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- Author or Editor: Lucy Maynard x
Avoiding both over-simplification and jargon-riddled complexity, this book is an invaluable, straightforward guide to participatory research for you and your fellow practitioners working with community groups and organisations.
The book offers a blueprint for your research project, taking you through each stage of the process, from planning your project to disseminating your findings. Keeping in mind imperatives such as engagement, involvement and voice, the book explores how best to conduct your research in ways which are meaningful for the participants.
The book includes valuable resources such as reflection points, chapter summaries and further reading lists. It will encourage and empower practitioners to plan and execute participatory research projects with confidence.
This chapter introduces the concept of research generically and then participatory research as the focus of this book. The chapter explains how participatory research is situated amongst many other types of research, in order to ease the complexity. The chapter presents a clear definition of participatory research along with its benefits and challenges. Key roles of researcher, co-research and participant are explained. Attention is drawn to the way participatory research aims to contribute to social justice. The chapter is designed to help the reader to understand and in turn communicate to others why this type of research is so important.
This chapter provides a clear and logical set of stages which comprise the research cycle. The rest of the book is organised around each of these stages of research. Working through these stages step by step gives a practical framework to support you and the co-researchers to plan a research project. The chapter provides an overview of what each of the ten stages entail and there is a later chapter focused on each one in more depth. Each of these stages could be the focus of a conversation with your group, or could comprise a workshop and set of formal activities – how much depth and formality is appropriate is entirely up to you.
This chapter will support the reader to develop a research aim and research questions for their participatory research project. The chapter explains what research aims and research questions are and the difference between them as well as offering tips and checklists to develop them with the project with groups, organisations or communities. The importance of people creating their own research questions is linked to social justice. This chapter also introduces the idea of ‘locating’ the research study in a wider field of literature in order to show how it relates to other people’s thinking. A practical approach to this is suggested so that it does not become too time consuming or distracting.
This chapter explains some of the core beliefs that are associated with different types of research so the reader can understand the fundamental differences between them. The underpinning beliefs or philosophy of participatory research is explained as having three foundations. The chapter then progresses to explain how different approaches to research are tied to the core beliefs of each type of research. The chapter also introduces the concept of research alignment – ensuring that all elements of design are complementary – as a key aspect of research quality.
This chapter outlines the key research approaches associated with participatory research. The chapter gives a brief overview of the building blocks of a research approach which include: participatory methods, participatory sampling, types of participation, engagement and recruitment, participatory data collection and analysis, ethics in participatory research, quality in participatory research and dissemination – or sharing findings. The overview of these areas helps the reader to keep research alignment in mind and to understand the particular demands participatory research makes in each. The following chapters explore each of these areas of the approach in more depth.
This chapter explores the range of people and roles for people in participatory research. This includes thinking through who does the research with you as co-researchers and who the co-researchers might invite to be participants in the research. The chapter includes a discussion of power as participatory research aims to transform power relations between actors in these collaborative research endeavours. The chapter describes some of the difficulties inherent in identifying and describing groups and suggests practical solutions to these issues. The chapter also discusses people’s involvement in terms of identifying target populations, sampling and recruitment strategies and ways to deal with the inevitable ‘drop out’ from research.
This chapter provides an overview of common data collection tools to introduce the reader to the wide range of possibilities. A description of each data collection tool is provided along with design tips. The further reading section provides the reader with additional resources to follow up on any tools that are of interest. Attention is drawn to the data collection tools that are particularly good at promoting participation. The chapter highlights potential tensions in who decides on the data collection tools and the amount of knowledge or ‘training’ co-researchers may need in order to do so.
This chapter introduces the reader to the concept of data analysis. The chapter provides a straightforward overview of analysis of the main types of data, namely numbers, words and images. Clear descriptions, worked examples and additional suggested tools make this an accessible guide to analysis. The chapter presents a simple planning tool for data analysis and discusses the potential and challenges of participatory analysis.
This chapter describes a range of audiences for research findings in order to support the reader to tailor communication to their specific needs. The chapter guides the reader through a process of identifying key messages to those audiences and the type of output they would be most likely to pay attention to. A range of different outputs are described and a structure for each is suggested. The importance of disseminating research findings in order to achieve social change and to improve social justice is highlighted as a key aspect of participatory research.