Browsing by Subject "participation"

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  • Virkkunen, Matleena (2008)
    This research paper examines the subject positions of the Nicaraguan peasant women who participated in development projects. The women are a part of the target group of the projects. The concept of subject position refers in this research to the women's socially constructed position in the development projects. I also analyse the discourses of development and poverty that the Nicaraguan women produce. The discourses of the women are compared to the so called hegemonic discourses of development. The hegemonic discourses and their critique are introduced during the research. The theoretical framework of the research is constructed by social constructionism and critical discourse analysis. I have approached the subject positions of the Nicaraguan women with the help of textual analysis and narratology. This research can be conceptualised as a part of the ethnographic development research. I have investigated two development projects funded by foreign donors. The research material consists of the private and group interviews of the Nicaraguan women. In the women's narratives, four different subject positions were found. One of them represents active participation in the development project. The rest of the subject positions represent passive positions. The fatalistic subject position was especially strong. The poverty discourses of the women emphasized the lack of education (or knowledge) and the condition of a house and clothes. Poverty was also seen for instance as social inequality and as happiness. The strongest development discourse the women emphasized was education, work and a good salary. On the other hand, development was seen as the social services produced by the state. Research shows that the discourses produced by the Nicaraguan women are many times in conflict with the discourses that emphasize the economical well-being in development. On the other hand, the results of this research are similar with those of so called participatory poverty research. The research also shows the conflict between the hegemonic development discourses and the positioning of the development project's target group. The main argument of the research is that the target group's passive (or even fatalistic) subject position may threat the aims of a development project. On the other hand, becoming aware of the target group's subject positions may help the project to achieve its aims.
  • Shange, Bosaze Rufinga (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    This research focused on sustainable community forest management and policy implications for the biosphere reserve of Luki in the DR- Congo. The purpose of this research was to find out opportunities and options to develop sustainable community forest management at the biosphere reserve of Luki. The research was conducted in the biosphere reserve of Luki located in the southwest of DR- Congo. The human activities threat the biosphere reserve of Luki to be under significant pressure of unsustainable management. The research revealed a number of options and opportunities to establish sustainable community forest management and policies needed to sustain forest ecosystem in the biosphere of Luki. The research uses a qualitative research methods, both primary and secondary data were collected during field work in 2010 through interviews and other various participatory methods. The interviewee includes different local forestry authorities and local community. The results of the research showed that, sustainable community forest management cannot be established in an environment where no effective policy instruments or law enforcement being in place. The results show that, due to political conditions in DR- Congo, the government has not been able to put certain measure to resolve tenure rights. This has remained a difficult issue and challenge that the government has not been able to find an immediate solution. The research recommends the need to develop a sustainable community forest management at the biosphere reserve of Luki. The government needs to clarify the forest code by clearly stating what government wants to do with its vast forest resources, especially in regard to the forest dependent people. A policy framework should be put in place as soon as possible in order for forest institutions to be able to function. The management strategy should be an inclusive process in order to promote equity and multiple use of forest resource at local community level.
  • Lehtiniemi, Tuukka; Haapoja, Jesse (2020)
    Data activism has emerged as a response to asymmetries in how data and the means of knowledge production are distributed. This article examines MyData, a data activism initiative developing principles for a new technical and commercial ecosystem in which individuals control the use of personal data. Analyzing material collected at a formative event shaping MyData activism, we examine how more just data arrangements are framed to enhance equal participation. Our analysis shows agreement on what is ultimately at stake: individual data agency and fair competition in the data economy. However, two alternatives are offered for what participation involves. Collaboration with commercial actors favors framing participation as agency in data markets, thereby potentially limiting the scope of what is at stake. The alternative framing presents a rights-based understanding of economic and civic agency, potentially leading to a broader understanding of participation in a datafied society.
