PAR Concept Note

Workshop

This workshop introduces Participatory Action Research (PAR). PAR is an approach for community development with which participants not only aim to understand societal issues but also wish to contribute to social change. PAR-based studies are participatory in their approach, i.e. they are designed and conducted in close collaboration with participants of the population seeking change and other relevant societal stakeholders. Simultaneously, PAR allows an in-depth understanding of the societal context as well as of the persistency of the problems while being closely involved in addressing these.

Often the aim of PAR is to rethink and reinterpret complex issues, synthesize various types of knowledge, and collectively develop new ways of looking at the information creating different solutions. People that use this approach aim their questions and methodology to attend to the real situation and experience of the community, thereby providing cycles of action to reflect and then act upon once again.

When would you use PAR? If you want to gather and use information so that benefits come to the people it directly affects. PAR is used by a whole range of community groups and organisations (where people already know each other and/or work together), and also by groups that come together for the purposes of research and/or action on a particular issue.

PAR is not a method it is an approach to community development. Within PAR projects, many different methods may be used – group discussion, interviews, diagramming, video, photography, art, surveys, mapping, the collection of environmental data, computer analysis of datasets, etc.

Target Area & Beneficiaries

The participants of this Workshop will include approximately 30 people from development organizations, researchers, professionals and PhD students.

Goal/ Outcomes

The overall goals of the Workshop are to enhance the capacity of participants, to effectively integrate PAR as a sustainable community development tool their planning and implementation. In the Workshop participants will identify existing obstacles and challenges, and exchange experiences and share good practices amongst participants to expand their own knowledge and experiences. The expected accomplishments at the end of the Workshop:

  • Improved knowledge about the PAR processes,
  • Improved knowledge of capacity development and technical assistance needed to achieve integrated sustainable community development efforts;
  • Enhanced awareness of PAR approaches for community development through the development of a community of practice and the establishment of a network partners within the community seeking change.

Duration/ Venue/ Working Language

The workshop will be held from February 25 and 26th from 9.30 am – 5:00 pm at the training hall of Kathmandu University School of Education and will be provided to in English.

Approach

The workshop will be held over two days and would comprise discussions, presentation, and working groups on sustainable community development through the use of Participatory Action Research (PAR). The workshop will develop a strategy of follow-up for further questions participants may have via email with presenter. The participants will have an opportunity to engage in a dialogue to implement integrated sustainable community development strategies. The participants will also have an opportunity to discuss their respective roles and responsibilities, as well as on strategies for implementation in the relevant sector. There will be a particular emphasis on integration and how PAR can be used as a tool for transformation. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to share experiences, including sharing good practices and challenges and gaps, in implementation of integrated sustainable community development. Participants will also share experiences of where they are most in need of capacity building work. The workshop stresses the role of participating Groups in sustainable community development. They play an important role in advocating and informing, monitor and evaluate the implementation of sustainable community development efforts.