De glazen deur | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1385-1535
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7324


Access to the target group

In participatory action research (PAR) the research team should include researchers and experts by experience (and their allies affected by the issue). PAR emphasizes collective inquiry and contribution to changes in policy and practice.

In their opening essay Sergeant and Van de Merbel state that it is not enough to promote PAR as a vital way in bringing positive change in policy and practice. In order to conduct PAR in an ethical and just way, one needs to create room, space and time for PAR. PAR is more than a method; it needs time, good overthinking, collaborative reflection, creative research methods, coaching and training for all research group members, and – as Xavier Moonen states in his reply – sometimes also protection of vulnerable people. Moonen argues that this vulnerability should be taken into account and experts by experience should be protected from tokenism and research that does not meet their interests. This means, according to Moonen, that ethical considerations must be made. Gatekeepers should keep in mind that participation is a basic right and that pro’s and con’s should be considered in that light.

In reaction to Moonen, Sergeant presents the ‘Working together, learning together’ and the results that come from this research project. She pleads for respecting intergroup-diversity within target groups and for looking beyond procedural ethical issues towards crossing the boundaries between dis- and ability.


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