RRI tools for conducting community-based participatory research

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Science Shops

Here you’ll find a wide range of resources to help science shops undertake RRI-inspired community-based participatory research.

Participatory methodologies can provide opportunities for relevant stakeholders to share perspectives and knowledge to inform particular stages of the research process, such as agenda setting, project definition and project implementation. For example, scenario workshops (developed and tested as part of the EU PERARES project are a methodology that can be used as a participatory planning tool for science shops.

Inclusive and participatory RRI methodologies can also be used to gather potential research questions and develop collaborative research agendas. Public Engagement, one of the RRI key dimensions, is central to how science shops operate and implies a two-way, inclusive and participatory process. Science shops respond to issues directly identified by community organisations or citizens themselves, who then are also involved in the research process. The public can be involved in a range of ways, from being consulted about their opinions on certain issues, to helping researchers gather data (e.g. citizen science) or involved in the co-creation of new knowledge together with experts.

In addition to community and civil society organisations, there are many benefits to be gained from involving other stakeholders that may not normally interact with each other, such as policy makers, business and industry and the education community throughout the research process. Not only does the research process benefit from broader perspectives, it can also lead to increased take-up of research outcomes.


… to carry out community-based research
The Living Knowledge toolbox contains resources on science shop procedures, processes and guidelines and designed to help science shops and people working in community-based research to develop professional standards and improve their practices. Living Knowledge is an international network for those active in science shops and community-based research.
How to co-create community-based participatory research provides an introduction to RRI in relation to community-based participatory research with links to examples of projects as well as resources and toolkits.
Community-based participatory research provides an overview of community-based participatory research with links to examples.
The community-based participatory toolkit (Foundation for Sustainable Development (2017)) , provides guidelines on how to create research proposals, develop research plans and project designs, and carry out the full scope of a research project. Produced by the Foundation for Sustainable Development.
The Community-Campus Partnerships for Health’s (CCPH) toolkits and databases includes a number of tools and databases that help advance community-academic partnerships and address common barriers and challenges.
Participatory Action Research toolkit: An introduction to using PAR as an approach to learning, research and action is a toolkit produced by Durham University to provide guidance on what a PAR project commonly looks like, how to work together and some questions to ask as you go.  PAR is an approach to research. It is a set of principles and practices for originating, designing, conducting, analysing and acting on a piece of research.
Community research toolbox is a toolbox containing research concepts, methods, and tools through topical guides and toolkits such as Community Research, Participatory Asset mapping and a short guide to Community-Based Participatory Research. Produced by Advancement Project California.
… to identify and define problems together with local stakeholders using participatory engagement techniques
How to set up a participatory research agenda provides an overview and links to examples of initiatives that have used participatory methodologies to define research agendas.
The Engage Action Catalogue of engagement is a compendium of engagement methods and tools to help those wanting to conduct inclusive research.

Examples of participatory methodologies that are particularly of relevance to science shops to use during the project definition stage are:

Charrette (to generate consensus among diverse groups of people and form an action plan).

Deliberative Polling®, (a multiple iteration survey method that enables anonymous, systematic refinement of expert opinion with the aim of arriving at a combined or consensual position)

The World Café (a method for generating and sharing ideas by engaging groups, both within organisations and in the public sphere)

Participatory Design (Co-design and practice-based research that can be done together with citizens concerned about a certain issue e.g. the environment)

Intake Question (the Intake (a structured conversation) of a Question from a CSO transfers it into a research question)

Future workshop (a method for planning and forming a vision of the future in a specific geographical area. Can be used to define aims and identify problems by local stakeholders)

Focus groups (a qualitative method that is used to determine the preferences of people or to evaluate strategies and concepts).

Needs Surveys among CSOs (e.g. a survey could be sent to all CSOs/NGOs in a region)

Guide to organizing scenario workshops to develop partnerships between researchers and civil society organisations produced by the EU PERARES project (2013). The guide describes how to plan, organise, run and report scenario workshops as a way to co-construct strategies and research plans, using and adapting scenario workshop methods developed in previous EU science shop consortium projects.
Handbook for participatory activities produced by the EU Sparks project contains guidelines on how to run innovative participatory activities with examples of RRI in action, including Science Espressos, Reverse Science Cafés, Pop-Up Science Shops, Scenario and Incubation Workshops.
Open science cafés manual produced by the EU FOSTER project (2017) for facilitating roundtable discussions between different stakeholders.
The co-creation menu is produced by the EU ORION project (2017) contains 31 methods to engage different audiences with science research using bidirectional participation. The menu builds on Engage2020’s Action Catalogue (see above).
Participation compass is a practical tool for people who are directly involved in planning, running or commissioning participation activities. It contains information, advice and case studies. Produced in 2005 by Involve, a UK think tank and charity.
Participatory methods toolkit – A practitioners manual is a hands-on toolkit for starting up and managing participatory projects with an overview of over 50 methods and 13 in depth descriptions of participatory techniques. Produced by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Flemish Institute for Science and Technology Assessment (viWTA), both based in Brussels.
… to run a citizen science project
The Engage catalogue contains an overview on citizen science and examples of projects.
A blog on How responsible is citizen science? explains how adopting citizen science methodologies can help align research with RRI principles.
A collection of citizen science guidelines and publications produced by the “Doing It Together Science” (DITOs) project signposts guidelines and scientific publications on citizen science, particularly highlighting their relevance to aspects of RRI.
Citizen science for all – A guide for citizen science practitioners contains many practical hints, including a checklist. Published by the GEWISS Programme, Germany.
Citizen science toolkit is a compilation of resources and ideas for the development of citizen science projects produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2015).
Citizen science at universities: trends, guidelines and recommendations includes guidelines for scientists engaging in citizen science, recommendations for institutions and examples of citizen science initiatives. The report is produced by the League of European Research Universities.