Validating informal and non formal learning

With the idea of RRA in mind, he is "convinced that the same message could have been put across more quickly, cheaply and effectively, with evidence drawn from a smaller, purposively selected and studied sample and with no significant reduction in reliability".

Ellman was later commissioned to carry out another study, and having learnt from that earlier experience, he identified the minimum amount of data that was required and was likely to be effectively used for planning purposes.

RRA is a bridge between formal surveys and unstructured research methods such as depth interviews, focus groups and observation studies.

In developing countries, it is sometimes difficult to apply the standard marketing research techniques employed elsewhere.

The nature of RRA is such that it holds the promise of overcoming these and other limitations of marketing research.

First, an attempt is made to define Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) and to define the tools upon which the approach depends.

A team of ten people collected data in six weeks, and produced a 25-page report with clear recommendations, which were broadly accepted by the government and the international agency.

The project, concerning integrated rural development, was finally implemented.

A core concept of RRA is that research should be carried out not by individuals, but by a team comprised of members drawn from a variety of appropriate disciplines.The role that Rapid Rural Marketing Appraisal (RRMA) can play in this broad sense of marketing research lies in the identification and prioritisation of marketing problems, and the evaluation of practical means of improving marketing functions, to meet the needs for expansion coupled with higher performance.The first step is to describe accurately and meaningfully the systems that exist.He was advised, by a statistician, to sample 20% of the settlements in operation.This meant 80 settlements and two and a half years of field survey were carried out by two experienced researchers.

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The application of RRA has been quite wide as regards rural development, for example in health, nutrition, emergencies and disasters, non-formal education, agroforestry, natural resource assessment and sociology approaches.

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