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From: Miriam Reddin Beegan [mailto:miriamreddin@...]
Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2000 6:29 PM
Subject: Participatory Learning and Action Workshop in Ireland
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Workshop in Participatory Research and Action/Qualitative Research
Ireland, October 7th-13th, 2000
GroundWork is offering a new two-part workshop, basic and advanced, for
managers, sector specialists and researchers working in international
development or donor organizations who want to learn more about how to do
and how to commission participatory and qualitative research on education,
health, microfinance or gender.
The workshop will be held October 7th -13th 2000 in a seaside village on the
west coast of Ireland. Registration closes when 18 participants have been
selected. Days 1 and 2 (Saturday Oct 7th & Sunday Oct 8th) are for people
who have little experience of participatory research, and who want to be
brought up to speed. Attendees at days 1 and 2 then proceed to the advanced
The advanced course, on days 3-7 (Monday Oct 9th - Friday Oct 13th inclusive)
is for those who want to look at recent developments, and to explore the
kinds of practical issues that managers and senior consultants face. You
can register for the advanced course alone if you already have a strong
record of experience in participatory research.
GroundWork is an international consortium of consultants who specialize in
approaches for bridging national and local perspectives to create meaningful
policy and more effective local development. One of its strengths is the
creation of research and design tools, both for grass-root and for high-tech
applications in development. GroundWork has conducted many training
workshops in participatory research and other research approaches in Africa,
Asia, the United States and Europe. On previous courses, participants have
included senior staff from the World Bank, UNICEF, USAID, CARE, IFAD, Save
the Children, Ipas, Catholic Relief Services, and universities, among
What will the workshop cover?
Workshop sessions and field sessions in a local setting will be used to
(a) what participatory research and action is, and how to do it
(b) the theoretical underpinnings of participatory research approaches
(c) how to use sampling and data aggregation to get large-scale results
(d) how to use participatory research in organizations to make practical and
(e) what are the organizational requirements for using participatory
approaches to produce information
(f) how to commission a participatory research team and how to write terms
(g) where and how to use participatory research in the project cycle, and as
part of research projects (this segment includes participatory monitoring
(h) when participatory research is useful, and when other ways of producing
information would be better
(i) how to design a participatory research project, beginning to end
(j) how to help communities to implement some of the results through their
own resources and
(k) how to apply what you have learned to your own sector.
In addition to the common course materials, each participant will receive a
manual showing how to carry out a sample participatory learning and action
project in his/her chosen sector, education, health, gender or microfinance.
If you have not done participatory research before or have limited
experience, you should attend days 1 and 2 to learn the basics and their
practical application. You will then be prepared to join the sessions on
basics of participatory research: identifying problems and assessing
If you have done some participatory research before, you should attend days
3-7, where you will be able to add some additional qualitative research
techniques to your repertoire, consider theoretical issues, improve your
skills in design of participatory projects and be able to handle issues that
cause practical problems for practitioners, such as data aggregation,
sampling, analysis of qualitative data, "scaling up" and other
organizations and participatory research
participatory research in the project cycle
development of indicators through participatory research
other qualitative techniques: focus groups, force field analysis, network
analysis, emic research
conventional techniques and where they can be integrated
round table discussion
preparation for field trip
field trip debriefing
data analysis: low tech
data analysis: high tech
going beyond research: community mobilization
developing your own project: a practical exercise
What will the workshop equip you to do?
At the end of the workshop you should be able to
- commission participatory research and prepare useful terms of reference
- determine whether, where and how you can use participatory research in a
project or in a larger piece of research
- join a participatory exercise or project as a well-informed member of the
Who should attend this workshop?
We welcome people who want to learn from us and from fellow participants in
a constructive, practical environment. Our target audience is
- people working in national and international bodies, including government
and non-governmental organizations, who need to be able to carry out
participatory research or understand enough about it to commission other
people to do so.
- graduate students using participatory research in development-related
Who should not attend this workshop?
Who should not take this course? GroundWork welcomes all serious learners,
but there are people who need a different course:
1) the professional "workshopper" who simply moves from one workshop to
another as part of a career process. A serious aim of our courses is that
participants will use what they learn to become more informed practitioners
or commissioners of participatory research.
2) people who want to be trainers. This workshop is not a training of
The course will be facilitated by senior experts in participatory research
from GroundWork. The two major facilitators for the workshop will be
Eileen Kane, an anthropologist who has extensive experience in participatory
approaches to education and health projects throughout the world. She is
the author of Doing Your Own Research (Boyars 1993), Seeing for Yourself:
Handbook for Research in Girls' Education (World Bank, 1995) and co-author
of Doing Your Own Research, 2ND. Ed. (Boyars 2000) and specializes in
research design, participatory research and planning, and research training
Mary O'Reilly-de Brún, an anthropologist who has extensive experience of
applying participatory research to gender issues and to education. She is
co-author of Doing Your Own Research (London: Boyars, 2000) and has produced
gender and on participatory learning and action for a wide variety of
national and international organizations. She is currently directing a
government-sponsored nation-wide participatory research project for women in
These facilitators have also collaborated on a number of participatory
tools, including the videos Groundwork, Two-Way PLA, and Invisible Voices.
Venue and cost
The workshop will take place in Kinvara, an attractive village on Galway Bay
on the west coast of Ireland in a comfortable modern hotel that is one of
the largest thatched buildings in Europe. (Participants who wish to combine
this course with a break will find the area rich in scenic locations such as
the Cliffs of Moher; sites of interest to naturalists such as the Burren, a
world-famous limestone plain; archaeological and historical sites, fishing,
championship golf courses, music and literary connections including the
homes of William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory; and the renowned traditional
music community of Doolin, County Clare.)
The cost of the five day advanced course (days 3-7 only) is $1800.
The cost for the entire seven-day course is US $ 2100.
Costs include tuition, course materials, 6/8 nights' accommodation (private
room and bath, breakfast and dinner) and a closing dinner in a
seventh-century Irish castle. Because of the participatory, hands-on nature
of the learning activities, the course is limited to eighteen participants.
To apply, please complete the form at the end of this document and return to
CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: July 25th 2000
FOLLOWING ACCEPTANCE, YOUR PAYMENT IS DUE BY SEPTEMBER 1st 2000
For more information, contact workshop@...
Application Form for Participatory Learning and Action Workshop in Ireland, October 7th -13th,2000.
address for postal correspondence
daytime phone number
evening phone number
Please supply us with a brief statement about your experience, interests,
etc., which will help us in determining whether this workshop can help to
meet your needs.
If you wish to attend the advanced course only (days 3-7), please give an
account of your experience, including the participatory research techniques
you have used, their applications in the projects you worked on, and the
After receiving your application, we will inform you of your acceptance on
the workshop, and we will then require payment in full. You will receive
details of the payment procedure, and an information pack containing travel,
visa, and other helpful information.