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By Orlando Fals-Borda, Mohammad Anisur Rahman

Motion and data attracts on two decades of expertise with the concepts and philosophy of Participatory Action-Research (PAR). PAR is an leading edge method of financial and social switch, which matches past traditional institutional obstacles in improvement by means of actively related to the folk in producing wisdom approximately their very own situation and the way it may be replaced. PAR calls for a powerful dedication by way of engaging social scientists to deprofessionalize their services and proportion it with the folks, whereas spotting that the groups at once concerned have the serious voice in selecting the course and pursuits of switch as matters instead of gadgets. PAR has its origins within the paintings of 3rd global social scientists greater than 3 many years in the past as they introduced new how one can empower the oppressed by way of supporting them to obtain trustworthy wisdom on which to build countervailing strength. It has considering unfold through the international, as mirrored during this booklet with contributions from Asia, Africa Latin the USA and North the US within the type of case reports of tangible adventure with the PAR procedure. PAR isn't really static and stuck yet dynamic and enduring, because the case stories and the theoretical chapters that precede and persist with the case reviews amply display.

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Extra info for Action and knowledge: breaking the monopoly with participatory action research

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Mobilization of the region's communities, supported by the participatory actionresearch initiative described here, unfolded in this context. The Electricity Problem and the Need for Research The community of Villarrica has had problems with the Together Against the Computer 41 electric service, practically since it was installed in the early 1960s. At first the people tolerated the shortcomings, figuring that after all they had benefitted from access to electric lighting. But little by little, and as electricity became increasingly important to their daily lives and essential to small businesses, individual members of the community began to complain from time to time about the poor quality of the service.

They were communicated to a company official based in the area, who took charge of passing them on to the main office in the departmental capital, Popayan. In some isolated cases the claims were accepted, but in most cases the company simply accumulated the debt when it was not paid, threatened to cut off service and charged interest on the amount each user accumulated. " Convinced that however distinguished and respectable the "computer," it was erring in the company's favor and doing consumers a disservice-and that efforts and pressures brought to bear up to that moment had only resulted in minimal changes in the company's practices-a group of approximately twenty people, mostly women, decided to form a Public Service Users Together Against the Computer 43 Committee.

First, they showed month-to-month changes in consumption figures that in many cases could not have been real. Also, similar consumption totals were being charged at different rates per kilowatt-hour. Finally, in some communities people noted that the bills were higher in June and December when the company had to pay employee benefits. Individual complaints began to proliferate. They were communicated to a company official based in the area, who took charge of passing them on to the main office in the departmental capital, Popayan.

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