Aan alle activisten die strijden voor positieve veranderingen en aan iedereen die de wereld een beetje mooier wil maken, word Participatief Actieonderzoeker!
Mijn collega actieonderzoeker Minke Dijkstra en ik hebben onlangs ons eerste actieonderzoek in de gemeente Tilburg afgerond, en dit mondde uit tot een gezamenlijke zoektocht door ambtenaren, handhavers, agenten, hulpverleners, exploitanten, sekswerkers en nog vele andere betrokkenen naar creatieve oplossingen voor de problemen die er speelden. Met het actieonderzoek is in Tilburg een beweging in gang gezet
O en Madelon Eelderink de oprichter van de SevenSenses Academie is de leukste lerares die ik ooit heb gehad!
Minke and Mischa, a criminologist and a sex worker conduct action researches together. This is a participative method that connects science and practice, just like this collaborative duo!
ABOUT PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH
Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach that links research and action in a participatory way. It allows a community of organizational and non-organizational stakeholders to investigate a shared complex situation, reflect on its results and co-create the best fitting interventions to tackle the situation together and achieve sustainable impact. Participatory Action Research can be applied for all kinds of complex problems, in all kinds of domains and different settings.
PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH IN TILBURG
Sex workers are not the only ones involved in this very first Participative Action Research for and by sex workers. They work together with the municipality, police, aid work and others to initiate a positive change for sex workers in Tilburg and the surrounding area. Often prostitution policies of programs are made without using the knowledge, experience and expertise of sex workers. Participative Action Research is a successful method to have sex workers, municipalities, police and aid work look for solutions together and to have them work together more.
By coming up with solutions together, change has already been set in motion and participants feel motivated and strengthened to persevere, resulting in many beautiful and concrete results in a short time:
•The sounding board group has grown literally and figuratively during the action research, as has the collaboration between all parties.
•There has been more understanding and togetherness.
•Sex work and the good cooperation in Tilburg received positive news.
•A structural joint STI consultation hour has been set up.
•Work has been done on clear information about sex work, regulations and the various facilities in the form of flyers and a website: https://www.seksworks.nl/
•Joint workshops are being developed with sex workers, the police and the municipality.
•Beautiful new initiatives have arisen at the police to improve cooperation between the police and sex workers and to combat abuses together. Sex workers used to be afraid of the police, now trust in the police has grown, and sex workers are more likely to go to the police if they are exploited.
•In addition, the parties have agreed to continue to meet regularly to develop new action plans.
All these initiatives together form a solid foundation for further destigmatization and cooperation on sex work in the municipality of Tilburg. This will contribute to the healthy and safe sector that all participants would like to see. Based on our experiences, it appears that PAR around sex work is not only successful in seeking and realizing solutions together but that the methodology also promotes mutual understanding, cooperation and meaningful participation.
Read more about research here (in Dutch)
We started a new PAR in The Hague in 2021!