Participatory Methods

This group hopes to create a space where ideas and experiences can be exchanged when using Participatory Methods to apply the Capability Approach. Members of the group come from different backgrounds but with similar questions: How can the use of participatory methods contribute to a better understanding of people's capabilities? Can we identify functionings and capabilities through participation? What kind of participatory activities can be used to capture the changes in capabilities? Should participatory methods be aimed at expanding people's capabilities? How do participatory methods impact on people's capabilities?

Some of our initial objectives are: to identify and clarify some of the operational challenges of using Participatory Methods in a Capability Approach framework, to illustrate how the real-life experiences of the poor - as depicted through participatory methods - could enrich our understanding of the actual dynamics of human capabilities and functionings, and to understand how participatory methods can contribute to the on going discussion of the relation between capabilities and structural conditions. New members from all backgrounds are welcome, from students to practitioners.


Alexandre Apsan Frediani
University College London, United Kingdom

FerranniniAndrea Ferrannini
ARCO Lab (Action Research for CO-development), University of Florence, Italy

Andrea Ferrannini is the Coordinator of the Strategic Unit on Local Development of ARCO Lab  (Action Research for CO-development, University of Florence, Italy).  He has worked extensively on human development and the capability approach, conducting research in several countries especially by applying and developing new participatory methods.  In 2014, he published a book  with Mario Biggeri  called Sustainable Human Development: A New Territorial and People-centred Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan). More information is available here.

babic-75Bernhard Babic
University of Salzburg, Austria

Bernhard Babic works as a lecturer and research associate at the department for educational science of Paris-Lodron-University in Salzburg, Austria. Concerning the capability approach, he focuses mainly on its applicability in various fields of social work and social development, e.g. as a normative framework for children and youth well-being indices. Together with Caroline Hart and Mario Biggeri, he is co-editor of Agency and Participation in Childhood and Youth: International Applications of the Capability Approach in Schools and Beyond (Bloomsbury Academic). Further information is available here.

Laksh PhotoLaksh N Venkataraman
TERI University, India

L N Venkataraman (Laksh) is a faculty member at the Department of Policy Studies in TERI University, New Delhi in India. As a development sociologist, he is working on the social construction of capabilities. His academic interests are primarily in the areas of education in development Studies. He has a PDF (postdoc) from the University of the Free State, South Africa and DPhil from the Universität Bielefeld in Germany. His publications can be accessed in Development in Practice, Sociological Bulletin: Journal of the Indian Sociological Society, Economic and Political Weekly, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, and the Indian Journal of Human Development.