Applied Cosmic Anthropology
-Asian Social Institute (ASI)

participatory action research

by

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D.

Professor of Anthropology

 

 

Chapter 1. Introduction

 

This monograph on participatory action research is designed as a supplement to the lecture and workshop given in the seminar. As a research methodology, it follows the basic components of research. This is why a necessary companion to this monograph is IDRS Monograph No. 1 titled “A Handy Guide to Applied research.” As a supplement to the lectures and workshops given the seminar, this monograph seeks to answer the following questions:

·         What is participatory action research? What are its basic principles? What are the basic components of participatory action research? Who are involved in participatory action research?

·         How is participatory action research applied as a tool for community development?

·         Are their some guidelines that can be used to ensure that participatory action research is indeed used to develop communities?

·         What are the basic steps to be followed when preparing a community-development project that applies participatory action research?

 

After reading this monograph and after undergoing the actual process of formulating a PAR in the workshop, the participants are expected to be able to:

·         Acquire basic knowledge of the nature, principles, procedures and mechanics of participatory action research as this is applied to specific areas in community development;

·         Be able to formulate a proposal to undertake a community development project applying the participatory action research approach;

·         Be able to submit this proposal for funding to a funding institution.

 

How did participatory action research emerge?

 

Participatory action research (PAR) had been introduced in Latin America, Asia, and Africa in the context of the political liberation movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was introduced to deviate from traditional research, which remains a purely academic exercise and with little transformative impact on the people and community concerned.

 

Thus, PAR had been a response to concerns among social scientists that traditional research was destined to remain a purely academic exercise with little problem-solving impact in concrete settings.  This new approach was predicated on making research more applicable to the needs of those being studied by encouraging them to participate in the research design, methodology and projected outcome, with an external researcher acting as moderator.  It was largely tested in small, underprivileged communities. 

 

What is participatory action research?

 

As the name suggests, participatory action research is an approach or a methodology, which has the triple elements of participatory, action and research. The action element seeks to bring about change---individual or structural---in the community. This is why PAR is applied with one primary objective to solve practical problems and needs confronting the community, thereby, achieve social transformation or change in the end.

 

The research element in PAR is designed to gain objective knowledge as well as systematic and scientific understanding on the problems/needs/issues confronting the community, and to explore approaches and strategies to resolve such problems. Practical non-scientific knowledge is just as valuable as scientific knowledge in solving problems. But the research element tries to achieve a balance between subjective and objective knowledge.

 

The participatory element in PAR seeks to involve the people who are directly or indirectly being studied to participate in all the processes of research: identification of the research problem, prioritization, planning and designing the research plan, implementation, data collection, reporting, and dissemination. The participatory element ensures relevance of the issues discussed and the effectivity of the proposed action to change the situation, since it allows the active participation and direct involvement of the people concerned. After all, who are in the best position to define their needs and problems except those people who directly experience and feel the problems. Many times, therefore, PAR is characterized by outside researchers working with people who are involved at every step of the research and action processes.

 

In short, PAR---applied to community development---can be defined as a systematic and scientific inquiry of the problems, needs and issues confronting the community, with the participation of those affected by these problems, for purposes of taking action or effecting change in the community. This is why PAR begins and ends in the community.

Selener (1997) describes PAR as a process through which, "members of a...group or community identify a problem, collect and analyze information, and act upon the problem in order to find solution."

 

What are some of the basic principles of PAR?

 

PAR adheres to the following principles:

·         PAR also recognizes the need for persons being studied to participate in the design and conduct of all phases (e.g. design, execution, dissemination) of the research that affects them. Community residents are in the best position to define and solve their problems. They must be encouraged to participate in identifying and prioritizing community problems, in defining the research design, the appropriate research methodology and the expected outcomes. In order to realize this principle, the following conditions need to be met:

·         Conditions need to be created for community participants to be able to freely contribute their physical and mental resources to the research process.

·         Community participants or residents must also benefit from the research outcomes, not only the external agencies funding the research.

·         The external researcher is an "outsider," equipped with community development theories and models, analytical tools, as well as the necessary research skills and expertise.

·         S/he leaves the community as soon as the objectives of the research are successfully attained.

