Participatory Action Research

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a type of research that combines two different approaches: participatory research and action research. It is a valuable approach because it empowers and involves individuals and communities in the research process, and in taking actions to improve aspects of their lives.

Researchers using PAR aim to enable action on the part of the participants, and do so via a reflective process where the participants collect and analyse data, and then determine what action should be taken. When participants and researchers are equal partners in the research process, the study’s focus and results can be made more relevant to a specific community. However, in PAR there are also challenges in terms of how researchers form and maintain relationships with participants, how the data is constructed and used, and who has ownership of the data.

This course provides skills on how to conduct PAR. It provides an introduction to PAR and its origins, history and theories. It explores the stages that must be followed in designing PAR, and the practicalities of doing so. Through a collaborative practical exercise, participants will be able to gain experience of designing a PAR project.