Participatory Action Research
What is Participatory Action Research?
Participatory action research (PAR) is a research approach that involves various communities and participation and action. It seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, collaboratively and following reflection.
PAR emphasizes collective inquiry and experimentation grounded in experience and social history.
Within a PAR process, "communities of inquiry and action evolve and address questions and issues that are significant for those who participate as co-researchers".
PAR contrasts with many research methods, which emphasize disinterested researchers and reproducibility of findings.
PAR practitioners make a concerted effort to integrate three basic aspects of their work:
- Participation (life in society and democracy),
- Action (engagement with experience and history), and
- Research (soundness in thought and the growth of knowledge).
"Action unites, organically, with research" and collective processes of self-investigation. The way each component is understood and the relative emphasis it receives varies from one PAR theory and practice to another. This means that PAR is not a monolithic body of ideas and methods but rather a pluralistic orientation to knowledge making and social change