CERAR chooses to conduct research not on local populations
but with these same populations, to put their knowledge and their visions at the center.
Participatory action research :
- integrates the population into all phases of research, beyond needs analysis
- arrives at alternative solutions, beyond the application of ‘standard’ solutions
- is oriented towards maximizing impacts beyond the direct results of projects.
Participatory action research, taking into account the volatility of protracted crisis situations and the constant need to adapt field knowledge, engages local actors in research into their daily realities and the translation of the results of this research into resilience initiatives. Thus the Gen-Up project in Cameroon and Sierra Leon enabled young job seekers to better understand the barriers and possibilities to decent employment. They thus improved their job search.
The process of action research simultaneously combines research with action on the ground in a permanent game of interactions. It is mainly based on the idea that to know a social reality, one must participate in its transformation. A research or development intervention is not done ‘on’ a field but ‘in’ a field situation. In this, action research does not work on an object (of study) but with knowledge-producing subjects, co-authors of the research.
The importance of experimentation and capitalization in the NGANGU project in Central Africa has become a producer of knowledge both for local actors and for international actors participating in the project.
Action research shares certain values such as :
- the spirit of cooperation and social responsibility,
- the spirit of participatory democracy,
- the spirit of recognition of individual and cultural rights to strengthen and study social dynamics.