Action Research is regularly used to solve problems and create guidelines for best practices, but how well does it actually work?
Eileen Piggot-Irvine and her team set out to find out if assumptions about the value of Action Research were correct. To do this they have spent five years evaluating 200 projects that were tackled using the Action Research methodology. They took a look at the problems, outcomes, and the steps in between, and followed up their research with interviews to find out how the people involved felt about the project outcomes.
Their goal, to help advance knowledge about Action Research elements, impacts and outcomes, used an evaluation methodology that followed the principles of Action Research itself. In the course of their work, they identified that almost all of the projects studied utilized elements of Action Research well and resulted in strong impacts and outcomes, which translated into improvements for stakeholders. To date, the work done by Piggot-Irvine and her team has resulted in six published papers and over 20 presentations.