Participatory Research & Policy

CDP’s Research and Policy Initiative partners with and provides strategic support to grassroots community organizations to build the power of their organizing and advocacy work. We utilize a “participatory action research” model in which low-income and excluded communities are central to the design and development of research and policy.

Our Work

Our work takes a variety of forms in New York City's communities. The following are a few examples to show how we use research to inform policy initiatives.

Participatory Action Research Reports

From start to finish, we work with our community partners to design, administer, analyze and write participatory action research reports. These reports are used by our partners to educate community members, engage elected officials, garner media attention and advocate for socially just policies. You can see examples of this work by clicking here.

Grassroots Policymaking

With community organizations, we research and develop ground-up policy solutions to problems they identify and document.

Popular-Education Curriculum Design and Research Training

Our trainings and tools assist communities in designing and conducting their own research. We also conduct trainings on a variety of research topics to build the capacity of our partner organizations.

Strategic Campaign Research

We conduct background research and develop fact sheets to provide strategic data in support of organizing campaigns. Our partners use these materials in leadership development and base-building and to educate elected and government officials about specific issues and campaigns.

The Partnering for Impact Conference

A day-long conference to explore how grassroots community organizations and resource allies can partner to organize for justice and social change, the PFI Conference is co-hosted by CDP, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), and Hester Street Collaborative (HSC). You can get information about the conference by clicking here.

Research for Organizing Toolkit

This website and toolkit provides resources for organizations to conduct participatory action research (PAR), a people-centered, power-building research method. We have compiled trainings, tools and tips from our work over the last decade into a web-based resource that includes case studies featuring CDP’s community partners, workshops, worksheets and templates. This toolkit is designed for organizations and individuals that want to use PAR to support their work towards social justice. See our webinar training series on how to use the toolkit.

Past Research and Policy Updates