Participatory Techniques

Bradford, L. E., Zagozewski, R., & Bharadwaj, L. A. (2016). Perspectives of water and health using Photovoice with youths living on reserve. The Canadian Geographer / Le Géographe Canadien,61(2), 178-195.

This scholarly article details the process of conducting Photovoice exercises with indigenous communities. To learn about the relationships between water and health, young community members were given disposable cameras and directed to photograph things on their reserve that reminded them of wellness and water. The result is a collection of photographs with annotations, directly shaped by young people in a collaborative effort with researchers. (EG)

Brown, G., Strickland-Munro, J., Kobryn, H., & Moore, S. A. (2017). Mixed methods participatory GIS: An evaluation of the validity of qualitative and quantitative mapping methods. Applied Geography,79, 153-166. doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.12.015

Techniques: participatory mapping, participatory GIS. Context: ID’ing marine and coastal values in the Kimberly region of Australia. This is a good example of a project that uses both qualitative and quantitative mapping methods concurrently. (LK)

Brown, G., & Weber, D. (2012). Measuring change in place values using public participation GIS (PPGIS). Applied Geography,34, 316-324. doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.12.007

Techniques: participatory GIS. Context: A study of landscape values for Kangaroo Island, South Australia. This is another example of using qualitative and quantitative mapping methods concurrently. (LK)

Castleden, H., Garvin, T., & Nation, H. F. (2008). Modifying Photovoice for community-based participatory Indigenous research. Social Science & Medicine,66(6), 1393-1405.

This article details a research project which utilized community-based participatory research to revise the invasive tactics of researchers when visiting indigenous communities. Many scholars in recent decades have left native reserves after a research project only for the results to never be shared with the participant group. Community members were engaged through participant-employed photography and Photovoice to have more input in the discussion of their culture. (EG)

Chiumento, A., Rahman, A., Machin, L., & Frith, L. (2018). Mediated research encounters: methodological considerations in cross-language qualitative interviews. Qualitative Research, 18(6), 604-622.


Chiemento et. all takes a view of community based participatory research through looking at globalization as a driver for its increase in popularity. The conclusions in this article came from a study of three post-conflict communities in South Asia. Globalization is leading to more cross-cultural research projects which can raise many considerations within the research. These include the capacity of researchers to “translate” the experience through interpreters, which can create a lack of authenticity. Issues regarding positionality is another one brought up by the authors, as interviews are a performance and the power structures are vital. This can be applied to post-conflict communities across the world. HJ

Gamble, J. (2017). Experimental Infrastructure: Experiences in Bicycling in Quito,

Ecuador. International Journal of Urban & Regional Research, 41(1), 162–180.

This article takes an ethnographic approach to understanding the interconnected relationship of  Ecuadorians, specifically in Quito, and their bicycle routes. This ethnographer uses several different types of methods including a diary, to document the entaglments happening between humana and non-human relations. Useful for someone doing a modern study on human and non-human relations, as well as an example of ethnographic research. EK

Gould, M. R. (2013). “Sonic City: Digital Storytelling and the Study of Popular Culture.” Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy, 24, No(1-2), 85-100

In her article, Mary Rachel Gould explores the importance of qualitative fieldwork, digital storytelling and popular culture, learning to analyze and understand cultural diversity, and practicing advanced qualitative research skills. She discusses the difficulties and importance of digital storytelling combing images, text, sound, audio narration, video, and/or music. In this article, a soundscape is defined as an “audio recording or a performance of sound, without words or narration, telling the story of a particular place or experience”. Gould provides examples of soundscape projects that students would complete to practice the methods discussed. This article would be particularly useful for students interested in learning and practicing methods of digital storytelling. VC

Janes, J. E. (2016). Democratic encounters? Epistemic privilege, power, and community-based participatory action research. Action Rsearch, 14(1), 72-87.

Janes’ article takes a post-colonial analysis of participation, with a focus on the systemic privilege that is held in academia through literary review. Community based participatory action research in the authors opinion is becoming geared to “overresearched” groups due to the space between researchers and groups often used for CBPAR, such as immigrants and minorities. In the future CBPAR should theorize the distance between the two groups, and make transparency clearer in researcher participant relationships. Application of these ideas are strong for research that has been conducted before, to make sure the outcomes are unique. HJ

Lee, S. K., Sulaiman-Hill, C. M. R., & Thompson, S. C. (2014). Overcoming language barriers in community-based research with refugee and migrant populations: options for using bilingual workers. BMC International Health & Human Rights, 14(1), 1-22

Language barriers are a growing issue in participatory research, and Lee et. all are working on ways to make that less of an issue for researchers. Lee found that using bilingual research assistants is a cost-effective and strong way to make sure all populations can be accounted for in research. The article uses a project conducted in Australia that dealt with female migrant workers in 40 different language backgrounds. The project would not have succeeded without bilingual assistants, as interpreters for that many languages often goes beyond a budget, and can be applied to similar projects. This allows for more comprehensive data, and provides more meaning to community voices. HJ

Mayfield, J. S., & Butler, J. (2017). Moving from Pictures to Social Action: An Introduction to Photovoice as a Participatory Action Tool. New Directions for Adult & Continuing Education, 2017(154), 49–59.

