Appraising and funding participatory research in health promotion

M. Anne George, Mark Daniel, Lawrence W. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Participatory action research combines research, education and social action. Each of these elements reflects health education research and practice. Indeed, health education, health promotion and participatory research have converged, in these respects. Participatory research is well suited to the philosophies and theories underpinning community-based health education and health promotion. The nature of participatory research is such that funding agencies, especially those awarding research funds, tend to be challenged in their attempts to assess proposals. This is true at least for those agencies operating under traditional criteria for reviewing standards, which may not be appropriate for participatory research. As well, it may reflect a broader lack of common understanding about the processes and expectations, the apparent untidiness of projects (comparing with traditional research) which by their nature offer no standard methods, deadlines, procedures or predetermined outcome measures. The Study of Participatory Research in Health Promotion [1], commissioned by the Royal Society of Canada, attempted to clarify the topic by providing a working definition and a set of guidelines for use by funding agencies when appraising projects purporting to be participatory research. The guidelines emphasize how the nominal ways of conducting health research in populations need to adapt to meet the educational and policy expectations of participatory research. The study also examined current practical examples of participatory research in the field of health promotion in Canada. This summary of the results of the project provides detailed guidelines flowing from a review of experience in the field and consultation with groups engaged in participatory research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-187
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Quarterly of Community Health Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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