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Participatory methodologies

Whether you are working for the first time in a community/geographical area or you are looking to renew an intervention, our team can help you collect and analyse primary and secondary information to determine the needs, vulnerabilities, priorities, and capacities of community members, individuals, and local stakeholders, as well as information on potential gaps and coordination with relevant stakeholders, in order to prevent the duplication of efforts.

Youth-led participatory action research (YPAR):

Young people are at the heart of development. Therefore, this method intends to engage and train youth to conduct research and generate findings to solve issues that matter to them and their communities. It is a learning and action process that promotes the co-production of knowledge by empowering young people—especially those facing exclusion or marginalization—to understand the roots of the problems and to acquire the necessary tools to take action.


These are intensive workshops bringing together relevant stakeholders and staff to construct a timeline and obtain an understanding of innovations and gains brought about by the project, and areas of weakness and improvement. They are useful to collect the perspectives of various stakeholders and to produce written material in a limited period of time.

Focus groups

These are small groups of people brought together to discuss a particular topic. It is a type of qualitative research aimed at bringing out participants’ perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards said topic. It enables an interaction and the discussion of ideas and perspectives among members of the group. Our team at IWORDS has vast experience conducting focus groups in many of our previous work with institutions, organizations, and beneficiaries of programmes.

Behaviour case studies

These are evaluation processes focused on an in-depth understanding of a unit (person or site), analysing the real impact and appropriateness of the programme, and using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data, which is complemented by the rest of the methodologies.

Participatory ethnographic evaluation adn research (PEER)

We use an adapted version of the PEER method in which members of the beneficiary group conduct conversational reviews with other people involved in the programme to gain their stories and perspectives. This approach is particularly useful in generating information on sensitive issues. It enables a more authentic ‘insider view’, and helps overcome barriers of culture, language, and mistrust. The approach is suitable for use with individuals who are unable to read or write, hard to reach groups, and people with no previous research experience. However, it works best with adults and young adults.


Photovoice is a participatory action research method. Participants are asked to capture photographs of scenes, items, or subjects that are related to the research and which represent an interest or concern to them. The photographs are then discussed in groups, with the purpose of forming a narrative that explains said problems or concerns. The tool is useful in documenting and communicating particular issues to the wider community, programme-implementing organizations, and policymakers.

Experience working with donor mechanisms such as the Safe Abortion Action Fund, The Girls First Fund, Elevate Children, Stars Foundation (Impact Awards), No Lost Generation (through UNICEF), and With and For Girls Awards, among others.