methodology of participation research with youth in Honduras

Dodd ART in Honduras

Warren Dodd, Sara Wyngaarden, Sally Humphries, Esmeralda Lobo Tosta, Veronica Zelaya Portillo and Paola Orellana have just published a paper with ARJ: How long-term emancipatory programming facilitates participatory evaluation: Building a methodology of participation through research with youth in Honduras.

Building on a longstanding partnership between the Foundation for Participatory Research with Honduran Farmers (Spanish acronym: FIPAH) and Canadian researchers, the authors of this article collaboratively designed and conducted a practical participatory evaluation with rural Honduran youth who had previously participated in FIPAH’s youth-centred programming. In collaboratively designing the evaluation, Honduran youth were included as equal members within the evaluation team and were encouraged to fully engage with each phase of the evaluation process. While rural Honduran youth might be considered a ‘hard to reach population’, our team found that youth were keen to participate and meaningfully engage in the evaluation process. As a result of this experience, our team collectively reflected on the factors that contributed to such a successful practical participatory evaluation.

Through our collective reflection, we identified two important components that facilitated the success of our practical participatory evaluation. We called the first component ‘foundational elements.’ This component included a recognition that FIPAH’s work in rural communities over the past three decades has fostered a culture of transformative participation among individuals engaged in the organization’s programs. This commitment to transformative participation meant that rural youth who were previously involved in FIPAH’s youth-centred programing were empowered to reflect deeply and critically on the role of the programming on their personal and professional lives. This first component also included a recognition that FIPAH had well-established and trust-based relationships with both rural youth and Canadian researchers that operated outside of traditional project funding cycles and research timelines. The second component that facilitated the success of our practical participatory evaluation included the ability of our team to strategically leverage these ‘foundational elements’ in collaboratively designing and conducting the evaluation. Importantly, and as previously mentioned, our team recruited, trained, and empowered five youth leaders to be equal partners in the participatory evaluation.

Overall, this case study provides an example of how a combination of ‘foundational elements’ and research team capacity can mitigate common challenges in conducting participatory evaluation with youth in remote settings. We invite other practitioners and scholars to critically engage with and consider how this methodology could be employed, enhanced, and integrated in other settings.

Access the ARJ article at this forever link: