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The Craft of Action Research. I don’t just want to research something- I want to make a difference ( O'Leary, Z. 2004). Agenda. Introduction What do we need? Action Research: Overview The process of Action Research Examples. What do we need?. What do we need?.

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The Craft of

Action Research

Agenda difference (

  • Introduction

  • What do we need?

  • Action Research: Overview

  • The process of Action Research

  • Examples

What do we need
What do we need? difference (

What do we need1
What do we need? difference (

  • Research efforts that go beyond explaining specific phenomena

  • Research that enacts change

  • Research results that can be immediately applied

  • Researchers as problem solvers

Answer action research
Answer: Action Research difference (

  • Action research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a "community of practice" to improve the way they address issues and solve problems. (Wikipedia)

Goals of action research
Goals of Action Research difference (



Problem Solving that is not designed, executed and assessed as an integral part of a research effort

Research that does not include design, execution, and assessment of one or more problem-solving cycles

Action research, i.e. research that includes and is mainly based on practical problem-solving

Goals of action research1
Goals of Action Research difference (

  • The improvement of practice through continual learning and progressive problem solving

  • A deep understanding of practice and the development of a well specified theory of action

  • An improvement in the community in which your practice is embedded through participatory research

Goals of action research2
Goals of Action Research difference (

  • Action Research is concerned with changing situations, not just interpreting them

Planning for Action Research difference (

  • What is my concern?

  • Why am I concerned?

  • What do I think I can do about the situation?

  • What will I do?

  • How will I show whether I am influencing the situation for good?

  • How will I produce evidence of my influence?

  • How will I ensure that any claims I make are reasonably fair and accurate?

  • What will I do then?

Identify the Problem difference (

  • An overview of the problem at a general level and why you (and others) see this as an important problem or challenge

  • A description of the problem, including the impact it has on development

  • Who is affected by the problem?

  • What are the goals for improvement?

  • Be as specific as possible

Formulate Research Question(s) difference (

  • Good questions often arise from visions of improved practice and emerging theories about the change that will move the researcher closer to the ideal state of working practices

  • When stated in an if/then format, they can take the shape of a research hypothesis.

  • Example: If [insert the action to be taken], how will it affect [describe one or more possible consequences of the action]?

Plan Your Action difference (

  • How action/reflection is to be carried out and evaluated?

  • How milestones are reached?

  • What are the intended outcomes?

  • What data need to be collected?

  • Within what timeframe this work is to be carried out?

Implement and Collect Evidence difference (

  • Observe implementation of action

  • Observer how action impact changes (or not)

  • Collect evidence to support observation

Reflection difference (

  • Analyse collected data:

    • What can be learned?

    • What patterns, insights and new understanding can be discovered?

  • Identify the impact of the project on the target group (community, village, etc)

Plan Future Action difference (

  • What can be done differently to achieve the intended outcomes?

  • How can the insights gained from this phase contribute to the design of further action to improve the problem situation

Publish Your Findings difference (

  • Identify your audiences

  • Explain the problem

  • Describe the research method

  • Include collected evidence

  • Discuss reflections and findings

  • Make recommendations for future action

Examples difference (

TeleHealth in rural Algeria

ICT4D@IDRC: Projects difference (

Research ICT Africa

ICT4D@IDRC: Projects difference (

First Mile

First Inch

Examples difference (

Sustainable E-Government for the City of Fez, Morocco

Role Play difference (