Spiritual Midwifing on a virtual, global platform. Crowther et al, 2021.
Dr. Susan Crowther’s and colleagues’ article describes how they employ cooperative inquiry (CI) – a participatory action research (PAR) methodology – to explore and examine the topic ‘spirituality and childbirth’. CI originates in the work of Peter Reason and John Heron. But it got an update!
“We introduce an exciting innovation outlining how PAR can be facilitated across global regions and different time zones, while addressing previous cautions about asynchronous communication for PAR. We offer, through examples and discussion, insight into CI as an opportunity for global online participation and collaboration – and how to co-design, co-create and remain fully involved in an inquiry.
Pioneering a cooperative inquiry in both synchronous and asynchronous settings proved worthwhile, enjoyable, and empowering. This article illustrates why action research methodological approaches are important and emphasizes the core question at the heart of PAR “Whose knowledge counts?”
CI is concerned with reclaiming the right of co-researchers to create knowledge from their own lived experience – it is research that is ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ people, an approach that constantly attunes to the equitable value of all individual contributions. Whilst technology posed challenges at times, working asynchronously across time and space enhanced and enabled a rich and complex conversation to unfold.
With increasing fiscal constraints on travel and now pandemic global travel restrictions, we have all been called to find solutions to engage in our research in new ways. The addition of online meetings, both synchronous formats and varied asynchronous contribution options built upon the traditional CI format (physical, in-person, co-located).
These newly adapted online strategies enhanced opportunities for participant-researchers interested in our topic to share and develop insights and knowledge in non-hierarchical and inclusive ways, despite physical distance and disparate time zones.
You may access the article here without paywall for the next few weeks and for future reference: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/14767503211004707.