Lessons on community participation in research on intimate partner violence and HIV in an informal settlement in Kenya

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Department Name: International Public Health

Abstract

Background: Kenya's framework for integrating HIV and gender-based violence services, proposes community participation in research and programming, stressing the ethical benefits and potential to improve health outcomes. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a tested approach for doing research 'with' people through collaborative investigation and action. My presentation describes lessons from CBPR for strengthening intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV prevention interventions in an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya.
Methods: Our study aligns with the ALIV[H]E (Actions Linking Violence Against Women and HIV Everywhere) framework. In August 2020, we formed and trained a research team, involving researchers (n=3), community health providers (n=4) and vulnerable community members (n=7) from Korogocho. We jointly developed tools, conducted focus group discussions and key informant interviews, held group reflection and are now analysing data.
Lessons learned: The ALIV[H]E principles (including human rights, gender equity, safety etc.) provided an essential underpinning to our approach. Confidentiality and respectful relationships among researchers and co-researchers were the backbone of our study. Co-researchers taught us as outsiders how to involve marginalised groups and clarified the social and economic context that shapes IPV and HIV risk. Participation and capacity building were time-intensive, but critical for the quality and sustainability of outputs. We had to balance focus on research process and outputs within the constraints of a PhD research project.
Conclusions: CBPR facilitated mutual learning among researchers and co-researchers, opened platforms to discuss sexual and reproductive health issues and has potential for identifying interventions that meet the needs of marginalised people.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
MR/N013514/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2025
1964933 Studentship MR/N013514/1 01/10/2017 31/08/2022 Beate Ringwald
 
Title Drivers of the intersections of intimate partner violence and HIV in an informal settlement in Kenya 
Description Series of 9 paintings illustrating the findings of the participatory study on intimate partner violence and HIV intersections in an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya: 1) Power over - Power wrongfully used to control people and resources 2) Money is everything: Intimate relationships motivated by money 3) Marriage as a social requirement: Intimate partner violence normalised 4) Education and information as sources of power - not accessible to poor and people with disability 5) Programmes & services limited: Males & people with disability not included 6) Access to justice compromised: Protection against Domestic Violence Act poorly known and implemented 7) Power of religious leaders: "Pastor says" 8) Alcohol, drugs & parties: High costs of stress relief & peer pressure 9) The COVID-19 pandemic made everything worse 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact Artwork being developed into a dissemination toolkit with instructions and guiding questions (in English and Kiswahili language) for dissemination of study findings in the community. 
 
Title Role play 
Description The community co-researchers developed a role-play for the dissemination of findings from the study in the community. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The roleplay helped community co-researchers discover new talents. Stakeholders reported that the roleplay resonates with community reality. 
 
Description LVCT Health Kenya 
Organisation LVCT Health
Country Kenya 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Beate Ringwald is the PI on study "Exploring opportunities for addressing intimate partner violence in the context of community-based HIV services in Kenya" (PhD research project).
Collaborator Contribution Co-supervision of PhD research project.
Impact A draft journal article, currently peer reviewed. A conference abstract, submitted and awaiting feedback.
Start Year 2018
 
Description ARISE webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Community co-researchers presented the findings of the study and their lessons as investigators to the wider research consortium.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Co-producing doctoral urban knowledge in the Global South: Lessons from ARISE 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Video for doctoral students and the general public on lessons from community-based participatory research with informal urban settlement communities in collaboration with the KNOW - Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality - and the ARISE Hub - Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Settlements for Equity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnJ-ouTyDw8
 
Description Co-researchers' KYCTV video on the Korogocho ALIV[H]E Study 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Community co-researchers elaborate the research process, talk about the study findings, and explain what they learned from the study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pxisKLuLjI
 
Description Connecting Citizens to Science podcast episode "Gender Inequity: The Driver of Gender Based Violence" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Podcast in commemoration of Internation Women's Day 2023.
Kenyan researchers discuss their lessons from the participatory research journey, discussing the ways that the study engaged co-researchers whilst considering and addressing power structures of inequity. They talk about how knowledge was generated through creativity, dialogue and awareness raising which was embedded and transferred to communities through drama, word of mouth and art.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2023
URL https://www.thesclagency.co.uk/ccs-podcast/episode/385d9b49/gender-inequity-the-driver-of-gender-bas...