Published on November 30, 2011

Pathways through Participation

Past projects

By Tim Hughes

Tim is director of Involve. He took over leadership of the organisation in January 2017, having previously led Involve’s open government programme and the UK Open Government Network (OGN).

Pathways through Participation

News from Pathways Through Participation:

[pathwaysnewsfeed number=”7″]

Pathways through Participation was a two and a half year (April 2009 – November 2011) qualitative research project, which aimed to improve our understanding of how and why people participate, how their involvement changes over time, and what pathways, if any, exist between different activities.

The project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in partnership with the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) and Involve.

These resources were produced during the course of the Pathways through Participation project. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Tim Hughes at

Project resources

Final report

This is the final report of the project, presenting findings from 101 in-depth interviews.

Download the Final report


Summary report

This report summarises the findings from the project and recommendations for future policy and practice.

Download the Summary report

Informing and influencing policy

This briefing paper summarises the findings and implications for national policy agendas.

Download this briefing paper


Local engagement in democracy

This briefing paper summarises the findings and implications for local engagement in democracy.

Download this briefing paper


Volunteering as a participation pathway

This briefing paper summarises the findings and implications for volunteer management.

Download this briefing paper

Research, engagement and impact

This briefing paper reviews the project’s approach to research and stakeholder engagement, highlights how the project set about linking research to policy and practice, and critically assesses some of the research methods and tools that were used.

Download this briefing paper

Understanding participation: A literature review

This report is a literature review exploring participation in context (historical and current), in practice (the activities and actors), and in theory (the concepts).

Download the literature review

Reviewing the literature

These briefing papers summarised the findings of the literature review:

What is participation?

What are the drivers of participation?

Who participates?

Why participate?

Project reports

These reports covered the project’s emerging findings and reflections on it’s approach:

Strengthening participation: Learning from participants

Using participatory mapping to explore participation in three communities

Situated practice: Initial reflections on the organisation of participation

5 Responses to “Pathways through Participation”

  1. Martin Canning
    July 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Hi – trying to access Pathways through Participation PDFs but they do not seem to be working on my end. Are they still accessible? Thank you for you time, best,

    Martin Canning

    • Tim Hughes
      Tim Hughes
      July 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Hi Martin

      Thanks for pointing this out! We’ve just been switching servers, and it seems to have caused a few problems. We’ll get these links fixed asap, but in the meantime all of the publications are available from:


      • Saskia Enthoven
        July 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

        Hi Martin,

        Sorry for this.

        Following on from Tim’s message, the links to the PDFs on this page have now been fixed.