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close this bookRecording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)
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Abbreviations and definitions

Baseline data. Data on certain parameters (such as nutrition levels or crop production) collected at the beginning of a project. You can collect data on the same parameters later in the project and at its end. By comparing this evaluation data with the baseline, you can determine whether the parameters have changed, i e., the situation has improved or worsened (see also Evaluation data)

Closed-ended question. A type of question that limits the response to preselected alternatives. (See section on Surveys.)

Evaluation data. Data collected during and at the end of a project that enable project personnel to verify the achievements and failures of a project (see also Baseline data).

Focus groups. A research strategy which involves intensive discussion and interviewing of small groups of people on a given focus or issue. Focus groups were originally used to study consumer opinions and behavior.

IIRR. International institute of Rural Reconstruction, Silang, Cavite, Philippines.

IK. See Indigenous knowledge.

Indigenous knowledge. The knowledge of local people in a given community. It is also sometimes called local or traditional knowledge (see also section What is IK?).

Insiders. People who live in the community.

Interview guide. A written list of topics and guide questions to be covered in a particular order during the course of a semi-structured interview. The interviewer notes responses on notepaper.

Interview schedule. A list of questions similar to a questionnaire, but the interviewer asks the questions and writes the reepondent's answers on the form.

Key informant. An individual who is credible, accessible, willing to talk and has great depth of knowledge about an area. Key informants have traditionally been important information sources in anthropological research.

Key informant Panel (KIP) A group of about six to 15 key informants who meet to discuss specific situations, events and other data.

Open-ended question. A type of question that does not limit responses to preselected alternatives. (See section on Surveys.)

Outsiders. People who do not come from the community, but want to work or do research there.

PRA. Participatory rural appraisal. A systematic, semi-structured approach that uses a combination of methods to assess and understand a community's situation or a particular problem with the participation of and through the eyes of local people.

Question guide. See section Introduction to question guides.

Questionnaire. A list of questions, providing enough space for answers to be recorded. Questions can be closed-ended or open-ended. It is self-administered: respondents read the questionnaire and write the answers on the form. Normally, a separate questionnaire is used for each respondent.

RRA. Rural rapid appraisal. A systematic, flexible approach that enables outsiders to quickly learn about a community's situation and problems through using a combination of methods and a multidisciplinary team.

Technology blending. Testing, improving and combining indigenous and western know-how and technologies (for example, modifying local stoves based on research findings).

Western knowledge. Knowledge developed by universities, research centers and private industries using a formal scientific approach. This manual uses the term "western knowledge" although it is not only developed in the West, and western is a relative term depending on where one's country is located. However, common alternative terms such as "scientific," "international" and "modern" knowledge are even less acceptable than western knowledge because they suggest (incorrectly) that indigenous knowledge is nonscientific, non-international and old-fashioned.

Sources: Bernard 1988, Chambers 1992a, Lynch 1979, Marshall 1994, Rhoades 1982, Townsley 1993.