The Power of Participation: PRA and Policy

Published on 1 January 1996

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) has much to offer the policy-making process. It provides a way to give poor people a voice, enabling them to express and analyse their problems and priorities. Used well, it can generate important and often surprising insights which can contribute to policies which are better fitted to serving the needs of the poor. More fundamentally, it can challenge the perceptions of those in authority and begin to change attitudes and agendas. PRA is spreading fast and becoming more mainstream. But there are dangers in scaling up its use too quickly, and risks of PRA being discredited in the process.


Robert Chambers

Research Associate

Publication details

published by
Chambers, R. and Blackburn, J.
IDS Policy Briefing, issue 7


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