·         The researcher is expected to maintain some distance in order to give a more holistic and representative view of the overall situation of the community.

·         PAR recognizes the value of local, insider's knowledge, skills, and attitudes as well as the various forms these can take. It acknowledges the importance of respecting ordinary or indigenous knowledge, practice, customs, and traditions of everyday life.

·         In PAR, striking a balance between "objectivity" and "subjectivity" is the ultimate challenge of the external researcher.

 

The data gathered from the community residents can be subjective and colored by their own biases and individual or group interests. The task of the external researcher is to minimize subjectivity.

 

The data gathered from the community residents can be reflective of individual or group needs. The task of the external researcher to ensure that no one individual or group monopolizes the definition of "community needs."

 

There has been a considerable amount of discourse (Cizek, 1995) with regard to the feasibility of PAR as an integral part of the research process. Traditionally, quantitative methodologies based on probability theory rarely allow for subjective or qualitative data collection. By allowing “stake-holders” input into the research process, issues of relevancy and applicability can be addressed more directly. However, it can be argued that with the introduction of non-researchers and qualitative data comes subjective, biased, and unreliable data. Thus it is crucial to maintain research integrity and recognize the difference between collaboration and hegemony. Striking a balance between traditional quantitative methodological research, relevancy and cultural appropriateness is a challenge as “cultural diversity” presents an additional complication (Szymanski, 1995).

 

The other major principles to the PAR approach are the following:

·         A commitment to non-violent social change;

·         Ownership of the research lies with the community involved;

·         Commitment to action by the researcher in partnership with the community based on the learning that occurs; participants are to be include at every stage of the research and special effort should be made to include groups not usually included;

·         Research methods are selected based on their appropriateness to the situation and should be taught to local participants so that they can continue the inquiry process independently of the researcher;

·         Outcomes are intended to benefit the community; and

·         Ownership of product in terms of methods used, interpretation of results, dissemination of results should be negotiated at the outset and resolved in fair and open manner.

 

In trying to apply participatory action research to area of activity, you may spell out only those principles that are relevant to the conditions, values, and beliefs of the people in the targeted community and those that are necessary for the success of the undertaking.

 

Who are involved in PAR?

 

PAR is "true partnership" in which two actors meet - the people bringing deep but unsystematic knowledge and the external researcher bringing analytical tools to systematize this knowledge and make it more useable for strategic political or transformatory action.

 

Generally the studies and the process involved in their preparation aimed to empower a community to act collectively against an identified short- or long-term challenge.

 

Those who are involved in PAR may include the following:

·         Local leaders

·         Government officials

·         Business leaders

·         The academe

·         Community groups and NGOs

·         Individuals and their families

·         External researcher(s) acting as moderator(s) or facilitator(s)

 

Uses and Applications of PAR

 

According to Daniel Selener (1997), PAR approaches have been developed and applied in four main areas: 

1.       participatory research in community development

2.       action research in organizations

3.       action research in schools

4.       farmer-participatory research, environmental and natural resource management

 

The farmer-participatory research approach is the most applicable of these methods for generating community-based solutions to agriculture and natural resource management problems. Ashby, Quiros and Rivera (1987) define farmer-participatory research as a process "in which the farmer acts as a subject who investigates, measures, and studies in collaboration with researchers." Farmer-participatory research is typically focused on the development of agricultural technology to increase production.  But the technology emerges from the farmer's self-identified needs, and evaluated by farmer criteria (Rhodes and Booth, 1982). 

 

The main components (Selener, 1997) of farmer participatory research are:

·         A goal to develop agricultural technology to meet the production needs of small to mid-sized farmers,

·         Active farmer participation in the entire research process,

·         Research conducted in the farmer's field,

·         Collaborating scientist who are fellow investigators, colleagues and advisors,

·         Research approached from a systems perspective,

·         Projects characterized by interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and farmers,

·         Research promoting innovative methodologies and flexibility.

 

For participatory research on environmental and natural resource management issues the components would be very similar to those listed above.  The goal of such research would depend on the particular problem as defined by a group of concerned local community members with a direct interest in the issue.  The community members would be involved with the process at every step. The research would be conducted on site and be approached from a systems perspective.  Collaborating scientist would be just another member of the team.  Solutions would be innovative and flexible.

