Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 43 Nos. 3

Participatory Systemic Inquiry

Published on 1 May 2012

This article explores Participatory Systemic Inquiry processes through two examples of practise.

The first is about embedding public engagement in UK higher education, the second is about water infrastructure development and local capacity development in small towns situated around Lake Victoria. These examples illustrate why it is necessary to understand the wider systemic dynamics within which issues are situated, and how this helps to identify workable and sustainable solutions to problems. It describes the learning architectures which were constructed to hold the local and thematic inquiries and then to extend them. It also demonstrates the methods which operationalised these processes and explores some of the methodological differences between this approach and other approaches to qualitative and participatory research.

Related Content

This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 43.3 (2012) Participatory Systemic Inquiry

Cite this publication

Burns, D. (2012) Participatory Systemic Inquiry. IDS Bulletin 43(3): 88-100


Danny Burns

Professorial Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
Burns, Danny


Related content


Immersive Research for Safer Sanitation in Bihar and Maharashtra, India

SLH Learning Paper;14

2 May 2023