Participatory research methods have been successfully implemented with multiple refugee communities and have covered various topics.
- General principles of participatory research include viewing community members as co-researchers, creating advisory boards, involving community members in all steps of the research project, and highlighting community expertise on their own lived experiences
- Community empowerment and skill building should also be central themes to participatory research: Researchers should encourage community members to share their strengths and build new skills that could lead to better understanding of community needs and potential solutions to address community-identified issues
Refugee service providers can use the elements of participatory research in programmatic development.
- Participatory research methods are adaptable by nature, allowing providers and researchers to change the project direction as needs are identified
- Partnerships should involve an iterative process that allows community members to provide feedback and guidance in programmatic development
- Power dynamics and the ethics of participation for community members need to be closely watched and controlled for through open communication and mitigation of any potential negative impacts