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Empowering and assessing social change of Local communities through participatory action research Research Paper

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Introduction

The researcher hopes to make use of the participatory action research (PAR) technique to gather the necessary information to facilitate in the implementation of the current project.

This will result in the generation of useful information that will in turn enable the community and project implementers to examine the developmental needs of the current project and come up with the most effective intervention strategies to the problem (Brown and Jones 79). With the PAR tool, the community takes an active role in the project and they relate to the emerging information easily (Goff 6; Greiner et al 34).

The research proposal begins with an introduction of the action researcher. In addition, the proposal shall also explore the purpose of the research. The various stakeholders involved in the project shall also be identified, along with the virus role that they play. The anticipated outcomes of the project shall be identified, as well as the different stages of the project.

The various tools used to collect and analyze data shall also be identified, along with an explanation of how the action researcher hopes to achieve the project’s validity. Moreover, the limitations of the research shall also be explored, in addition to the key issues and ethical consideration in the management of the project.

The focus of the research and how it is relevant to Sustainable Development

The focus of the research is to identify waste disposal problems that the members of El Valle beach town in the pacific coast of Colombia are faced with. Owing to illegal mining and logging, coupled with rampant corruption by government officials, this has resulted in improper modes of waste disposal.

Consequently, most of these waste materials find their way into the local rivers, to the detriment of the ecosystem and the lives of the local community who depends on these rivers for their livelihood.

The intention of the research is to facilitate the participation of the local community in identifying the problem and seeking a lasting solution to it. By their getting actively involved in the project, the community will take a keen interest in the project because they own it. This leads to its sustainability.

Action Researcher

Sebasteian Matiz will be the action researcher of the current project. He is at the moment undertaking his master degree in Sustainable development.

The action researcher intends to spend approximately 6 months at El Vade, a beach town in the pacific coast of Colombia where the community is faced with the problem of poor waste management, resulting in the discharge of wastes into the rivers, thereby endangering the lives of the community. The action researcher hopes to undertake various interactions with the members of the local community.

This will facilitate in his gaining experiential and indigenous knowledge about the problem at hand during the entire PAR process. In order to collect relevant data, the researcher hopes to form focus groups with the members of the community.

He shall also facilitate meetings with the government officials in the regions and the community members as well. Other tools of collecting data include organizing workshops, conducting surveys, and workshops.

Purpose of the research

The purpose of the current research study is to assess the extent to which the ecosystem at the El Valle beach town has been degraded by improper ways of waste disposal borne of illegal mining, illegal logging dynamite fishing, and the discharge of wastes into rivers.

Once data on these activities has been collected and analyzed, it will be easily to recommend remedial measures that need to be adopted by the community in order to put an end to the waste problem that they are currently faced with.

The idea is to empower the community through participation in not only the identification of the problem facing them, but also seeking their suggestions regarding the most sustainable strategies that they need to adopt in order to overcome the problem.

As Hall, Taplin and Goldstein (172) have noted, empowering local communities through active participation in projects ensures the attainment of a lasting solution to the problems facing them.

The PAR process

The main focus of the PAR process shall be on examining the problems faced by the 3500 inhabitants of the El Valle beach town in the pacific coast of Colombia. The intention of the PAR process is not to appropriate but rather, to facilitating a deeper comprehension of the problems at stake (Coghlan and Brannick 46; McIntyre 67).

As such, the members of the community shall be involved in the entire process from the word go, because they are the ones affected the most by this problem.

The fundamental methodological principles of the PAR process are as follows: to start with, the researcher will seek the assistance of opinion leaders in the community so that they can help him convince the members of the community to attend a focus group in which the researcher will facilitate the meeting by listening keenly to the narratives of the locals about the challenges they are faced with, in as far as the issue of disposal of waste to the rivers is concerned.

Thereafter, the researcher hopes to make use of a number of data collection tools:

Methods of data collection

The research hopes to make use of the following tools to collect data:

Focus Groups

In qualitative research, a focus group is one in which the participants get to deliver their beliefs, opinions, and attitudes regarding a certain issue in question (Henderson 28). Participants are also free to interact with other members of a focus group and ask questions as well. Focus groups are a good entry point to various social and cultural groups.

The current research intends to make use of focus groups in which the community members affected by the issue of poor waste disposal can get to voice their concerns regarding this issue. Another reason why this approach is appealing in helping to collect data about the problem at hand is because it is quite easy for the participants to understand the idea.

Consequently, the results are also believable (Marshall & Rossman 115). In addition, focus groups tend to be inexpensive and results can also be obtained quite fast. The researcher can also talk with more participants at once and this increasing the reliability of the results.

Meetings with the local community and government official

Another way that the researcher intends to obtain data regarding the problem at hand is to facilitate meetings between the local community and government officials. In this case, the local community has a chance to voice their concerns about the issues they are faced with to government officials who are in a position to implement sustainable solutions to the problems (Mwasaru 11).

