عنوان مقاله [English]
It is not possible to develop people but we must provide an environment that facilitates their development and advancement by themselves. In recent years, expert- induced research like vertical development has been questioned very intensively and the issue of the local community’s role in research is strengthened. In this sense Iran is no exception, though it is occurring with a time lag. In other words, main stream research have been challenged in parallel to the growing questioning and criticisms of current top down approaches. The time passed when development workers and researchers (outsiders) research, plan and implement “for” people. It is necessary that these activities will be carried out with people and even by them. Farmers have performed these activities usually but outsiders have not acknowledged the research and development activities carried out by them formally. The main argument of this paper is to identify the contributing factors affecting rural development, i.e., research. We started by a critical review of the main stream research, followed by a presentation of participatory research and its most important approaches. Based on our experiences about participatory research we attempted to recognize the constraints and challenges to participatory research in Iran and to provide recommendations that will improve and facilitate participatory research. It should be recognized that the systematic participation of farmers in research process is still in its infancy and we have a long road a head of us to enhance and improve research activities. Prior to initiation of a research with people, researchers and development workers should start to educate themselves. The success of farmers participation in research and development projects requires a restructuring plan that should be formed through the evolution of organizational culture which could not happen quickly.