 

PAR has already been used extensively in several areas of community development. The following literature and studies attest to this:

 

1.       Use of Participatory Action Research (PAR) in Agroforestry Adoption and Community Development in a Rural Community in Nicaragua. Emilio Perez Emilio Perez, graduate student working with James Lassoie (Natural Resources), conducted a community-based, development planning and needs prioritization in the rural community of Pacora, near Managua, Nicaragua, in collaboration with the National Agricultural University and the Association for Popular Education of Nicaragua. This research represented a follow-up to an initial participatory rural appraisal (PRA) activity conducted by Perez in summer 1996. Perez worked with Pacora farm families to:

·         Identify local problems of insufficient food production, land scarcity, fuelwood shortages, and deforestation and;

·         Assist community residents in assessing the potential of agroforestry-based technologies using indigenous knowledge and locally valued, indigenous species to meet critical needs for food and fuelwood within the farmer-identified constraints of limited land availability and environmental degradation. The needs identification and prioritization exercise form the basis for developing, testing and implementing agroforestry-based practices in this rural community when Perez returns to Pacora to continue his research in 1998. The key role in CAWG's mission is advancing learning-process research associated with poverty alleviation and environmental mitigation.

 

2.       Rehabilitation Research and Training Center of the Pacific San Diego State University, Interwork Institute. June 1995. Janet L. Guerrero. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center of the Pacific San Diego State University, Interwork Institute. June 1995. This paper outlines the research process being used by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center of the Pacific (RRTCP). It emphasizes the need to adopt a new approach to rehabilitation and disability research conducted in the Pacific. The outlined approach, Participatory Action Research, focuses on a collaborative effort between the RRTCP and each Pacific jurisdiction driven by rehabilitation constituents (practitioners, consumers, service providers, family members, et al.) in the Pacific. Participatory action research (PAR) paradigm has been chosen as the approach to rehabilitation research and education for persons with disabilities throughout the Pacific. This framework for research reflects cultural sensitivity and relevance by including local rehabilitation leaders and practitioners, government officials, community groups, individuals with disabilities and their family members as well as potential employers and community services organizations. At the heart of the PAR framework lie three groups:

·         A Local Steering Committee,

·         A Research and Training Associate (RTA), and

·         The Center's Advisory Council.

 

Within each jurisdiction a local steering committee is established and a RTA is hired through collaborating local organization. These three groups act in cooperation with the RRTCP to coordinate planning, development, validation, analysis, and dissemination of each research and training project. They draw on their own experiences as well as other on- and off-island resources to achieve tangible and applicable outcomes. The framework is dynamic. Designs for research are changed as we utilize the process of constituency input. One of the benefits of this dynamic process is that it allows for review, discussion, modification, approval, initiation, and utilization of research activities by consumers and constituents within each island community, which will benefit their island.

 

What are the basic steps when conducting PAR in the community?

 

The following outline may serve as a guide for researchers or community-development workers who intend to apply participatory action research in community development:

 

First Phase: Preparatory. In this phase, the researcher or community-development worker immerses himself/herself with the people in the community with the end in view of undertaking the following activities in cooperation with and with participation of the people (initially the leaders and the stakeholders) in the community:

 

1. Step 1. Identify Problems, Needs and Issues Confronting the Community. There are fixed procedures for identifying those problems, needs and issues confronting the people in the community. The steps below can be adopted as a conceptual guide.

 

Try to identify the major problems, needs and issues confronting the community. Note that these problems, needs and issue vary depending on the sectoral affiliations of the ones experiencing these problems. For example, the problems experience by the housewives differ with that of the farmers, laborers, fishermen, forest workers, students, women, youth, the disabled, etc. Each of the problems expressed by those coming from these sectors---when they are made to participate as members in a PAR-based community project---need to accommodated.

 

After the identification phase, the problems, needs and issues raised then needs to be processed. Discuss the nature, processes, dynamics, causes and effects of each of these problems, needs and issues including their interrelationships. The purpose of this exercise is to investigate whether or not the “problems” raised are really genuine problems confronted by the people in the community. The exercise also enables the community to understand the complexities of the problems, which is necessary to identify the corresponding programs, projects or measures needed for their resolution.

