of The Gambia (UTG) Development Unit and the Participatory Social Research
Association (PSRA) last Wednesday presented certificates to Participatory Rural
Appraisal (PRA) 2017 participants at The Gambia College Auditorium in Brikama
where they also launched the July 2017 PRA report.
The PRA 2017 field trip was conducted in Jahaur Mandinka and Panchang SinchuTaba in Central River Region-North Lower and Upper Saloum districts. The Participatory Social Research Association (PSRA) assisted the practical exercise.
UTG Deputy Dean of School of Arts and Social Sciences Dladele Oyelakin said the PRA serves as a lab where students practice the theories they learn in the classroom. He called on the students to take up the exercise seriously as it is part of their lectures.
Coordinator of the exercise Madam P.K. Junisa said PRA is a set of participatory and largely visual techniques for assessing group and community resources, identifying and prioritizing problems and appraising strategies for solving them. “It is a research/planning methodology in which a local community with or without the assistance of outsiders study issues that concerns the population, prioritizes problems and evaluates options for solving them,” she stated.
She said in PRA, a number of different tools are used to gather and analyse information, explaining that those tools encourage participation and make it easier for people to express their views and help to organize information in a way that makes it more useful and more accessible to the group that is trying to analyse a given situation.
Outgoing president of the Participatory Social Research Association (PRSA) Musa Keita said PRA evolved from rapid rural appraisal (a set of informal techniques used by development practitioners in rural areas to collect and analyze data). “Rapid rural appraisal developed in the 1970s and 1980s in response to the perceived problems of outsiders missing or miscommunicating with local people in the context of development work.”