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(2018) Vol. 41, Núm. 1 La Investigación (Acción) Participante (IAP) en convergencias disciplinares: aprendizajes y retos para el posacuerdo

Reseña – From action research to knowledge democracy Cartagena 1977-2017 / De la Investigación Acción a la democracia del conocimiento. Cartagena, 1977-2017

From action research to knowledge democracy Cartagena 1977-2017

De la Investigación Acción a la democracia del conocimiento. Cartagena, 1977-2017

Da pesquisa-ação à democracia do conhecimento. Cartagena 1977-2017

Budd L. Hall, Rajesh Tandon

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Resumen (en_US)

I (Budd) was working in Tanzania from 1970-1975 as the head of the research department of the Institute for Adult Education at the University of Dar-es-Salaam. I was part of a community of young researchers, both Tanzanian and expatriates, who had been attracted to work in Tanzania because of the vision of the late President Julius K Nyerere. Mwalimu (teacher) Nyerere was an engaging intellectual as well as the leader of the Independence movement. He had a vision for building Tanzania from an African political framework. His political philosophy was called Ujamaa, a Kiswahili word related to familyhood. His vision was often referred to as African socialism. Among the principles of this approach was the call to build on the knowledge and skills of ordinary women and men. The Tanzanian approach was one of the earliest examples of participatory development. As he said at times, “Poor people do not use money for a weapon, they use ideas and leadership”. Over a period of time, we began, as an informal network of researchers, to find that the epistemological tools that we had been trained with, positivist, quantitative, and survey research methods, did not fit well with the Tanzanian emphasis on participatory development. Our research methods, developed in the seats of colonial power, centralized meaning making and the naming of the world. Researchers sitting in the capital city of Dar-es-Salaam were thinking up research topics, gathering data in large-scale field survey, only to make meaning of the subsequent findings based on the logical imagination in the minds of the researchers. Over a period of several years, many of us evolved an approach to research that we believed fit the vision, political aspirations, and reality of the Tanzanian context more adequately. We were encouraged in this work by a visit in 1971 of Paulo Freire who spoke to us about his approach to research that he called thematic investigation. His sophisticated theoretical approach to conscientization and the call to both read and write the world were very similar to the vision and practice that Nyerere was calling for. We called this way of working; participatory research. We first published a series of articles on participatory research in the journal of the International Council of Adult Education, Convergence in 1975 (Hall, 1975).


Fals Borda, O. (1981). Science and the common people. Journal of Social Studies, (11), 19.

Fals Borda, O. (1985). Knowledge and People’s Power: Lessons with Peasants in Nicaragua, Mexico and Columbia. New Delhi, India: Indian Social Institute.

Fals Borda, O. (Ed.) (1998). People’s participation: challenges ahead. Bogota: Colciencias, Instituto de Estudios Politicos y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Fals Borda, O. and Rahman, M. A. (1991). Action and knowledge: Breaking the monopoly with participatory action research. New York: Apex Press.

Hall, B. L. (1975) Participatory Research: An Approach for Change. Convergence, 8(2), 24-32.

Hall, B. L. (2015). Beyond epistemicide: Knowledge democracy and higher education. Retrieved on July 31, 2017 from: http://Unescochair-cbrsr.org/Unesco/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Beyond_Epistemicide_final.pdf

Hall, B. L. and Kidd J. R. (1978). Adult learning: design for action (A comprehensive international survey). Oxford: Pergamon.

Hall, B. L. and Tandon, R. (2017). Decolonization of knowledge, epistemicide, participatory research and higher education. Research for All, 1(1), 6-19. Retrieved on July 31, 2017 from: http://Unescochair-cbrsr.org/pdf/resource/RFA.pdf ].

Tandon, R. (1998). Struggle for knowledge: A personal journey. In O. Fals Borda (Eds.), People’s participation: challenges ahead (pp. 95-103). Bogotá: Colciencias, Instituto de Estudios Politicos y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Tandon, R. and Hall, B. L. (2017, June 23). Cartagena 2017: Mecca of Participatory Action Research? [blog post]. Retrieved from http://Unescochair-cbrsr.org/index.php/2017/06/23/cartagena-2017-mecca-of-participatory-action-research/.

Tandon, R., Singh, W., Clover, D., and Hall, B. (2016). Knowledge democracy and excellence in engagement. IDS Bulletin on Engaged Excellence, 47(6), 19-35. [Also, available at: http://unescochair-cbrsr.org/index.php/2017/06/23/cartagena-2017-mecca-of-participatory-action-research/

UNESCO Chair (2014). PRIA’s engagements with Higher Education Institutions: Initiatives in Community Based Research (CBR). Retrieved on July 31, 2017 from: http://Unescochair-cbrsr.org/Unesco/pdf/resource/PRIA_Engagement_with_Higher_Educational_Institutions.pdf.

Acerca de revistacolombianadesociologia

La Revista Colombiana de Sociología (RCS) es una publicación científica semestral que, desde el 2 de diciembre de 1979, se ha consolidado como una de las publicaciones que más han contribuido a la difusión de las discusiones clásicas y contemporáneas de la sociología y se ha caracterizado por dar lugar a los trabajos de académicos reconocidos en la comunidad científica nacional e internacional, así como de estudiantes y egresados.


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ISSN: 0120-159X (impreso)
ISSN: 2256-5485 (en línea)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/rcs
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