chapter  6
29 Pages

Principles for Good Practice in Participatory Research: Reflecting on Lessons from the Field

ByRonnie Vernooy, Cynthia McDougall

In previous chapters our colleagues have described their experiences in exploring new conceptual and methodological grounds in participatory research (PR) in natural resource management (NRM), often as a complement to existing (‘traditional’) research from both the natural and social sciences. These explorations are producing new and exciting insights into promising alternatives for the management of natural resource systems, including crops, soils, water, trees and animals. These experiences are also resulting in the innovative adaptation of participatory research approaches. Venturing into this still relatively new research terrain of working for rural transformations, however, raises difficult questions about the research process. Researchers are faced with the challenge of critically assessing the kind(s) of participation and processes appropriate to the different stages of the research cycle. This expansion of the research domain and the new knowledge generated require that researchers must be able to identify what is ‘good practice’ in PR in NRM.