Inclusive research


Inclusive or participatory research is all about involving the respective target group in the research process. It is about doing research with the excluded or marginalized target group instead of having research done on them. Participatory research can be applied and carried out with various communities ranging from migrants and refugees to people with disabilities, to clinical patients or even children.

Those with lived experience can not only shape the research process but are enabled to be active researchers. This centres the perspective of the target group and permits a holistic view of the research topic.

Recommendations for inclusive research

  • Be willing to listen to the input of those who have been excluded, in order to understand which research processes work;
  • Involve the respective target group in all phases of the research process: discuss the initial idea with the target group, brainstorm about the method, evaluate and openly discuss the research design, involve them as active researchers and include them in the analysis of the data;
  • Be open to research questions suggested by the target group in order to incorporate all relevant aspects in the research design and overcome personal blindspots;
  • Discuss sensitive questions with the target group in order to not be insensitive;
  • Organize researcher training for the target group that enables them to deepen their understanding of the research method;
  • Include the target group in the data analysis as some metaphors or figures of speech will only be understood by them;
  • Be aware that inclusive research implies learning among all actors involved;
  • Be open to input from non-researchers.


Von Unger, H.  (2014). Partizipative Forschung. Einführung in die Forschungspraxis. Springer VS. 

Ozkul, D. (2020). Participatory Research: Still a One-Sided Research Agenda? Migration Letters. 17, pp. 229-237, DOI: 10.33182/ml.v17i2.804.

Dunwoodie Stirton, F. (2018). The Use of Participatory Approaches in Refugee and Asylum Seeker Integration: A Literature Review. AVAIL Project.

Migration-Related Risks Caused by Misconceptions of Opportunities and Requirement

MIRROR has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation action program under grant agreement No 832921.

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