Participatory research

Participatory research - definition and explanations

In participatory health research (PHR) the goal is to maximize the participation of those whose life or work is the subject of the research in all stages of the research process. Such participation is the core, defining principle of PHR, setting this type of research apart from other approaches in the health field. Research is not done “on” people as passive subjects providing “data,” but “with” them to provide relevant information for improving their lives. The entire research process is viewed as a partnership between stakeholders which may include academic researchers; professionals in the fields of health care, education and social welfare; members of civil society; policy makers and others. The stakeholders decide which questions will be asked in the research, what the goals of the research are, how the research will be done and how the results will be used. PHR is rather a research paradigm than a research method. The research paradigm guides the research process. PHR relates to participatory action research (PAR), engaging people in making change for the better.

  • Would participatory (health) research benefit the aims of my study?
  • Is it feasible?
How to?

Get inspired by the guidelines on participatory research. Developed by researchers of the APH Health Behaviors & Chronic Diseases research program. Authors: Laura Belmon, Manou Anselma, Awani Balasooriyan, Mai Chin A Paw and Teatske Altenburg.