Participatory methodologies

The Participation, Power and Social Change research team have a long history in the use, spread and critique of participatory methodologies. Our capacity development and networking activities, including workshops and exchange visits, are linked to our research and policy work. These take place from grassroots through to global levels.

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IDS staff or research student

Adinda Van Hemelrijck - DPhil Student

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IDS staff or research student

akshay khanna - Research Fellow

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Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow

Alex Shankland - Research Fellow

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Photo of Catherine Setchell, IDS Participate Research Communications Manager

Catherine Setchell - Research Communications Manager

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Photo of Danny Burns, IDS Participation, Power and Social Change Team leader

Danny Burns - Team Leader

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Photo of Elise Wach, Evaluation and Learning Advisor with the Impact and Learning Team

Elise Wach - Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Advisor

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Photo of Erika Lopez-Franco, IDS Participation team Research Officer

Erika Lopez Franco - Research Officer

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Photo of Jethro Pettit from Participation Power and Social Change Team

Jethro Pettit - Research Fellow

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IDS staff or research student

Jody Aked - DPhil Student

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Photo of John Gaventa

John Gaventa - Research Fellow

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Katy Oswald photo

Katy Oswald - Research Officer

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IDS staff or research student

Maria Cascant-Sempere - DPhil Student

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Photo of IDS researcher, Mariz Tadros

Mariz Tadros - Research Fellow

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Photo of Marjoke Oosterom, Post Doctoral Researcher with the Participation, Power and Social Change research team

Marjoke Oosterom - Post Doctoral Researcher

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Photo of Naomi Hossain, IDS Research Fellow

Naomi Hossain - Research Fellow

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Photo of Naysan Adlparvar, PhD student with the Participation, Power and Social Change research team

Naysan Adlparvar - DPhil Student

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Photo of Patta Scott-Villiers

Patta Scott-Villiers - Research Fellow

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IDS staff or research student

Petra Bongartz - Communication and Networking Officer, CLTS

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Photo of Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers - Research Associate

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Photo of Rosalind Eyben

Rosalind Eyben - Professorial Fellow

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Accountability at Local Level in Fragile Contexts

This collaborative project between IDS and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (HSI) was designed to contribute to learning on accountability initiatives in fragile contexts by exploring the dynamics and enabling factors within three ongoing accountability projects. More details

Applying Systemic Research to Conflict Transformation in Myanmar

Danny Burns is supporting civil society organisations to facilitate community based action research as part of a programme to build community engagement in the Myanmar Peace Process. More details

Assessing Social Change

Exploring the opportunities and challenges for assessing and learning about social change More details

Citizens' Media and Participatory Communication

A scoping study of the role and potential of participatory communication practices across a diverse spectrum of research programmes. More details

Critical Research Social Justice and International Aid

Seminar series for inter-disciplinary discussions on the relationship between research, aid and social justice More details

Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability

Exploring approaches that work to strengthen rights and meaningful citizenship for poor people More details

Facilitating Learning and Action for Social Change

Initiative to facilitate effective learning for social change through a better understanding of theory, experience and practice of reflection and learning More details

Food Riots and Food Rights

The objective of this research is to improve the prospects for accountability for food security at a time of volatility. This will be achieved through an exploration of the proposition that recent popular mobilisation around food has activated public accountability for hunger. More details

Immersions for Aid Practitioners

Promoting and developing immersions as a practical training method for people working in international development More details

Karimojong Citizen Research

Young researchers in northern Uganda have been probing questions posed by their own communities. From December 2012 to November 2013, they have been using action research techniques to investigate land, peace and justice in Karamoja, a post conflict society. Their findings, shared with community leaders and local government, have shed light on a fundamental problem of a society in transition out of decades of violence. More details

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

Researching the impacts of, and responses to, volatile food prices in poor communities in ten developing countries. More details

LogoLink, the Learning Initiative

A global network of practitioners from civil society organisations, research institutions and governments created to stimulate and support civil society organisations and networks to engage in citizen participation and social control of public policies at the local level. More details

Making All Voices Count

Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development (MAVC) is a four-year $45 million fund to support innovation, scaling-up, and research that will deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness. More details

Participate: Knowledge from the margins for post-2015

Ensuring that the most vulnerable and marginalised communities have the opportunity to shape post-2015 policymaking More details

Participation and Development Relations

Promoting a rights perspective to the challenges of poverty, inequality and insecurity. More details

Participation Resource Centre

The Participation Resource Centre comprises the joint collection of the IDS Participation, Power and Social Change Team and the International Institute for Environment and Development. More details is a global, online space for sharing ideas about the participation of people in development, citizenship, governance and rights. More details

Participatory Approaches to Quality Assurance

This collaboration between IDS and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) aims to bring appropriate participatory methods into quality assurance within SDC. It will also bring new levels of rigour to the principles of participation, poverty orientation and empowerment in the work of SDC and its partners. More details

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) related Familiarisation Workshops

Series of short workshops for participants wishing to get a taste of PRA and PLA approaches More details

Pathways of Women's Empowerment Research Programme Consortium

Pathways is a research and communication programme which seeks to discover where women are achieving real gains despite or because of policy and practice. It looks at how this has happened, and aims to make these pathways visible so that we can build on these revealed successes. More details

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IDS publications on international development research

Participate Proposal for Post-2015 Targets

The Participate initiative provides high quality evidence on the reality of poverty at ground level, bringing the perspectives of the poorest into the post-2015 debate. The research demonstrates that there are certain focus areas that need to be addressed to achieve sustainable positive change in the lives of the poorest and most marginalised. More details

This is the image for the book ' Explorations in Development Practice'.

