247913 Community Participation: Adding Meaning to Acess

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Moacir Barbosa , Training and Capacity Building, Health Resources in Action, Boston, MA
Participatory research in urban communities must be more than using residents to reach populations that public health practitioners find difficult to find or reach. Participatory research must include community members in active decision making, in the authoring process and in giving voice to findings. When those participants are youth and young adults, skill building is an even greater imperative. Youth researchers participated in the design, administration, analysis and dissemination of the study "Connecting the Disconnected". Youth engaged in the decision making about the goals of the research, the design and development of the survey tool, live testing of questions, conducting of focus groups, administration of over 1200 surveys, managing and conducting data entry, analysis of the data, testing of the findings, preparation of presentations, design of the report document and public and private presentations of the findings to academicians, policy makers, community members, youth and funders in their community. The process included organized reflection and decision making opportunities for youth throughout the process. Most importantly the youth researchers were “disconnected” youth themselves, many having the characteristics of the community they were targeting with the survey: dropped out, unemployed, young parent, juvenile and adult court involvement, gang involvement, witness/relationship to violence. From this perspective, their voices blend with the findings to provide a powerful call to action in their community.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Participants will identify roles for community members in participatory research with a focus on decision making, creating and giving voice to findings

Keywords: Participatory Research, Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I actively provide training, technical assistance and other support to community based organization, municipal and state agencies, community coalitions and networks in the many areas including youth development, violence prevention, and program planning and organizational development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.