  • Hannikainen, Pietari (2020)
    This article examines an emerging "community movement" in the national Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Finland. Emerging from the local level, with links to wider renewal networks across Protestant Churches, the movement consists of a variation of 30-40 worship communities that are based on strong roles for laymen, challenging the traditional models of church life. Many communities are expanding and drawing young adults, in contrast to general developments in the Church. This article asks: What kinds of patterns of participation exist among the members and how are they related to experiences of membership? The results of a quantitative survey (N=529), conducted 2017, revealed three types of participation: "traditional," "community-oriented" and "experiential." The main finding is the distinct community process typical to these communities, which is connected to a strong sense of membership, commitment, and contentment, and which is actualized through lay participation. The article sheds light on the developments in a specific Nordic majority church in response to a changing cultural environment.
  • Muurman, Tuulikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Background: Poor health literacy (HL) is associated to increased hospitalization and decreased seeking for screenings. Shared decision making can increase patient knowledge, decrease anxiety over the care process, improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. Little is known about factors influencing health literacy and participation in treatment decision making in different population groups. Objectives: To investigate factors predicting HL and participation in the treatment decision making. Methods: A cross-sectional population online survey conducted in Finland in 2019 by Finnish Medicines Agency. Both health literacy and participation in the decision making were assessed by three statements that sum variables were created with score 1-5 (Cronbach’s alpha value 0.584 and 0.810). Age, gender, education, household income and most common chronic diseases were chosen as possible predicting factors. Two-variable Pearson’s chi-squared test was first used to find significant factors followed by logistic regression analysis to take into account several variables. Results: Of all the respondents (n=2104) 76.5% had good HL and 73.4% had willingness to participate in the treatment decision making. In the two-variable test older age (p<0.001), lower education (p<0.001), lower household income (p=0.001), higher number of chronic diseases (p=0.003), having cardiovascular diseases (p=0.003), diabetes (p=0.029) and cancer (p=0.001) predicted poorer health literacy. Male gender (p=0.001), not having chronic diseases (p=0.001), not having a musculoskeletal disorder (p=0.050) or mental health disorders (p<0.001) predicted poorer participation in the treatment decision making. In the logistic regression analysis older age and having cancer predicted poorer health literacy. Male gender and not having mental health disorders predicted less willingness to participate in the decision making. Conclusions: Older age and cancer predicts poorer health literacy and male gender poorer willingness to participate in the decision making. Further research should focus on investigating more in detail the contributing factors to these findings, and how health literacy in elderly and men’s involvement to the decision making could be improved.
  • Sirén, Hanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    This study focuses on citizen and interest group public engagement for deliberating on societal challenges, especially in an academic research planning context. The studied participatory event is the first Future Earth Townhall Meeting organized in Helsinki in May 2015. Using an extended case method and a theory-driven approach combined with mixed methods, this study aims to shed light on social and theoretical aspects framing the studied participatory event. The extended case study method was selected to support and direct inquiry as well as to enable reconstructing existing theory. This study combines participant observation, textual content analysis, word frequency analysis and visual analysis. In the social sciences demands to better take into account environmental issues have increased after the Second World War. The study’s ethnographic grassroots perspective situates the studied event into a wider framework of participation and political sociology. Analysis is organized through main frames local publics and global challenges. Local publics especially addresses the following research questions: How were local publics constructed? What voiced concerns frame participation? Global challenges in turn focuses on: How were thematic aims developed and articulated? The key concept global change awareness guides analysis of interdisciplinary work. Four planning stages of idea development (cf. Lempiälä 2011) illustrate main front end stages connected to the key challenges and activities. In the studied case the process has moved from international to local level. For global challenges, ARGIL is introduced to highlight a difference between broader Adaptation and socially coordinated Resources. Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s (1972) concept new public sphere of production is used as theoretical backbone on participation. Because the event was advertised as open to anyone interested in addition to experts, the studied event’s meeting hall sessions can be seen as front stage activities (cf. Goffman 1956; Lempiälä 2011). Participatory activities taking place after general concept approval can limit participants’ critical potential. At the same time, international grand challenges are widely used in various contexts, and increased awareness can thus be beneficial for participants. The studied event is situated at an intersection of global and local networks of influence. Future Earth aims to combine a focus on various levels, cooperating with different stakeholders and actors. The studied event’s thematic focus touches upon the UN’s sustainable development goals and the EU’s grand societal challenges.
