Action Research: how a group of young people did it in Napak and Moroto in Karamoja, Uganda

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This paper describes an approach to action research used by a group of young people in Karamoja, Uganda.  With guidance from experienced facilitators, 13 young people researched the situation of youth in their area over a period of 5 weeks in November/December 2011.  The basic principles used are set out in this paper.  Genuine attempts were made to promote people’s research into their own issues on their own terms.  This included asking questions such as who commissions and pays, how pressed everyone is for resources and time, and how ordinary people – who are not supposed to know how to do research – might suddenly take up the task with confidence and make use of facilitators without being dominated by them.  The paper emphasises the importance of rigour in action research which can appear relaxed but actually is not: it needs to be done carefully and stick to its principles like glue.  The findings of the research are published in a longer report “Strength, Creativity and Livelihoods of Karimojong Youth” which should be read alongside this paper.

Restless Development Uganda and the Institute of Development Studies
Plot 6 Acacia Road, PO Box 1208, Jinja, Uganda