Related reading

Development organizations

Worldwide, NGO’s increasingly recognize the importance of participation of target groups in development cooperation as opposed to ineffective top-down approaches. However, how do we realize active participation in a world where people seem to be passively waiting for outside help? Participatory Action Research helps people regain trust in their own influence and power to spark positive change together with their neighbors and other stakeholders. 

Our vision on boosting development cooperation using PAR

Since its existence, development cooperation has aimed to help the poor and marginalized through providing direct aid such as digging water wells, building hospitals and opening orphanages. These traditional approaches are often referred to as “top down” approaches, where organizations and governments take action based on their own ‘western’ views. This often led to unsatisfying results, unwanted side effects and increased dependency of poor communities on western aid. A counter movement are the so called “bottom up” approaches, where citizens themselves take action. In both cases professionals (“the top”) and citizens (“the bottom”) are not cooperating. SevenSenses founder Madelon Eelderink coined the term “community up” to refer to professionals and citizens joining forces and jointly tackling issues. 

NGO’s increasingly recognize this community-up approach and see cooperation WITH the communities as a crucial part of development. PAR empowers communities to tap into the assets of their neighborhoods and co-create together with involved organizations solutions that perfectly fit their needs and cultural aspects. We believe that through PAR, people facing communal challenges become changemakers in their own perfect ways; taking matters in their own hands and bringing positive change in a way outsiders could never have thought of. 

Free virtual brainstorm

Are you curious to hear more about what SevenSenses can do specifically for you? Please don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange a free one-hour virtual brainstorm with us.

“Each time I work in the field I discover new reasons why Participatory Action Research works. The process isn’t easy but hey, who said solving complex problems is easy?! Quick fixes don’t work and we should not expect from a small group of leaders to solve such massive, complex development problems.”

Madelon Eelderink spreker
Madelon Eelderink
Founder of SevenSenses