ICCO Cooperation strongly believes that knowledge generation should be a participatory process that supports social change and learning. Consequently, Action Research – a participatory, democratic process where stakeholders collaborate in the analysis of real-life problems and develop practical solutions – represents a natural choice for ICCO, as opposed to more conventional research methods.
ICCO has recently completed two very different Action Research projects. The first was an internal project that sought to investigate organisational change processes within ICCO, whereas the second looked at the issue of power in multi-stakeholder processes and was undertaken in collaboration with a number of other organisations. However, ICCO encountered similar practical issues in both projects, particularly around the quality of participation in and ownership of the Action Research.
This paper reflects on these issues and outlines some thoughts and lessons that might be of use for other international development practitioners and researchers planning on undertaking Action Research.
Praxis-Note-63 - Overcoming the participation challenge - Hettie Walters and Rowan Popplewell