The preparation of the survey upon which this report is based, the design of the questionnaire, and the data collection were done while I was working as an FAO Professional Officer assigned to an FAO People's Participation Programme Project in Sri Lanka (GCP/SRL/046/NET) from 1989-1990 and was the fruit of a collective effort. I would like to thank Mr. S. De Abrew, the Project Director for trusting me to initiate and direct this survey. Without the help of other project staff members such as Mr. Dharmasiri, Mr. Ratnayake and the Group Organizers, it would never have been possible to collect the enormous amount of interesting data in such a thorough and pleasant way.
I am also grateful to Dr. W. Dechering, MTIP/TAT, for reviewing the questionnaire and the codebook and for giving very useful advice on other research methodology issues as well.
Data processing has greatly benefitted from the experience of Ms. T. Sanmugam from the Centre for Women's Research, Sri Lanka (CENWOR) and her assistants. Ms. Sanmugam was responsible for the checking and receding of the data, data entry and data tabulation. She gave many useful suggestions with regard to gender aspects of this study, and reviewed the report on statistical validity.
Furthermore, I am grateful to Mr. J.G. Rouse, Senior Officer, Cooperatives and Other Rural Organizations Group, FAO, Rome, Italy for his support in conducting this survey and for reviewing the report.
Even with this assistance, I am responsible for this paper; the views expressed are my own and not necessarily those of the persons or organizations with which I have been associated.