Participatory action research methods, tools and ethics

On this page you will find links to materials, videos and other resources on the methods used in PAR. Links are provided to examples of the tools used, and to discussions and guidelines on ethical issues in PAR. The resources are in various languages. The most recently published resources are shown first. Please send us your resources to include on this page.

Introduction to Qualitative Research Methodology: A Training Manual

Kielmann, K; Cataldo, C; and Seeley, J Department for International Development (DfID), UK, under the Evidence for Action Research Programme Consortium on HIV Treatment and Care (2006-2011).,2012

This manual is organised around three main goals: to introduce you to qualitative thinking and a qualitative approach in research; to equip you with knowledge to be able to plan and conduct selected qualitative research methods; and to enable you to process the data obtained through these methods, and to undertake preliminary steps towards analysis of qualitative data. The manual emphasises that qualitative research is not just about applying a different set of tools to gain knowledge, but rather, involves a fundamental shift in the approach to research, and description of reality.

Participatory Research Methods: A Methodological Approach in Motion

Bergold, J & Thomas, S Forum Qualitative Research Volume 13, No. 1, Art. 30 January 2012,2012

This article serves as an introduction to the FQS special issue "Participatory Qualitative Research." and focuses on those areas in which further work needs to be done. They include fundamental principles of participatory research, such as democratic-theory considerations, the concept of "safe space," participation issues, and ethical questions. The authors also focus on practical research considerations regarding the role and tasks of the various participants; specific methodological approaches; and quality criteria, that is, arguments justifying a participatory approach.

Understanding participatory action research: A qualitative research methodology option

MacDonald, C Canadian Journal of Action Research Volume 13, Issue 2, 2012,2012

This paper contextualizes PAR in terms of its history, principles, definitions, and strengths, as well as discuss challenges and practical suggestions for using PAR. In addition, it examines focus groups and interviews as methods for data collection, the role of PAR in education, and the types of research for which PAR is best suited.

Understanding Participatory Action Research: A qualitative research methodology option

MacDonald, C. Canadian Journal of Action Research Vol 13 Issue 2,2012

This paper contextualizes PAR in terms of its history, principles, definitions, and strengths, as well as discusses challenges and practical suggestions for using PAR. It examines focus groups and interviews as methods for data collection, the role of PAR in education, and the types of research for which PAR is best suited.

A Guide to the Literature on Participatory Research with Youth

Ollner A, The Assets Coming Together for Youth Project York University,2010

This practical tool contains summaries of articles on research that has engaged with youth as active participants. The articles were selected based on the level of participation of youth within the research process; articles describing research in which youth participation consisted of being interviewed were not included. Categories include: innovative arts-based methods; youth as co-researchers; empowerment; youth participation in evaluation of youth services; youth in communities; civic participation/social action; and critical perspectives on engaging youth in research.

Best practices in the reporting of participatory action research: Embracing both the forest and the trees

Smith L; Rosenzweig L; Schmidt M ,2010

The article presents best-practices suggestions for writing about PAR based on an analysis of PAR articles published between 2000 and 2008.

Critical reflections on social injustice and participatory action research: The case of the indigenous Ayta community in the Philippines

Estacioa E; Marks D ,2010

The paper reflects on the indigenous Ayta community in the Philippines on how best to address social injustice in their context. the outcome of the study reveled the various problems associated with the use of PAR during the research. It also reflects on the ethical implications of facilitating action research particularly on the health and welfare of those who were engaged. The results revealed various complexities that needs the attention of those in power to ensure the role of those who are socially disadvantaged.

On PAR - Using Participatory Action Research to Improve Early Intervention

Crane, P and O’Regan, M Social Work and Human Services, Faculty of Health Queensland University of Technology Published by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Australian Government,2010

This manual is designed to assist human service practitioners and agencies in Australia, and the communities they work with, to enhance their skills in undertaking Participatory Action Research, and, in so doing improve the situations of people who are vulnerable. The manual is divided into six sections: 1: About Participatory Action Research 2: A Walk Through the Research Process 3: Key Considerations in Doing PAR 4: Practical Strategies and Tools 5. Case Examples 6. Resources

Participatory action research approaches and methods

Gibson N,2010

This book offers a critical introduction to understanding and working with PAR in different social, spatial and institutional contexts in three parts. The first part explores the intellectual, ethical and pragmatic contexts of PAR; the development and diversity of approaches to PAR; perspectives on PAR as a form of power. Part two is a critical exploration of the politics, places and practices of PAR.. Part three reflects on how effective PAR is, including its products and processes, participatory learning, benefits and challenges, and working between research, action, activism and change.

Participatory Action Research: An educational tool for citizen-users of community mental health services

Watters, J; Comeau, S; Restall, G. Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Medical Rehabilitation, University of Manitoba,2010

This educational tool is a resource for community mental health citizen-users interested in making a difference in their communities. It aims to increase their knowledge of and involvement in PAR as a tool for change in community mental health services . The manual looks at the link between PAR and community mental health, why and how to use PAR and gives a few examples of how this methodology has been used in Canada to improve mental health services