Dysg undertakes research projects within Wales in partnership with practitioners in the sector. Projects are coordinated by the Dysg Research Network. Dysg also ensures, that the ‘Welsh Dimension’ is included in LSDA research proposals. In addition Dysg is establishing a Strategic Research Forum linking active researchers from higher education and the post-16 sector with National Council-ELWa, Welsh Assembly, sectoral and other relevant agency representation.

The Forum will collate information on existing and proposed research from all sources across Wales. It will consider identified research needs and work with all agencies, seeking to shape a relevant programme of research activity. Links will be sought with the Learning and Skills Research Centre and wider national and international work.

This publication presents a range of techniques for promoting participation of a wide range of people in all stages of an initiative, from identification, planning and design, through to implementation and evaluation.

Why is this important to learning providers? If we are to widen participation in learning we need to engage with individuals and communities on the issues which are important to them and embed learning within relevant projects and activities. The ultimate aim of many participatory projects is to empower local people so that they can eventually take over the running of a project, thereby ensuring project sustainability even after the supporting organisation pulls out. Learning is central to this empowerment and there are many benefits to be gained in using the participatory techniques outlined in this publication.