Welcome to the website of the Participatory Geographies Research Group.

PyGyRG is a collective whose members aim to raise the profile and perceived value, and further the understanding and use of participatory approaches, methods, tools and principles within academic geography and beyond.

Every month we feature a different participatory geographies project from one of our members.  For the months of November and December we are presenting a project by Anne Toomey, pygyrg’s very own website coordinator.  Anne recently completed her PhD at Lancaster University and is currently in Bolivia, the location of her doctoral fieldwork, where she is disseminating the results of her thesis with the Bolivian researchers, communities and protected area staff who helped her throughout the process.   Please read on for more information about this project:

The process of dissemination in participatory research

You would be hard-pressed to find a researcher to say that disseminating research isn’t important.  But it’s easy enough to talk about dissemination, and quite another thing to do it well.  Non-withstanding the lack of funding available for communicating research results outside of academia (I applied for two grants and contacted all of the research bodies at my university to help me with this part of my research, with no luck), there are additional obstacles, especially when that dissemination requires the translation of results between different languages, cultures and political contexts.

Giving a presentation on anticipated results to park guards in Madidi, Bolivia in 2013. Photo copyright Marcos Uzquiano.

Clearly, it is not enough to simply send a copy of one’s thesis, but what is enough?   Over the next month, I will recount in real-time the trials and joys of disseminating the results of my PhD research with the different groups I worked with over the last few years – Bolivian scientists, government officials, park guards, and indigenous leadership councils and communities.  As my PhD research was, in a nutshell, ‘research on research’, it is essential that I follow-through on the promises I made throughout the process of collecting the information.  Whether or not I will be able to do this is not only up to the quality of the materials I end up producing, but a matter of good communication and coordination with the different groups listed above.

Please click here to read the first blog post about these experiences!


If you are interested in promoting your participatory geographies project here, please get in touch with Anne Toomey (a.toomey@lancaster.ac.uk), the PyGyRG website coordinator.

We are always open to welcoming new members. Don’t forget to spread the word to students who may be interested!


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