Community‐Based Participatory Research: Assessing the Evidence

Viswanathan, M., A. Ammerman, E. Eng, G. Garlehner, K.N. Lohr, D. Griffith, S. Rhodes, et al. 2004. “CommunityBased Participatory Research: Assessing the Evidence,” August.

Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) is a participatory approach to research that is meant to increase the value of studies for both researchers and the communities being studied. When done properly, CBPR creates bridges between scientist and communities through the use of shared knowledge and valuable experiences. The advantages of using this approach in research are explained. This is a summary of the work commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to do a review of the community-based participatory research and its role in the improvement of community health. Four key questions were identified to do this review. They included finding out the definition of community-based participatory research, methods of implementation, the intended outcomes of this approach, and the criteria that should be used to review community-based participatory approach in grant proposals. The report then discusses the answers to these questions based on the research done with community research partners, academic researchers and research financiers and through the use of different data sources. Recommendations for scientists planning to use community-based participatory approach in the future are given such as creating a balance between research methodologies and community collaboration.

Tactical Mapping: How Nonprofits Can Identify the Levers of Change

Johnson, Douglas A.  & Nancy L. Pearson, Tactical Mapping: How Nonprofits Can Identify the Levers of Change, The Nonprofit Quarterly 92 (2009)

Human rights tactical mapping is a method of visualizing the relationships and institutions that surround, receive benefit from, and sustain human-rights abuses. Mapping helps human rights advocates to plan possible intervention methods and to decide on the target audience. The main argument is that since multiple groups can use the tactical map for their target audiences and interventions the tactical map becomes a coordinating tool that is more comprehensive than when groups work independently. The article then outlines how the tactical mapping technique developed through a project by the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT). Tactical mapping helps human rights defenders to understand the complexity of relationships involved, potential targets for intervention, and potential allies and opponents. The article also outlines how to map relationships with simple tools at the grassroots level such as a paper with coloured pens and Post-its. Development in technological tools has made it easier to map the relationship between institutions and individuals. The tactical map provides not only a means to visualize the web of relationships in which human-rights abuses occur but also concrete new tactics to combat these violations.

The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding

Alston, Philip  & Sarah Knuckey, The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding: Challenges and Opportunities, in THE TRANSFORMATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FACT-FINDING (Philip Alston & Sarah Knuckey eds., 2015)

Fact-finding means gathering facts about instances of human rights abuse by governments and other organizations as a means of human rights advocacy. The main methodology employed here is legal intervention human rights organizations. With an increase in mechanisms that governments, nongovernmental organizations and private organizations use in fact-finding there is an increase in criticism of the methods and the interpretive techniques by objective observers. The authors thus argue that there is need for more research in the area of fact-finding missions in terms of what actually goes on in practice. This book does so by collecting a number of essays from authors who are experts in their fields and who are drawn from many disciplines such as international law, political science, and forensics. With less work done in the field of fact-finding the authors seek to find out the extent to which fact-finding missions have multiplied in recent years and the importance of the developments that have happened in fact-finding and changed how it is practiced as well as finding out if human rights fact-finding should be subjected to international shared rules.
Ethics: the origin of this project that led to the collection of these essays is the work done by the two editors in fact-finding missions as Special Rapporteurs in countries such as Brazil and Nigeria. In their work practical and ethical questions were constantly raised since it involved interviewing victims, witnesses, experts and government officials. The authors of the other essays also address issues of ethics in the book

Feminism and Method: Ethnography, Discourse Analysis, and Activist Research

Naples, Nancy A. (2003) Feminism and Method: Ethnography, Discourse Analysis, and Activist Research. New York: Routledge.

The text is divided into five parts, this book focuses on feminism in terms of methodology and the practice of reflective practice in research. It also covers activism in terms of empowerment and resistance as well as looking at the limits of participatory research for researchers using feminist methodology. Such questions that confront any researcher using the feminist approach is how to deal with the imbalance of power between the researcher and the researched, the responsibility that a researcher have for the research participants and the effects on participatory techniques on the analysis during research. The question of a distinctive feminist method of inquiry is addressed in the methodology section. By looking at feminist methodology as an approach of knowledge production the author makes recommendations on how to avoid exploitative research practices and how to counter inequities in the knowledge production process. The book is written in consultation with other feminist researchers and it draws from feminist research work by the author.

Feminist Methodology

Eichler, M. (1997) Feminist Methodology. Current Sociology, 45-2, 9-36

Feminist Methodology: this paper begins by looking at the question of the existence of a distinct feminist methodology. It thus looks at the various approaches from qualitative to quantitative and the theoretical orientations that influence these approaches. The author then looks at feminist research and its contribution to the discipline of Sociology. Feminist scholarship is defined as research aimed at the improvement of the status of women and is done by scholars who identify themselves as feminists. A historical background that led to the emergence of feminist research is discussed in context of the approaches that various feminist researchers took in doing research; some approaches were argued to be more feminist than others. Objectivity, the need for it -or not- and the form it manifests itself in feminist research is addressed. For objectivity in research is actualized under these four principles; recognized avenues for criticism, community response, shared standards, and equality of intellectual authority.

Feminist evaluation and research: theory and practice

Brisolara, S., Seigart, D., & SenGupta, S. (Eds.). (2014). Feminist evaluation and research: theory and practice. Guilford Publications. Chapter 2: pages 42-58.

In three sections this book focuses on Feminist Theory, feminist evaluation in practice and feminist research in practice. The chapters are written by different authors who focus on areas such as application of feminist theory, measuring gender inequality and perspectives on gender power. The book argues that there is need for feminist inquiry and action based on the current realities of increased social and economic disparities, use of rape and sexual violence against women as weapons of war, and the overrepresentation of women in poverty rates. A variety of feminist theories are discussed in detail with examples from the society. Some of them include sexuality theory, Race-Based feminist theory, and postcolonial theories. The question of what methodology to use, quantitative or qualitative, in feminist research is addressed in relation to the concept of objectivity. Key principles in feminist evaluation are addressed, two of the principles are ‘Knowledge is a powerful resource that serves an explicit or implicit purpose’ and ‘discrimination based on gender is systemic and structural.’

Under the Sign of Hope: Feminist Methodology and Narrative Interpretation

Bloom, L.R. (1988) Under the Sign of Hope: Feminist Methodology and Narrative Interpretation. Albany: SUNY Press

This book is about feminist research in terms of the relationship between the researcher and the researched as well as the aims of feminist research as compared to other approaches of research. Feminist research practices and human subjectivity suggest that feminist researchers need to be more thoughtful and critical about how they analyze and interpret personal narratives of other people. The book focuses on the possibilities and limitations of feminist research in terms of the researcher-participant relationship as well as how feminist narrative interpretations may create a context in which subjectivity can be engaged as a basis for the study of women’s lives. Issues that emerge in feminist methodology such as the use of personal narratives of women as sources of data are discussed in the book. In self-reflection the author argues that a feminist researcher is also open to critical scrutiny by herself as well as her readers and other researchers.