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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

Participatory Methods

This group hopes to create a space where ideas and experiences can be exchanged when using Participatory Methods to apply the Capability Approach. Members of the group come from different backgrounds but with similar questions: How can the use of participatory methods contribute to a better understanding of people's capabilities? Can we identify functionings and capabilities through participation? What kind of participatory activities can be used to capture the changes in capabilities? Should participatory methods be aimed at expanding people's capabilities? How do participatory methods impact on people's capabilities?

Some of our initial objectives are: to identify and clarify some of the operational challenges of using Participatory Methods in a Capability Approach framework, to illustrate how the real-life experiences of the poor - as depicted through participatory methods - could enrich our understanding of the actual dynamics of human capabilities and functionings, and to understand how participatory methods can contribute to the on going discussion of the relation between capabilities and structural conditions. New members from all backgrounds are welcome, from students to practitioners.

Download the group's bibliography here (updated Feb. 2020)

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Videos & Webinars

University Students as Storytellers: Youth Voices on Social Justice

In post-1994 South Africa, history continues to disfigure the social fabric and educational landscape. Slow-paced and uneven transformation, as well as challenges of power and voice, wealth, race and gender inequalities shape the day to day reality of the country. Public universities, too, face these challenges. Yet, with over 1.2 million students, universities can foster critical ways of thinking about challenging issues, enabling us to reimagine and reinvent possibilities and to co-construct knowledge. This webinar, organized by the Participatory Methods Thematic Group, focuses on youth at one South African university as storytellers. The members of the Youth Voices team will bring different biographies and varied experiences of voice, inclusion, and marginalisation through their visual individual and collective narratives.

HDCA Webinar 2021 Participatory Methods
121 minutes

Rethinking Participatory Research in the Pandemic Era

Panelists: Alex A. Frediani, University College London, and Melanie Walker, University of the Free State

In these times of the pandemic, for us as academics, researchers and practitioners who are carrying out our work using participatory approaches, the lockdowns, restrictions on travel, connectivity problems, and the declining availability of stakeholders has serious implications for the quality and the validity of the participatory inquiries and outcomes of our projects.

Through this discussion, we wish to create a collective learning space to come out with options and alternatives that could be adopted to stay true to the principles and processes of participatory research in the pandemic era. What are the frameworks within the capability approach that enable us to understand the present crisis through participatory research? What have been the lived experiences of the researchers in taking forward their participatory work? Is there scope for methodological negotiations and alternatives that could be recommended for participatory researchers to be able to do justice to their research agenda and objectives?

HDCA Webinar Participatory Methods HDCA Videos
122 minutes

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