Ethnographic process evaluation of a community support program with Sudanese refugee women

Laksmi Govindasamy, a 4th year medical student from the University of NSW, gave a fascinating account of research process, method and outcomes in her talk, Ethnographic process evaluation with Sudanese refugee women held at The HUB Community Health Centre in Miller on Thursday 28 July. The research was undertaken with the Penrith Women’s Health Centre and the Mamre Sudanese Refugee Program (the photo above and site can be accessed from http://www.mamre.com.au/social-services/mamre-refugee-program.php).

Laksmi discussed the pros and cons of using an ethnographic approach in the evaluation of projects undertaken with refugee women. An advantage was that increased contact through immersion in all aspects of the project enhanced rapport and allowed women to speak plainly about their needs and beliefs.

The group had a lively discussion about the ethics of evaluation with refugee populations. A question we were unable to answer but intend to follow-up in a future session is: How do we design evaluations of projects for vulnerable groups that are respectful, acceptable to the group and methodologically rigorous (i.e. acceptable to the funding body)?
Laksmi’s research will be published in the July 2011 edition of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.

The research will be published in the July 2011 edition of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.

Author: Community STaR

Community STaR is the Service for Training and Research. We are a community-based training and outreach activity of the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), part of UNSW Australia and South Western Sydney Local Health District.

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