CBS research uses a Participatory Action Research approach (PAR). This approach has as its two main goals the achievement of both action and research. PAR is a very effective method as it constantly monitors the intervention and simultaneously the researcher has an active advisory role in the implementation and can suggest alternative strategies based on his research observations while taking the specific context in which the intervention is applied into account.
Participatory Action Research has a number of characteristics:
- Participative: all stakeholders are involved in the research, from advisory committee to the sociotherapists at the grass roots level.
- Mixed methods research: the main focus lies on descriptions and on understanding social complexities via qualitative methods, while a general picture of the results will be generated through quantitative research. This combination of methods strengthens the qualitative data and provides a deeper understanding of the quantitative data.
- Reflective: critical reflection on the intervention process and its outcomes are important features.
- Responsive: the researcher is able to respond to the emerging difficulties during the implementation and immediately take action.
- Emergent and cyclical – the process takes places gradually over a number of cycles so that interpretations of data can be tested, challenged and refined.
Data collection tools through PARs are:
- Semi-structured interviews
- Focus Group Discussions
- Participant Observation
- Significant change stories