Géraud

Géraud de Ville

The Open University, Department of Engineering and Innovation
Brussels, Belgium

What is Participatory Action Research?

Briefing

March 2, 2012

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach that has been slowly developed and consolidated over the past 50 years. It has been developed as an alternative to more conventional research approaches, which have sometimes proved to be inadequate, inefficient or too hierarchical…

Research is about understanding the world that surrounds us, but there can be two ways of understanding the world:

• to stand back from this world, to see it “from above”. In this way we deliberately disconnect from what we are studying and want to understand.

• to immerse ourselves in the matter, to understand it, and then transform it for the better.

In the COBRA project, the second option has been chosen. It is called Participatory Action Research (PAR). PAR is an approach that has been slowly developed and consolidated over the past 50 years. It has been developed as an alternative to more conventional research approaches, which have sometimes proved to be inadequate, inefficient or too hierarchical.

We are pleased to share with you the second COBRA briefing dedicated to Participatory Action Research! The ‘Briefings’ Series are short, reader-friendly documents around topics to do with concepts and techniques we are using within the COBRA Project.

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