LEAP Co-Founder and Senior Consultant Publishes Article in the Journal for Participatory Research Methods

LEAP is pleased to announce that our co-founder and Senior Consultant Elizabeth McGee has published a paper in the Journal for Participatory Research Methods. The paper titled “Community Harm Risk Assessment Review Board and a Reflective Praxis Guide serves as a Radical Participatory Process for Harm Reduction in Participatory Research and Evaluation.” The special issue theme, edited by Faith R. Kares and Rhonda J. Broussard, is “Leveraging Participatory Research Methods to Disrupt White Supremacy Culture in Schools, Nonprofits, Workplaces and Beyond.” We are excited about the opportunity to be part of this issue and to participate in the critical discourse around reducing harm and disrupting oppressive practices in our work.

Paper Context

This paper was inspired by Elizabeth McGee’s nearly two decades of experience in conventional participatory research and evaluation methods. Observing how these methods can cause more harm than healing to individuals and communities intended to benefit through our work. We also note the misuse of these methods.

McGee has coined the term data violence to encapsulate this harm. She has created strategies for reducing harm by using community-based tools to increase the accountability and relevance of our efforts. This paper calls for the critical examination of the often invisible harm that occurs in traditional participatory research efforts. It also emphasizes the need for ongoing evaluation of these practices. We demonstrate how white supremacist and colonial systems cause this harm. Within the context of these systems that inform our practice standards and norms, we must understand it.

Our Unique Approach

In response to ongoing systemic challenges, our article introduces a Community Harm Risk Assessment (CHRA) Reflective Praxis Guide. Grounding this guide in principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) and trauma-informed practices, we establish it as a radical participatory process for harm reduction in evaluation and participatory research. In the pater, we share how using a Community Harm Risk Assessment Review Board (CHRARB) can make a significant difference in supporting practitioners, applied researchers, and evaluators to address harm with more intentionality in their work and strategically shift research and evaluation practices away from colonial and white supremacist norms. We share our learnings about these radical strategies in this paper. 

Check out our article JPRM here.