1.4.6 The Ethnographic Action Research process

In the introduction we defined the development cycle as plan, do, observe, and reflect. We can now look in more detail at the research process which makes up the 'observe and reflect' component.

We can think about this process in the following terms:

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Each research activity should follow this process.

There might be more than one research activity happening at any one time.

EAR researchers might be conducting broad research that helps them to understand the wider contexts in which their initiative works, and targeted research that aims at understanding more specific issues or parts of the community. For both types of research activities a researcher must follow the same process, starting with careful planning, followed by the collection of data, organising and analysing that data, and using the findings to feed into developments and plan activities.

This Ethnographic Action Research handbook will take you through this process:

  • The EAR Toolbox section provides training in the methods of data collection.
  • The Dealing with EAR Data section provides training in the organising and analysis of data and how to feed research findings back into activities.
  • The Getting Started section provides training in research planning.