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


  • Hélène Laperrière University of Montreal




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


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


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Author Biography

Hélène Laperrière, University of Montreal

Hélène LAPERRIÈRE, Master's degree in Nursing Sciences. I am currently a doctoral candidate in public health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montréal. In looking back over the various stages of my professional practice, I see a commitment to community groups (such as women's associations, sex workers, pastoral health agents, and sailors). I also see my interest for recovering popular knowledge and conceptions of alternative initiatives in caring and care knowledge (BOFF, 1999). For six years, I was involved in the Brazilian "liberation" movement, which guided both my insertion in peripheral neighborhoods and in my work. It enabled me to concretize my participatory action research with a view to assessing health prevention actions with an ethic of compromise and a socio-political consciousness. I view my accomplishments as a personal pathway that cannot be dissociated with community service and professional community practice as a health prevention and research nurse. My current commitments are articulated around community practice as a nurse in active collaboration in evaluation projects with community groups and around my doctoral thesis on a critical analysis of international scientific dissemination and the verticality in dominant social relations of opposition.



How to Cite

Laperrière, H. (2006). Evaluative Research in the Contexts of Sociopolitical and Sociocultural Movements: Methodological Challenges and the Urgency of Public Health Actions in Remote Regions. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-7.4.165