Practitioners' critical reflections on PRA and participation in Nepal

Practitioners' critical reflections on PRA and participation in Nepal

PRA as a human rights-based approach to development

This paper discusses the notions of practitioners of PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) in Nepal. The paper explores the history of PRA, the challenges facing PRA practice and participation.

The article contextualises the advent of PRA into Nepali development practices. The article draws attention to the rapid mainstream adoption of the language of participation into development and government organisations.

The article subsequently discusses the views of practitioners concerning PRA as a tool for use within the project cycle framework and the associated strengths and weaknesses of this approach. Whilst a small minority of practitioners question the possibility of meaningful empowerment within the project life cycle, the article focuses on the importance of how PRA can be used to facilitate consciousness raising, social mobilisation, and emowerment when not applied within the project cycle framework.

PRA thus becomes a rights based approach to development rather than simply a tool for social change.

The article draws attention to the following three challenges for PRA practice:

  • continuing innovation
  • improving learning and training about PRA
  • critical reflection on PRA as a means for further learning and improvement

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.