Participatory Action Research and Disaster Risk

Authored by: Michael K. McCall , Graciela Peters-Guarin

The Routledge Handbook of Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415590655
eBook ISBN: 9780203844236
Adobe ISBN: 9781136918698


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The focus of this chapter is participatory research for action that incorporates and legitimates the knowledge and capacities of local communities (see Chapter 59), households, authorities and other local actors engaged in disaster risk reduction (DRR). The purpose of participatory action research (PAR) is to bring local knowledge and capacities into the same arena as the formally accepted knowledge of scientific researchers, policy-makers and planners, and to help establish a dialogue and co-production of ‘hybrid’ knowledge that combines local and outside specialist knowledge. Wadsworth (1998) defines PAR as ‘research which involves all relevant parties … by critically reflecting on the historical, political, cultural, economic, geographic and other contexts … [I]t aims to be active co-research, by and for those to be helped’.

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