[This post is part of a series highlighting particular publications or resources I have written or developed in the past which may be of interest to my blog readers.]
Many social issues need to be examined through research in order for us to better understand and act for change. These social issues are often best examined at a community-level. However, if we want community-based research to be relevant and meaningful, it is critical not only to include community members’ perspectives in the research, but also their involvement in shaping the research question and design. This is community-based participatory research.
One of the challenges in conducting community-based participatory research is the gap that is often found between academic researchers’ and community members’ understanding of and experience with research. Within the various research and evaluation roles I have held over the years, I have worked with colleagues to demystify research concepts and methodologies – to enable community members to be community researchers, alongside researchers from academic institutions and international NGOs.
I wanted to share with you today one resource in particular that my colleague and friend Shama Mohammed and I developed a few years ago:
This manual was based on a training we conducted with community workers in Sindh, Pakistan. The training included participatory activities and discussions through which participants could develop a basic understanding of community-based participatory research concepts and methodologies, such that they could participate meaningfully in the different phases of the research process – including planning, data collection, data analysis, dissemination of findings, and action – in their community.
I hope you find it useful. We welcome any suggestions for improvement as we’ve been considering revising and updating the manual soon.
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