Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Shared Participatory Research Principles and Methodologies: Perspectives from the USA and Brazil-45 Years after Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed".

Societies (Basel). 2017 Jun;7(2). pii: 6. doi: 10.3390/soc7020006. Epub 2017 Apr 13. Wallerstein N1, Giatti LL2, Bógus CM2, Akerman M2, Jacobi PR3, de Toledo RF4, Mendes R5, Acioli S6, Bluehorse-Anderson M7, Frazier S7, Jones M7. Author information 1 Center for Participatory Research, College of Population Health, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA. 2 School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo SP 01246-904, Brazil. 3 Institute of Energy and Environment, University of São Paulo, São Paulo SP 05508-010, Brazil. 4 Complexo Educacional Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas-FMU, Environmental Health Master Degree Program, São Paulo SP 05690-050, Brazil. 5 Federal University of São Paulo, Department of Public Policy and Collective Health, São Paulo SP 11065-240, Brazil. 6 Nursing College, State University of Rio de Janeiro, UERJ, Rio de Janeiro RJ 20.551.030, Brazil. 7 Healthy Native Communities Partnership, Inc., Shiprock, NM 87420, USA. Abstract The trajectory of participation in health research by community social actors worldwide has been built on a history of community participation from the Ottawa Charter Health Promotion call for community mobilization, to the emancipatory educational philosophy of Paulo Freire, to social movements and organizing for health and social justice. This paper builds on this history to expand our global knowledge about community participation in research through a dialogue between experiences and contexts in two prominent countries in this approach; the United States and Brazil. We first focus on differences in political and scientific contexts, financing, and academic perspectives and then present how, despite these differences, similarities exist in values and collaborative methodologies aimed at engaging community partners in democratizing science and knowledge construction. We present three case studies, one from the U.S. and two from Brazil, which illustrate similar multi-level processes using participatory research tools and Freirian dialogue to contribute to social mobilization, community empowerment, and the transformation of inequitable societal conditions. Despite different processes of evolution, we observed a convergence of participatory health research strategies and values that can transform science in our commitment to reduce health and social inequities and improve community wellbeing. KEYWORDS: Brazil; United States; community-based participatory research; empowerment; health inequities; health promotion; participatory action research; participatory health research