Nigrini, Melissa (2009). "Parents at Play; Participation and Empowerment in Arts-Based Development Research in Two Communities of Peru" Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

Effective development should respond to and improve the lives of people and to do so, it must promote their active participation and lead to empowerment. This paper discusses the use of participatory arts-based research in a comparative study on child participation in the highlands and coast of Peru. The experience demonstrates the potential of arts-based research methodology both in the quality of information it gathers and in the possibilities for participation and empowerment that it offers. The methodology explicitly values the experience, perceptions and desires of the beneficiaries. They are considered active subjects, experts who participate throughout the research process of data collecting, analyzing and proposing through the use of accessible and engaging artistic activities. Moving away from ‘prescriptive’ development, this methodology holds a constructive and respectful position towards development. This approach is essential for effective and sustainable development and should be fostered through regular use of participatory development methodologies.