Our story

Our impact

Our learning

Participatory Research Group

The latest from Participate

Knowledge from the margins: How participatory approaches can influence policy, 10 September 2014

From debates on post-MDG discourse to High Level Panel meetings, from Open Working Group sessions to General Assemblies – policy engagement on the post-2015 framework has at times been both exhilarating and exhausting. As we leap from one milestone to the next, it is often difficult to find the time to pause and reflect on what our experiences have taught us and to share these with others. Yet, there is a huge amount to be gained from taking time out to consider what we have learned and then to try and apply it to our work.

What is Participate? 

Participate: Knowledge from the margins for post-2015 has been established to ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalised communities have the opportunity to shape post-2015 policymaking and that a future global framework reflects the priorities of those directly affected by poverty and injustice. It will fill a crucial gap in the current policy context and provide a more accurate insight into the realities of how people experience poverty and how they think change is possible at ground level. The initiative is co-convened by IDS and Beyond 2015.

Aims of the Participatory Research Group

  • To bring perspectives of those who live in poverty or who are highly marginalised into post-2015 policymaking.
  • To lay the foundations for embedding participatory research in global policy-making.
  • To engage in advocacy to ensure that decision-makers understand the significance of this work for the post-2015 debate and genuinely incorporate it into their thinking.
  • To undertake a meta-analysis and synthesis of both existing and ongoing participatory research initiatives, that has depth and legitimacy, to effectively communicate key messages.
  • To ensure that knowledge from the margins is central to the monitoring and accountability of a future framework in the long term.
  • To generate knowledge, understanding and relationships which will be a global public good within the wider development arena.

Access the Participate website. Learn more about the Participate project at IDS's website.


Institute of Development Studies Policy Brief: Designing Inclusive Targets for a Post-2015 Agenda. June 2014

Edited by Participate's Clare Gorman and Danny Burns, this Policy Brief was developed with inputs from many actors within Participate. 

Recent news from Participate

The Seed Institute (Kenya) was recently appointed as the link between the Participate Research Group (PRG) and Beyond 2015. Mwangi Waituru of the Seed Institute writes:
June 15, 2014. Greetings from the Seed Institute Kenya. 
Last week, the UN Open Working Group that was formed by the UN following recommendations from the Rio summit released a set of 17 proposed Sustainable Development Goals and accompanying targets. The Open Working Group is expected to conclude preparations of the proposed goals by July in readiness for presentation to the UN General Assembly later on in September. 
Towards this end, the draft goals will be discussed during an informal session of representatives of UN member states organised by the Open Working Group for two days beginning Monday 16th June 2014. Beyond 2015 has largely welcomed the goals and targets.
Presenting the response to member states during a breakfast meeting organized by Beyond 2015, PRG members, Neva Frenchevile of CAFOD and Sowmyaa Bharadwaj of Praxis highlighted gains made in the areas of Human rights, and inclusion of 'Inequalities' as a stand-alone goal. They provided insights from Participatory Research on how to make the goals responsive to the realities of the people living in poverty.

PRG Participating organisations

The following members participated in the PRG’s inception workshop in October 2012; full membership is not yet finalised.

  • ATD Fourth World
  • Disability Age Mental Health Consortium
  • Family for EveryChild
  • Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Xochimilco
  • Panos
  • Praxis
  • Restless Development
  • Spatial Collective
  • The Seed Institute
  • The Theatre for Development Centre

Please find here a short description and the launch press release for your information. For further information, do not hesitate to contact Mwangi Waituru (mwangi@seedinstitute.com).