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RRA Notes 1: General issue

RRA methods share:
· greater speed compared with conventional methods of analysis;
· working in the ‘field’;
· an emphasis on learning directly from local inhabitants;
· a semi-structured, multidisciplinary approach with room for flexibility and innovation; and,
· an emphasis on producing timely insights, hypotheses or ‘best bets’ rather than final truths or fixed recommendations.

In this series ‘RRA’ covers any method or technique which can be broadly described in these terms.

The first article in this issue describes a three day RRA workshop in Thailand for 70 staff from government agencies and regional universities.

The second article is an account of a RRA workshop. The delegates were mainly UK practitioners and met to take to take stock of the current situation of RRA;to share experiences and information; and to identify future needs and plan action.

The third item is a brief note on a ranking exercise on the virtues and drawbacks of different crops and tree species carried out during an RRA workshop in Wollo Province, Ethiopia.

The fourth item is an article on 'direct matrix ranking' in Kenya and West Bengal. It shows the method's weaknesses, strengths and potential.

The final article looks at ranking methods in Kenya.

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