Past Event


Engaged Scholarship and Knowledge Democracy: Re-inventing Community-based Participatory Research

1 December 2015 17:00–18:30

Convening Space, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, BN1 9RE

Dr Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and IDS board member will speak on his experience of engaged scholarship and knowledge democracy and new approaches to community-based participatory research.

About the speaker

A Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA, an electronics engineer (IIT, Kanpur) and management graduate (IIM, Calcutta), Dr Rajesh Tandon is an internationally acclaimed leader and practitioner of participatory research and development. He founded the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a global participatory research and training centre, and continues to be its Chief Functionary since 1982.

Participatory Research (PR), the forte of PRIA’s work, is a methodology that values experiential knowledge and practitioner’s wisdom in addition to the more formal knowledge available in academia and books. In order to bridge the divide between the world of practice and the world of research, Dr Tandon has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote engagement of institutions of higher education with civil society and local communities to foster knowledge generation and mutual learning.  This work found further support when he was appointed in 2012 as UNESCO Co-Chair on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education ( The UNESCO Chair grows out of and supports UNESCO’s global lead to play ‘a key role in assisting countries to build knowledge societies’.

Dr Tandon has authored more than 100 articles, a dozen books and numerous training manuals on themes such as democratic governance, civic engagement, civil society, governance and management of NGOs, participatory research and people-centred development. He has most recently co-authored Community University Research Partnerships: A Global Perspective (2015), and Global Governance, Civil Society and Participatory Democracy: A View from Below (2014).

Tandon serves as chairperson of the Global Alliance on Community-Engaged Research (GACER) network, which facilitates the sharing of knowledge and information worldwide to further community-based research. He presented the GACER policy brief, “Higher Education, Community Engagement and the World We Want,” at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in Paris in July 2009, and is co-editor of the GUNI Report on “Engagement, Knowledge & Higher Education: Rethinking Social Responsibility” (2013).

He has been inducted to the International Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) Hall of Fame (class of 2011). The award recognizes innovative leaders who believe passionately in the evolutionary power of education and are themselves exemplary lifelong learners who have left lasting impressions on the students, institutions, and organizations they serve.

This event will be live-streamed below.

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