 

Prioritize problems, needs and issues. People in the community may bring in several kinds of problems, which can be very urgent and important especially to the ones who raise these problems. But there should be a way of prioritizing these problems. Those that affect the majority can be given the first priority and may have to be attended to first.

 

Always be sensitive to the geographical, language, religious, ethnic and cultural differences of the people in the community. In spite of these diversities, each individual must be a major contributor in the identification of problems, needs and issues.

 

From the very start, try to focus and narrow down the identification of problems, needs and issues immediately. The discussion on problems, needs and issues can be focused if the researcher has already a particular topic or subject area in mind. For example, a forest ranger would naturally be interested in the conservation, preservation and development of the forest ranges in the community. Thus, if he intends to apply PAR in the forest conservation and development, then, the discussion on the problems, needs and issues will be immediately focused on those confronting the preservation, management and development of forest resources. Similarly, a Church, NGO or university researcher and extension worker may have other concerns like promoting self-reliance in the community through the development of specific income-generating projects or enhancing the entrepreneurial and management skills of the people in the community. Thus, the discussion can immediately focus on problems related to the establishment, management and development of small- or medium-sized entrepreneurial undertakings.

A most handy and practical guide is that the researcher or extension worker is not there to solve all the problems in the community at the same time. It is good to always bear in mind that he/she is there to solve a specific and practical problem. When the researcher or extension workers is thinking in terms of a total and integrated approach to community development, then, what is needed first and foremost is a Comprehensive and Integrated Long-Term (Five-Year, or so) Community Development Plan (CILT-CDP). The role of PAR can then be narrowed down to focusing on one or specific parts of the development plan as a preparation for the actual execution and implementation. It is possible, of course, to apply PAR in formulating the CILT-CDP.

 

2. Step 2. Identify the various approaches and measures that are most appropriate to resolving the above problems, needs and issues confronting the community. The same procedure used in identifying problems above can also be used to identify approaches and measures. In doing the above process, it is also good to already have in mind the most appropriate techniques in soliciting information from the participants. Remember that those who will join the PAR project may be predominantly ordinary people who have no formal training in research, in group behavior and dynamics. Many could be very sensitive and may easily withdraw from the group if their ego is hurt or pricked. The role of the outside researcher or extension worker as a good facilitator is really tested in PAR.

There are so many participatory-enhancing techniques that can be utilized during focus group discussions and during the data gathering phase. For example:

 

·         In problems identification, one of the most appropriate techniques that can be employed is the brainstorming technique, where all ideas are welcome and no comments are yet made about the problems identified, until all the problems have been identified.

·         For collecting quantitative data directly from the community residents, the questionnaire can be utilized. Or, when some data about the community are already available in the libraries of both government and private institutions, then, a researcher can be assigned to dig into the pertinent documents and literature.

·         In many instances, the participation-observation method will also prove effective and helpful in gathering data, so with focus group discussion and interview methods.

·         As in other researches, PAR is also more effective and more reliable when it uses a combination of several methods and techniques.

·         The sampling method is also appropriate in identifying and locating samples from a given population in the community.

 

For all the other methods, the reader is referred to IDRS Monograph No. 1 “A Handy Guide to Research for Higher Educational Institutions.”

 

3. Step 3. Prepare the Workplan and the Budget. The workplan describes how PAR will be translated into concrete research activities and how these activities are to be done. It also assigns individuals and timelines within which these identified activities are to be done. The workplan is best presented in a Gantt chart, specifying the following elements:

 

·         Objectives

·         Critical Activities

·         Person(s) Responsible

·         Timetable

·         Resources Needed (manpower, expertise, supplies, equipment, etc.)

·         Concrete Output(s) Expected

 

A sample workplan is given in Appendix A.In many instances, the workplan needs to be supported by a “Schedule of Activities” which may also be presented in the form of a Gantt chart. The “Schedule of Activities” is a document that identifies the critical activities and arranges these activities in sequence and chronological order. A sample of this document is given in Appendix B.

