25 December 2013
An extensive field Training on “Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA)” for students of Department of Development Studies, CIIT Abbottabad took place on 25 December 2013. The Training was designed, planned and organized by Mr. Ehsan Inam Ullah and Dr. Arif Alam, Assistant Professors, Development Studies. Students of two classes (BDS 2 and MDS 1) attended the training as a part of their current module “Rural Development”.
The said training was delivered in village “Khwajgan” district Mansehra and covered almost all important RRA tools. Students were pre-educated and given a pre-training tutorial inside University premises, for better understanding and coverage of the RRA. The trip for said purpose was scheduled to leave for study area early in the morning and was organized in a decided place upon reaching there. Students were grouped and equipped to accomplish the following tasks through various tools:
Observation Data Inventory (through generation of Base Maps, Continuous Recording and Systematic Step Recording)
Conversation Data Inventory (through pre designed and pre tested questionnaires)
Data Recording (through data collection, field analysis, interpretation and presentations)
Base maps were constructed by two student groups each covering two compass grids mechanism (North-east/ South-east grid and North-west/ South-west grid). Base maps were aimed at plotting all the major Natural Resources, Physical Geographical features, and other general local characteristics.
Continuous Step recording was aimed at getting detailed single grid observation and data recording of the land use and cropping Patterns. Single grid of approximate 3 kms (inside the agricultural terrace) was surveyed at 200 ft interval method. This yielded an error free data set clearly mentioning percentages of land use patterns and crop details.
To grasp an overall picture of the village wide land use, cropping patterns and field access inventory, continuous recording was further extended as a Systematic Step Recording criteria, and covering three grids (all agricultural transects) at fixed distances of 3 kms, diagonally through the village. This gave a clearer understating of an overall land and agricultural domain through securing a representative data set of the study area. Conversation method accomplished data recovery on the prepared questionnaire proformas. The proforma contained questions related to information on local demographic characteristics (Respondents age groups, education, incomes and sources, tenurial status etc), agro economic statues (Land holding and land use, crops, crop input and outputs etc), available services (water, health, education, services etc) and perceived constraints and hindrances to development (in terms of their priorities and suggested measures).
Data collected through this 4 hours RRA was further integrated, rapidly analyzed and interpreted on field for appraisal of local characteristics, constraints, suggested remedies and a series of discussions were held (through the aid of secured maps, charts and questionnaires) to give expert opinions about the local Rural Development measures. Recorded data yielded some very relevant yet interesting facts about the area and people and proved to be an important tool in not only securing error free local information but also for suggesting possible future development of the Rural domains.
Accomplished RRA equipped student with all the necessary understanding of Rural Appraisal methods, and provided them with hand on experience of RRA tools and their application. This training anticipates to have helped students learn the Appraisal tools in a practical manner and made them trained enough to be taking up any related survey task for their professional career.