The Nuevo South Action Research Collaborative is guided by a set of fundamental principles present in all of the initiatives implemented by participants. These principles are as follows:
1. Accountability. Participating researchers, grassroots organizations, and service providers should be accountable to the people in the community with whom they work. This means that people should be clearly made aware of the nature of projects, the funding sources, and their expected impact. At the same time, researchers and organizations should respond to the community when information is requested.
2. Social responsiveness of research. All research activities implemented through the NSARC should be responsive to the felt-needs of the community defined by the members of this collaborative formally (e.g., through needs assessments and asset mapping studies) or informally (e.g., through consensus). The NSARC will only sponsor studies that satisfy this condition.
3. Participation. The identification of areas of need and community assets, the research process, and the implementation of solutions, need to be participatory. That is, community people should be involved in varying degrees of intensity in the projects sponsored by the Collaborative. An effort should be made to involve individual residents and not only community organizations.
4. Knowledge equivalence. The Collaborative rests on the premise that there is a fundamental equivalence between academic and community/popular knowledge. These systems of knowledge are of equal value, neither is superior to the other.