ESRC Digital Good Network

Past event

Participatory Research with Marginalised Communities: Ethics, Design, and Co-Production

Watch the recording of this webinar with Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice, Dr Rosendy Fernandez Galabo, Dr Sanjay Sharma and Dr Ros Williams

This event took place on Monday 3 June 2024, 12.30 – 1.30pm.

You can watch a recording of it below:

This online discussion explored how participatory research methods can be used with marginalised communities, based on our speakers’ experiences – including with their own Digital Good Research Fund project.


  • Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice, on bringing children into research using art and design-based methods.
  • Dr Rosendy Fernandez Galabo, on co-designing algorithms for digital platforms in the Cooperativa Digital project.
  • Dr Sanjay Sharma, on inclusive ethical practices in the development of AI systems, to increase critical awareness of their use.
  • Chaired by Dr Ros Williams, Associate Director, Equity Challenge Lead & Capacity Building Lead, Digital Good Network

Questions raised and discussed included:

  • What are participatory research methods?
  • What is true collaboration?
  • What are the challenges of participatory research methods?
  • What are the challenges of working with marginalised communities?
  • Does it provide ‘better’ or just ‘different’ research outcomes?
  • Where could it be used, where it isn’t currently?
  • Can it be used across different academic disciplines? If so, how?
  • Are there situations/topics where you believe it isn’t appropriate to use this approach?


Dylan 2

Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice

Associate Professor Immersive Storytelling, University of Plymouth

PI of Digital Good Research Fund project: Exploring children’s attitudes towards notions of the digital good through hybrid arts practice.

Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice is a researcher and artist specialising in play and storytelling for children. With a doctorate in Education and MA degrees in Research Methods, Early Childhood Education and Japanese Semiotics her work crosses academia and industry. She is the Co-Founder of a storytelling consultancy and studio called X||dinary Stories.

Her research sits at the intersection of experimental design and social sciences, focusing on digital storytelling, games and play on a range of platforms such as apps, augmented and virtual reality, as well as new content for television, all with an emphasis on media for children.

As an artist she uses drawing, emerging technologies and game engines to explore experimental visual and multimodal methods as part of the research process. In this way she takes an Information Experience Design approach to including participants in the research process, also to connect data findings [the information] to design and production [the experience].

Dr Rosendy Fernandez Galabo E1715693866873

Dr Rosendy Fernandez Galabo

Research Associate, Lancaster University

PI of Digital Good Research Fund project: Cooperativa digital: Creating a community-run mobile app in Brazil.

Dr Rosendy Galabo is a Research Associate for the Beyond Imagination project at ImaginationLancaster. His research focuses on developing equitable ways of living and working together by creating physical, digital, and institutional infrastructures that enable communities to collectively transform their current situations into more sustainable ones through co-design.

He is the PI for the DGN-ESRC-funded project Cooperativa Digital, where he works in partnership with Universidade Federal do Maranhão (Brazil) and Publicidade Jove (REAPP) to create a digital commons platform to enable NGOs in São Luís to have control over the management of a mobile app called Reapp through an equitable commons design approach.

He previously conducted his PhD research as part of the Leapfrog project, where he delivered a series of co-design workshops to academics and public sector practitioners in the short project called Improve It. In these workshops, participants, as experts in their own field, co-designed improvements of tools and evaluated which suggestions led to the transformation of their engagement practices.

His current research interest focuses on design for sustainable transitions, new distributed co-design approaches, digital engagement.

Dr Sanjay Sharma E1715694395423

Dr Sanjay Sharma

Associate Professor, University of Warwick

PI of Digital Good Research Fund project: Re-Imagining AI with Afrofuturist speculative design

Dr Sanjay Sharma is Associate Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick.

His research interests involve studying technologies of race and racism from critical data justice, decolonial and abolitionist perspectives. He considers how digital technologies are generative of racialized affects, subjectivities and dispossession. His research approach develops interdisciplinary methodologies to grasp how race and other intersectional exclusionary practices are emergent digital phenomena, mutating through entanglements with networked relations, algorithmic profiling, datafication, platform architectures and economies. He conceives the sociotechnical production of race as an assemblage, and interrogates how materialist understandings of digital ecologies open new possibilities for rethinking and resisting the contemporary force of racism and whiteness. More broadly, his work aims to situate ethno-racial difference as critical to the formation of contemporary digital culture.

His current research projects are focussing on social harms produced by the deployment of AI and automated decisions making systems. He has recently published a monograph, Understanding Digital Racism: Networks – Algorithms – Scale (2024, Rowman & Littlefield), and has been awarded an AHRC BRAID Fellowship, exploring the topic Inclusive Futures: Radical Ethics and Transformative Justice for Responsible AI.