Participatory Research (PR), referred to as a “democratic practice of research,” is concerned with unequal power dynamics in the research process. The approach stems from the belief that experiential knowledge holds the epistemological key to unlocking the methods and strategies for producing social change within communities, through collective participation, engaged dialogue and inquiry aimed at finding relevant actions for social problems. By using examples of youth-led PR projects in Nepal, the US and Iran, this presentation attempts to draw insights relevant to “a worldwide community…learning to read its immediate reality, analyse its possibilities, and apply methods and instruments of the Five Year Plan.”
Shabnam Koirala-Azad is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of International and Multicultural Education in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. Her research explores collaborative methods of educational research, human rights education and social change. She is co-founder of the first graduate program in human rights education in the United States.