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Centre for Social Justice and Community Action

Events & News

'Developing Policy and Practice Through Participatory Research'

Wednesday 18th May 2016, 9:30am - 1:00pm

Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan's College, Durham University. Dr Andrew Orton, Durham University

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. For those outside the University, please contact to reserve a place.

For any queries about content, please contact:

This workshop is designed for researchers who want to find ways to involve policy-makers and practitioners in research that helps to develop policy and practice. Developing participatory approaches which involve policy-makers and practitioners can be an effective way of both carrying out and improving the impact of research. However, it can also involve negotiating significant methodological, ethical and practical challenges when trying to use such approaches as the basis for developing policy and/or practice. This workshop will draw on the experience of researchers who have negotiated these challenges, providing case studies as examples to stimulate reflection on what can help improve the effectiveness and impact of such approaches, and the barriers it can face, as well as exploring how these might be overcome. It will also provide opportunities to reflect on learning that may improve any projects of this nature that you are considering, planning, designing or carrying out.

This session is designed to complement the session on Participatory Action Research 2, by providing a specific focus on the relationship between participatory research, policy-making and practitioner development processes. Staff are welcome to attend either or both sessions; they will include different content, but neither is a pre-requisite for the other. A basic prior understanding of participatory research approaches may be helpful to those attending this session (e.g. from participants previously attending the session on Participatory Action Research 1), but this is not essential.

‘Methods in Action: Developing PAR in Post-Conflict Zones’ Zahra Hussain, Laajverd and PhD Postgraduate Durham University Friday 20th May 2016, Friday, 3pm – 6pm Venue: Room W010, Geography Department, Durham University, Lower Mountjoy, South Road, Durham. DH1 3LE, UK

This workshop is aimed at developing participatory research methods and techniques for carrying out research in a particular post-conflict zone in Pakistan. The research is focused on understanding how Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) have endured conflict and crisis and how they are negotiating with reconstruction and rehabilitation of their social, economic and cultural lives. While in theory adaptation of research methods to the specific social, economic, political and cultural context of research sites are of primary importance to PAR, practical sides of adapting PAR to its geographical context poses a number of challenges. This workshop is a unique opportunity to develop PAR methods for a specific research context i.e. the Swat Valley, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

'How to be Heard? Collaborative Research with Arts and Drama.' Ruth Raynor, Durham Geography June 17th 12pm-5pm St. Mary's Heritage Centre in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. This event is an opportunity for those working collaboratively with arts (including sound, music, digital) or drama for research to share their skills and experiences and learn from others who work in and/or across University and community settings. We are looking for talks or alternative forms of presentation that might address: what can be understood to count as research? What kinds of negotiations have to take place in creative research collaborations? What funding opportunities and threats does this kind of work promote? What in particular is enabled by creative approaches to collaborative research? How and where does this research circulate, and what prevents that circulation?

Register to attend and make any queries by e-mail to: Places are limited so please book promptly! For venue access and travel information visit:

7th and 8th July, Participatory Action Research Course, St, Mary’s College, Durham University (open to doctoral students and community organisations only).This two-day course is designed to develop understanding and skills in the theory and practice of participatory action research (PAR). BOOKING ESSENTIAL. For bookings and further details, go to:

7th July, 18.00-20.30,DILEMMAS CAFÉ: Using dialogue to explore ethical challenges in participatory research, St Mary’s College, Durham, DH1 3LR. BOOKING ESSENTIAL. For bookings and further details, go to:

8th July, 10.30-16.00, New directions in participatory research ethics: Perspectives from UK and USA, A one-day workshop, St Mary’s College (Kenworthy Room), Durham, UK, DH1 3LR. BOOKING ESSENTIAL. For bookings and further details, go to: