A Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Lab was conducted as part of the Development Research Methods course and Action Research Segment for the 2014-16 batch of MBA-RM students during 21-23 August 2014. The field demonstration was carried out in Raiguru Basudeipur village of Balianta Block, Khurda district.
Unlike traditional methods of research, PRA is not a mere research tool, but rather an empowering tool for the participating community. It enables the local community in enhancing their understanding of their situation. Such a live learning process of PRA in lab mode also helps in shaping the attitude of students in appreciating the confidence and wisdom of local community for development plan, action and evaluation. Moreover, it helps the students in preparing for their field research.
After a brief orientation, the field lab started with transect walk followed by participant mobilization, social mapping, resource mapping and wealth ranking. Subsequently, the students were exposed to the other PRA techniques such as historical time line and venn diagram. Finally, the students presented their findings and described the processes followed in the field. The lab was facilitated by the resource person Mr. Ranjan Rout, Executive Director, National Institute of Development Innovation, Bhubaneswar with the support of faculty members. The whole exercise was educative to all the stakeholders including students, community and the facilitators.