Participatory Action Research for Positive Change

7Senses Academy – PAR Practitioners Program

Join our PAR Practitioners Program (PPP), starting Summer 2021!


Corona hasn’t been able to ruin our Program (fingers crossed it stays that way), so don’t hesitate to subscribe!

When only Dutch-speakers subscribe, the PPP will be given in Dutch.

Participants valued the last edition of our PPP with an average of 4,4 out of 5!

In our work, we often wonder how to get people on board and join ‘our project’. Even when we think we have the perfect solution for something, we get disappointed by the lack of energy within society to make use of it or to join in. The thing is, people most often don’t want to join other people’s projects. They want to join their own projects! Then how do we create a sense of ownership over the project? How can we get full commitment of people to create the movement we (and they) like to achieve?

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach that enables large groups of people to co-create the positive change they wish to achieve. In the PAR Practitioners Program you will learn how you can facilitate this societal movement!

7Senses is a growing network of Participatory Action Researchers all over the world. We perform PAR projects in all kinds of different settings on different complex problems (find here our projects). Participatory Action Researchers love their work for the high impact it brings in communities, for how much it empowers people and simply for making people happier, more self-confident and cooperative.

At the same time, there is a growing demand for PAR worldwide, from governmental- as well as non-governmental organizations, to tackle complex problems in numerous different domains. As such, 7Senses aims to train new enthusiastic professionals in conducting PAR and give them opportunities to work with 7Senses in PAR-projects of their choice as an independent Participatory Action Researcher.

The Program is designed for everyone interested in facilitating positive change by communities through applying Participatory Action Research.

Throughout this PPP you will:

  • Learn the basic principles and ethics of Participatory Action Research;
  • Learn how to set up a PAR-design;
  • Get skilled in multiple PAR methods;
  • Learn about community psychology and factors that drive motivation to act together;
  • Learn how to facilitate the co-creation of innovative solutions among local stakeholders;
  • Learn about power dynamics and how they influence the design and realization of co-created initiatives;
  • Get the right communication and social skills and learn about your role as an action researcher;
  • Learn how to monitor and accelerate co-created initiatives;
  • Inspire many people with what you accomplish!

The PPP consists of a 5-week training and a 12-week internship, starting June 15th 2020. As a participant of our PPP, you can choose whether you want the Training Track (only the 5-week Training) or the Training & Internship Track: the 5-week Training followed by a 12-week internship.

Participatory Action Researcher

If you finish the Training Track, you will receive the ‘Certificate of Participation’. If you finish the Training & Internship Track, and have shown you have acquired all  PAR-competences during your internship, you receive the ‘Certificate of Achievement’. The latter makes you a 7Senses certified, independent Participatory Action Researcher with which you can join paid 7Senses projects, in the Netherlands and/or beyond!


The Training Track

During our Training Track, you will learn all about PAR principles, the PAR Cycle, PAR-methodology and the co-creation of solutions with communities, sustainable impact and all that comes along with the PAR process. During these 5 weeks, you will get training each Monday evening and Thursday all day. After the course, you will be packed with the skills you need to perform a high quality action research that you can apply in numerous different settings.


The Participatory Action Researcher Internship

From August 2019 onwards, you will perform an internship at an organization or community of your choice. You can either organize your own internship or join one of the 7Senses internship placements if applicable. In a personal pre-program session we will discuss what suits you best and go through the different options. During the internship period, you will have in total six group guidance sessions every two weeks on Monday evenings.

The supporting assignments of the PPP are set up in such a way that it helps you get experience in what you learned during the trainings of the PPP and -for Training & Internship participants- to prepare for your internship.

  • Start Training Track: Summer 2021 (exact date to be announced)
  • Training days: Monday 17.00- 20.00 and Thursday 10.00 – 16.00
  • Language: literature is mostly in Dutch, training will be in Dutch or English
  • Other work: readings and assignments (8-10 hours per week)
  • Literature: Handboek Participatief Actieonderzoek. Samen bouwen aan een betere wereld. Authored by 7Senses founder Madelon Eelderink
  • Trainer: Madelon Eelderink
  • Location: Due to corona, most of our trainings will take place online, using Zoom. Only two training days, in which we practice focus groups will be at a to be announced location in or near Utrecht.
  • Difficulty: HBO/WO thinking level
  • Maximum number of participants: 12 (full is full)
  • Prices:
    • Training Track: €970,- Ex VAT
    • Training and Internship Track €1270,- ex VAT
  • Subscription deadline: may 2021
  • Subscribe to:
  • Include in the subscription: contact details, Track of choice and (for Training & Internship Track) cv and motivation.


Join the PPP and receive our brandnew Handbook on Participatory Action Research for free!


“Het PPP programma leert je nieuwe onderzoeksvaardigheden die je eigenlijk niet in andere opleidingen krijgt aangeboden. Je leert denken en kijken vanuit andere perspectieven, met name het burgerperspectief en je flexibel aanpassen aan je co-onderzoeker. De training leert je om creatieve methoden te gebruiken bij het verzamelen en analyseren van de data waardoor verrassende oplossingsrichtingen kunnen ontstaan.”

Wilma van der Vlegel, participant of the PPP 2019/2020, Training & Internship Track

Any further questions? Check out our FAQ! Is your question not answered? Please contact Madelon: or 06 39895095.

Pictures of former PPP editions

Friederike Ertmer“I really enjoyed the PAR course given by Madelon! She knows what she is talking about and lets you explore what PAR means with a good amount of fun, reflection on yourself and your ideas about it, guidance and practice. 
I’ve learned so much in a short time and was able to put it into practice during my first project right afterwards.” 
Friederike Ertmer, participant of the first edition of the PAR Practitioners Program, Training & Internship Track


Pictures of our PPP students at work during their internships