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Title: Meetings with meaning : health dynamics in rural Nepal.
Author: Gibbon, Marion.
Awarding Body: South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis investigates the understanding of health needs of women in rural Nepal using a participatory action research (PAR) framework. This framework was evaluated using a multiple case study design. The cases were women's groups being observed and researched by the researcher. The thesis is concerned with developing and evaluating the PAR methodology and is thus second order research i.e. it considers the process of researching research and the issue of multiple perspectives is an important feature. The justification of the use of a PAR framework is to be found in the forms of research that takes place 'with' people. The distinction between PAR methods and other qualitative methods is a philosophical one (Tolley and Bentley, 1996) between the roles played by the researcher and researched. The researcher "outsider" and participants "informants" are partners, sharing and learning together. The work is divided into two stages. The first is to determine the usefulness of the PAR framework in helping participants make assessments of their health needs, analyse their situation, develop strategies for solving problems themselves, and implement their own action plans. The second is to reflect on the research process itself, which allows for generation and testing of the methodology. This thesis has enhanced the contribution to the literature in this field. A development of the PAR framework emerged called the Health Analysis and Action Cycle (HAAC), via evaluating the PAR framework. The HAAC was found to be useful in allowing women's groups to assess their health needs, plan and take action to improve their health situation. For example, five of the six groups considered the importance of diarrhoea and developed strategies to reduce the incidence of diarrhoea in their communities. The sixth group's work centred on reducing the incidence of respiratory illness in their community. All the groups were able to assess, plan and implement projects to improve their environmental and hence health situation. The research stimulated collective action and empowerment of women participating in the research as it was the first time women had worked together to identify issues of diarrhoeal disease and respiratory illness and introduced preventative measures within their community. The HAAC approach, an additional innovation in this field, has relevance to the current theory and practice debate within the development sector. The model developed has possible implications for t~e concept of developing 'partnership' within the health and development sector and the development of emergent evaluation through developmental decision science.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Women's health care; Community; Empowerment