Front porch conversations: Methodological innovations to participatory action research and asset-based community development

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Josh Brewer
Brandon Kliewer


Complex public problems are resistant to top-down, technical solutions creating the need for new and innovative ways of approaching community. In response, many practitioners working in community development organisations have embraced community strengths- or asset-based approaches to community development, including Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). Similarly, those scholars committed to social change have started to include action research/learning and participatory approaches to their research design, including Participatory Action Research (PAR). This article describes a qualitative method that was developed by a non-profit practitioner working for a local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and a researcher from a land-grant university in Manhattan, Kansas to operationalise a neighbourhood revitalisation framework with a community conversation series called Front Porch Conversations. The qualitative method developed by the university-nonprofit partnership –called the Front Porch Development Procedure – serves as both a PAR-informed mode of inquiry and an ABCD-informed mode of development. This method provides an example of how university-community partnerships can approach changemaking in novel ways by considering ABCD and PAR approaches.

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Research articles (Refereed)