RRA Notes 16: Applications for Health

This issue of RRA Notes resulted from a workshop on PRA techniques in relation to health. 

Article, 30 June 1992
Participatory Learning and Action
A journal for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike.

July 1992

Guest Editor: Alice Welbourn

The two-day workshop was  held at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in November 1991, and hosted by Robert Chambers. The articles here contribute to a highly topical debate within the health field as well as beyond.

The four key issues discussed at the workshop and here presented are: 

  • reflection on the relative values of qualitative and quantitative data; 
  • the position of ‘the community’ as subjects or objects of health service delivery; 
  • the importance of the process of community-based health and information collection, as opposed to a more conventional pre-occupation with the product; and 
  • the importance of the development of health worker skills towards learning and facilitation, as opposed to imperious superiority.

Scrimshaw and Hurtado’s work on Rapid Assessment Procedures for Primary Health Care (PHC) is mentioned by several authors in this issue and reflects a shift in approaches to community-based health studies. 

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Content can be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided the source is fully acknowledged. 

Follow the links below to download the whole issue or individual articles in pdf format.

Download the complete issue.


Alice Welbourn

Part 1: Overviews

Rapid appraisal for health: an overview
Susan Rifkin

Participatory Rural Appraisal: potential applications in family planning, health and nutrition programmes
Richard Heaver

Part 2: Discussions with communities

Qualitative methods for assessing the acceptability of immunisation in Somalia
Anne LaFond

Unemployment and health: the development of the use of PRA in identified communities in Staveley, North Derbyshire
Teresa Cresswell

Community-based information systems
Francesca Moneti

Part 3: Illustrated Discussions


Training workshop on Participatory Rural Appraisal for planning health projects
Sheelu Francis, John Devavaram and Arunothayam Erskin

Trends in health care
Alok Kumar

Participatory Rural Appraisal in identifying major illness, healthcare providers and costs
Sam Joseph

A little experience of a PRA exercise conducted at Mecluskigang
Mahadeo Sahu and Ranjan Tirkey

Extract from ‘Participatory Rural Appraisal for Nepal: concepts and methods. A guide to the slide presentation’
Lorna Campbell and Gerard J. Gill

Participatory methods for research on women's reproductive health
Elizabeth Tolley and Margaret E. Bentley



Body mapping in health RRA/PRA
Andrea Cornwall

Notes from a food and nutrition PRA in a Guinean fishing village
Judith Appleton

A note on the use of disease problem ranking with relation to socio-economic well-being: an example from Sierra Leone
Alice Welbourn

South America

Exploring the potential for primary environmental care: rapid appraisal in squatter communities in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil)
P. de Colombani, G. Borrini, M.C. Meira de Melo and M. Irshaid

Actual or potential uses of RRA/PRA methods in health and nutrition
Robert Chambers

Tips for Trainers: Saboteur
Alan Margolis