Participatory Research and 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 consists of the following:

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.

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 is a day-long conference to explore how grassroots community organizations and resource allies can partner to organize for justice and social change. It is co-hosted by CDP, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), and Hester Street Collaborative (HSC).

Research for Organizing Toolkit: Our new 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. For more information, please visit: