New SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry

Published on 15 September 2021

The first ever SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry has been published, providing the most comprehensive source of contemporary, cutting-edge participatory research methods and design. It provides the tools for inclusive, action-orientated research and new ways to engage the most marginalised, for students, researchers and activists globally working for social change.

The handbook covers the explosion of new participatory research methods over the past two decades as well as the foundations of participatory research and critical practise issues across 71 chapters, written by an international group of 150 authors from a variety of disciplines. As a resource for how to do inclusive and ethical participatory research and inquiry it applies to a diverse spectrum of social science researchers including from health and social care, development studies, sociology, criminology, education and business, as well as civil society groups.

It is edited by Danny Burns and Jo Howard, both renowned researchers in the field of pioneering participatory methods based at the Institute of Development Studies and Sonia M. Ospina, an expert in qualitative and participatory research from New York University.

Danny Burns, Professorial Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies said:

“From climate change to health inequalities, to racial injustice, it’s crucial that we are inclusive with our research approaches – putting the people experiencing the problems at the heart of finding the solutions. Participatory research and inquiry methods help to achieve that inclusivity and find new ways to engage the hardest to reach to participate in research that can lead to positive change.

Jo Howard, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, said:

Participatory processes enable people to see more clearly, and learn from the complexity that they are living and working amid. Whether working at a global or national level for widespread social change or for smaller local group action or project planning, we hope the Handbook will be a valuable resource for many years to come to enable participatory research and identify opportunities and strategies for action to effect change.

Sections covering key aspects of participatory research and inquiry include:

  • Key influences and foundations of participatory research – drawing from feminism, rural settings and indigenous ways of knowing
  • Critical issues in the practice of participatory research – including facilitation, ethics and disability inclusion
  • Methods and tools – dialogic research processes, action-oriented approaches, digital technology use, visual and performative and storytelling, and participatory monitoring and evaluation
  • Mixing and mashing participatory and other research

The Institute of Development Studies is hosting a Participation Research Week from 20 – 24 September with a series of free events on participatory research methods. Follow @IDS_UK on twitter for updates.


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