Participatory Data Collection

This page deals with participatory approaches and knowledge co-production methods for collecting data that can be used to understand how and why social-ecological systems (SES) change. The content on this page discusses participatory mapping, photovoice, transect walks, ranking exercises, focus group discussions, Venn diagrams, matrix scoring, ecograms, timelines, Q-methodology, community mapping, participatory videography, photo elicitation, seasonal calendars, participatory action research, participatory rural appraisal, participant observation and arts-based methods.

The Chapter summary video gives a brief introduction and summary of this group of methods, what SES problems/questions they are useful for, and key resources needed to conduct the methods. The methods video/s introduce specific methods, including their origin and broad purpose, what SES problems/questions the specific method is useful for, examples of the method in use and key resources needed. The Case Studies demonstrate the method in action in more detail, including an introduction to the context and issue, how the method was used, the outcomes of the process and the challenges of implementing the method. The labs/activities give an example of a teaching activity relating to this group of methods, including the objectives of the activity, resources needed, steps to follow and outcomes/evaluation options.

More details can be found in Chapter 8 of the Routledge Handbook of Research Methods for Social-Ecological Systems.

Chapter summary:

This video introduces the concept of Participatory Data Collection.

De Vos, A. (2022)

Method Summaries

SRF Pack of Cards

Ocampo-Melgar, A. (2023)

Case Studies

Using Q-method to rethink the human-baboon interactions in Cape Town South, Africa

Psiuk, K. (2022)

Lab teaching/ activity

There are no lab teachings or activities for Participatory Data Collection yet. Please consider contributing.

Tips and Tricks

There are no tips and tricks for Participatory Data Collection yet. Please consider contributing.
Key Publications related to Participatory Data Collection:
  • Lynam, T., W. de Jong, D. Sheil, T. Kusumanto, and K. Evans. 2007. ‘A Review of Tools for Incorporating Community Knowledge, Preferences, and Values into Decision Making in Natural Re-sources Management.’ Ecology and Society 12(1): 5.
  • Newing, H.  2010. Conducting Research in Conservation: Social Science Methods and Practice.  Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Rambaldi, G., R. Chambers, M. McCall, and J. Fox. 2006. ‘Practical Ethics for PGIS Practitioners, Facilitators, Technology Intermediaries and Researchers.’ Participatory Learning and Action 54(1):  106–113.
  • Schreckenberg, K., C.A. Torres-Vitolas, S. Willcock, C. Shackleton, C.A. Harvey, and D. Kafumbata. 2016. ‘Participatory Data Collection for Ecosystem Services Research:  A Practitioner’s Manual.’ ESPA Working Paper Series 3.