Systems Action Research for Impact

DSIL VC Session 5 | THURSDAY | 10 September @ 11am Bangkok

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Josefine Roos,Deputy Country Director CDA and Co-Director Adapt Research and Consulting , Adapt Consulting

Scroll down to see the profile of our featured speaker.

Session Overview

Systemic Action Research is a methodology that combines systems thinking with action research to support bottom up efforts to change systems. This methodology is based on the fundamental idea that community participation in peacebuilding processes makes peacebuilding more sustainable, and that participation is better than consultation. Systems thinking helps articulate and visualize how things (for example conflict) happen due to many factors, how everything is connected, that actions can have unintended consequences, that systems (and systems changes) are non-linear, and if your desire is to change a system it is not enough to change the behavior only, but the underlying behavior of a system.

Participants will explore this methodology, including how it:

- Is participatory insofar as communities themselves (rather than outside ‘experts’) are empowered to collect information, analyse it, make decisions and take action.

- Uses general rather than specific inquiry, recognising that we need to understand the whole system before we can identify the best opportunities for positive change (even when we have specific goals, such as eliminating drugs for example).

- Empowers community members by providing training and process understanding so they can lead the research and action processes.

- Encourages systemic change by combining action research processes between different communities and at different ‘levels’ of society (i.e. political, grassroots and community).

- Is a process of continuous learning that enables communities to adapt actions based on the results of action and inquiry processes. Adaptive processes like this are especially useful in complex environments that are constantly changing, requiring new approaches regularly.

- Uses facilitated processes in which the researcher is more of a guide, and the participants remain owners of the process.


  • Conflict Resolution in Action (below)
  • Josefine Roos and Stephen Gray - Hidden Patterns in Peace and Reform Processes (below)

Conflict Resolution in Action - Applying Dynamical Systems Theory
Josefine Roos and Stephen Gray - Hidden Patterns in Peace and Reform Processes

Your Next Steps!

Reflect and discuss with the DSIL Community. Check out the links below.

Speaker Profile

Josefine Roos, Deputy Country Director CDA and Co-Director Adapt Research and Consulting

Josefine Roos has been working on peace and conflict issues in Myanmar since 2012. Before founding Adapt Research & Consulting she worked as a conflict advisor to the Myanmar Peace Support Initiative, as well as a consultant to a range of clients including Save the Children, Danish Refugee Council and Plan International. Her work has been focused on conflict affected communities across Myanmar (in Kachin, Rakhine and Kayah state) where she has provided training and facilitated analysis.Before moving to Myanmar Josefine worked on peace and conflict issues as well as the nexus between corporate sector engagement and conflict in South Sudan, Guinea, Liberia and Colombia. Josefine has a Masters of International Affairs from SIPA, Columbia University, and is a certified mediator from the New York Peace Institute.

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