  • Kivipelto, Johanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Objectives: In my thesis, I studied the fourth, the fifth and the sixth graders views about the conceptions of the influence at school. In the thesis it was also surveyed what kind of matters the pupils wanted to influence at school. Furthermore, it was studied what kind of influencing skills pupils thought they have. The theory part of the thesis consisted in an overview to the children's and youth's different kind of needs for participation as well as an overview to the curriculum system which forms the base of the school work was studied. In addition, in the theory part of the thesis the democracy expressed at school and the awakening of the children's interest in civic matters were studied. Methods: The thesis was a survey-research and structured questionnaires were used when information was collected. The research group consisted of 112 pupils who studied at the fourth, the fifth and the sixth grades in the primary school situated in the Southern part of Finland. The data was analyzed with the quantitative research program SPSS. At first different numbers such as averages and standard deviations were examined and after that factor analyses were used. Correlation examination was also used. Results and conclusions: The results showed that the pupils had a positive image about their own influencing skills and they trusted their own opinions. They felt that it was important to have influence on they own matters as well as on the common matters at school. However many of the pupils felt that they didn't have possibilities to influence what happens at school during the school day. In addition, the pupils didn't want the teachers or the headmaster to decide solely how the work at school was carried out. The things that the pupils wanted to influence the most were the lunch and the snack at school, the seating arrangement in the classroom, the visits carried out at school and the optional subjects. According to the results it's possible to draw a conclusion that the pupils' participation at school is necessary. The pupils value the possibilities to take part in and seem to understand that it is needed them to contribute themselves so that it is possible to enjoy more the time spend at school. It's also possible to draw a conclusion that although the possibilities to participate are valued there is a lack of real enthusiasm to participate. This is why it seems that there is a need for different kinds of ways to participate since the current ways to participate at school lack to motivate many pupils. Also the work of student body needs to be improved since many of the pupils didn't want to participate to the work of student body although they thought the work done by the student body was important.
  • RECAP-WP6 QS Work Grp; Marques, Sandra C. S.; Doetsch, Julia; Brodsgaard, Anne; Kajantie, Eero; Barros, Henrique (2020)
    Background: Cohort studies represent a strong methodology for increasing one's understanding of human life-course development and etiological mechanisms. Retention of participants, especially during long follow-up periods, is, however, a major challenge. A better understanding of the motives for participation and attrition in cohort studies in diverse sociogeographic and cultural settings is needed, as this information is most useful in developing effective retention strategies. Objective: This study aims to improve our understanding of participation and attrition phenomena in a European cohort study of very preterm/very-low-birth-weight (VPT/VLBW) infants from various sociogeographic and cultural settings to better understand variability and ultimately contribute to developing novel and more "in-context" strategies to improve retention. Methods: This study uses a triangulation of multisituated methods to collect data on various cohorts in the Research on European Children and Adults Born Preterm (RECAP) network, which include focus group discussions, individual semidriven interviews, and a collaborative, reflexive visual methodology (participant-generated VideoStories) with relevant key actors involved with these cohort studies such as adult participants, parents (caregivers), cohort staff, health care professionals, and academic researchers. The methodological strategy aims to provide a shared flexible framework of various qualitatively driven methods to collect data on VPT/VLBW adult and child cohorts, from which research partners may choose and combine those most pertinent to apply in their own specific contexts. Data from all sources and sites will be submitted to a triangulation of phenomenological thematic analysis with discourse analysis. Results: As of January 2020, in this study, we enrolled 92 participants variously involved with child and adult RECAP partnering cohorts from six countries. Multisite enrollment and data collection are expected to be completed in all seven study settings by June 2020. Findings will be reported in future publications. Conclusions: Qualitative research methods are a useful complement for enriching and illuminating quantitative results. We expect that opting for a multisituated study approach addressing the interplay of the lived experience of individuals in both researcher and researched stances of particular cohort study settings will contribute to filling some gaps in the understanding of participation variability and effectiveness of different implemented strategies in context. Moreover, health research subjects have traditionally been positioned as passive objects of study rather than active participants, even though they have the greatest stake in improving health care policies and practices. Including collaborative methods allows us to counteract the "top-down" model by handing over some research control to the very people who are providing the data on which research findings will be based while also acknowledging the value of their involvement.
