PRA: A new literacy?
AbstractParticipatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) has gained in popularity over the last decade and now presents a viable challenge to the traditional methods of project planning. This paper explores the idea of PRA as a new literacy and examines how far the visual language of PRA can be considered to be neutral and empowering for non-literate people. Using concepts from the New Literacy Studies, I look at the process whereby new skills of mapping and diagramming are introduced to non-literate villagers. Taking specific examples of PRA activities, I show that many of the assumptions of PRA practitioners regarding people's understanding are supported by research into visual literacy and ethnomathematics. How far PRA can be an empowering process depends on social factors, such as the way activities are facilitated and the familiarity of the setting. The emphasis within PRA on 'sequencing' activities and practices such as 'interviewing the diagram' ensure that the visual representations produced are not regarded in isolation. In conclusion, I suggest that, as with 'new' literacy users, PRA facilitators need to ensure that the visual activities of PRA are helping to extend people's visual literacy by building on the skills they already have and making the most of the existing local visual literacy and numeracy systems. In particular, the making of diagrams needs to be seen differently from the interpreting of diagrams, if PRA activities are to lead to action.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.
Volume (Year): 8 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- anonymous, 1982. "Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(11), pages 1350-1351, November.
- anonymous, 1982. "Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(3), pages 337-337, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.