 

Finally, the budget specifies or allocates funds for each of the specific activities identified in implementing the research project. Expenses are normally incurred for manpower services, supplies needed, and many more. A sample budget proposal is given in Appendix C.

 

4. Step 4. Formulate the entire research proposal. The format of this proposal is discussed elsewhere in the section below.

 

5. Step 5. Submit your proposal to your organization for approval and funding. After you have written the research proposal, this can now be submitted for funding purposes. There are several ways of doing this.

All those who are involved may proceed by discussing how they can finance the research projects. During the discussion, some expenses may turn out to be no longer necessary since some of the participants may volunteer their services or donate some things that are needed for the project. It is our experience that many times those in the business sector, if they are involved in and really committed to the project, are just too willing to give some donations and assistance. The same thing with those in the Church groups and the academe. Finally, there are several international funding institutions today that finance projects employing participatory action research because these institutions are very much convinced of the effectivity of this approach.

 

In some instances, outside funding is really needed, especially if the item involved is costly, e.g., machines, equipment, etc.

 

Second Phase: Implementation Phase. This phase relates to the implementation and execution of the various programs, projects and measures needed to resolve the problems, needs and issues identified by the people (participants in the first phase of PAR) in the community. There are no fixed guidelines and procedures to be followed during the implementation and execution phase. These normally depend on the kind or type of programs and projects done. But theoretically these involve the following activities:

·         Organization

·         Administration and Management

·         Daily Execution of Activities

·         Monitoring and Evaluation

 

What are the basic components or what is the format to use when writing a proposal for funding using the PAR approach?

 

The earlier process of the research is largely done in the form of focus group discussion coupled with notes taking and recording. No formal or organized writing is yet done, although notes taking and recording can already be elaborate. Still all these notes need to be organized and presented in a systematic way following some established formats. The content and arrangement of elements contain in these formats vary from one organization or funding institution to another.

 

But essentially the various parts or components needed to formulate a proposal to undertake a community-development project applying the participatory action research approach are the same as those in conducting a traditional research. The following are some of the most basic:

Title of the Project

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Rationale or Background of the Study

Statement of the Problem

Objectives of the Study

Hypotheses of the Study

Significance of the Study

Definitions of Terms

Chapter 2 – Theoretical/Conceptual Framework

Review of Related Literature

Theoretical Framework

Conceptual Model

Mathematical/statistical models and measurements for quantitative data

Qualitative analytical tools for qualitative data

Chapter 3 – Research Design and Methodology

What kind of data will you be using? Qualitative, quantitative or a mixture of both?

Who are the target respondents?

What structures, mechanisms and procedures will you put up to encourage and sustain community participation during the entire research process: plan, implementation, data collection, reporting, and dissemination. 

How many will be studied? (total population or a sample only?)

What sampling method (if sampling is used) will be used: random or non-random?

What research instruments will be constructed for data gathering (e.g., questionnaire, interview schedule, etc.)?

How will the data---both qualitative and quantitative---be analyzed? Will you use a computer? What software will be used?

How will you ensure the reliability of your instruments and the validity of your findings and conclusions?

Work Plan

Estimated Budget

 

The above parts are for purposes of submitting a proposal for funding. Once the proposal is approved for funding, the execution of the research study continues as indicated in the work plan. Once enough progress has already been done, the researcher or the research group can start writing the following chapters:

 

Chapter 4 – Presentation of Findings

Chapter 5 – Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations

Annexes (if any)

References Used

 

The above components of research can be changed in the light of your research experiences.  Some research studies do not need hypotheses at all. Thus, you can make the above arrangements more relevant and realistic to your specific field of specialization. You can add, subtract, re-arrange or even combine parts.

 

As can be observed, PAR differs with other researches in the approach and methodology it uses. The approach and methodology, as cited earlier, is participatory and action oriented. For this reason, it is necessary to spell out in detail in the proposal the following:

·         Who in the targeted community will participate in the research?

·         What principles shall guide in the planning, designing, implementation and execution of the research recommendations?

·         What mechanisms or structures for participation are to be put up to ensure that community participation is exercised from the beginning to the end.

·         What specific outcomes or outputs are to be accomplished?

·         What time schedules are to be observed in accomplishing specific outcomes or outputs of the study?

