Reflecting on community development research: how peer researchers influence and shape community action projects
AbstractThis paper explores how the selection of peer researchers influences and shapes peer research projects. It draws on two empirical studies formed from two community action projects in England. Peer research is a method for involving young people as coresearchers within their community or in specific settings such as educational environments and the two projects recruited school children of different ages and ethnic backgrounds; in both cases they were representative of the potential participant population. One project (Community House) was based in a junior school setting and concentrated on evaluating a community centre project. The second project (Knife Angel: Hear My Voice) was a youth work setting and brought together a group of young people to explore an intervention aimed at impacting crime and violence in the local community. This paper discusses how the demographic characteristics of the peer researchers shaped, influenced and impacted the success of both community action projects. We discuss how children and young people bring their unique skills to preparing the questionnaire and dissemination. Using researcher reflexivity, we consider the methodological implications of the findings and contribute to theory building about community action and the impact of participatory research.
CitationArnull, E. and Kanjilal, M. (2024) Reflecting on community development research: how peer researchers influence and shape community action projects. Community Development Journal, 59 (1), pp. 12–29, https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsac013
PublisherOxford University Press
JournalCommunity Development Journal
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Oxford University Press on 21/06/2022, available online: https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsac013 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/