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Participatory Action Research

Action, or participatory action research stresses research ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ people. It is based on the idea that all people are able to conduct inquiries into their own lives and conditions, make use of new information, and make reasonable decisions from this to base future action on, so as to improve those same lives and conditions.


​Action research is a ‘learn by doing approach’. Through it, Praxis facilitates communities affected by an issue to explore it to a greater depth than they may previously been able to, and mobilise towards acting on that issue. Praxis has facilitated action research on an array of themes across various sectors including HIV, education, rural and urban development, post-emergency reconstruction and fair trade, to name a few.


Supporting Action Research Groups on Child Labour

As a part of the Child-Labour-Free Jaipur initiative, 20 fellows and volunteers from four selected wards of Jaipur were trained on the use of PRA tools for community mobilisation and data collection methods. One hundred and fifty community members were engaged through action research groups in actively addressing community concerns and three city-level thematic groups were formed with community members to take up issues of child labour. Information centres were opened in each ward to provide community inputs about government schemes and display relevant evidence gathered during the action research process.

Strengthening Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms

An action research was initiated for the emergence of community-led mechanisms of child protection in village clusters in Dhanbad and Khunti districts of Jharkhand. The facilitators and community mobilisers associated with local NGOs mentors were mentored. During the first phase, the action research circles were supported to understand the harms faced by children from the perspective of local communities and to plan suitable interventions under their stewardship. The second phase envisaged deepening the inter-community collaborative action within the clusters. The process broad-based the agenda of community ownership and created the need for common minimum universal rights of children in the village, impacting at least 1000 families.

Further information: to find out more about how you can use participatory action research to improve the quality and sustainability of your work, please contact

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