All over the globe, nonprofit organizations aim to strengthen communities while struggling with the restraints of limited resources. This research study involved Participatory Action Research (PAR) to examine how to build internal capacity in one such organization in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. This study was a partnership between me (the academic researcher) and organizational members and stakeholders of the Baobab Home. Through interviews and meetings, the project focus involved creating written contracts. Over the course of five meetings, contracts were researched, policies and procedures were discussed, and formal contracts were created in Swahili. Findings include a discussion of the role of the outside researcher in the PAR process, as well as the value of partnering with a cultural guide. This study also provides a look at how to use PAR to build capacity within organizations. Finally, there is a review of the project itself, its successes, and its lessons learned.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Research projects (MSOD); Action research; Organizational change; Community development -- Tanzania

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Egan, Terri;