Making Connections: Role of Community-Based Participatory Research in Democratic Movements for Change – A Cross-Regional Analysis

Khan Rahi, MA
Community-Based Researcher
Canadian Community-Based Research Network
Loka Institute (USA)
Toronto, Canada
Phone: (647)960-2503

and Fabien Piasecki
PhD in Information and Communication Science
Coordinator at Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (Paris, France)
Executive Secretary of the World Forum Science and Democracy
38 rue Saint Sabin – 75011 Paris
Phone: (33)6 6308 5814

The seminar focuses on the following guiding question:

Has Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) made a difference, influenced the circumstantial events to lead dissident movements for democratic social change, or caused a radical transformation of state institutions through the application of knowledge and technology?  If so, where has this occurred?

We are proposing a joint agenda and interactive method to make connections by unfolding the presenters’ own community-driven narratives, linking knowledge with action, raising questions about power relationships and informing action plans.

The seminar will provide space to inform a coherent vision and deploy methods to cross fertilize local civic engagements, share collaborative applications and creation of knowledge in promoting democratic social change narratives for the benefits of all.

The discussion will reflect on lessons-learned from the regional specificities, examine cross border effects and, will be multinational and result oriented with recommendations for proposed action plans.

Who Could Present?

We will invite core and peripheral community-based participatory research practitioners, academic researchers and policy-makers whose work has played a pivotal role in the application of research and technological knowledge has made a difference in their dissident and democratic movements for social change, made connections with ordinary people, engaged in knowledge creation and ownership and empowerment on issues on a large scale.

The seminar will include core presenters from the Arab “Springs” dissident movements and also practitioners from other regions whose work demonstrate making connections between Community-Based Participatory Research practices and promoting democratic social change.

The seminar promises to be cross sector and multidisciplinary presentations on a wide range of issues.

If interested, we ask that you send in a short abstract (150 words) and detailed description (250 words) about your topic, which must focus on the guiding question provided and describe the lessons-learned from your region or community of interest based on the experience on the ground.

Format and Anticipated Outcomes:

The seminar applies an information-sharing format to facilitate cross learning conversations engaging the presenters and the participants to develop action plan scenarios from the lessons-learned.

A specific attention will be paid to ensure regional diversity and plurality, multidisciplinary orientation.  We will make every effort to explicitly integrate experiential knowledge with action, in a way in which the discussion is clear and recognizable for the seminar participants and for the community they serve or work for.

Further, we anticipate building linkages among the participants to engage in creating innovative and durable knowledge infrastructures on a regional and sector basis. This approach could provide the opportunity to create regional networks to share community-based participatory research resources and outcomes from specific experiential practices.

Structure of presentations:

The presentations will be in three parts: 1) theoretical and knowledge-sharing related to specific issues of vital interest to ordinary people in a region or community; 2) demonstration of application and concrete examples of what policy or structural transformation occurred in the process of creating democratic social change; 3) one or two lessons learned from each presentation.

Other Considerations:

The selected presenters will be given specific guidelines to help organize their information prior to the seminar.

The seminar will begin with an introduction and end with conclusions and summary of the highlights of what was discussed.

There will be enough handouts and introductory materials distributed to inform the participants and save time for a wide-ranging discussion and save paper by going paperless.

If you have any questions or would like further information to help you prepare your response to this call, please contact:

Khan Rahi and Fabien Piasecki (please write to both of us for a better follow up of the organization) and


Disponible en / Available in: French, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil)

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