·         Who are involved and in which activities?

·         How is the monitoring and evaluation of the process be done?

 

The preparation of Chapters 1 and 2 is the same in both PAR and non-PAR researches. The reader is referred to Monograph No. 1 of IDRS titled “A Handy Guide to Research for Higher Educational Institutions.” We shall focus here more on the research design and methodology.

 

Research Design

 

The data used in PAR can either be qualitative or quantitative; it can also be both. This is why PAR can also be both quantitative and qualitative research.

 

PAR is heavily non-experimental in design, but can also adopt any of the three types of experimental designs, i.e., pre-experimental, true experimental and quasi-experimental.

 

For the quantitative data, PAR can thus use both the correlational and survey methods of research. For the gathering of the required statistical data, the questionnaire can be used to collect the primary data, while the secondary data about the community can be gathered from existing records and documents kept in government or private agencies. The participatory aspects of these methods can be injected from the process of designing what specific statistical data are to be gathered, how these data are to be gathered, who will gather these data and so on.

 

For the qualitative data, the most appropriate data-collection methods for PAR would include focus group discussions, interviews and observations. The traditional method of using questionnaires would also be appropriate when it comes to the actual process of gathering data in the community.

 

Focus group discussions serve as a means for gathering qualitative data such as attitudes or perceptions and as an aid in constructing questionnaires and surveys. Mitra (1994) noted there are five primary uses of focus groups in questionnaire construction:

 

·         Development of a set of terms and phrases that the community uses in talking about services,

·         Development of answer categories that reflect real world perceptions,

·         Development of meaningful response categories,

·         Selection of a set of rating dimensions, and

·         Generation of a battery of descriptive statements that become the basis of segmentation analysis.

 

The use of focus groups increases efficiency and efficacy prior to carrying out specific research studies. They aid in determining the direction of research to ensure applicability and relevance. Focus groups enhance the participation of local service providers, consumers, family, and community members.

 

Challenges Encountered in Conducting PAR

 

There are common problems usually encountered when applying participatory action research as an approach in community development. Campbell (1995) discussed the following major problems when integrating PAR in community development:

·         Duration of the research: time delays

·         Recruiting participants

·         Coordination

·         Resolving conflicts and tensions that exist among individuals and groups

·         Data collection

·         Data measurements

·         However, she also acknowledged that the integration of PAR can lead to the following advantages:

·         Increased validity of research objectives and findings;

·         Increased opportunities for innovation and intervention; and

·         An increased number of potential collaborators.

 

Moreover, PAR is fine if one understands the local power structure and is familiar with the issues within the community. It is best reserved for situations where the external agent is aware of the potential for damage, both to themselves and, more importantly, to the dis-empowered in the community. It also works best where the external agency has a clear status and relationship with the community and can command resources for a long-term commitment.

 

Indeed, challenges in applying PAR abound and these vary depending on the beliefs, culture, traditions as well as the socio-economic and political conditions of the community within which this type of research is made to apply. Let us take the case of the Pacific Islands.

 

The most salient challenge to conducting research in the Pacific is geographic---followed by language differences, accessibility, infrastructure, political, and cultural uniqueness. As researchers one prevailing question comes to mind: “will the process we laid out work given the most obvious challenges?” Many of the research priorities emphasize the need for culturally relevant rehabilitation interventions, culturally appropriate education materials, and culturally applicable training activities. Will this process assist in achieving our goals surrounding culture and disability?

 

Thaman (1993) in her study of curriculum development in the South Pacific argues that "the vast majority of problems and difficulties associated with curriculum development in the Pacific Islands are the result of conflicts arising out of the different cultural perspective and ideologies people bring to bear on the process." She goes on to say that "foreign consultants lack an understanding of the cultural context in which curriculum development and implementation is undertaken." However, she feels that with appropriate professional training and material support, practicing teachers (i.e. Pacific Islanders) can make significant contributions to curriculum development.

