Quality Choice-points in Participatory Research

The issue of quality in participatory research is often difficult to nail.  Hilary Bradbury and Peter Reason* propose that the answer to the question – are we [researchers] doing good work? – is answered by considering quality in relation to five key issues:

  • relationships;
  • practical outcomes;
  • extended ways of knowing;
  • purpose;
  • and enduring consequence.

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Recognizing PAR as a movement

Of all the articles I have read so far, an article by Orlando Fals Borda* is one that has probably impacted me the most.  Why?  Fals Borda articulates a motivation and vision behind PAR in such a way that a researcher considering PAR may find disconcerting.  A researcher that engages in PAR, in Fals Borda’s terms, is not simply engaging in a participatory method, they are joining a movement.

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You’ve been framed: Cogenerative dialogues in PAR

Over the last few weeks I have been grappling with some of the tensions associated with PAR – in particular how “outsiders”, such as academic researchers, can engage with “insiders” , local participants, in ways that somehow meet their often diverse needs.  One model that I have found helpful is by Max Elden and Morten Levin* which they outline as “cogenerative learning”.

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