The idea was to avoid classroom training as much as possible, and use music, games, street plays, and a mapping exercise to help us learn and have as much of the discussion out in the open as we could.
Each day commenced with songs, facilitated by a singer/composer PV Ramana and his team. Each song was composed in simple, local language around social themes such as health, revolution, caste divides etc.
A practical session as a test in a nearby slum brought more understanding to the mapping technique. Key elements of how residents can participate in a mapping exercise were discussed.
The teams split into two and enacted independent street plays that touched upon issues of poor access to water and education among the marginalised residents and how it is possible to get access to them through collective negotiation.
The classroom exploration of mapping touched upon what is a map, how is it drawn, what is it used for and what are the different elements of it.
Facilitated by Prasanna, everyone discussed how we could explore ‘health and well being’ with waste picking communities, what it means to researchers, what it means to the community, how do we address implicit power structures.
We hope for a long and fruitful partnership together.
Value academic rigour in research partnerships
Involving community researchers and the broader community in the development and validation of priorities, study tools, data collection processes, data analysis, interpretation and action planning is important to the quality of the CBPR process. Consistently engaging the community in monitoring the progress of community activities and gaining their reflexive accounts of the actions ensures rigour within the research process.
Capacities (competencies and conditions)
●Awareness of trustworthiness criteria that draw on critical epistemologies
●Ability to assess and develop contextualised code of research ethics including safeguarding
●Capacity to undertake validation exercises with stakeholders and the wider community to ensure the study is relevant, accepted and supported
●Ongoing learning, quality assessment and safeguarding assessment
●Capacity to contextualise research materials that value local ways of knowing and knowledge production
●Knowledge on how to engage in and apply reflexivity, considering positionality with regard to research findings, to strengthen rigour and trustworthiness
●Ability to triangulate different sources of information to determine research priorities, approach and actions
●After the research partnership has undertaken a process of prioritisation, and before conceptualising the research, validate the priorities and incorporate additional context to increase trustworthiness in the process
●Design research analysis and interpretation procedures that involve community researchers and associated stakeholders
●Have an outsider to help increase the rigour and real and perceived validity of the research
●Conduct data interpretation sessions to discuss interpretations, add context to information collected, and facilitate a better understanding of project documentation
●Triangulate data sources and add participant checking
●Undertake co-analysis activities with co-researchers and stakeholders
●Increase the reliability of the study by developing and using a case study protocol and a chain of evidence
●Design survey and interview questions that are culturally aligned enhancing the ﬁt of the research with the implementing context
●Identify relational and situated ethical and safeguarding concepts and approaches that best fit the specific context and the process-oriented nature of CBPR (25)
●Constructive negotiation with gatekeeping bodies such as funders and research ethics committees to increase understanding of appropriate approaches
●Engage co-researchers and community members during the research tool preparation to cover all the essential aspects of the research including safeguarding risks
Utilise quality criteria to evaluate the CBPR process – see Springett, Atkey (26) and Sandoval, Lucero (27