ESRA logo
Tuesday 14th July      Wednesday 15th July      Thursday 16th July      Friday 17th July     

Wednesday 15th July, 11:00 - 12:30 Room: O-206

Lay and co-researchers in survey research - participatory survey design

Convenor Dr Dirk Schubotz (ARK, Queen's University Belfast )
Coordinator 1Dr Ingvill Mochmann (GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

Session Details

Traditionally, participatory research projects which involve lay people as co-researchers or peer researcher have used qualitative and interpretive methods, such as focus groups, interviews or action research methods. The role of lay people in survey research, which is often regarded as very technical and perhaps too demanding for anyone without a related academic background, has rarely been extended beyond the function of piloting questions. However, with an increasingly active role of advocacy groups, and with policy regulations in many European countries that require decision makers to involve clients in the improvement of welfare services, there has been a growing scope to involve lay researchers in survey design. Examples for this are health research, children's rights based research and research involving older people. Lay people have been involved in research advisory groups, but also directly in the drafting of questions, the data collection, analysis and dissemination - and in rare cases, the actual design of the study.

For this session we invite papers that report on empirical experiences of involving lay people in any aspect of survey research. We also invite papers discussing thoughts and challenges of lay researcher involvement in survey research from a more theoretical and epistemological perspective.

Paper Details

1. Using participatory research to develop surveys on hidden populations
Professor Ingvill C. Mochmann (Cologne Business School and GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

This paper will present experiences using the participatory method in developing the survey of children born of WWII in 1997 and compare these with the experiences and results of a second survey which took place more than 15 years later. Finally, practical and ethical issues related to using lay-researchers in these projects will be presented and discussed.

2. OurMap of Environmental Justice: Using GIS and Digital Media for Youth-led Community-Based Participatory Action Research
Ms Marisol Becerra (The Ohio State University )

Community mapping is a participatory action method used by community organizers and activists to document assets and areas of concern in their community. This paper explores the use of community mapping and participatory action research with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, a youth-led environmental organization in Chicago, IL USA, and how their innovative community mapping and digital media project successfully catapulted a national environmental campaign to close Chicago's coal power plants. Furthermore, this paper highlights the mutual benefits of community-based participatory research for scholars and community activists.

3. Involving children as co-researchers in the development of a children’s rights questionnaire
Dr Katrina Lloyd (Queen's University Belfast)
Ms Lesley Emerson (Queen's University Belfast)

This paper explores the process through which children as co-researchers were engaged in the development of a quantitative measure of children’s participation rights in school and community. It focuses on the capacity building activities designed to assist them in understanding the nature of participation rights and the development of questionnaire items. The paper discusses the reliability of the questionnaire based on its piloting on a survey administered to approximately 4,000 11 year old children in 2013. The paper proposes a model approach through which children can be systematically engaged in the development of children's rights measures.