Past Event

Between the Lines Podcast

Podcast S03 Ep10: The SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry

From 30 Sep 2021 0:00 until 27 Oct 2021 0:00


In this episode of Between the Lines, IDS Director of Research, Peter Taylor interviews IDS Research Fellows; Danny Burns and Jo Howard, and Sonia M. Ospina, Professor of Public Management and Policy at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service who edited the recently published: SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry.

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The Handbook presents contemporary, cutting-edge approaches to participatory research and inquiry with contributions from 137 authors in 71 chapters. It has been designed for the community of researchers, professionals and activists engaged in interventions and action for social transformation.

It offers an overview of different influences on participatory research, explores in detail how to address critical issues and design effective participatory research processes, and provides detailed accounts of how to use a wide range of participatory research methods.

With thanks to:

  • Recorded, edited and narrated by Gary Edwards
  • Music credit: Crypt of Insomnia/One Day in Africa (instrumental version)/Getty Images
  • Between the Lines created by Sarah King

Related links

SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry.

About the interviewees

Danny Burns is a Professorial Research Fellow. He led the Participation, Inclusion and Social Change Cluster from 2010 – 2019. His work focuses on participatory learning for social change with a strong emphasis on systems thinking and complexity.

Between 2002 and 2010 he was Professor of Social & Organisational Learning at the University of the West of England (UWE). At UWE, he co-directed the SOLAR action research centre. Prior to this he was a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. There he was Programme Director of the M.Sc. in Management Development and Social Responsibility. Previously, Danny worked as the Director of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service for Scotland and prior to that as Director of the Decentralisation Research and Information Centre. Over the past eight years he has directed or co-directed more than twenty participatory research projects.

Jo Howard is a Research Fellow and Leader of the Participation, Inclusion and Social Change Cluster. She co-convenes the Master’s programme in Participation, Power and Social Change. Jo has worked in research and learning for over 20 years. She has long had an interest in citizen participation and local governance and has worked in Latin America, Europe, India and Africa. Since joining IDS in 2014, she has strengthened and deepened her work on participation to investigate how participatory research processes contribute to empowerment, citizenship and inclusion, and to a broader social justice agenda. Her work, like that of colleagues in the PISC cluster, is to facilitate participatory and action research processes with people living in poverty and marginalisation.

Sonia M. Ospina is a Professor of Public Management and Policy at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a sociologist by training, and an expert in qualitative research. Her interest in the participatory, inclusive and collaborative dynamics of democratic governance has produced research on social change leadership, social innovation, and public accountability, both in the United States and in Latin America.  Through a partnership with colleagues from Universidad del Rosario, she is presently working with Indigenous women leaders from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Amazon regions in Colombia, to support their leadership and to develop insights about the theory and practice of collective leadership.

About the interviewer

Peter Taylor is Director of Research at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Previously he was Director, Strategic Development, at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada where he was responsible for leading IDRC’s strategic planning processes. During his ten years with IDRC, he also served as Acting Director of IDRC’s Inclusive Economies Program Area, and as Associate Director for the Think Tank Initiative, a ten-year, multi-partner programme that supports strengthening of policy research organizations in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Peter has more than 30 years of experience in international development.


‘This rich, inspiring collection is testament to the extraordinary creativity of those who have brought about a veritable revolution in research through participatory methodologies and approaches. Drawn from across the globe, contributors attest to the power of participatory research and inquiry its enduring value as a catalyst for change’.
Professor Andrea Cornwall, Pro-Director (Research & Enterprise), SOAS University of London

‘This Handbook makes a state of the art contribution to this popular field grounded in 50 years of in-depth experience and spanning to some of its newest insightful practitioners. A landmark achievement’.
Yoland Wadsworth, Author of “Do It Yourself Social Research”, former President of the International Action Learning Action Research & Process Management Association

Key contacts

Gary Edwards

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+ 44 (0)1273 915637


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