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Participatory action research

Cornish, Flora ORCID: 0000-0002-3404-9385, Breton, Nancy, Moreno-Tabarez, Ulises ORCID: 0000-0002-3504-8624, Delgado, Jenna, Rua, Mohi, de-Graft Aikins, Ama and Hodgetts, Darrin (2023) Participatory action research. Nature Reviews Methods Primers, 3 (1). ISSN 2662-8449

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s43586-023-00214-1


Participatory action research (PAR) is an approach to research that prioritizes the value of experiential knowledge for tackling problems caused by unequal and harmful social systems, and for envisioning and implementing alternatives. PAR involves the participation and leadership of those people experiencing issues, who take action to produce emancipatory social change, through conducting systematic research to generate new knowledge. This Primer sets out key considerations for the design of a PAR project. The core of the Primer introduces six building blocks for PAR project design: building relationships; establishing working practices; establishing a common understanding of the issue; observing, gathering and generating materials; collaborative analysis; and planning and taking action. We discuss key challenges faced by PAR projects, namely, mismatches with institutional research infrastructure; risks of co-option; power inequalities; and the decentralizing of control. To counter such challenges, PAR researchers may build PAR-friendly networks of people and infrastructures; cultivate a critical community to hold them to account; use critical reflexivity; redistribute powers; and learn to trust the process. PAR’s societal contribution and methodological development, we argue, can best be advanced by engaging with contemporary social movements that demand the redressingl of inequities and the recognition of situated expertise.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author.
Divisions: Methodology
LSE Health
Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences
L Education
Date Deposited: 09 May 2023 14:18
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 03:42

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