We draw on Action Research to study the social justice impacts of participatory mapping projects. Action Reseach is centered on the idea that researchers, especially in applied fields such as participatory mapping, recognize and embrace the transformative power of their research to support social change.
We will use a methodological approach that focuses on 1) ensuring broad participation and collaboration with academics, practitioners and community members; 2) valuing different modes of knowledge and 3) offering concrete support in the design and implementation of participatory mapping projects that recognize and support social justice impact from their inception.
To select the three exemplars, we rely on the knowledge of recognized international academic and practitioner experts. The research team, including Ciza - a master's student, will undertake a Delphi study with global experts. The Delphi technique uses multiple rounds of questioning in an iterative, yet structured, manner to obtain ideas and information from the collective opinion and experience of a panel of experts . This method allows participants from different backgrounds to have equal contribution to the research decision-making even when not physically present during the process.
We will initially identify twenty experts. We will seek a diversity of experiences, opinions and perspectives from academia, the practitioner community and other recognized experts in the field. We will ensure global representation to ensure a diversity of regional contexts and experiences. We will invite these experts to participate in our research. Using a snowballing technique , we will ask the initial group of Delphi participants to identify other experts (approximately twenty). We will use semi structured interviews and questionnaires to identify the mapping projects the Delphi participants consider the most influential.
Based on the number of responses derived from multiple rounds of questioning, the research team will classify the projects by influence and then select the three top-ranking exemplars. We will exclude any top-ranked projects that were completed more than 25 years ago (because of the possibility there are no remaining or available participants to engage in the field research), or those that began too recently (2016 onwards) and therefore offer no insight toward a longitudinal understanding of social justice impact. We will invite the Delphi participants to take part in the longer trajectory of the project and contribute to a co-edited volume on the social justice impacts of participatory mapping.