IFGH 2012: Participatory Ethnographic Evaluation Research (PEER) Empowers Marginalized Women to Engage in Community Directed Reproductive Health Interventions

January 29, 2012

Authors: Elmusharaf K.1’2, O’Donovan D.2

Author Affiliations:1Reproductive & Child Health Research Unit ‘RCRU’, University of Medical Sciences &Technology, 2  National University of Ireland Galway

Option 2 –Lessons from the field; project and programme evaluations; and syntheses or analyses

Presented as – Oral Presentation

Issues:

This abstract demonstrates how Participatory Ethnographic Evaluation Research (PPER) can build the capacity, empower and engage local women in conflict affected hard-to-reach communities to participate in Community Directed Reproductive Health Interventions (CDRHI).

Description:

Fourteen marginalized women with no formal education were trained in PEER which included developing skills to design research instruments, conduct interviews, collect narratives and stories, and analyse the data. Twelve months later, 10 out of the 14 women were able to lead work on health communication with employees of local NGOs and local theatrical band members. They shared their information and data about the important issues related to women health in their community, developed action messages, created culturally appropriate health education materials, and delivered it to their community in form of pictograms, songs, and drama.

Lessons learned:

The women believe that PEER enhanced their credibility – when they returned to their social circles people were more accepting to what they said because they were perceived to know more than others. They are more confident about their ability to influence change. Participation in research design, data collection and data analysis was a particularly powerful tool to enhance their empowerment in post conflict settings. The approach adopted illustrates the developing of the capacity, mobilizing the community and increasing the level of readiness to participate in CDRHI.

Next steps:

By using PEER we not only gain an in depth understanding of the social, economic, and cultural contexts in which people live, but we also empower and engage marginalized women in hard to reach communities. Moreover, it gives a sense of ownership, ensures sustainability, and assists in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Community Directed Reproductive Health Interventions.

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