Participatory Action Research (PAR)
LPI supports local partner organisations in becoming centres for conflict transformation (CT). A key approach supported by LPI is Participatory Action Research (PAR) for CT. LPI helps build the capacity of its partners to become skilled at guiding their communities through PAR processes. In PAR for CT, all parties involved in a destructive or intractable conflict are engaged in a process of analysing the multiplicity of interpretations of conflict causes and consequences, and the identification of constructive actions for the future.
Participatory Action Research for Conflict Transformation (PAR for CT)
· The process is participatory in that all actors concerned by a conflict are involved in learning how to address the problematic issues in a constructive manner.
· The conflict transformation process is designed as research, because emphasis is placed upon empowering parties to a conflict to learn how to analyse complex problems and generate solutions that are viable in the long-term. Providing the conflict parties with an opportunity to engage in collaborative enquiry simultaneously provides them a venue for transforming their relationships from oppositional to cooperative.
· Thus, the research process is action-oriented in two important ways: First, the research process is a transformation of destructive conflict dynamics into constructive, co-operative inquiry. Second, the process includes a collaborative design of action-plans to ameliorate issues identified by the community as problematic.
LPI’s approach offers communities a sustainable solution by empowering them to address future conflicts in a constructive manner. When communities acquire the skills to engage in PAR, they have not only learned how to resolve a single conflict episode; they have learned how to confront future conflicts as opportunities to learn and improve so that all can prosper.