By now you must have prepared a plan to implement some of the learnings from face to face programme. You must have started reading through units 5&6 as well.
Unit 5 is about participatory methods of analyzing, disseminating and utilizing knowledge. The PR approach recognizes the agency of people. When people actively engage in the reflective processes and engage in knowledge generation, they are able to analyse their situations and take actions accordingly; and also disseminate the findings useful to the community in myriad ways.
The use of participatory approaches to analysis, dissemination and the utilisation of research is based on the idea of “understanding the problem and its solutions through the eye of the community”.
Communication is the key methodological concern in participatory research. Through dialogue, people come together and participate in all crucial aspects of investigation, educational and collective action. It is through talking to one another and doing things together that people get connected, and this connectedness leads to shared meaning. The creative combinations of written, oral and visual communication add new dimensions to the understanding, analysing and solution of the problem.
However, the use of participatory methods also entails challenges since it may give rise to a lot of emotions and expectations amongst the community, but it may be essential in some situations to bring about the critical processes of thinking and reflection or to discuss sensitive topics or bring about group solidarity and ownership, all of which is essential for the larger transformational changes that PR aims to do.
Unit 6 focuses on popular participatory tools used in development practice. Four different case examples viz., Participatory Enumeration, Participatory Town Planning, Popular Theatre, and Participatory Video, illustrate the variety of contexts, subject matter, techniques, research and organising methods in participatory research. These tools offer novel ways of generating data and constructing and contrasting alternative perspectives through self-aware reflection and promote action for change.
The unit is also important to understand the processes in participatory research. This content would help in designing PR project in a community.
Read the units and additional readings. Reflect on the significance of participatory approaches for analysis, dissemination and utilisation of research in the context of your work.
All the very best,