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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Webinar on the Participatory Research Capability Cube

The HDCA Education and Participatory Methods Thematic Groups invite you to a joint webinar on:
The Participatory Research Capability Cube
By Prof Alejandra Boni, Universitat Politécnica de València, Spain
Thursday November 5th, 2015
3:00 to 4:00pm in Dublin + London (GMT)
4:00 to 5:00pm in Spain + Bloemfontein (GMT+1)
7:30 to 8:30pm in New Delhi (GMT +4.5)
10:00 to 11:00am in New York (GMT – 5)
Participants must register to participate in this webinar. Details on how to participate will be sent to you a few days before the webinar. To register, receive access to a copy of the text and for any question about the webinar, please contact Veronica Crosbie at by Thursday 29th October 2015

The Webinar: The Participatory Research Capability Cube
In this chapter (of a forthcoming book co-written with Melanie Walker) we want to focus on Participatory Action Research (PAR) to explore its potential as a knowledge-generating process, but also as a way to generate some shared principles or ideas that could be common to all research activity, which is concerned with advancing human development and the public-good function of the university. We will locate PAR in our contemporary university and, after that, we will outline the main characteristics of an emancipatory vision of PAR. Then, we will explore the relations between PAR and participatory approaches of human development and the capability approach and develop our own theoretical framework to analyze and inform PAR processes from a human development and capability perspective. We have named it the ‘participatory research capability cube’ due to its tri-dimensional perspective: 1) the expansion of the capabilities and agency of co-researchers; 2) the characteristics of the knowledge produced; and, 3) the democratic processes that PAR could enable during and beyond the research process. We then apply this framework to understand a PAR process in Spain in 2014. We have selected this example because it combines research and teaching and demonstrates an innovative approach to PAR methods based on participatory digital technologies. Also, because different participants from all across Europe took part in an interesting and multicultural exchange. Our aim is not to conduct an exhaustive evaluation of the research process; rather, we want to explore the different potentialities that this understanding of PAR could bring.

Speaker’s Bio: Alejandra Boni is Associate Professor at the Universitat Politécnica de València ( since 2009 and recently she joined as a research fellow the INGENIO Institute (, an international institute devoted to innovation and knowledge management studies. She has been visiting professor and invited lecture in several prestigious universities and research centre In Europe, North and Latina America. She has been appointed recently as Honorary Professor of the University of the Free State in South Africa. In the last 15 years, Prof. Boni has co-authored more than 30 referred papers in the field of development studies and higher education. She is also co-editor of the book Universities and Human Development. A New Imaginary for the University of the XXI Century (Routledge, 2013). She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities and co-convenor of the thematic Education Group of the HDCA.

The webinar will be moderated by Veronica Crosbie, Sonja Loots, and Andrea Ferrannini

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