 

Although Thaman is enveloped in a curriculum development context, the point she makes applies to any process, including PAR. The difference in our efforts is that we at the RRTCP are not foreign consultants. We can supply any needed professional training and material support. It would be arrogant for us to assume though, this framework for research will provide a smooth and seamless process. Challenges definitely lie ahead. As the local steering committees are operationalized and research studies implemented, more and more consumers and rehabilitation professionals will become involved in the process. Each person offers a different perspective reflective of who they are, their culture, and their own personal experiences. We are convinced the diversity only adds strength and relevance.

 

The research paradigm and relationship we have outlined is a dynamic one--in constant evolution. Our mission is "to improve the quality of rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities in the Pacific Basin through research, education, training and dissemination strategies." We believe this can be achieved with sound scientific research through collaboration with constituents within each Pacific jurisdiction. The Amherst Wilder Foundation defines collaboration as "a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more groups or organizations to achieve common goals that they are more likely to achieve together than alone." We invite Pacific Islanders across all seven jurisdictions to become active members in this process.

 

In the end, we can say that PAR should be undertaken with great caution. If it is not possible to apply it in all the processes of community research, then, apply only some parts of it. Gradually, one can broaden the application of PAR as the researchers or extension workers are able to get a feel of it and once the necessary environment needed to apply PAR already exist.

 

---ooo0ooo---

 

 

References

 

Brandt, R. (1993). Using Qualitative Data and its Implications: An Application to Vocational Rehabilitation Services, The Rehab Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp.10- 13.

Campbell, M. (1995). The Challenges of Conducting Cross-Disability, Cross-Cohort Survey Research in a PAR Environment, Annual Conference of the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers.

Childers, D & Rice, B.D. et al. (1993). Consumer Involvment in Rehabilitaiton Research & Practice, Arkansas Research and Training Center in Vocational Rehabilitation, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Cizek, G. (1995). Crunchy Granola and the Hegemony of the Narrative, Educational Research, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 26-28.

Gartner, A., Lipsky, D.K., Turnbull, A. (1991). Supporting Families with a Child with a Disability. Paul H. Brookes Publishing

Hunter, J.E. & Schmidt, F.L. (1990). Methods of meta-analysis: Correcting error and bias in research findings. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

Keck, V. (1993). Nstasinge: The Sickness of a Small Boy from the Finisterre Range in Papua New Guinea from an Emic (Anthropological) and Etic (Biological) Perspective, IEEIR Interchange, January 1993, pp. 3-4.

Marshall, C. (1995). Researcher as Advocate: An "Outsider"; Perspective Regarding Research Involving American Indians with Disabilitites, Annual Conference of the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers.

Menz, F. (1994). Constituents Make the Difference: Improving the Value of Rehabilitation Research, Annual Conference for the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Mitra, A. (1994). Use of Focus groups in the Design of Recreation Needs Assessment Questionnaires. Evaluation and Program Planning. Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 133-140.

Rosenthal, R (1991). Meta-analysis Procedures for Social Research. Beverly Hills: Sage Production.

Senese, D. (1993). The United States in Micronesia: From Trust Territory to Freely Associated State, Journal of Social, Political, & Economic Studies, Winter 1993, pp.413-426

Stephenson, R. (1993). Disability in the Western Pacific: Perspectives from Guam, IEEIR Interchange. January 1993, pp. 8-9.

Szymanski, E. (1995). Methodologies and Tools in Disabilty Research Using Participatory Action Research Strategies, NIDRR Conference on Participatory Action Research.

Thaman, K.H. (1993). "Culture and Curriculum in the South Pacific;" Comparative Education. Vol 29, No. 3, pp.249-260.

Vash, C. (1994). The influence of metaphysical assumptions on disability perspectives: A cross-cultural comparison. A proposed study to IEEIR- Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire.

Whyte, W.F. (1991). Participatory Action Research, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA.

Ashby, J.A., C.A. Quiros, and Y.M. Rivera. 1987. Farmer participation in on-farm varietal trials. Discussion Paper No. 22, Agricultural Administration (Research and Extension) Network. Overseas Development Institute (ODU): UK. 30 pp.

Rhodes, R.E., and R.H. Booth. 1982. Farmer-back-to-farmer: A model for generating acceptable agricultural technology. Agricultural Administration.

Selener, Daniel. 1997. Participatory Action Research and Social Change. The Cornell Participatory Action Research Network. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

 

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