Advanced

“A child, a tree” : Challenges in building collaborative relations in a community research project in a Kenyan context

Ahlberg, Beth Maina; Maina, Faith; Kubai, Anne; Khamasi, Wanjiku; Ekman, Marianne and Lundqvist, Cristina LU (2016) In Action Research 14(3). p.257-275
Abstract

This paper highlights the potential for basing participatory action research on priorities identified by communities. The case builds on a research project by the Social Science Medicine Africa Network (Soma-net) focusing on AIDS prevention among school youth in Kajiado in Kenya during 2003–2006. It became clear from that study just how complex it is to promote open communication on issues of sexuality considered critical for sexual health promotion. Towards the end of that study a spin-off in the form of a concept “a child, a tree” or tree planting evolved and the research thereafter continued as a partnership between the school community and the researchers. The focus then was on understanding how health promotion could be integrated... (More)

This paper highlights the potential for basing participatory action research on priorities identified by communities. The case builds on a research project by the Social Science Medicine Africa Network (Soma-net) focusing on AIDS prevention among school youth in Kajiado in Kenya during 2003–2006. It became clear from that study just how complex it is to promote open communication on issues of sexuality considered critical for sexual health promotion. Towards the end of that study a spin-off in the form of a concept “a child, a tree” or tree planting evolved and the research thereafter continued as a partnership between the school community and the researchers. The focus then was on understanding how health promotion could be integrated into other aspects of community life. The concept and tree planting when implemented created a sense of ownership among the pupils largely because they were placed at the centre of the development activities. The story illuminates the nature of change developing in the course of the project, but also the challenges and complexity of creating and maintaining collaborative relations in the face of cultural and gender power dynamics and interventions imposed from outside the community.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
collaborative relations, communicative action, community initiative, Health promotion, sexuality, social innovation
in
Action Research
volume
14
issue
3
pages
19 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • scopus:84985911200
  • wos:000383043200003
ISSN
1476-7503
DOI
10.1177/1476750315607607
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e75b9889-a217-4456-a2b4-3ed6d626c22a
date added to LUP
2016-11-28 15:05:17
date last changed
2017-05-31 10:44:12
@article{e75b9889-a217-4456-a2b4-3ed6d626c22a,
  abstract     = {<p>This paper highlights the potential for basing participatory action research on priorities identified by communities. The case builds on a research project by the Social Science Medicine Africa Network (Soma-net) focusing on AIDS prevention among school youth in Kajiado in Kenya during 2003–2006. It became clear from that study just how complex it is to promote open communication on issues of sexuality considered critical for sexual health promotion. Towards the end of that study a spin-off in the form of a concept “a child, a tree” or tree planting evolved and the research thereafter continued as a partnership between the school community and the researchers. The focus then was on understanding how health promotion could be integrated into other aspects of community life. The concept and tree planting when implemented created a sense of ownership among the pupils largely because they were placed at the centre of the development activities. The story illuminates the nature of change developing in the course of the project, but also the challenges and complexity of creating and maintaining collaborative relations in the face of cultural and gender power dynamics and interventions imposed from outside the community.</p>},
  author       = {Ahlberg, Beth Maina and Maina, Faith and Kubai, Anne and Khamasi, Wanjiku and Ekman, Marianne and Lundqvist, Cristina},
  issn         = {1476-7503},
  keyword      = {collaborative relations,communicative action,community initiative,Health promotion,sexuality,social innovation},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {257--275},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Action Research},
  title        = {“A child, a tree” : Challenges in building collaborative relations in a community research project in a Kenyan context},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1476750315607607},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2016},
}