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Which clippings match 'Participatory Action Research' keyword pg.1 of 1
06 DECEMBER 2011

Design for enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities

"This paper focuses on how designers can contribute to enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities, especially communities of people with physical disabilities. This is a new area of design research and practice. The paper draws on a case study of the role and contribution of designers in one of the most disadvantaged communities in a semi–urban area of Thailand between 2007 and 2010. This was a collaborative project with nineteen community members with physical impairment in the Samutprakran province. This community had a long history of developing crafts for income generation. The aim was to explore and test new approaches that would result in a model leading to alternative livelihoods, including transforming their capabilities and using available resources in their community to achieve positive outcomes. Participatory Action Research (PAR), Human–Centered Design (HCD) and Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) were employed as research strategies and approaches. The project was structured around three workshops targeting three successive stages: 1) recruiting participants for a case study and facilitating the gathering of their own data and doing the necessary analysis; 2) enabling them to create and make their own choices to improve their situation; and 3) monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the implementation. There were four key findings. Firstly, the community participants stated that they had achieved the livelihood goals that they desired. They also devised a complementary income–generating activity which enabled them to continue to improve their capabilities, earn income and reinforce their value in their community, and to reduce their vulnerability. From the researcher's perspective, PAR integrated with HCD and combined with SLA were shown to be effective strategies and approaches because they facilitate the transfer of knowledge to the participants, giving them both incentive and ownership in their ideas and actions, enabling them to create and pursue their own solutions. Finally, this study demonstrated the benefits of reorientation of the designer's role from that of a solution provider to that of an agent of sustainable change."

(Siriporn Peters, 4 May 2011)

2). Siriporn Peters (2011). "Design for enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities", Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research ISSN 1923–5003.



academic journal • alternative livelihoods • capabilities • case studycommunity • community participants • community-generated content • complementary income-generating activity • craftdata gatheringdesign research • design research and practice • disabilitydisadvantaged communitiesHCDhuman-centred design • income generation • livelihood • livelihood goals • ownershipPARParticipatory Action Research • people with physical disabilities • physical disabilities • physical impairmentresearch and practiceresearch approachesresearch strategies • semi-urban • SLA • sustainability • sustainable change • sustainable livelihoods • sustainable livelihoods approach • Thailandtransfer of knowledgetransformationvulnerabilityworkshops


Simon Perkins
13 NOVEMBER 2011

Life Drama: Participatory Action Research

"Action Research is generally considered a process for achieving change and research at the same time. It is viewed as a spiralling, iterative process, with each cycle feeding into the next.

At the 'Plan' stage, the researchers determine the problem to be solved, the steps to be taken to solve the problem, and the methods to be used to evaluate how successful the solution has been. At the 'Act' stage, the agreed steps are taken. At the 'Collect' stage, the researchers collect data to determine whether change has occurred. At the 'Reflect' stage, the researchers analyse the data, discuss the findings, and determine to what extent the 'action' has helped to solve the problem. As a result of this reflection, further planning occurs, to decide what needs to happen next, and the cycle begins again.

Participatory Action Research places specific emphasis on power relationships, advocating for power to be deliberately shared between the 'researchers' and the 'researched'. Ideally, the 'researched', or the people who are expected to benefit from the action research project, are not 'objects' or 'subjects' or research but partners in the research process. They participate in planning, acting, collecting data, reflecting, and deciding how the action research cycle should continue in the next phase. In particular, the participants or co–researchers play a major role in nominating indicators, or criteria by which the project can be said to have succeeded."

(Life Drama, 2010)



action research • action research cycle • action research project • advocacy • Brad Haseman • co-researcher • Life Drama • Marie Stopes International PNG • National AIDS Council Secretariat • Papua New Guinea • PAR Process • participationParticipatory Action Research • partners in the research process • Porgera Joint Venture • power • power relationships • power sharing • Queensland University of Technology • researched • researchers • University of Goroka • University of Papua New Guinea


Simon Perkins

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