‘Hard to reach’ or ‘easy to ignore’. Strategies and reflections on including co-researchers.
April 12, 2021
In this paper we reflect on how to do research with co-researchers who are perceived as ‘hard to reach’. We critically debate this expression and recommend the usage of the term ‘easy to ignore’, which rather fosters self-reflection instead of creating a double deficit. We elaborate on important aspects about getting into contact, ensuring continuity, choosing methods and enhancing participation. We consider it very important to integrate these co-researchers in every step of the research process –from formulating research questions to disseminating results. Furthermore, the research design and methods shall be chosen together with the co-researchers, matching their interests and capacities. Last but not least, we recommend to continuously reflect on inclusion and exclusion of target groups as well as power relations and hierarchies within the team of researchers and co-researchers.
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