Interviews

Interviews shall be conducted on the members of the community who are directly affected by the problem of improper waste disposal. The interviewees shall respond to a questionnaires developed by the researcher to facilitate in collection of relevant data to facilitate in the development of sustainable solutions to the problem.

Workshops

The researcher shall also help to organise a workshops to be attended by members of the local community and agencies concerned with the preservation of the environment.

The idea is to create awareness to the members of the public about the risk associated with environmental degradation and pollution of rivers with wastes. Once informed, the participants can now take an active role in helping to come up with sustainable solutions to the problem.

Data Analysis

One data has been collected using the above mentioned tools it shall be compiled and analyzed using the SPSS software package. The results shall be presented in the form of table, bar graphs, and pie charts.

Expected outcomes

By undertaking this project, it is anticipated that deep-rooted issues within the community regarding the idea of waste discharge into the rivers shall emerge.

To start with, the researcher expects that the affected community with have an enhanced capacity and confidence to engage government official into taking action to see to it that a lasting solution is identified to overcome the current problem.

In addition, the researcher also expects that the local community will form a community watch group charged with the responsibility of seeing to it that there is no discharge of wastes into the rivers and that those who do so are identified and prosecuted.

The researcher also expects that government officials and the relevant ministry shall also take charge of the situation by implementing an Act that prohibits against pollution of the rivers. Also, the officials are expected to reinforce rules governing the management of natural resources so that those breaking them are punished accordingly.

How will validity be achieved?

In quantitative research, validity enables the researcher to verify the level of truthfulness of the research results (Golafshani 602). In other words, validity tries to establish if the objectives of the research have been achieved. Therefore, maximizing validity results in the realization of more defensible and credible results.

In order to ensure validity of the study, the researcher shall ensure that the conclusions of the findings are derived in such a manner that transferability is assured. In addition, the researcher will ensure that bias does not exist in deriving findings from data.

Limitations of the project

The researcher anticipates the project to be faced with a number of limitations. To start with, the 6 months that the researcher intends to undertake the project may not be enough to exhaustively tackle the emerging issues of the research.

Secondly, there is the issue of limited funds, and this may have an impact on the participation of members of the community and other stakeholders, such as government officials. The issue of community participation may also be faced with resistance at first because they are not used to taking part in radical social transformation initiative.

Ethical considerations and key issues to be managed

While undertaking any research project, it is important to take into consideration any ethical issues that might emerge. This is in keeping with the requirements of institutions of higher learning, government protocol, and the culture of the local community. In this case, the researcher intends to make sure that all the ethical issues that affect the different stakeholders involved in the project are addressed.

To start with, the researcher shall seek the approval of the university administration to conduct the research. Secondly, the relevant local authorities shall be informed that the researcher intends to undertake the project. Further, the researcher shall inform the authorities about the objective of the research and the expected outcomes.

The community members taking part in the research will also be informed about the objectives of the research and their expected role in the project. All information obtained from the participants in the form of surveys or interviews shall be treated with strict confidence. The information shall only be used for purposes of research.

Works Cited

Brown, Tony and Jones, Liz. Action Research and Postmodernism: congruence and critique. Buckingham: Open University Press, 2001. Print.

Coghlan, David and Brannick, Teresa. Doing action research in your own. organization. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications, 2007. Print.

Goff, Susan. Transforming Suppression – Process in Our Participatory Action Research Practice. Qualitative Social Research, 2.1(2001).

Golafshani, Nahid. Understanding Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research. The Qualitative Report, 8.4(2003): 597-607

Greiner, Romy, Larson, Silva, Herr, Alexander Bligh, Victor. Wellbeing of the Nywaigi Traditional Owners, The contribution of the country to wellbeing and

the role of natural resource management. Report for the Burdekin Dry Tropics Board. July 2005.

Hall, Nina,Taplin, Ros Goldstein, Wendy. Empowerment of individuals and recognition of community agency. Action Research, 8.2(2001):171-191.

Henderson, Naomi R. Managing Moderator Stress: Take a Deep Breath. You Can Do This!. Marketing Research, 21.1(2003): 28-29.

Marshall, Catherine and Gretchen, Rossman. 999. Designing Qualitative Research. 3rd Ed. London: Sage Publications, 1999. Print.

McIntyre, Alice. Participatory action research (paperback ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications, 2008. Print.

Mwasaru, Mwambi. Assessing Social Change Through Participatory Action Reserach: The Case of Kasighau Small- Scale Miners, Kenya. February 2007

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IvyPanda. "Empowering and assessing social change of Local communities through participatory action research." May 12, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/empowering-and-assessing-social-change-of-local-communities-through-participatory-action-research-research-paper/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Empowering and assessing social change of Local communities through participatory action research." May 12, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/empowering-and-assessing-social-change-of-local-communities-through-participatory-action-research-research-paper/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Empowering and assessing social change of Local communities through participatory action research'. 12 May.

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