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What are feminist and participatory principles in research?

Feminist and participatory principles in research (FPAR) are approaches that challenge traditional power dynamics, promote inclusivity, and aim to create more equitable and democratic research processes.

FPAR recognises the importance of addressing gender inequalities and examining how social structures and power relations affect knowledge production. They emphasise the need to include diverse perspectives and experiences, particularly those of marginalised individuals and groups. Feminist research often involves giving voice to those who have been historically silenced or underrepresented, and it aims to uncover and challenge gender biases and stereotypes.

Participatory principles in research advocate for active involvement and collaboration with all stakeholders, including community members, activists, and experts. The principles acknowledge that knowledge is not solely produced by researchers, but also resides within the lived experiences of individuals and communities.

Participatory research seeks to empower participants and ensure their meaningful engagement throughout the research process, from identifying research questions to analysing and disseminating findings.

Both feminist and participatory principles prioritise ethical considerations, such as informed consent, respect for autonomy, and confidentiality. They aim to create research that is relevant, responsive, and useful to the communities being studied, and they challenge hierarchical relationships between researchers and participants.

Overall, these principles promote a more inclusive, democratic, and socially just approach to research, giving voice to marginalised groups and fostering a deeper understanding of complex social issues.

At The SCL Agency, we are passionate about using creative participatory methods within research, and also teaching creative participatory research methods, to remove barriers to participation across all groups and communities and create sustainable platforms for positive change.

If you would like to build participatory methods into your project or would like to strengthen capacity within your team, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a chat about a tailored approach to meet your requirements.

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