Participatory action research training resources

On this page you will find links to various written and visual resources used for training and capacity building in PAR, including training guides, reports of training resources and links to online training courses and their curricula. The resources are in various languages. The most recently published resources are shown first. Please send us your training materials and resources to include on this page.

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

EQUINET Participatory Methods toolkit: Organising People’s Power for Health

Loewenson R; Kaim B; Chikomo F; Mbuyita S; Makemba A ,2006

This toolkit was produced in response to this need, drawing on the experiences and knowledge of individuals and institutions working in this field. The toolkit shows how participatory methods can be used to raise community voice, both through health research and by training communities to take effective action and become involved in the health sector. Generally, this toolkit aims to strengthen capacities in researchers, health workers and civil society personnel working at community level to use participatory methods for research, training and programme support.

Meeting report: Participatory methods for a people centred health system: Training workshop, Bagamoyo Tanzania, 28 February-4 March 2006


The regional training workshop on participatory methods for a people centred health system was hosted by the regional network for equity in health in east and southern Africa (EQUINET) , TARSC, Ifakara and CHESSORE in Bagamoyo Tanzania from February 28- 3 March 2006. It aimed to build skills, share experiences and strengthen work on participatory methods for people centred health systems.

Reflections on the Uses of the ‘Power Cube’ Approach for Analyzing the Spaces, Places and Dynamics of Civil Society Participation and Engagement

Gaventa, J CFP evaluation series 2003-2006: no 4 Mfp Breed Netwerk,2005

The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief description of the ‘power cube’ approach and to provide reflections on its use as an approach for power analysis in relation to the spaces and dynamics of civil society participation. The audience is primarily trainers, applied analysts, donors and civil society practitioners who want to develop their own approaches to power analysis.

‘Barefoot Research: A Workers' Manual for Organising On Work Security

Keith M; Brophy J; Kirby P; Rosskam E,2002

The manual is a practical tool, designed to be of assistance to workers and union officials, showing how they can probe to discover whether they have work security, and if not how they can go about obtaining it. Information is rarely neutral, and it is rarely appropriate to rely on others to collect, analyse and disseminate information on which practices and policies should be based. If workers want basic security, they must be involved in collecting the information, analysing it and using it in ways they determine, and the manual provides methods for this.

A Handbook for Participatory Action Researchers

Danley, K S and Ellison, M L. Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center Publications and Presentations. 470,1999

This handbook provides guidelines for conducting participatory action research (PAR) with people who have psychiatric disabilities. Although the principles, strategies, examples and learning are drawn from a particular PAR project with people who have a particular disability, the strategies described could be applied in PAR with any other population.

Training for Transformation 1-3: A handbook for community workers Books 1-3

Hope, A and Timmel, S; Practical Action Publishing,1984

Training for Transformation consists of three volumes designed to assist field workers who are encouraging the development of self-reliant creative communities. It puts forward methodologies that encourage all to participate in making this world a more just place to live in. The book integrates the approach and methods of Paulo Freire, Manfred Max Neef’s understanding of fundamental human needs, group methods which are essential for participatory education, organizational development which stresses self reliance, and social analysis to help groups find the root causes of problems.