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The features and processes underpinning high-quality data generation in participatory research and engagement activities

Maund, Phoebe R., Bentley, Jacob W., Austen, Gail E., Irvine, Katherine N., Fish, Robert, Dallimer, Martin, Davies, Zoe G. (2021) The features and processes underpinning high-quality data generation in participatory research and engagement activities. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, . ISSN 2041-210X. (doi:10.1111/2041-210X.13746) (KAR id:91626)

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1. Participatory approaches are widely used by researchers to gather data and insight about how the environment is perceived, valued and used. The participatory activities may be creating information as part of curiosity-driven blue-skies research or to inform policy/practice decision-making.

2. The quality and usability of data derived from participatory approaches are heavily influenced by how activities are conducted. We share a set of features and processes that underpin the generation of high-quality data, based on our collective experience of developing and undertaking participatory activities with an environmental and conservation focus.

3. We propose four general features: (1) depth and breadth of engagement; (2) robustness of the approach; (3) allowing space for surprises; and (4) usability across contexts. We also provide a practical toolbox of processes, and associated facilitation techniques, which can be employed to maximise participant engagement and generate quality data.

4. The features and processes are a practical guide for project leaders/teams to consider in the context of their work, rather than a set of inflexible rules. They should be relevant regardless of the participatory methods used, or the research, policy or practice setting being addressed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/2041-210X.13746
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Funders: European Research Council (
Depositing User: Zoe Davies
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2021 17:48 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2023 14:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Austen, Gail E.:
Fish, Robert:
Dallimer, Martin:
Davies, Zoe G.:
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