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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)

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TAGS

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

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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