Participatory action research into donor-recipient relations: a case study

This article describes the exploratory and preparatory phase of a research project designed to use cooperative enquiry as a method for transformative and participatory action research into relations between donors and recipients in two developing countries, Bolivia and Bangladesh. It describes the origins of our idea, the conceptual challenges that we faced in seeking funding, and what we learnt from this first phase. We analyse why the researchers, as well as the potential subjects of the research, were uncomfortable with the proposed methodology, including the challenges arising from our own positions and the highly sensitive nature of the topic. We explain why we decided to abandon the project and reach some tentative conclusions concerning the options for participatory action learning and research in development practice.