The School of Social Sciences, Kaziranga University conducted a two day workshop on Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) on 4th and 5th of February, 2016. Resource person for the workshop was Mr. Tirtha Prasad Saikia, Assistant Director of NEADS (North East Affected Area Development Society), Jorhat. Master of Social Works students were the participants of the workshop. The main theme/topic of the workshop was "Comprehensive Village Development Planning through Participatory Vulnerability & Capacity Assessment (PVCA)"
PRA i.e. Participatory Rural Appraisal is one of the very commonly used approach by the development organizations in which the opportunities are given to the rural people to get involved in the planning and management of development projects and programmes which are implemented for them. Within the PRA approach there are different tools like Village/Social Mapping, Resource Mapping, Wealth Ranking, Seasonal Mapping, Credit Matrix, Venn Diagram etc. are used. In this tool the village people themselves identify their own resources, problems and issues and at the end they prepare action plan for their own benefit.
In the two day workshop at Kaziranag University, the students of social work first attended one day input session in which the resource person provided all the necessary inputs to the participants regarding basic understanding on the concept of PRA, tools, techniques, applications and its use for effective data collection through community participation in the context of Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment. As a part the first day session the students themselves draw the map of Kaziranga University for their own learning. Second day the students went to a nearby village called Bogoriguri Village in which the students mobilised the village people and a full fledge PRA practical was done. The village people along with the Village Headman participated in the whole process. After staying the whole day in the field the villagers prepared the Social Mapping, Seasonality Mapping, Resource Mapping, Venn Diagram etc. At the end the Social Work students prepared a presentation on the findings and shared with the village people. During this students identified some of the social problems and conducted Focus Group Discussion in which some government facilities were identified which could be used for solving the existing issues. For example in order to solve the problem of Drinking Water, students suggested to consult with the PHED (public Health and Engineering Department).
On the second day after coming back from the village the students shared their observations and learning with the resource person and the faculty members. At the end Prof. B.N. Borthakur, Dean, School of Social Sciences interacted with the students and thanked Mr. Tirtha Prasad Saikia for completing the workshop successfully.