The facilitation of participatory research techniques.
This study engaged in a micro-genetic analysis (Wertsch, 1984) of facilitation in participatory research (PR). The research conducted in this study explored the facilitation process of two facilitators using two participatory techniques (a 'road of life' technique and a ranking exercise) with children in a rural context. The facilitators' perceptions of facilitation and their experiences of facilitating a PR technique were examined through the use of individual interviews, and were analysed using a reading guide method (Mergendollar, 1989). Of particular concern was that in PR, there is no account of the mechanisms which bring about successful facilitation. This study exposed how some PR techniques, like the ranking exercise can simply be implemented through using a set of instructions, but other kinds of techniques such as the 'road of life' technique are inherently embedded in the principles of PR and are more difficult to implement. A lack of an understanding of the PR principles has major consequences for the implementation of PR processes, and whether or not PR processes achieve their aim i.e. critical reflection. The importance of training in PR was thus emphasised, and the importance of providing a theoretical framework of the facilitation process in PR was accentuated.