Community Work Research through Co-Operative Inquiry in Timor-Leste, Australia and Peru: Insights into Process

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Abstract

Co-operative inquiry is an under-explored method in community-based research. Its democratic approach involves a group of “co-researchers” collaboratively inquiring into a mutually-agreed research topic through systematic cycles of reflection and action. This article shares the process, outcomes, and methodological reflections of three co-operative inquiries that were conducted as part of an international study regarding love in community work. Groups of up to 10 community workers in rural villages in Timor-Leste, Australia, and Peru engaged in co-operative inquiry to collaboratively develop new knowledge to inform practice. The article analyses data regarding co-inquirer experiences of the methodology, and identifies the strengths and challenges of the co-operative inquiry method to support the collective generation of new knowledge. The article concludes that co-operative inquiry involves shared power, participation, action, and contextual reflexivity, and is a useful method for community workers to collaboratively develop innovative approaches to community work practice through cycles of reflection and action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-73
Number of pages19
JournalSystemic Practice and Action Research
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Co-operative inquiry
  • Community work
  • Reflexivity
  • Research process

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