Working on the sustainability of local communities with a "community-engaged" research methodology

Mulligan, M and Nadarajah, Y 2008, 'Working on the sustainability of local communities with a "community-engaged" research methodology', Local Environment, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 81-94.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Working on the sustainability of local communities with a "community-engaged" research methodology
Author(s) Mulligan, M
Nadarajah, Y
Year 2008
Journal name Local Environment
Volume number 13
Issue number 2
Start page 81
End page 94
Total pages 14
Publisher Routledge
Abstract The Globalism Institute at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in Melbourne is conducting research on local responses to globalisation across 10 local communities in seven different countries. The project's "community-engaged research methodology" was developed first in the Hamilton region in southwest Victoria, where staff from the university have been working in community partnerships for nearly 20 years. This research methodology differs from action research in that it sustains a clear distinction between the knowledge and skills of "outside" researchers and the hard-won local knowledge of community members. It is based on respectful dialogue and a clear commitment to maintain relationships for a matter of years rather than weeks. It involves the creation of "spaces for engagement" that can lead to multiple, sometimes unexpected, outcomes. It integrates a range of research methods (including surveys, story collection, strategic conversations, photo-narrative techniques, and research journals) that generate rich data to be used (subject to consent) by both community-based and university-based researchers. The research methods are linked to forms of analysis that relate local experiences to broader social processes. Community-engaged research takes time and patience but it can ensure good feedback and support mechanisms, good-quality data, locally relevant research outcomes and a process that can be convivial for all involved.
Subject Land Use and Environmental Planning
Keyword(s) community
knowledge
research
partnerships
DOI - identifier 10.1080/13549830701581911
ISSN 1354-9839
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