Cluster

Participation, Inclusion and Social Change

Participation is a right held by all people to engage in society and in the decisions that impact their lives. Participation is thus a political endeavour that challenges oppression and discrimination, in particular of the poorest and most marginalised people. Participatory processes enable people to see more clearly, and learn from the complexity that they are living and working amid. Through participation people can identify opportunities and strategies for action, and build solidarity to effect change.

Those whose interests are served by exclusion will seek to co-opt or pacify participation. This is not grounds for rejecting it, but for fighting harder for it, and understanding the fields of power within which meaningful participation for transformative social change lies.

Participation, Inclusion and Social Change Cluster research specializes in the development of participatory research methods with particular emphasis on systematic social exclusion facing women, people living in extreme poverty, people with disabilities, slaves and bonded labourers and others. This requires a systemic understanding of change, and an activist approach to research. We describe such an approach as participatory practice.

Through our work, we aim to:

  • Conduct and support participatory practice that is facilitative and developmental, challenging the dominance of ‘external expert’ knowledge in mainstream research approaches.
  • Use, develop and share knowledge on participatory methods, which are a key part of participatory practice. These include systemic action research, peer research, participatory mapping, collective analysis, participatory numbers, and visual and digital approaches.
  • Employ a holistic learning based approach that is ‘responsive’, ‘reflective and ‘adaptive’, recognising that reality is constantly changing, and that participatory practice means continuous engagement.

Key contacts

Image of Danny Burns
Danny Burns

Participation Research Cluster Leader

d.burns@ids.ac.uk

+44 (0)1273 915612

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People

Image of Danny Burns
Danny Burns

Participation Research Cluster Leader

Andrea Cornwall

Honorary Associate

Image of Dilmurad Yusupov
Dilmurad Yusupov

DPhil Student

Image of Elise Wach
Elise Wach

Research Advisor

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Erika Lopez Franco

Research Officer

Image of Jackie Shaw
Jackie Shaw

Research Fellow

JaeHyun Park

PhD Student

Image of Jamie Myers
Jamie Myers

Research Officer

Image of Jas Vaghadia
Jas Vaghadia

Senior Project Support Officer

Image of Jo Howard
Jo Howard

Research Fellow

Image of Jody Aked
Jody Aked

DPhil Student

Image of Marina Apgar
Marina Apgar

Research Fellow

Image of Mary Wickenden
Mary Wickenden

Research Fellow

Image of Naomi Vernon
Naomi Vernon

Programme Officer for Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Knowledge Hub

Image of Petra Bongartz
Petra Bongartz

Research Officer

Image of Robert Chambers
Robert Chambers

Research Associate

Image of Stacey Townsend
Stacey Townsend

Programme Officer

Image of Tessa Lewin
Tessa Lewin

Research Fellow

Projects

Project

Capitalisation of SDC Experiences in Roma Social Inclusion

Jo Howard is working with SDC to capitalise experiences in Roma social inclusion by drawing broad conclusions from past SDC experiences in promoting Roma social inclusion and making them easily accessible for decision makers. Furthermore, she will produce a synthesis paper with main findings and lessons from the Roma inclusion seminar series.

Project

PROKAS Participatory Action Research

In this consultancy, Danny Burns has been commissioned by the British Council to ensure high quality in the Participatory Action Research processes being applied by PROKAS and to ensure that academia is able to feed into and learn from the PROKAS approach for bringing about policy change.

Recent work

Press release

IDS welcomes UK government commitment to tackle modern slavery and child labour

In a speech at the UN General Assembly, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Secretary of State Penny Mordaunt MP will announce a range of new initiatives that will improve understanding of the factors that drive modern slavery and the worst forms of child labour and develop...

24 September 2018