Revolutions in Development Inquiry

This book reviews some of the changes in the methods of development inquiry that have occurred in the past 40 years, and reflects on their transformative potential. Starting with the ‘dinosaurs’ of large-scale multi-subject questionnaire surveys, and the biased visits and perceptions of rural development tourism and urban-based professionals, there follows a look at the rapid proliferation of methodologies and methods of recent years, like rapid rural appraisal (RRA), participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and dramatic developments in the still largely unrecognized fields of participatory numbers and statistics, and of participatory mapping and GIS. Chambers shows how these can empower local people and provide rigorous and valid substitutes for more traditional methods of inquiry.

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