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Participatory Action Research. Challenges of Implementation. The Ideal Scenario. Communities and community members engaged in the research as active agents (design, implementation and communication of outcomes)

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participatory action research

Participatory Action Research

Challenges of Implementation

the ideal scenario
The Ideal Scenario
  • Communities and community members engaged in the research as active agents (design, implementation and communication of outcomes)
  • Learning continues to inform community reflection and action (and that of other communities)
  • Learning continues to inform the research process
the challenges
The Challenges
  • Research project has no grassroots base or ownership
  • The communities investigated are in crisis. Action research would be a luxury
  • Partner time, resources and ability to commit (OAU restructuring)
what we did
What We Did
  • Collaboration between academics and practitioners
  • Use of participatory research methodology drawn from PAR tools
  • Feedback and validation with participating communities
the way forward
The Way Forward
  • Focusing on using the learning from the research to inform the work of Oxfam and its affiliates
    • Opportunities to disseminate findings to Oxfam and extended NGO community (national and local)
    • Opportunities to feed into strategizing around the water governance programme and downward accountability to the affected communities
    • Through this, opportunities for follow up and support community action
    • Opportunities to feed into other Oxfam initiatives such as the Active Citizenship and Accountability hub
remaining challenges
Remaining Challenges
  • Complexity of research can make it difficult to pin point findings that can be used for learning and application
  • Partners in the research need to plan and budget for activities and, ensure they have the available time, money, human and material resources to implement initiatives.
  • Need to keep abreast of rapidly changing situation and ensure action research contributes to, rather than hampers, the need for immediate action.
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • The ambition for Participatory Action Research has to be matched with the reality of the research context
  • Involvement of “research subjects” requires their ownership over the process from the beginning
  • Timing, resources, length of commitment are important considerations
  • Rapidly changing political and policy context may prove contrary to the slower cycle of learning and action
  • Research and development partners need to develop strong-two way information sharing
  • Some participation and applied learning are better than none!