PRA Methods


Participatory Research Approaches...

Participatory Research Approaches ( PRA) can help local participants evaluate the challenges and issues they face in their local setting. It can also help develop solutions or actions to respond to local challenges, thus empowering local people. Finally, it can help generate reliable qualitative data in the framework of research (Chambers 2008).

The PRA sessions yield qualitative and visual data. We conducted 4 types of PRA sessions.

  • Transect Walk: This exercise helps to enhance the researchers’ understanding of the spatial dimensions of people’s realities and local perceptions of resources. During the walk, researchers ask questions about what they see to the villagers that join them on the walk. The route for the walk is previously discussed with local resource persons to make sure that there is sufficient variety in terms of natural and socio-economic environment.

  • Contextual Change: During this exercise, participants produce a detailed list of perceived positive and negative changes in the study sites. The assessed changes are organized according to six ‘domains’: natural environment, the physical or built-up environment, human capital, the economic environment, social and political organization, and culture.

  • Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping: This PRA session aims to enhance the researchers’ understanding of how different factors influence migration and to understand the inter-linkages of these different factors. In the process, participants also enhance their understanding by critically examining migration decisions.

  • Mobility Mapping: This exercise explores the prevalent mobility patterns in a community. The focus is on where people move and for what reason or purpose. The team may also study and depict other aspects of movement most relevant to the specific research questions. The map reflects people’s perception of mobility patterns. Image 1 shows the mobility map for Mejit Island.