This article sets out reflections regarding the researcher’s role within the context of a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project experience conducted by researchers from the Department of Social Work and Sociology at the University of Deusto on San Sebastian/Donostia campus. This methodology, capable of generating relational dynamics and reciprocity practices, makes it possible to link research in social work to professional practice, overcoming the potential dichotomy existing between both dimensions.
Researchers at the social work team have shaped a relational context that we will call agora in order to generate shared knowledge and subsequently strengthen the systematic organisation of the practice. This forum is deemed as favourable to bringing together various stakeholders and it seeks to set out and define social problems, as well as to create relationships of trust and cooperation making it possible to negotiate what will be considered a possible solution.
The following methodological principles were adopted in order to build the agora: knowledge co-generation, understanding the process as emerging, respect for participation, and the contributions of all parties.
Based on a specific experience, this article aims to highlight the importance of research in social work, revealing the methodological process that has encouraged researchers and professionals to take part in new cooperative forms and identifying the functions of the research stakeholder in the process, functions which allow synergies to be created and proposals for best practices to be designed in the field of inclusion.