  • Selenius, Emma (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change devised the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, but this agreement was to be just the starting phase in restricting emissions, and a more comprehensive agreement would come right after the first term of the Protocol. The Copenhagen Summit in December 2009 was to be the meeting where a new agreement would be adopted. However, preliminary negotiations leading up to the Summit revealed that consensus was very hard to reach. Despite these disagreements, the Copenhagen Summit was rallied to be the one where the world shows commitment to the cause and unites to fight climate change. By the time the Summit started, the gap between expectations and reality was enormous. The Summit was not a success. Developing countries were adamant that the main negotiating track had to be a second term for the Kyoto Protocol. The US President Barack Obama was under domestic pressure to make sure that the US only commits to an agreement that includes all the largest polluters. China was holding on to the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities' and refused to agree to binding emission restrictions and international monitoring. The deadlock did not unravel until the Chair of the Summit gathered an informal negotiation group as a last minute plea. This high-level group drafted an Accord that was not based on the work of the UNFCCC working groups and presented it to the Plenary meeting on the last night of the Summit. Various developing countries announced immediately that they would not accept the Accord and so the Summit compromised to 'take note' of the Accord instead of adopting it. No binding agreement was reached. The aim of this Thesis is to examine the Copenhagen Summit as a failure and to discuss the most evident problems of the Summit in relation to theories of power, participation and compliance. All the subsidiary and working groups of the Summit are examined individually in order to get a comprehensive idea of the structure and the proceedings of the UNFCCC negotiating process. Major disagreements are discussed in relation to the structural level, and the dramatic events of the last days are examined in detail in order to get an idea of what finally sunk the possibility of a success. The way the Summit ended directs the Thesis towards a discussion about inequality and differentiated responsibilities in relation to participation and compliance in a policy field that could well be seen as a multi-level Prisoner’s Dilemma. As many of the developing countries pleaded to the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities', discussion on structural constraints of international environmental policy forms a large part of the analysis. Lukes’ three dimensions of power give a framework for the study of power at the institutional level. The inequality of the UNFCCC participants is explained through the historical development of the world order, using the narrative of the world-systems theory. The Thesis concludes with a discussion addressing the most evident problems of the UNFCCC institution and ends with a suggestion. Climate change is an issue of human security and therefore a full securitisation of climate change might enable the Security Council to get involved in the policy-making process. Although acknowledging the problem of democratic deficit in the Security Council, the Thesis proposes that by using an economy of esteem, the permanent members of the Security Council might feel obliged to use their authority to ensure that human security will not become threatened because of the effects of climate change. This would not be more democratic or transparent but might bring more results than the UNFCCC at its present form.
  • Kettunen, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Environmental problems are usually complex in nature, encompass uncertainties and affect multiple actors and groups of people in multiple ways. Hence, managing these problems requires transparent decision making that takes into consideration diverse values, perceptions and knowledge of those groups. Decisions that are made in a participatory decision-making process are more likely to express public values and local knowledge than decisions made in top-down management processes. Collaboration has become a ubiquitous concept within the context of participatory planning and environmental management. It is used in describing a wide array of participatory approaches and it is often used as a tool in managing wicked problems. However, participatory approaches do not guarantee better success in solving environmental problems. Hence, it is crucial to deliberate what kind of approach is used and what kind of situations it suits. This master’s thesis examines Metsähallitus’ participatory natural resource planning (NRP) process through the concept of collaboration. The study encompasses two mutually supporting parts: a case study about Metsähallitus’ natural resource planning process for Southern Finland 2017-2022 and an equality analysis encompassing altogether four cooperation groups from natural resource planning processes. The aim of the study is to find out how trust building, commitment, social capital and stakeholders’ opportunities to influence decision-making were realized in the NRP process of Southern Finland. In addition, aspects of equality in natural resource planning are examined. Data of the case study consists of seven qualitative semi-structured interviews. Data is analyzed according to the principles of qualitative content analysis. Data of the equality analysis consists of six NRP cooperation groups’ participant lists and the data is analyzed with quantitative content analysis. Based on the results, opportunities to participate actualize most efficiently in the operational level of the cooperation group. The methods used and facilitator’s contribution enhance the realization of equality within the cooperation group. Stakeholders reported a few defects concerning equal processing of values and interests. For example, topics regarding forestry overweighs other topics. The representativeness of stakeholders was considered good. Representatives of public agencies are most frequently participating of all stakeholder groups. Every fifth participant was a woman. What comes to social capital, one of the main results was increased mutual understanding among stakeholders that resulted from learning from each other in the process. Stakeholders’ perceptions of their opportunities to influence decision-making were labeled partly by contentment and realism, but partly by a low level of expectations. Opportunity to influence in decision-making is a remarkable factor for commitment and motivation to participate. The context of NRP-process also affects the planning and its results, but further research on this topic is needed and I propose this as one future research topic. More research is also needed to evaluate on how one of the main principles of collaboration, sharing decision-making power, affects natural resource planning and its results, if adopted.
