Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal Starting with the People

This handbook guides the process of undertaking Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal (PRCA). Although it has been developed in the context of rural development, but the approaches are widely applicable to C4D more broadly. PRCA is a process of actively involving the people concerned in the research process to ensure that Communication for Development programmes are effective and relevant to them.

The following information was provided to BetterEvaluation by Jessica Noske-Turner as part of the Evaluating C4D Resource Hub

The Evaluating C4D Resource Hub sits within BetterEvaluation and houses a growing collection of the available guides, toolkits, tools and methods to use for research monitoring and evaluation (R,M&E) of Communication for Development (C4D) initiatives. The Hub is structured around two combined frameworks:

C4D Evaluation Framework (represented by the circle) is an approach. It describes the values and principles that guide our decisions in C4D. 

The BetterEvaluation Rainbow Framework (represented by the rainbows) is a structure. It organises the practical tasks into seven categories or 'clusters' and provides options.

While the resource recommendation below discusses the resource specifically in relation to its usefulness for evaluating C4D within the Evaluating C4D Resource Hub's C4D Framework, this resource may also be of use for people working in other contexts and with different frameworks.

Authors and their affiliation

Chike Anyaegbunam; Paolo Mefalopulos; Titus Moetsabi; South African Development Community 

Year of publication

2004 

Type of resource

Guide

Key features

The handbook is written in an accessible way using practical language. It is divided into section and hyperlinked. The Handbook includes the following sections.

CHAPTER 1: COMMUNICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT IN ACTION

1.1 Sustainable human development - The communication imperative

1.2 Why rural development often falls?

1.3 How can Communication for Development help?

1.4 Communication for Development programme planning and implementation: An overview

1.5 Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal (PRCA): A definition

 

CHAPTER 2: SITUATION ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK IN PRCA

2.1 Situation analysis framework (SAF): Purpose and rationale

2.2 The problem tree: Cause-effect analysis of critical issues

2.3 Role of SAF in communication programme planning and implementation

 

CHAPTER 3: PRCA METHODOLOGY

3.1 Why PRCA?

3.2 Principles of PRCA

3.3 Common biases to be avoided in PRCA

3.4 Types of PRCA

3.5 What a PRCA should accomplish

 

 

CHAPTER 4: PRCA TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES

4.1 Overview of PRCA tools and techniques

4.2 PRCA tools and techniques for getting to know one another, warming-up and energising

4.3 PRCA tools and techniques to know more about the community

4.4 PRCA tools and techniques for data collection on communication issues

4.5 PRCA tools and techniques for probing and analysing critical issues

 

CHAPTER 5: BASELINE STUDY IN PRCA

5.1. Rationale and purpose of the baseline study in PRCA

5.2 Using PRCA findings to focus baseline studies

5.3 Designing the baseline study

5.4. Implementation of the baseline study in the field

5.5 Presentation of survey findings

 

CHAPTER 6: HOW TO PLAN AND CONDUCT PRCA AND BASELINE STUDY

6.1 Identify and define the crucial issues

6.2 Prepare and plan for the field

6.3 PRCA data collection in the field

6.4 Analyse and synthesise PRCA findings

6.5 Prepare and conduct the baseline study

6.6 Synthesise and present the PRCA and baseline study results

6.7 Ready for next steps

 

Who is this resource useful for?

  • NGOs
  • Evaluators 
  • Local research institutions 
  • Communication for Development Practitioners 
  • Program Officers
  • Consultants 
  • Others working on participatory learning and change
  • Development and field workers 

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

This resource was identified as part of a research project in collaboration with UNICEF C4D. This handbook would provide  step-by-step procedure to plan, conduct and analyze PRCA with communities in order to design effective communication programmes.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

The PRCA is consistent with the C4D Evaluation Framework in the following ways:

  • Holistic: PRCA recognises the tendency for communities to of hide their true feelings and information from outsiders. To overcome this, PRCA employs visual methods and community facilitation techniques for generating, analysing and presenting data to break through the social and psychological barriers. 
  • Complexity: Unlike other methods, PRCA covers the study of both traditional and modern communication systems in a community and assists in the development of communication. Its area of research also includes community needs opportunities, problems, solutions and communication issues, networks and systems. 
  • Participatory: PRCA allow rural people to participate in everything from information collection and analysis, problem identification and prioritisation to decision-making about how best to tackle issues revealed. 
  • Critical:  PRCA not only addresses the common biases that can distort the study findings and render the process useless, it also encourages reflection on newly discovered biases that become evident through practice. 
  • Learning-based: Rather than just a methodology for investigation, PRCA seeks to create mutual understanding between local people and development workers in order to marry local capabilities with outsiders' knowledge and skills for more effective problem-solving. With proper facilitation, both rural people and field workers can learn from one another

Source

Anyaegbunam, C., Mefalopulos, P. and Moetsabi, T., 2004. Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal Starting with the People: A Handbook. Food & Agriculture Org.. Vancouver

 
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