ResultsinHealth’s main objective is to meaningfully engage project stakeholders and beneficiaries in their research, monitoring, and evaluation activities. A particularly effective and dynamic approach to accomplishing this is Participatory Action Research (PAR). PAR is embedded in social relationships and requires an understanding of local contexts. It focuses on engaging the community in the process of reflection, data collection, and action, and empowers and inspires participants to take further action to improve their lives. In close collaboration with its partner Siklus Indonesia, RIH recently used PAR to identify opportunities, initiatives, and economic needs of the marginalized communities targeted by the ACTION project.
Responding to the new realities that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic, HIVOS Southeast Asia, together with five national NGOs, is implementing the Active Citizens Building Solidarity and Resilience in Response to COVID-19 (ACTION) project in five cities/districts in Indonesia (2020–2022). The main objective of this project is to increase the resilience and solidarity of vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic, including the disabled, the elderly, women, youth, sexual and gender minorities, farmers, landless workers, and micro- and small-scale producers. The project provides support for essential health care, mental health services, agricultural services, and job and skills training, as well as relevant public awareness campaigns.
One of the project’s main outputs is to conduct Participatory Action Research (PAR) with the marginalized groups it targets. As part of the PAR activities, the RiH/Siklus team implemented a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to ascertain how these groups have been affected economically by COVID-19, identifying their needs and constraints and incorporating diverse perspectives of ACTION partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries.
The research team ensured that marginalized groups meaningfully participated in the research process, from designing research plans, to data collection and analysis, to disseminating findings to stakeholders and observing the resulting changes. Community members were recruited and trained to be part of the research team, and 24 Focus Group Discussions were conducted with participants from the marginalized groups across the five cities/districts. The data collection process resulted in the preparation of a plan for upskilling and economic empowerment for marginalized communities.