"We want to be the protagonists of our own stories!" - A participatory research manual on how domestic workers and researchers can jointly conduct research
Training Material, Guides, Organizing/Educational Materials
This research manual "We want to be the protagonists of our own stories!" A participatory research manual on how domestic workers and researchers can jointly conduct research is an outcome of close cooperation of researchers of the Research Network for Domestic Worker Rights (RN-DWR), domestic workers, trade unions , and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
By cooperating closely with domestic worker organizations and involving domestic workers in the research, the research follows the core aims of the RN-DWR, such as conducting research following the need of domestic workers, disseminating research on domestic work to domestic worker organization, and contributing to the empowerment of domestic workers via research.
The manual was developed on the basis of the experience from conducting a study of the social security needs of domestic workers in the Netherlands and South Africa. The publication depicts the research process and can work as a guideline to participatory research in the field of domestic work, but also other areas of research.
The manual is a step-by-step guide through all phases of a research process, from coming up with a research question to celebrating its completion. It contains explanations of research methods and practical group exercises. Authors and domestic worker co-researchers share their experiences, offer tips and materials to work with.
One of the underlying principles of the project was that domestic workers should be part of the research process as “protagonists of their own story” – as one participant summarized her experience.
By training domestic workers to conduct research, they, as experts on their own work, could ultimately contribute and expand their knowledge through the research process. In this way, the project hoped to contribute to social change and the capacity-building of all those involved.
This manual should be of direct practical use to researchers, trade unions and domestic workers' organizations who would like to conduct participatory research projects. We welcome further research based on participatory principles and hope that this manual can spread the idea of collaborative research in the field of domestic work.