The paper draws on recent developments in participatory research to design and test an approach to planning farmer participatory research, which explicitly involves a range of institutional actors in the process. Their different perspectives contribute to a shared understanding of the needs, wishes and abilities of different institutions and members of rural communities to contribute to the research process. The methodology has emerged from experience in a range of countries. It was explored during a project planning workshop in India and further insights are provided from work in Bangladesh and Bolivia. This experience suggests that the method may be particularly useful in participatory research planning, where a range of different institutions are involved and where partnerships are being built between non-government, government and/or academic organisations. The method provides tools and a process for effectively demonstrating differences in the expectations and contributions of different stakeholders and a means for negotiating acceptance of these. The process also helps to establish mutual perceptions. The paper emphasises the value of deconstructing the ‘outsider’ perspective as projects work towards institutional collaboration.
Lawrence, A., Barr, J. and Haylor, G. Stakeholder approaches to planning participatory research by multi-institution groups.ODI Agricultural Research & Extension Network (AgREN) Paper No 91.(1999)