Into the Unknown: Explorations in Development Practice

Robert Chambers reflects on experiences, which led him to examine personal biases and predispositions, and he challenges readers to examine the pervasive significance of power in forming and framing knowledge. Into the Unknown reflects on the journey of learning, and encourages readers to learn from observation, curiosity, critical feedback, play and fun. More details

Non-IDS publication

Good Practices for Effective Participation in Social Protection Design and Implementation

This short article looks at how participation can provide some answers to overcoming the tendency for elite capture in social protection programmes. More details

Non-IDS publication

Systemic Action Research: Changing System Dynamics to Support Sustainable Change

This article explores the characteristics of systemic action research. More details

This is the cover to IDS Working Paper 437, 'Using Participatory Process Evaluation to Understand the Dynamics of Change in a Nutrition Education Programme'.

Using Participatory Process Evaluation to Understand the Dynamics of Change in a Nutrition Education Programme

With roots in approaches to popular education and participatory action research that place the learner and the ‘beneficiary’ of development at the centre of enquiry and action, the participatory visualisation methods associated with Participatory Rural Appraisal have been widely used as tools for learning and accountability. More details

cover page of CLTS publication 'Triggering for Handwashing'

How to Trigger for Handwashing with Soap

This is the second issue of Frontiers of CLTS: Innovation and Insights series. More details

cover image of publication: Participatory Design Development for Sanitation

Participatory Design Development for Sanitation

In this issue of the Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights series, Ben Cole, who helped UNICEF to adapt and trial participatory latrine design in Malawi, describes the different stages of participatory latrine design and gives practical guidance based on the experiences in Malawi. More details

Non-IDS publication

Learning Study on 'The Users' in Technology for Transparency and Accountability Initiatives: Assumptions and Realities

The report shows that more attention to the end users is important, when designing and implementing projects using Technology for Transparency and Accountability Initiatives. More details

Non-IDS publication

The Impact and Effectiveness of Transparency and Accountability Initiatives

This issue of Development Policy Review arises from a study of the impact and effectiveness of transparency and accountability initiatives (TAIs) in different development sectors. It analyses existing evidence, discusses how approaches to learning about TAIs might be improved, and recommends how impact and effectiveness could be enhanced. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Participatory Methods Website

The website provides resources on a range of methods for inclusive social development. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Facilitating Cultural Transitions and Change

Facilitating cultural transitions and change provides a practical approach for facilitators needing to enhance their skills when working with participants in transition from a diverse range of multicultural backgrounds. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Decentralisation and Social Cohesion in Religiously Heterogeneous Societies in Transition: A Case Study from Egypt

This paper explores the linkages between decentralisation and social cohesion within communities of differing religious backgrounds. It builds on the case of post-Mubarak Egypt, where an increased but informal devolution of power to manage relations between the majority Muslim and minority Christian populations has not alleviated community tensions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Outcome Measurement in Local Governance Programmes: A Power Dimension

This paper explores how outcome measurement is understood in several SDC local governance programmes, reviewed in a HELVETAS Learning Project. This critical review assesses the extent to which power issues are recognised, understood and tracked within such programmes and suggests ways to enhance this. More details

This is the image for the Portuguese summary of IDS Working paper 420, 'Melhorando a Prestação
de Contas através dos Conselhos Locais em Moçambique'.

Melhorando a Prestação de Contas através dos Conselhos Locais em Moçambique

Apesar de limitada evidência empírica, a prestação de contas é tida como meio para o empoderamento, governação democrática, e eficácia do desenvolvimento. More details

Accountability at the Local Level in Fragile Contexts: Nepal Case Study

This paper presents the Nepal case study from a research project on accountability carried out in three countries. More details

Local Accountabilities in Fragile Contexts: Experiences from Nepal, Bangladesh and Mozambique

Accountability is one of the five governance principles HELVETAS believes to be the 'core structure' of governance in international cooperation: efficiency, non-discrimination, transparency, participation, and accountability. More details

Advancing Accountability through Conselhos Consultivos in Mozambique: PROGOAS Case Study

In recent years accountability has become a buzzword in the development agenda. Even though evidence of its impact remains weak, the underlying assumption is that accountability will result in empowerment, improved quality of democratic governance, and development effectiveness. More details

Accountability at the Local Level in Fragile Contexts: Bangladesh Case Study

This paper, part of an IDS and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation research project, is about the promotion of accountability at the local level in Bangladesh. More details

This is the image for the book, 'Who Counts? The Power of Participatory Statistics'.

Who Counts? The Power of Participatory Statistics

Local people can generate their own numbers – and the statistics that result are powerful for themselves and can influence policy. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Uncovering the Politics of 'Evidence' and 'Results'. A Framing Paper for Development Practitioners

Hard evidence, rigorous data, tangible results, value for money – all are tantalising terms promising clarity for the international development sector. Yet, behind these terms lie definitional tussles, vested interests and contested world views that this background paper to the Politics of Evidence Conference aims to make explicit and question. The aim is to encourage development practitioners to strategize in expanding the politico-bureaucratic space to make room for flexible and creative support of locally-generated and transformative change. More details

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