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PLA Notes CD-ROM 1988-2001 9 Cultural sensitivities on the Rapid Appraisal team

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Document begins: PLA Notes CD-ROM 1988­2001 9 Cultural sensitivities on the Rapid Appraisal team Donald A. Messerschmidt As part of rapid appraisal training for a Forest long time about how to introduce ourselves User Group study in Nepal, certain personal, personally and how to state our study cultural, and communications factors emerged objectives in simple terms, especially in the which the team members felt we must discuss. villages. (This issue is not quite as critical It turns out that our group is very sensitive when working with more educated, (that's good) to Nepali cultural nuances and to cosmopolitan project officers). We had the way in which we insiders and outsiders thought naively that we could simply tell present ourselves so as to cause minimum villagers that we had come to discuss forest impact in remote villages. We have discussed user groups with them and to `ask' (sodnu) how we should dress (both the woman and the them `questions' (prashna) about their forest. men) - modestly, conservatively. We have also However, this approach can be taken as highly discussed the use of certain hand signals officious and after serious discussion, we which, in Western society, might conveniently changed it. We now ...

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