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Co-Producing ResearchA Community Development Approach$
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Sarah Banks, Angie Hart, Kate Pahl, and Paul Ward

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340751

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340751.001.0001

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Between research and community development: Negotiating a contested space for collaboration and creativity

Between research and community development: Negotiating a contested space for collaboration and creativity

(p.21) Two Between research and community development: Negotiating a contested space for collaboration and creativity
Co-Producing Research

Sarah Banks

Andrea Armstrong

Anne Bonner

Yvonne Hall

Patrick Harman

Luke Johnston

Clare Levi

Kath Smith

Ruth Taylor

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the relationship between co-produced research and community development. In particular, it addresses longstanding debates about whether certain forms of co-produced research (especially participatory action research), are, in fact, indistinguishable from community development. This question is explored with reference to Imagine North East, a co-produced research project based in North East England, which was part of a larger programme of research on civic participation (Imagine – connecting communities through research). The chapter offers a critical analysis of three elements of Imagine North East: an academic-led study of community development from the 1970s to the present; starting with the national Community Development Projects in Benwell and North Shields; a series of community development projects undertaken by local community-based organisations; and the challenges and outcomes of a joint process of reflection and co-inquiry. It considers the role of co-produced research in challenging stigma, celebrating place and developing skills and community networks – all recognisable as community development processes and outcomes. It also discusses the difficult process of bringing together a disparate group of people in a co-inquiry group; the time taken to develop identities as practitioner-researchers; and the skills required to engage in a kind of ‘collaborative reflexivity’ whereby members of the group critically reflected together on the group’s role and dynamics.

Keywords:   co produced research, co inquiry, community development, community development projects, CDPSs, North East England, territorial stigmatisation

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