Health practitioners at the Global Health Systems Research Symposium reflect on what it's like doing action research

Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012

Health practitioners in Ghana, Cape Town and Uganda supported PERFORM researchers when taking part in an action research panel at the recent Global Health Systems Research Symposium.

After the session, the health practitioners were asked to discuss how they felt about taking part in an action research project.

Juliana Jocelyn Ama Nimo who is a District Director of Health Services in Ghana, discussed how researchers in previous projects had not been so forthcoming with their evidence. She said:

“When the PERFORM project first started and the researchers came to interview us, my staff were thinking is it just another one of those things? When people come and collect data, but do not share later…with action research we have found the approach to be completely different. There is involvement, you are identifying your own problems, selecting your own strategies to solve them and being supported in how you apply them. It is also very flexible, you can change things as you need do.”

Her fellow health practitioners, who are working on other action research projects in Cape Town and Uganda echoed Juliana's feelings.

Soraya Elloker, a Sub-District Manager in Cape Town said:

“Action research is much better in supporting us to make improvements to the way we work. We have expert researchers assisting us in understanding how to better service our patients, it has meaning for us. I have found myself using evidence more now, before I did not make the time, now I see the benefit and we are in the practice of doing this to help us to continue our learning after the projects finish.”

While Harriet Nayig Muwonge, Senior Nursing Officer in Uganda said:

“The research projects are run in a bottom up approach, we feel part of the research team, this is a project that supports communities to improve and sustain their own management practices.”

For more information about the PERFORM research projects in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda, please contact Helen McFarlane, Communications Manager.