Research & Policy Resources

Research for Organizing Webinar Series

This webinar series unpacks the Research for Organizing Toolkit, a website and resource for organizations to conduct Participatory Action Research (PAR). PAR is a community-driven, power-building and action oriented method of research that helps us analyze and document the problems we see in our communities, allows us to generate meaningful data and evidence that strengthens social justice work and ensures that we are the experts about issues that face our communities.

Webinar 1: Unpacking the Research for Organizing Toolkit

Our first webinar was held on Thursday April 28th, 2016 at 12 PM EST. It is an introduction to the Research for Organizing toolkit and the Principles of Participatory Action Research. By the end of the webinar, participants are able to:

  • Navigate the toolkit and utilize various activities and tools
  • Understand principles of Participatory Action Research and how it strengthens organizing work
  • Understand basic components and timeline for conducting a PAR project

Research for Organizing Webinar Series - Module 1: Unpacking the RFO Toolkit 04-28-2016 from Zarin Ahmed on Vimeo.

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Webinar 2: Designing your Research Project

Our second webinar was held on Tuesday May 17, 2016 at 12 PM EST. It focused on the research design phase with particular attention to developing research questions and putting together a research plan. By the end of the webinar, participants are able to:

  • Put together research questions informed by research goals
  • Use research goals to choose research methods
  • Develop a research plan and timeline
  • Understand the use and benefits of advisory boards

2016-05-17 11.59 Research for Organizing Webinar Series_ Module 2- Designing your Research Project from Zarin Ahmed on Vimeo.

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Webinar 3: Overview of Research Methods

Our third webinar was held on June 21st, 2016. Module 3 provides a broad overview of various research methods used in participatory action research. It goes over surveys, focus groups, and mystery shopping, as well as other methods and discuss their benefits and challenges. By the end of the module, participants should be able to:

  • Define and understand the uses of primary and secondary data
  • Define and understand the uses of quantitative and qualitative data
  • Identify the best research methods to collect quantitative and qualitative data

Research for Organizing Webinar Series - Module 3: Overview of Research Methods 06.21.2016 from Zarin Ahmed on Vimeo.

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Webinar 4: Creating, Designing, and Implementing Surveys - Quantitative Data

Our fourth webinar was held on August 10th, 2016. Module 4 focuses on surveys as a method of quantitative data collection in participatory action research. We discuss crafting survey questions, layouts, outreach, collection, and utilizing surveys as an organizing tool. By the end of the module, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the steps involved in survey design and collection
  • Understand the role community and organizational members can play in survey design and collection
  • Understand how surveys can connect to organizing efforts
  • Understand the role of sampling strategies and outreach plans in survey collection

Research for Organizing Webinar Series: Module 4 - Creating, Designing, and Implementing Surveys from Zarin Ahmed on Vimeo.

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Webinar 5: Focus Groups

Our fifth webinar was held on September 29th, 2016. Module 5 delves into focus groups as a method of qualitative data collection. We explore the benefits and challenges of conducting focus groups and look at what focus group data can look like in participatory action research projects. By the end of the module, participants should be able to:

  • Understand what qualitative data is and its use in participatory action research
  • Understand the benefits and challenges of implementing focus groups
  • Understand how to design and conduct focus groups
  • Understand how to do outreach and sampling for focus groups
  • Understand how members can be involved in focus groups from design to implementation

Research for Organizing Webinar Series - Module 5: Focus Groups from Zarin Ahmed on Vimeo.

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Webinar 6: Interviews

Our sixth webinar was held on November 3rd, 2016. Module 5 delves into focus groups as a method of qualitative data collection. We explore the benefits and challenges of conducting interviews and look at what interview data can look like in participatory action research projects. Participants will:

  • Explore the benefits and challenges of using interviews as a method for Participatory Action Research
  • Learn best practices in crafting interview questions and developing interview protocols
  • Explore tools for training interviewers and conducting interviews
  • Understand how interviews can be incorporated into your organization’s campaign and leadership development work

Research for Organizing Webinar Series - Module 6 - Interviews from Zarin Ahmed on Vimeo

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Webinar 7: Mystery Shopping & Observations

Module 7 explores the benefits and challenges of mystery shopping in participatory action research projects. Mystery shopping is a research method where community members posing as customers, call or visit businesses and document their experience and observations. This is a good way to document employment practices, compliance with labor laws, and consumer fraud. Participants will:

  • Explore the benefits and challenges of using mystery shopping in their research
  • Learn best practices for developing tools to record observations when mystery shopping
  • Explore tools for training mystery shoppers
  • Understand how mystery shopping can be incorporated into your organization’s campaign and leadership development work

2016-12-21 11.24 Research for Organizing Webinar Series Module 7 - Mystery Shopping Observations from Zarin Ahmed on Vimeo.

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Webinar 8: From Paper to Power! Tips for Data Management

Module 8 focuses on data management, and how our surveys, intakes, and other organizing data can be used to advocate for change. During the webinar, participants will:

  • Learn best practices for entering data and keeping databases organized
  • Understand how survey, intake, and other organizing data can be utilized for advocacy work
  • Discuss strategies and resources for securing digital data

Research for Organizing Webinar Series: Module 8 - From Paper to Power! Tips for Data Management from Zarin Ahmed on Vimeo.

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