Research Field: Participatory Health Research
Participatory health research is based on a partnership between researchers, service providers and community members. The goal is to find ways of improving the health of a population, particularly social disadvantaged groups. Our work shares the tradition of community-based participatory research as practiced in several countries, taking into account the particularities of the history of participatory forms of research in Germany (Hinweis auf Papier). At the centre of our work is the concept of Participatory Quality Development (PQD), which we developed with our practice partners. PQD adapts internationally recognized methods of participatory data collection and interpretation in order to help community-based workers monitor and improve the effectiveness of their work. Community-based health promotion and prevention provides a unique challenge for quality assurance, because the interventions arise from unique local contexts and thus defy standardization. The strength of community-based work is, in fact, the large variety of stakeholders, organisational forms, and intervention methods being used. Through PQD the capacity of local stakeholders is strengthened, so that they can better explain health problems in local terms and systematically build and apply their knowledge to increase programme effectiveness.
We are a member of Community Campus Partnerships for Health, a North American network for participatory research and health (Link). We also coordinate the newly formed German Network for Participatory Health Research. Together with the Wellesley Institute in Toronto, Canada, and the Liverpool John Moores University , England, we are organising the International Collaboration on Participatory Health Research to develop internationally recognized quality criteria for participatory health research.