RECI (Research in Education and Community Intervention) is a Research Unit (RU) focused on the issues of inclusion and lifelong learning and on social interventions to promote the communities’ well-being and quality of life, by privileging participatory methodologies that increase knowledge. The results of scientific production aim to become practices, methods, devices and tools with a direct impact in populations, while influencing the public and policy-makers’ opinion – leading to changes in education, healthcare and social protection policies, namely concerning vulnerable and socially excluded populations.
Since January 1st 2015, RECI is co-funded and acknowledged by the Portuguese national funding agency for science, research and technology (FCT) as a Research and Development Unit (UID/Multi/04587/2013).
RECI’s mission is to ensure the development of socially responsible research projects, particularly those based on participative research and action methodologies, which aim to respond to identified problems, introduce transformations in the reality analysed and generate social learning. Starting from the basic principles of this mission, strategic vectors of action are defined, for which objectives are established and actions are planned with a view to their realization.
Knowledge society, the leading role of science and technology – where universities play a leading role – and the globalization of culture, threatens and hinder social progress in underprivileged social groups and raises new forms of human exploitation. RECI aims to take, through research and intervention, a stand before these problems by representing and analysing the values of co-existence, social responsibility, citizens’ empowerment and contributing to the search for solutions.
To become a reference, national and international, in bridging through research and intervention, the needs of populations well-being and life quality. Scientific knowledge outreach directed to underprivileged groups would be a powerful instrument for people empowerment and self-development. It will also be a form of the social fulfilment compromise of scientists and their scholarship of teaching.
RECI intends to continue to work strategically on a close link between health and education, in particular on the social dimensions which are transversal to these two areas of knowledge. For this purpose, research projects within the RECI should progressively be based on three axes that are understood to be in mutual articulation and feedback: research, intervention and politics.
In general terms, RECI aims to:
- establish itself as an unavoidable resource for scientists, professionals and decision-makers in the national context; to produce knowledge/policies in educational, health, human rights and community domains;
- influence the definition of health and public education policies, by contributing – through consistent advocacy activities – to make them fairer, more humanistic and evidence-based; RECI will develop advocacy actions to put pressure on policy-makers and operationalize research results. [In this sense, RECI’s action plan goes beyond scientific production in restricted terms and includes advocacy actions in order to make political pressure and operationalize research results].
- contribute to fill gaps in scientific production in health, human rights, community intervention and education domains;
- promote the use of action-research methodologies by intervention projects and encourage the production of knowledge based on empirical action experiences;
- share scientific outputs in a systematic way, not only on academic contexts, but also among professionals, community agents and decision-makers.
Professor Doctor Zaida de Aguiar Sá Azeredo
Head Coordinator of RECI