Building social movements through Feminist Participatory Action Research

Topics Ethical research and evaluation | Gender | Case studies

Dr Naomi Godden_contentDr Naomi Godden, Research Fellow at the Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability Research Unit, Monash University, will conduct a participatory evaluation of the Climate Justice-Feminist Participatory Action Research (CJ-FPAR) program of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD). The Research for Development Impact Network will support Dr Godden in 2017-2018 to undertake this evaluation and disseminate the findings across the sector.

Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) is a methodology for supporting marginalised women to demand their rights and bring about structural change. FPAR combines research, gender justice and activism through a cyclical process that is led by community members affected by a social problem. The CJ-FPAR programme at APWLD is a cutting-edge feminist climate justice program that uses FPAR to enhance women’s engagement and influence in climate decision-making and policy.

The overall objective of CJ-FPAR is to advance rural, indigenous, migrant and urban poor women’s human rights by increasing their capacity in the Asia Pacific to author evidence-based community research, and to be vocal and effective policy advocates for climate justice, human rights and just development. The two-year programme involves women and their organisations in 8-10 communities, researching and documenting evidence for use in engaging decision-making processes on climate change. The programme intends to strengthen institutional development of partner organisations through leadership development and movement building.

Dr Godden will work in partnership with APWLD, program participants and communities to examine and evaluate the impact of APWLD’s CJ-FPAR programme, and identify how this methodology can provide a transformative model for feminist activism. The FPAR methodology will be documented and shared with development and research practitioners in the region.

The evaluation has the following aims:

  • To strengthen the international knowledge base regarding FPAR and women’s climate justice activism.
  • To examine the effectiveness of FPAR as a methodology for building women’s activist movements.
  • To identify the strengths, challenges and learnings of CJ-FPAR to inform movement-building development programming in Asia Pacific.

Dr Godden will keep the Network updated throughout the program. In 2018, she will facilitate a half-day workshop with RDI Network members about FPAR as a methodology for building grassroots women’s movements to demand structural change.

If you are interested to know more about this piece of work, or have expertise in this area to contribute, please contact us.