Journal Article

Pathways to Participation: Reflections on PRA

Published on 1 January 2003

Participation may have become the buzzword of the 1990s, but the pathways of current enthusiasm for participatory methods stretch back over decades. The most popularly recognized and widely used participatory approach, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) had its genesis in the late 1980s. Since then, it has come to be used in countless communities, in dozens of countries and in a huge variety of contexts. Once a marginal practice, it has now become an instrument used by the most powerful of global development institutions. Pathways to Participation offers a fascinating and unique perspective on PRA. In it, thirty-two practitioners from twenty countries – including pioneers like Robert Chambers and Jules Pretty – reflect critically on what PRA has come to mean to them, and draw on the wealth of their experiences as NGO workers, donors, activists and trainers to explore some of the lessons the past might offer future participatory practice. Embracing a range of entry points and experiences, past and future, challenges and opportunities, their stories speak of moments of frustration and revelation, of dilemmas and discoveries; together, their accounts speak of and about the sheer variety of the practices that have come to be called?


Honorary Associate

Publication details

Cornwall, A and Pratt, G
1 85339 569 2


Related content