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APEN 2001 International Conference

Toowoomba, 4th-5th October 2001

Report No:


Title of Topic:

Participatory Rural Appraisal

Name of Leader:

Dan McLuskey

Names of Participants:

Join Muir, Heather Shaw, Alison Medhost, Daniel Armstrong, Peter Wegener, O Okello Okanga, Virginia Carderes, Irene Kernot, Rowland Holmes, Sally-Ann Henderson, Peter Stephen, Roland Lubett

Main points of discussion

Communities in Vanuatu practice a form of Participatory Rural Appraisal known as Community Area Resource Mapping Approach

The process is simple, robust and very effective

It appears that the process could be modified for application in Aust communities, particularly aboriginal, Islander and South Sea Islander


  • The knowledge is in the community
  • The community has the necessary skills
  • Need to transfer power over to the community
  • The community may need resources

Community development in Australia is in its infancy

  • Problems with culture in Australia from the mentality of the western fountain of knowledge
  • How can we identify with our community when we are transients
  • Are there any communities in Australia
  • We have many experts in Australia in CD that practice internationally but not in Australia
  • Need for leadership
  • Leadership from within
  • Technical input by experts following identification by the community

Examples from the Philippines:

  • Experts from both national and local level
  • Involvement by the Municipal Development Officer is essential
  • Community diagnosis
  • Train the community in using the process
  • Community carries out its own diagnosis
  • Hierarchical structure with multiple entry points for interventions
  • Prioritising problems, actions and interventions
  • Produce an action plan – community makes a resolution of endorsement of the plan and the need for resources
  • Community implements the action plan at the village level
  • Institutionalising the process

The ni-Vanuatu have a second level process for incorporation the village level plan into a regional level plan

Major outcomes (what have you achieved from this discussion; how can this make a difference; what else do you need to do?)

How to engage local Australian experts in PRA to practice the process in development of Aust communities

Extension practitioners can learn and practice this process in working with our clients and communities.

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