Evaluative Research in the Contexts of Sociopolitical and Sociocultural Movements: Methodological Challenges and the Urgency of Public Health Actions in Remote Regions

Hélène Laperrière


A qualitative evaluation research project concerning peer-education among sex workers was carried out in a remote region of Brazil. The project focused on the impact of unpredictable factors on evaluation results, the importance attached to collective forms of experiential learning and the active participation of local social actors in public health actions (i.e. prevention). The evaluation combined a community inquiry perspective (participant observation, individual and group interviews) with an ethnographic emphasis, using prevailing Latin American views on popular education in the search for cultural meanings. The study revealed the project's unanticipated "secondary impacts," such as the development of mutual help practices and changes in personal and collective life trajectories, and changes in collective meaning attributions derived from the recovery of a collective history. Working in close proximity to the setting in which the program was implemented permitted access to the socio-cultural and socio-political movements in force at the time of implementation. Proximity to the local settings enabled the researcher to insert herself into the program's socio-cultural and socio-political context. The research might better deal with unpredictable factors in the qualitative and participatory perspective.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs060464


participatory action-research; qualitative evaluation; health promotion; AIDS prevention; popular education; Latin America

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-7.4.165

Copyright (c) 2006 Hélène Laperrière

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