Participatory Action Research, or PAR, is a research epistemology, or a way of knowing and doing research, rather than a distinct method.
PAR is focused on democratic research, gathering information, assessing data and creating an action plan by and for a community. Going through a PAR process improves basic research skills and builds social skills working as a part of a team.
Research teams draw core members from a variety of experiences within a community and then decide on an area of focus. The team develops an action plan for gathering useful information from their peers. After gathering and analyzing the collected data as a group, participants develop an action plan for their community, usually presented to the rest of the community.