[Air-l] Call for chapters: Researching communities with community participation

Andy Williamson andy at wairua.co.nz
Tue Feb 7 19:35:21 PST 2006

Researching communities with community participation

An edited book that presents personal but grounded perspectives on engaging
communities to undertake research within them in ways that promote and
privilege the voice of the community, is respectful of local or indigenous
practices and is culturally safe. 

Community informatics is a praxis-based discipline concerned with the social
appropriation of technology. As such research, in this context is often
applied and qualitative in nature. It is, like the project being examined,
embedded in the community and at its best provides useful and usable results
for a range of stakeholders, including the community itself, funding
agencies, developers of policy and other practitioners. Claims are often
made that such research is a partnership but in reality, our time in a
community is often limited and, unless we are also a part of that community,
we are unlikely to be directly affected by the project. This book positions
researchers as guests, hopefully invited in, sometimes simply 'parachuted'
in by a government agency or NGO as part of a contractual obligation to

How then are we as researchers to achieve a balance between all the
stakeholders? How are we to ensure that the voice of the community is heard,
not simply in the research but in the design of the research and the
application of outcomes. Our focus is on the impact of the project on people
and the potential for engagement and change. Every community is different
and so each project must reflect that and so must our research. Whilst these
issues apply to any community, they can often be more significant for
researchers working with marginalized groups and with indigenous peoples.

A resource for researchers wanting to engage in community-centric research
and community practitioners wanting to learn more about collaborative
research. This book will provide a practical but rigorously grounded
resource that describes applied, community-based research through the
narrative and exemplars of researchers and the communities themselves.

*	Academic Researchers
*	Community activists and practitioners
*	Post-graduate students
*	Commercial researchers and evaluators
*	Government agencies and policy developers
*	Anyone wishing to work effectively with communities

Call for Chapters
Contributions are sought for this book in two formats:

1) Researcher perspective
Chapters of between 3000 - 5000 words that provide an overview of a project
and community, please include personal reflection and reflexive commentaries
on the process and lessons learned. Since the book is targeted at
researchers, literature should be used to support arguments where
appropriate, however, it is not intended to be a dense or overly academic
publication. These submissions will be peer reviewed before acceptance.

2) Community perspective
Short vignettes (1000-2000 words) are sought from community practitioners
describing their experiences of research in their communities. Both positive
and negative stories are sought, however each chapter should provide a
summary of learning experiences and recommendations for future projects.
These submissions will be editorially reviewed before acceptance.

*	Initial chapter proposals due				3 Apr 06
*	Authors notified of provisional acceptance 	Jun 06
*	First draft of chapters due for review		Sep 06
*	Authors notified of acceptance/changes 		Nov 06
*	Final chapters due					Jan 07
*	Publication 						Jun 07 

Chapter proposals should be sent to andy[at]wairua.co.nz in the body of an
email and should include:
*	Working title
*	Authors names and affiliations
*	Type of submission: Researcher or practitioner 
*	Summary of the proposed chapter (max 500 words)

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