This journal chapter is a general introduction and overview of Photovoice, providing various situations or projects where it might prove useful. Also included are many details on how it can be implemented and how a research project can benefit from the introduction of Photovoice. For instance, researchers used Photovoice to document the experiences of community health advisors as they connect with people around them. (EG)

McKeown, J., Clarke, A., Ingleton, C., & Repper, J. (2010). Actively involving people with dementia in qualitative research. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19(13–14), 1935–1943.

McKeown et al. used a multiple case study approach to explore the implementation and impact of gaining meaningful and continuous consent from research participants, valuing their opinions on the methods used, and ensuring they participate in all decisions about their involvement. This article might be useful for a researcher interested in an approach that allows people with dementia and their caregivers opportunities to become more actively involved in research and allows their voices to be heard about the research topic. B.F.

Reinschmidt, K. M., Maez, P., Iuliano, J. E., & Nigon, B. M. (2019). Using Active Learning Strategies Linked to CBPR Principles in a Semester-Long Class Project to Teach Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health. Pedagogy in Health Promotion, 5(1), 36–44.

These researchers used community-based participatory research (CBPR) in a research methods class focused on public health. By combining traditional classroom assignments with a service learning component of CBPR, students were able to learn a great amount about research in health services. This article might be useful for the those working in public health who are interested in incorporating qualitative methods like CBPR, or those teaching qualitative methods. (AG)

Ronzi, S., Pope, D., Orton, L., & Bruce, N. (2016). Using photovoice methods to explore older peoples perceptions of respect and social inclusion in cities: Opportunities, challenges, and solutions. SSM – Population Health,2, 732-745.

This is another article focusing on Photovoice, learning from urban community members. Researching the effects of urbanization on elderly communities, people from four distinct areas of Liverpool, UK were included in the exercise to record their feelings of social inclusion. This article is a good example of Photovoice being used to answer specific questions. (EG)

Ronzi, S., Puzzolo, E., Hyseni, L., Higgerson, J., Stanistreet, D., Hugo, M., Bruce, N., Pope, D. (2019). Using photovoice methods as a community-based participatory research tool to advance uptake of clean cooking and improve health: The LPG adoption in Cameroon evaluation studies. Social Science & Medicine, 228, 30-40.

These researchers used Photovoice and NVivo in a community-based participatory research (CBPR) context. They studied household air pollution in Cameroon and community perceptions of liquified petroleum gas, a cleaner alternative to the biomass that is a heavy polluter and is widely used for cooking. This article might be useful for researchers interested in CBPR as a way to improve living conditions in a community. (AG)

Vaughn, L., Jacquez, F., Lindquist-Grantz, R., Parsons, A., & Melink, K. (2017). Immigrants as Research Partners: A Review of Immigrants in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 19(6), 1457-1468.

This article that deals with immigrants through CBPAR and reflects on how this method has been increasing in use among immigrant groups, and the outcomes of that. The authors analyzed 161 scholaraly articles that used this method to come up with their findings. The increase of immigrant involvement in qualitative is synonymous with an increase of rigor within research, which comes with unique challenges. This kind of research is making an orientation to research farther than specific research methods, as CBPAR is more of a general, interpretive technique. Special attention in CBPAR must be geared towards partnership formation, maintenance, and community benefits. HJ

Wamba, N. G. (2017). The challenges of participation in doing community-based participatory action research. Lessons from the Kwithu Project. Action Research, 15(2), 198-213.

This article focused a study that looked at the ability to learn English in schools in a village in Malawi. The author emphasized the challenges that arise in participatory research, such as the struggles people have to participate publically in non-western countries. Ideas such as democratic western countries hold a lot of trust in their citizens to engage, whereas in countries such as Malawi that is not the norm, and participation here is a continuum of the tyrannical self-mobilization the people face. The solution seemed to be a creation of PAR studios, safe spaces for participants to work with the researcher in participatory methods. This information is useful for working with marginalized populations that are not familiar with participation for research purposes. HJ

Ballard, H. L., Dixon, C. G., & Harris, E. M. (2017). Youth-focused citizen science: Examining the role of environmental science learning and agency for conservation. Biological Conservation, 208, 65-75. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.024 (SS)

Berbés-Blázquez, M. (2012). A Participatory Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing in Rural Costa Rica Using Photo-Voice. Environmental Management49(4), 862–875. (SS)

Cooper, N., Brady, E., Steen, H., & Bryce, R. (2016). Aesthetic and spiritual values of ecosystems: Recognising the ontological and axiological plurality of cultural ecosystem ‘services’. ScienceDirect, 21(B), 218-229. doi: (SS)

Nahuelhual, L., F. Benra, F. Rojas, G. Ignacio Díaz, and A. Carmona. (2016). Mapping social values of ecosystem services: What is behind the map? Ecology and Society 21(3):24. (SS)

Pettorelli, N; Gliozzo, G; Haklay, M. (2016). Using Crowdsourced imagery to detect cultural ecosystem services in South Wales, UK. Ecology and Society: A c21(3), Article 6. 10.5751/ES-08436-210306. (SS)