Eight: Connecting with older people as project stakeholders: lessons for public participation and engagement in rural research

This chapter gives an overview of policy and practice for public participation and engagement in England and Wales, and explores the rationale for adopting a participative approach to research. It describes the process used for involving older people in the Grey and Pleasant Land project and some of the challenges that this raised. We review the literature for using the internet to promote public participation in and engagement with research and describe how we used synchronous and asynchronous online methods in this project. This is followed by a discussion of their relative merits and how online approaches compare with face-to-face involvement. The chapter concludes with a series of reflections and recommendations for the involvement of older people as key stakeholders in rural research.

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