Urban policy in Hong Kong: Jackie Yan-chi Kwok and Hok-Bun Ku
The researchers wanted to list policy and development in the city of Hong
The objective of their study was to assist women who were marginalized so
that they could participate in urban planning.
The researcher’s congregated a group of migrant children and women from
one of the high populated locations of Hong Kong. They asked the
participants to take pictures of their everyday life that represented the
issues which they wanted the new policy to address. The researchers also
organized a workshop for all the participants and they were encouraged to
speak about the changes which they wanted in the policy. The participants
shared the pictures which they had clicked with other members who were
present in the workshop.
The researchers developed a planning kit which consisted of procedures
which could be used to turn good ideas into concretely action planning
decisions (for example a playground for their children). The new plans
were disseminated with the help of radio and news publications.
The involvement produced useful improvements. The study produced insights
on how to lessen the power distance between policy makers and those
affected by allowing for cycles of input and feedback.
Topic: Development of nature
tourism in the Corfu Islands
Introduction: The researchers carried out
all the steps which were listed by Franklin (1994). Like other action research
projects, their research project was also situation specific, but there
were elements in the methods used that could be used by other researchers
in different conditions.
In 1995, an action research
process was initiated to explore how nature tourism could be instituted on
each of the two Corfu Islands in Greece. The Greece government took the
lead, for community-based development, environmental conservation, and
national economic development purposes. An action research approach was seen
as appropriate since a lot of stakeholders were involved, including women’s and youth groups, representatives of several government
ministries, farmers’ cooperatives, environmental and heritage groups,
community organizations, and private business.
Two action researchers from
Ohio University in Ohio, with prior experience, were hired to carry out
the project, with a majority of the funding coming from the Ohio
International Development Agency. A national advisory councils consisting
of multiple stakeholders was formed, and national project coordinators
were appointed as local project liaisons. Their main task was to organize
a search conference on each island.
The search conferences took place,
the outcome of which was a set of action plans for carrying out of some nature
tourism-oriented projects at the local community level. Extended advisory
groups were formed on both the islands, and a national awareness activity was
also implemented in both the islands.
To maintain the process, regional
project meetings were held on a periodic basis, where project coordinators and
key advisory members shared their experiences, conducted self-evaluations and
developed plans for maintaining the process. The researchers also used video camera
to create a documentary of the project to build a sense of community amongst
Results: The results revealed varied outcomes. In one of the
island, the research project was highly successful, with several feasible local
developments instituted. The outcome in the second island was the least
successful. The main differences in the outcomes identified by the researchers
were in the willingness of the key government personnel to let go their control
and allow the process to be mutually controlled by all participants. There is
constantly a risk that this kind of research will empower stakeholders, and
revolutionize existing power relations, the risk of which is too much for some
top decision-makers, but if opportunity is given to everyone, there are many
things that a joint group of citizens can achieve which might not be possible
if the work was done in solo.