Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Participatory Learning and Assessment --Participatory Rapid Assessment

Participatory Learning and Assessment is an approach for quickly developing a preliminary qualitative understanding of a situation where specific research techniques are chosen from a wide range of options and where it is assumed that all the relevant parts of a local system cannot be identified in advance.The local system is best understood by combining the expertise of a multidisciplinary team that includes locals while combining information collected in advance ,direct observation and semi-structured interviews and time should be structured  to ensure team interaction as part of an interactive process.

Rapid assessment allows a team of two or more individuals usually representing different academic disciplines to produce qualitative results for decisions about additional researches or preliminary decisions for design and implementation of  applied activities.It is relevant when time constraints do not let the intensive qualitative methods by a single researcher and when the different perspectives of the team members are essential for understanding the situation.Rapid appraisal uses the techniques and shares many of the characteristics of traditional qualitative research but differs in three important ways- more than one researcher is always involved;researcher team interaction is a critical aspect of the methodology and the results are produced much  faster.Rapid appraisal is characterized by the production of quick results and the simultaneous use of research techniques associated with the basic concepts.

Rapid appraisal should be based on the participants in the system believed to be the  critical elements,their relative importance and how they relate to each other.Rapid appraisal is designed to contribute to an insider's perspective of the system.It doesn't reject or abandon the traditional methods and techniques of the social science but provides ways to complement them.

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