  • Nevalainen, Jaakko; Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Saarijärvi, Hannu; Näppilä, Turkka; Fogelholm, Mikael (2018)
    Objective To study the characteristics of large-scale loyalty card data obtained in Finland, and to evaluate their potential and challenges in health research. Methods We contacted the holders of a certain loyalty card living in a specific region in Finland via email, and requested their electronic informed consent to obtain their basic background characteristics and grocery expenditure data from 2016 for health research purposes. Non-participation and the characteristics and expenditure of the participants were mainly analysed using summary statistics and figures. Results The data on expenditure came from 14,595 (5.6% of those contacted) consenting loyalty card holders. A total of 68.5% of the participants were women, with an average age of 46 years. Women and residents of Helsinki were more likely to participate. Both young and old participants were underrepresented in the sample. We observed that annual expenditure represented roughly two-thirds of the nationally estimated annual averages. Customers and personnel differed in their characteristics and expenditure, but not so much in their most frequently bought items. Conclusions Loyalty card data from a major retailer enabled us to reach a large, heterogeneous sample with fewer resources than conventional surveys of the same magnitude. The potential of the data was great because of their size, coverage, objectivity, and long periods of dynamic data collection, which enables timely investigations. The challenges included bias due to non-participation, purchases in other stores, the level of detail in product grouping, and the knowledge gaps in what is being consumed and by whom. Loyalty card data are an underutilised resource in research, and could be used not only in retailers' activities, but also for societal benefit.
  • Ahde, Sirpa (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Early studies have shown that parents in modern society are living their everyday life in the middle of the cultural expectations. Studies also show that children enjoy being in day care, if they have friends there, as well as the opportunity to play and to do something meaningful. Purpose of this study was to bring children's voices heard and to describe the child's everyday experiences. The study was to find out pre-school children's everyday life experiences at home, in family and in day care center. Children live their everyday life at home and in day care centers. This study describes the child's well-being and everyday in the basis of Bronfenbrenner eco-logical theory of education. The data were collected by questionnaire in Hämeenlinna day care centre personnel and its customers in the spring of 2011. For the individual interviews participated 478 children. The data were analyzed by using content analysis and content analysis methods. The study was a qualitative and approach by phenomenographic. The results showed that children want to play both at home and in day care centers. 39 % of the children wanted to spend time with their parents at home and in day care center only 13 % of children wanted to be with adults. Importance of friends in day-care center was emphasized, because 37% of the children mentioned in their responses friends. The study also asked if children are listened by the adults and 63% of the children felt that adults listen them carefully.
