Explorative Action Research
In building up knowledge with regard to Civic Driven Change and Civic Driven Child Development, exploration of the unknown with regard to civic-driven development initiatives is an important component. How do social change processes happen? What are drivers of positive social change, and how could they best be supported? These are questions underlying this area of the Centre’s work.
Social change is a highly contextual, complex concept, which has a different meaning in every environment and for every human being. Thus, Context want to gain insights from different people and from many different angles to better understand CDC. The type of knowledge Context is looking for within its research cannot be gained from books or desk study alone. Rather, it derives from the experiences, ideas and perceptions of people who are involved in such change processes, and incorporates the acknowledgement of multiple realities.
Therefore, the Centre is involved in explorative action research. Action research developed largely from the work of Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) and his associates. The key idea is that action research uses a scientific approach to study the resolution of important social or organisational issues together with those who experience these issues directly in an explorative manner, or as Lewin formulates the starting point of this journey ‘If you want truly to understand something, try to change it’.
It is hence integrating theory and practice in a highly participatory manner. Participants of a social system are involved in a data collection process about themselves and they utilise the data they have generated to review the facts about themselves in order to take some form of remedial or development.
Some call action research the most demanding and far-reaching method of doing case study research, as it requires a high level of personal involvement and commitment of both researchers/facilitators and participants, and continuous adjustment to new information and events.