simple demographic indicators
Income in kind (production for own consumption, barter transactions, gifts)
Vulnerability related to differential asset position of households:
asset management, marriage and inheritance, herd ownership
Access to services (and potential changes with higher cost recovery)
Herd species composition
Herd management strategies
Food security

Seasonality, grazing management, natural resource tenure

0 Pasture use and management
Identification of key grazing resources
Seasonal patterns of production
Seasonal patterns of migration
Animal condition
Fodder availability, supply sources and costs
Criteria/rules of access to key resources
Disputes over access to grazing or other key resources
Conflict resolution
Historical patterns and changes

Animal Production and Natural Resource Management

Information about the various aspects of livestock production was collected using participatory
methods in a study of Arhangai aimag.

The Annual Grazing Cycle

Figure 1 shows a map of the annual grazing cycle for Hukh Nuur brigade, drawn during a semi-
structured interview with Mandlhai of Sharbolgin tasag (dairying team during the summer months).
This indicates the broad pattern of seasonal movements between pastures.

Spring is the only time of year the entire brigade lives in the same general area. Almost all the spring
shelters lie along the North Tamir river. The brigade divides into its two tasag for dairying during
the summer months. Towards the end of the summer, when annual quotas have been delivered to
the negdel, the suuri (herders' base camp) move to other new pastures to complete their own milking
during the late summer months. Some move back to the North Tamir valley whilst others move to
high summer pastures near the lake.

From their autumn pastures, within which they make two moves during a difficult year, all suuri
move to their own winter shelters in the deeper, more sheltered valleys of the area. In total each suur
makes between four and six moves a year, generally one move per season.

Figure 1. Hukh Nuur Brigade: Annual Grazing Cycle

o s
/ s u; ~ LE R T

after dairying
half of tasag HUKH
ias ..... .. ... U L. M NUUR

s E R
0 5 Km
I ,


\after "
I. dairying
half of
0 tasag H NR

\ // / // / HANUY LG

/ ; after -, 1
4 KUAAN ONDOR --.........................

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