  • Cole, Robert; Brockhaus, Maria; Wong, Grace Yee; Kallio, Maarit Helena; Moeliono, Moira (2019)
    Themes of inclusion, empowerment, and participation are recurrent in development discourse and interventions, implying enablement of agency on the part of communities and individuals to inform and influence how policies that affect them are enacted. This article aims to contribute to debates on participation in rural development and environmental conservation, by applying a structure-agency lens to examine experiences of marginal farm households in three distinct systems of resource allocation in Lao PDR’s northern uplands—in other words, three institutional or (in)formal structures. These comprise livelihood development and poverty reduction projects, maize contract farming, and a national protected area. Drawing on qualitative data from focus group discussions and household surveys, the article explores the degree to which farmers may shape their engagement with the different systems, and ways in which agency may be enabled or disabled by this engagement. Our findings show that although some development interventions provide consultative channels for expressing needs, these are often within limited options set from afar. The market-based maize system, while in some ways agency-enabling, also entailed narrow choices and heavy dependence on external actors. The direct regulation of the protected area system meanwhile risked separating policy decisions from existing local knowledge. Our analytical approach moves beyond notions of agency commonly focused on decision-making and/or resistance, and instead revisits the structure-agency dichotomy to build a nuanced understanding of people’s lived experiences of interventions. This allows for fresh perspectives on the everyday enablement or disablement of agency, aiming to support policy that is better grounded in local realities. Keywords: agency, participation, rural development, forests, conservation, Lao PDR
  • Koski, Sinikka (2000)
    The study consists of a case study in squatter camp communities in Cato Manor, Durban, South Africa, in the context of democratization. The case study was conducted through participant observation and twelve in-depth interviews among the local leadership in May - August 1998. The interviewees were chosen to represent the community opinions on the basis of brief pilot interviews. The aim was to gather first- hand, detailed information on the political attitudes, opinions, culture, behaviour, and local order in previously disenfranchised, but still economically and socially marginalized communities. The research examined the impact of legitimacy in a democratic consolidation process. The theoretical framework was the recent democratization theories of transitiology and consolidology. The main concept was legitimacy, which was analyzed through three clusters: types of political participation, local and regional security order, and the redefined role of the African state. Each cluster contains elements of the legitimization from above and from below. The results of the field research conclude that the culture of resistance and undemocratic, violent modes of participation are still part of the political culture in socio-economically deprived communities in South Africa. Democratic ways to participate are practiced, but the potential for violence, revenge, and distrust towards authorities dominate the patterns of participation. Democracy is closely linked to the socio-economic rights, but more importantly to human dignity and other non-material values. Community democracy was strong and communities had their own dispute mechanism and marshal system. Violence was perceived as a threat to personal security only in its most extreme forms, while everyday crime and instability were mostly tolerated, rejected, or denied. The national government enjoyed high levels of legitimacy and was uncriticized. The local authorities had low levels of legitimacy. Horizontal legitimacy was high among the residents and towards the new invaders, even though invasions often stopped the development plans in the area. Based on the case study was created a new concept, participation through community leaders and gatekeepers. This concept describes the political participation of the people at the grass-roots level, where the local leadership provides information, interpretations, and political strategies for a group of people. Also a continuum was defined for different types of participation, where one pole covers undemocratic, violent, and delegitimizating political participation, another pole democratic, peaceful, and legitimizing political participation.
  • Saalismaa, Nina (Helsingfors universitet, 2000)
    The study analyses the needs and expectations of different people and different interest groups affected by conservation schemes, and examines the possibilities of taking the local opinions into account in the management of protected areas. Theoretically, the study relies on those approaches that aim to link the issues of nature protection with the questions of social sustainability and the livelihood requirements of local people. The study explains how the concept of protected areas has changed during the history and how the discourses on protected areas are linked to North-South issues. Protected areas management was long based on the concepts of strict protection developed in the first protected areas. The amount of protected areas in the world has increased significantly during the past decades. Together with population growth this has led into a situation where the majority of protected areas are inhabited by humans. Consequently, the participation and rights of local people have become important topics in protected areas discourse. The issue is studied in detail through a case study of Miraflor protected area in Nicaragua. The study describes how the protection scheme of this particular area has been constructed and how the local attitudes toward protection have evolved from past to present. The research sets the case of Miraflor into the broader context of conservation and sustainability, in order to make suggestions on management in inhabited protected areas. The case study in based on qualitative research methods, such as thematic interviews, participant observation and written documentation. There are almost 5000 inhabitants in Miraflor, and the area is into a large extent under agricultural use. Land in Miraflor is in the hands of private landowners, as it is in most of the other protected areas in Nicaragua. The difficult economical and social situation of small-scale landowners and landless people has left them little choice between nature conservation and livelihood. While institutional attention to the zone has increased more local people have started to be in favour of the protection of the area. However, they expect support from the state and other institutions in bearing the costs of protection. Some of the important reasons for the acceptance of protection lie in the potential benefits associated to protection, such as new rural development projects, employment possibilities and tax exemptions. The protection of inhabited protected areas cannot be achieved with mere restrictions. Instead, local people have to be offered feasible and attractive possibilities to change their natural resource use practices so that both human needs and nature conservation objectives are fulfilled.
  • Sipilä, Elina (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Purposes. This is an ethnographic case study about elementary school teacher as a listener of a child's voice and about children as ethnographers in the classroom. The current study aims to make visible factors that limit listening child's voice at school and especially in the interaction between the teacher and the student. It also describes children's views and thoughts about school. This study is a part of consortium research "Children tell of their well-being - who listens?" (TelLis, a project number 1134911). Methods. The study was conducted at the school during four weeks at spring 2013. The data was gathered using children as ethnographers -method and consists of 57 classroom diaries written by fifth and sixth grade students and reflected by their four elementary school teachers. In addition, data includes children's drawings, teacher's interviews before the study, two teacher's group interviews and observation notes. In this study I describe teachers as listeners of students' voice during children as ethnographers -period. I ask, what kind of knowledge teachers find in children's classroom diaries. I also ask, how teachers make use of classroom diaries at their work. Analysis is based on qualitative content analysis. Findings and conclusion. Teachers found knowledge of students' culture and knowledge of their action, thoughts and opinions in classroom diaries. In addition, teachers looked for knowledge to evaluate competencies and developmental needs of students' and the class. Teachers used classroom diaries primarily as a tool of evaluating and educating children, but also as a tool for listening children and educating themselves as professionals. According to content analysis, listening to child represented mostly listening based on evaluating and educating children and themselves. There was less listening based on developing the school and the least listening based on encountering a child. Because of teachers' strong aims of evaluating and educating, listening to child was limited. The current study shows, that despite of several factors limiting listening to child's voice in society, school community and class community, teacher with his/her aims, views and actions has an emergent role as a listener of a child's voice. Teachers should create especially those kinds of listening moments that are based on encountering a child naturally and humanely.
  • Karjalainen, Pekka (1999)
    The aim of this evaluation study is to produce a comprehensive view of a recently started workshop project of young people. It is based on local partnership and new practices. The workshop started its operation in August 1997 in Korso, in the city of Vantaa. Moreover, in a workshop of citizens, there have been concerted efforts to generate potential for development by local organisations, inhabitants and authorities. There is a common conception that the formation of social networks and co-operation also further possibilities of a single young working in the workshop. The most essential aims for young people working in the workshop are: 1) to support the planning of their own lives and, 2) to train them to work on a project basis. Different clubs for children, the managing of an adventure track and the editing of a regional newspaper are the major forms of workshop activity. The workshop organises in co-operation with other agents also several local events and projects. In evaluating the workshop of citizens, the related processes of progress and innovative traits have been located. Furthermore, monitoring and follow-up methods have been created. The workshop is evaluated in the following dimensions: implementation, outcomes and effectiveness. User-based orientation is involved in the managing of the project and in the development of learning processes. The point of view of utility comprises both the field of workshops as a whole and local project-oriented activities. It is assumed that this evaluation benefits the work of leaders operating in workshops. In the same way, positive effects might be seen in the directedness of young people, in the plans made by those in charge of workshops and, in the local partnership network. There must also be the assumption that a study increases theoretical knowledge of its object. The evaluation is realised as a qualitative evaluation research. Methodically this study can be characterised as an amalgamation of program evaluation, case-study tradition and action research. By developing ethnographic evaluation, it is striven for producing thick description of the domain under study. As to the outcomes of the workshop project, it can be said that the ideas concerning of a workshop of citizens have been obtained quite well. During its first year of operation the workshop has been able to create a well-functioning network. This network has increased possibilities for action of the workshop and the young people of Korso. The workshop has assumed the role of a resource center, an organiser of different plans and a general meeting place. It has been possible to meet youngsters in the workshop all-inclusively and to tailor them convenient possibilities for future. In this sense, action has followed the so-called path-wise thinking. In relation to effectiveness, there is evidence that during the workshop period, the youngsters were more capable of controlling and planning their lives. In addition. they were more goal oriented as well. When considering the future of a workshop of citizens as one form of organising work, it can be recommended to be applied everywhere in Finland.
  • Vaara, Eero; Mantere, Saku (Organization Science Vol. 19, No. 2, March–April 2008, pp. 341–358, 2008)
    We still know little of why strategy processes often involve participation problems. In this paper, we argue that this crucial issue is linked to fundamental assumptions about the nature of strategy work. Hence, we need to examine how strategy processes are typically made sense of and what roles are assigned to specific organizational members. For this purpose, we adopt a critical discursive perspective that allows us to discover how specific conceptions of strategy work are reproduced and legitimized in organizational strategizing. Our empirical analysis is based on an extensive research project on strategy work in 12 organizations. As a result of our analysis, we identify three central discourses that seem to be systematically associated with nonparticipatory approaches to strategy work: “mystification,” “disciplining,” and “technologization.” However, we also distinguish three strategy discourses that promote participation: “self-actualization,” “dialogization,” and “concretization.” Our analysis shows that strategy as practice involves alternative and even competing discourses that have fundamentally different kinds of implications for participation in strategy work. We argue from a critical perspective that it is important to be aware of the inherent problems associated with dominant discourses as well as to actively advance the use of alternative ones.
  • Tujula, Mikko (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    In my thesis, I studied the conceptions of the teachers who supervise school councils in primary schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the aims of school councils, how the aims are actualised, and how the school councils are organised and enhanced at the school level. The concern about the social passivity of children and the young has been raised to public discussion after the millennium. School councils have been considered to be a solution for decreasing social passivity. School democracy has not been a popular topic since the 1980 s, but during the 21st century, it has become more popular, and nowadays, many primary schools have their own school councils. Nevertheless, school councils have not been a popular research subject. In this study, the perspective to school world is societal, and the supervising teachers' conceptions are reflected to democracy, participation and citizenship education using the writings by Dewey, Freire and Biesta. The research data was collected from ten thematic interviews. The interviewees were ten teachers from Espoo, who were responsible for supervising the school councils at their schools. The interviews were analysed using research methods typical for a phenomenographic study. According to the study, the teachers are mainly very satisfied with school councils. School councils were considered to be such places in which pupils learn useful knowledge and skills. In addition, the teachers thought that school councils enhance the communality of schools as well as the participation of pupils. The role of school councils as an organiser of events was considered to be very strong. Via school councils, pupils have been able to affect schools' equipment and conventions, for example, the equipment that can be used during breaks, and school catering. Even though school councils were considered very positive, the interviewed teachers found many things to improve. For example, the teachers thought that pupils and teachers should be more active. In addition, it was considered that even though school councils provide a model of democracy and active citizenship, the pupils' possibilities to impact matters at their school were only minor. School councils were considered to be led by teachers and coordinated from above. School councils could be improved by shifting the focus on school democracy from school councils to classrooms. In classrooms, every student would have an opportunity to learn useful knowledge and skills and to gain experience if they could impact matters at school.
  • Duh, Abdalla Ali (2007)
    The aim of this thesis is to examine how the concept of participation is being used in Finnish development cooperation activities in Kenya and whether the projects were sustainable after Finnish funds were ended. The research uses different relevant literatures related to Finnish Development Cooperation policies, official documentations of projects/programmes from Finnish-Kenyan governments, Finnish non-governmental organization (FNGOs), Kenyan non governmental organizations (KNGOs), archival materials of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland to examine final reports of the projects/programmes, observations at projects sites and informal interviews with some beneficiaries and project personnel in Kenya. The study uses Cohen&Uphoff´ s questions (who participate, in what kind of activities and stages in the process, reasons they participate and how they participate) and Pretty´s seven different ways to analyze different actors´ participation in the projects. There were two main different ways people participated the projects and programmes: 1) Passive participation meaning that target groups or intended beneficiaries participate by being told what has already been decided or what has happened. 2)Participation for material incentive: local people participate by contributing resources in return for salary. Almost all the projects studied(both bilateral and NGOs) claimed in their documents that they see partcipation as a means to achieve project sustainability and their primary beneficiaries will actively share decision-making process. However, in practice target groups were involved mainly in the implementation stage. Sustainability was a major problem in both FNGOs projects as well as bilateral programmes