The Community Benefits of Participatory Action Research

March 18, 2019

‘Participatory Action Research’ – what does it mean?

Also known as PAR, Participatory Action Research is based on community-based research that encourages the community to participate and engage, as a “co-researcher”. The research is made up of the participants’ society, knowledge and life experiences. The PAR sessions aim to understand the individual’s world, through collaborative activities and reflection. It aims to connect academic interests, with education and community development, highlighting and addressing questions that are significant for those who participate. 


What are the benefits?

Techniquest have led sessions using this research model for almost 2 years, having had specialist training on PAR in May 2017. Since the launch of the sessions in 2017, Techniquest have engaged over 690 individuals and 14 organisations from the local community. These engagements and research findings have supported Techniquest to:

  • Form Content for Shows
  • Understand our Communities interest in STEM related topics, such as Environment Science
  • Understand our audience demographic
  • Shape our Community & Partners Projects
  • Adapt our Marketing Material
  • And much more!

The sessions have not only supported Techniquest’s content creation and services to be community led but it has also encouraged our local community to visit and build long-term relationships with STEM, some of who had not previously engaged with Techniquest or with STEM.

How are the sessions run?

The sessions can be run with any group or individual and in any setting. The activities are carefully planned for each audience prior to the session and delivered using various techniques. Most sessions are made up of at least two tasks that ask the participant(s) an open-ended question. This allows the participant to build their research and answer purely from their experiences. The second task usually generates a new question, that has been led by the answer of the previous task. There are hundreds of activity methods but some that we use to encourage action participation are:

  • Discussion Carousels
  • Mapping
  • Informing the Alien
  • Prioritising Grid

Stages of PAR

Who have we worked with?

We’ve worked with a wide range of people and organisations such as Tenant Participation Cardiff’s 65+ group, BAWSO building’s “Friends” group, South Riverside Community Development Centre, YMCA Cardiff, Grangetown Library, Cardiff University Student Union, among many others.

How can I participate?

Whether you’re an organisation or individual, you can be involved in our Participatory Action Research. All sessions have different themes and needs, therefore we can discuss with you the best activities and content for your learner group. If you’re interested in finding out more, contact our Engagement & Partnerships Team at


Connect with us

Are you a Community Organisation or Individual? Connect with us at Techniquest, please contact us at

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  • Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff, CF10 5BW

Contact us

  • 029 2047 5475
    Mon–Fri: 9am–5pm Sat–Sun: 10am–5pm
    While we always endeavour to answer calls, when the centre is busy it may not always be possible.
    If you leave us a message we will respond to you as quickly as we can.

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  • Techniquest’s opening hours vary — visit the Opening Times page to find out the current hours.

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  •   What is Techniquest?

    Techniquest is an educational charity, with a science centre in Cardiff Bay. Our mission is to embed science in Welsh culture through interactive engagement. We provide a range of services to schools and teachers to complement formal education provision in Wales and work extensively with public audiences.

  •   Where can I park?

    We are pleased to be able to offer all of our visitors discounted parking with Q-Park, our preferred parking partner.

    The Q-Park operates the Cardiff Bay car park in Pierhead Street which is around 8 minutes walk from Techniquest.

    We have agreed a special discount rate for our customers of 15% off all pre-bookings.
    Pre-book and guarantee your space here using the code TECHNI15.

    There are also nearby pay-and-display car parks on Stuart Street and Havannah Street. Please do not park on Havannah Street itself.

    We regret that there is no parking on-site at Techniquest.

  •   Who is it for?

    Techniquest is suitable for all ages! We do have special events for certain groups, however — see Toddler Days and Home Educator days.

  • I have a different question.

    Please see our dedicated FAQ page.

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