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This good practice guide has been developed by IDRICS and IARS as part of a three-year project funded by Comic Relief, which seeks to support refugee and asylum-seeking women (RASW) in undertaking action research into the most pressing needs faced by women who are refugees or asylum-seekers. The project sets out to develop a programme which trains RASW women to obtain information from their peers (other women who have gone through/are experiencing the asylum-seeking process), with the intent of informing health care providers and legal representatives working with RASW about how best to engage with, and deliver services to, women who are frequently vulnerable, and may have experienced horrific violence during their journey to safety in the UK.


This guide for undertaking action research with RASW is based upon discussions with the women who are participating in the IARS research project, findings from the literature review and also knowledge gleaned from carrying out participatory action research (PAR) with other excluded and marginalised communities who face similar barriers to accessing services as a result of disenfranchisement,disbelief and prejudice (Greenfields and Ryder, 2012). The purpose of this short publication is to provide supporting information to the refugee and asylum-seeking women carrying out research for the on-going project, agencies which share IARS aims of ensuring that RASW and those working with them receive adequate support and are able to achieve high quality services, and activists who want to gain best practice knowledge in terms of meeting challenges to engaging with RASW and predicting what interventions might best limit barriers to engagement and develop solutions to community participation in research projects.

Action Research with Refugee Women: Good Practice & Solutions

  • Greenfields, M. and Gavrielides, T (2013), Action Research with Refugee Women: Good Practice and Solutions to Community Participation, London: IARS Publications

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