Participatory techniques for data gathering have been known to agriculturists for some years. However, it is only relatively recently that these techniques have been adopted by veterinarians for use in the discipline of epidemiology. Their use has been effective, and the techniques are being further developed and refined by veterinary epidemiologists in various parts of the world. Participatory appraisal methods show great promise in developing regions and, with the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) in an advanced stage, the publication of this manual is particularly timely. An appendix has therefore also been included, dealing specifically with rinderpest and the stomatitis-enteritis complex of diseases. It is hoped that the material in this publication will both advance disease control and eradication efforts and stimulate further application of these innovative techniques.