Participatory Research in Global Contexts: Thursday 22nd June 2017 Participatory Research in Global Contexts: Thursday 22nd June 2017

IntroductionESRC Logo

Participation, transformative action, impact and engagement are central to a wide range of research methods and approaches in the social sciences and beyond. This workshop will focus on the purpose and processes of constructing knowledge through participatory research in diverse cultural and political contexts. The assumptions of conventional research approaches will be interrogated, particularly around issues of fieldwork practice, multiple accountabilities and dissemination. It will also consider the implications of adopting participatory research approaches within a doctoral study, where the individual scholar's agenda and time are necessarily constrained, the practicalities of using participatory methods within more conventional designs and with different kinds of participants, including those in powerful positions. The workshop will conclude with an opportunity for participants to reflect and discuss ways of integrating participatory aims and methods within their own doctoral study. Please follow the link to find out more about the workshop Teaching Team. When your registration has been confirmed, you will be able to access the Online Repository and Forum for this course. 

Timetable for the Day

10.00am: Session 1 - Welcome and Introductions followed by 'Participatory Research across Diverse Cultures: An introduction to Methods and Debates (Prof. Anna Robinson-Pant & Dr Catherine Jere)

This session will introduce the concept of 'participation' in research, and why this may be important and valuable in transforming research and researcher-researched relationships. It will consider some of the contexts in which such approaches have been used and why. It will also allow participants to work in small groups with different resources and visual methods that have been developed for facilitating participatory research and encourage participants to think of ways they could adapt/adopt some of these ideas in their own research.

11.00am-11.15am Coffee Break

11.15am:  Session 2 - Participatory versus ‘Conventional' Research in Other Cultures: Exploring some Critical Issues (Prof. Anna Robinson-Pant & Dr Catherine Jere)

This session will explore some of the contentious issues around the notion of 'participation' and consider the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to research. The debates that have problematised the notion of 'participation' will be discussed. The presenters will also discuss examples of how PRA methods have been used in their own research.

12.15pm-12.45pm: Session 3 - Thinking Critically about Participatory Research (Dr Esther Priyadharshini)

This session will think critically about participatory research, particularly in terms of the power relations involved. The session will set out a Foucaultian conception of power and apply this to participation, problematizing conventional ways of thinking about participatory research itself.

12.45pm-1.45pm Lunch

1.45pm: Session 4 - Designing Participatory Research in Diverse Contexts (Dr Esther Priyadharshini)

This session will involve small group work with each group working on a research brief (set in different contexts and locations) to design research projects that will maximise participation and also consider how this approach could be made to work when researching those in more powerful positions.

2.45pm-3.00pm Coffee Break

3.30pm: Session 5 - How Participatory is your Own PhD/Research Project?

This final session will be an opportunity for all to discuss whether participatory approaches would work in their own research projects, how these can be adopted, what might be the obstacles and what might be ways around these.

3.45pm-4.00pm Conclusion and Feedback

The workshop will also involve follow-up activities with participants on the themes discussed.

Fees, Contact & Booking Details

For further details or questions about the academic content of this workshop please contact the academic lead, Dr Esther Priyadharshini, in the first instance at: Dr Simon Watts, PGR Training Coordinator for the Faculty of Social Science can also be contacted at: The workshop is free to PGR students at UEA, and the Universities of Essex, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Royal Holloway, Reading, Goldsmiths, Roehampton, & City University. Fees are otherwise £30 per day for PGR students and £60 per day for all other attendees. The whole week of four courses can be booked at a reduced daily rate of £120 for PGR students and £240 for all other attendees. Bookings can be made and payments arranged by e-mailing: