Following the American-led invasion of Iraq, thousands of Iraqis fled to Jordan and the international donor community initiated humanitarian assistance. Through a unique partnership, three organisations conducted participatory research with Iraqi children and their families in Amman. The goal was to understand children’s lived experiences – their challenges and coping strategies – with a specific focus on child protection. A better understanding of local context had an immediate, positive impact on organisations and their effectiveness, but long-term change proved elusive. The authors explore the potential for participatory research to transform programming and the obstacles to institutionalising change.
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