These guidelines for participatory research have been written as a product from the working group on participatory research within the research program Health Behaviors and Chronic Diseases of the Amsterdam Public Health research institute.

With these guidelines we aim to provide a basis for academic researchers interested in participatory research. It can help to decide if participatory research can contribute to their work. By sharing our experiences with participatory research, we provide practical tools and advice for academic researchers who would like to start with participatory research.

We do want to highlight that these guidelines are not complete and do not suffice as a reference book or educational tool to become a participatory researcher. We wanted to create a document that is manageable to read and we therefore refer to additional literature, but we do not explain its content in detail. We also don’t cover every aspect or type of participatory research, but give a more general overview of important components and characteristics of participatory research. We invite more experienced participatory researchers to contact the authors if they would like to add (to) a chapter.

We strongly recommend aspired participatory researchers to join courses on participatory research such as offered by the School for Participation and Seven Senses and/or to join experienced participatory research in their work to learn by doing.

Content of these guidelines

In the first chapter we explain what participatory research consists of, what the ethical principles are and the terminology that exist within the field. In the second chapter we explain when and for whom participatory research is appropriate. In chapter three we dive more into the practical side of participatory research; how to prepare and conduct participatory research. In chapter four we describe options for the evaluation of participatory research and in chapter five how to write and publish about participatory research.

Chapter 1: What is participatory research?

Chapter 2: When is participatory research appropriate?

Chapter 3: How to conduct participatory research in practice?

Chapter 4: How to evaluate participatory research?

Chapter 5: How to write/publish about participatory research?