Research and Evaluation in International Social Work

A mixed method study on community participation in humanitarian settings

Numerous studies have been published on barriers and facilitators in community participation in health and social care (HSC) research, services and policies and, to a lesser extent, on the ways degrees of participation are conceptualised in models, frameworks and typologies. But what researchers have overlooked to date is the nexus between those two strands of research, that is, how barriers and facilitators influence the degree of participation of communities in a given study, intervention or policy. Very often, these two topics are researched independently and reported as if there was no connection between them. For instance, while numerous case studies have yielded descriptive accounts of the degree of community participation in or across a given HSC setting, only a handful have gone beyond case description to analyse the mechanisms underlying participation and explain why communities participate well or poorly. Looking at community participation by describing barriers and facilitators — and how they influence the degree of community participation in different phases of a programme, policy or research study — would provide HSC stakeholders with a comprehensive understanding of the studied phenomena and with insights for improvements.

It is precisely this gap that my current research tackles. Taking the case of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in emergency settings as a case study, I have adopted a mixed methods convergent design that combines the results of concept mapping (QUAN) and a qualitative systematic review (QUAL). The outcome is a number of theoretical propositions about the influence of barriers and facilitators on the degree of community participation in MHPSS interventions and research programmes.

Research outputs

Peer-reviewed communications at international conferences

  1. Paré, M-H. (2015, July). Challenges & Opportunities for North-South Research Partnership: The Case of Mental Health & Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings. Conference paper presented at Decolonizing Epistemologies, Methodologies and Ethics: Postcolonial-Feminist Interventions, Frankfurt Center for Postcolonial Studies, Frankfurt, Germany. Available here.
  2. Paré, M-H. (2013, September). User Participation in Mental Health Services: Findings of a Systematic Review. Poster session presented at the conference Global Mental Health Forum Sustainable Development through Global Action, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK. Available here.
  3. Paré, M-H and Fàbregues, S. (2010, July). Participatory Practices in Humanitarian Mental Health. Poster session presented at the 6th Mixed Methods International Conference, Baltimore, MD. Available here.
  4. Paré, M-H and Fàbregues, S. (July, 2010). Participatory Practices in Mental Health Care and Research Conducted on, for, or with Affected Communities in Humanitarian Settings. Paper presented at the XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Available here.
  5. Paré, M-H (2009, July). Convergence Strategies in Triangulation Design: A Review of Current Practices. Paper presented at the Fifth International Mixed Methods Conference, Leeds, UK. Available here.
  6. Paré, M-H and Fàbregues, S. (2008, July) Triangulation Design in Humanitarian Scholarship. Paper presented at the Fourth Annual International Mixed Methods Conference, Cambridge, UK. Available here.
  7. Paré, M-H. (2008, August). Global Study on Local Participation in Disaster Mental Health Projects. Paper presented at the International Forum on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings of the World Federation For Mental Health. London, UK. Available here.
  8. Paré, M-H. (July 2007). The Challenges of Mixed Methods Design in a Global Study on Disaster Mental Health. Paper presented at the Third Annual International Mixed Methods Conference. Cambridge, UK. Available here.
  9. Paré, M-H. (2006, July). Local Participation in Disaster Mental Health Intervention and Research. Paper presented at the Second Annual International Mixed Methods Conference. Cambridge, UK. Available here.

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As a freelance methodologist, I train social scientists and humanitarian practitioners in qualitative analysis, decolonising research and participatory methodologies. I coach research teams, teach doctoral-level courses in method schools and I consult for humanitarian aid agencies worldwide.

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