Participatory research methodologies have been used since the 1970s as a tool to garner accurate information about communities in which development practitioners operate. Their usefulness as a collection of research techniques has been evident in academic disciplines such as politics, sociology, anthropology and economics, among others. This informative text assesses the use of participatory methods as a research tool in the contexts of development and reconstruction after conflict and disasters by identifying cross-cutting themes and establishing a comparative lessons-learned framework that can help inform future uses of them, both for practitioners and researchers. More importantly, rather than adopting a prescriptive perspective, this book provides a critical analysis of such methodologies. Specifically, the reader will benefit from the collation of the experiences of those who utilize participatory research methods in different countries and contexts, and from different academic and practitioner perspectives.
Dr Alpaslan Ã–zerdem, Professor, Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, The Enterprise Centre, ECG.2, Coventry University Technology Park, Coventry, UK and Richard Bowd, University of York, UK.
'...an extremely useful addition to the literature on research methodology, and provides excellent guidance for PhD students, academic researchers and policy makers who are interested in community-level research. The range of cases - from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe - means that the work is comprehensive and will be a "must read" for those about to embark on fieldwork.' Roger Mac Ginty, University of St Andrews, UK 'This book is to be commended for providing the first comprehensive, critical review of methods in this complex field. It covers a wide variety of environments, situations and techniques. The result is not only a compendium of valuable research experience but also an authoritative guide to a broad range of participatory methods.' David Alexander, University of Florence, Italy 'Unlike other volumes of collected essays Ã–zerdem and Bowd's collection provides both depth and conjunctive elements... each article raises universal questions and issues that need to be considered in planning and carrying out research projects. Another quality that makes this volume worth reading is that it specifically raises awareness of the challenges that are involved in obtaining conflict-sensitive data. This is a thought provoking volume that addresses both, problems of research methods, as well as ethical issues, and is recommendable for researchers using participatory methods in development, post-disaster and post-conflict environments. Overall, this volume promises to be a very valuable resource for participatory-oriented researchers from various academic disciplines.' Journal of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict