Picture of Purvi Dass
Welcome to Unit 3!
by Purvi Dass - Monday, 25 August 2014, 6:34 PM

Dear Friends,

 We begin with the new unit on participatory research. Much of the issues raised in the previous 1 &2 units can now be looked at both from conceptual and methodological standpoints. The reading attached to this unit will help you understand the underlying principles and process of participatory research.

Let us in next ten days that is till  3rd Sept 2014,  understand differences between the two-research paradigms viz., conventional research (social science) and participatory research to understand the PR essentials better.

In brief, let’s go through the differences point wise....

 CR & PR: Differences

What is the research for?
PR: action; CR: understanding with perhaps action later

Research for whom?
PR: local people; CR: institutional, professional, personal interests

Whose knowledge counts?
PR: local people; CR: experts

What is the basis of selection of problem?
PR: local priorities; CR: Funding priorities, institutional agendas, professional interests, choice of methodology

Methodology chosen for?

PR: empowerment, mutual learning, CR: disciplinary conventions, objectivity & truth

Who takes part in the research process?
Problem identification
PR: local people and researcher, CR: researcher
Data collection
PR: local people and researcher, CR: researcher
PR: local concepts & frameworks, CR: disciplinary concepts & frameworks
PR: local people & researcher, CR: researcher
Presentation of findings
PR: locally accessible & useful, CR: by researcher to other academics or funding bodies
Action on findings
PR: integral to the process, CR: separate; May not happen

Who takes action?
PR: local people with or without external people, CR: external agencies

Who owns the results?
PR: shared, CR: researcher

What is emphasized?
PR: process, CR: outcomes

The defining variable for participatory research is ownership & control of information by the people themselves. Ideally there would be no outside people working with anyone without the expressed agreement and invitation of those community members themselves. In PR, the questions, the reasons for intervention, the strategies, the methods are derived from the communities themselves.

 Remember the underpinnings of PR: whose knowledge counts? Who benefits from the research or project? Who names the issue or the question to be undertaken? You get your answer.

 Over the years, quantitative methods of data collection are supplemented with qualitative.  It is no longer a debate between quantitative or qualitative; it is perhaps increasingly becoming both quantitative and qualitative. The experiential ways of communicating knowledge, information, and elements of data are used and accepted.  Hence the question of conventional (social science research/applied science research) Vs. Participatory Research is no longer dichotomous one.

 Three things determine the nature of research pursuits – intention behind the research, framework of research and the tools and methods of data collection.  If framework and approach is participatory, we can use some of the conventional tools such as observation, oral history, and if the universe if small even a survey, to conduct research.    The fundamental question is how we are engaging people in that piece of research and are they going to be benefited by that.  If social scientists/applied scientists address these two issues, they will be able to address some of the challenges their discipline face in accommodating PR. 

Some of you have not yet submitted assignment 1, I am sure you are  in process of finalising it.

Please note Guest Faculty Forum begins tomorrow.

I shall upload the question for reflection of Unit 3 by 27th Aug 2014.

All the best,


Picture of Masudur Rahman
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Masudur Rahman - Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 11:14 PM

Hi Purvi

Could you please explain the meaning of Adult Education in PR, in a easy way.  I have tried from wiki but not satisfied. Sorry that I raised 1st Unit's query in this 3rd Unit discussion.

Thanking in advance for your cooperation.


Taniya Laizu Sumy, Manager- Curriculum and Material Development, SHIKHON Program, Save the Children
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Taniya Laizu Sumy - Thursday, 28 August 2014, 9:56 AM

Dear Purovi di,

Could you please address the issue of child participation in conventional research and participatory research in your discussion? Now we are thinking about to conduct research by the children. It would be my pleasure if you address.

Thank you.

With regards,


Picture of Nazmul Alam
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Nazmul Alam - Thursday, 28 August 2014, 10:10 AM

Child participation in conventional research

In this case you only take the child as a mere participant who have access to relevant data to a particular project.  In conventional research as a researcher you are the expert who design and decide what types of method to use. Usually we do that, through literature review and practical experinences as well as through pre-test.

However, things will be a bit different when you are thinking of children as "researcher" themselves (Children in participatory research). You are thinking of kind of an 'action research' in a modified version. All you need to do is to ensure fullest participation of the children in all aspects of the research process (preparing objectives, deciding methods and tools development,  level of involvement, field plan, sampling procedures and determination etc.

Hope it will was a bit helpful. Also the attached one might be in some assistance. 

Picture of Purvi Dass
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Purvi Dass - Friday, 29 August 2014, 12:39 PM

Thanks Tuhin for responding to Taniya's query. Your response is crisp and to the point. The ten page note of Unicef was indeed posed relevant questions before embarking in involving children in M&E process.

Since GF- I has been extended till 31st Aug 2014, we all shall know what Rajesh bhai has to say about Taniya's query as well as Masud's expectations of using simple language in explaining  ` Adult Education in PR'.

All the best,


Taniya Laizu Sumy, Manager- Curriculum and Material Development, SHIKHON Program, Save the Children
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Taniya Laizu Sumy - Saturday, 30 August 2014, 8:40 PM

Thank you Tuhin Bhai and Purovi di. The attachment will really help me to know about child participation in M&E. Some organizations as Save the Children International, Plan International work for the children with the full participation by them. Children as well as community get involved in child centred community development projects. Now children are directly expressing themselves through child parliament. I have some working experience on this. Hope to know more from Rajesh sir's discussion. In the mean time I will try to get some references too.

With regards


Picture of Purvi Dass
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Purvi Dass - Sunday, 31 August 2014, 7:16 AM

Great Taniya, Keep it up!!!!!

Picture of Md. Nazmul Haque Sardar
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Md. Nazmul Haque Sardar - Sunday, 31 August 2014, 3:41 PM

Where are the questions on unit-3 [as you mentioned that you will upload on 27 August]?

Where is the assignment-2 [quiz]


Picture of Purvi Dass
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Purvi Dass - Monday, 1 September 2014, 6:09 AM

Good question Nazmul,

A very intense discussions were going on in Guest Faculty Forum and it was extended till 31st Aug 2014, I thought the flow should not be broken and would upload the question today.

Wait for the announcement for `quiz forum is open'.

Your these two questions show your involvement in the course!!!

Thanks for reminder!!!

keep it up!!!!

All the best,

Picture of Md. Nazmul Haque Sardar
Re: Welcome to Unit 3!
by Md. Nazmul Haque Sardar - Monday, 1 September 2014, 8:54 AM

Thanks for your prompt responses.

We really appreciate your initiatives.