In the winter of 2015, as we were nearing the completion of initial interviews with HIV+ participants in Prince George and Vancouver, we circulated a call to our team for volunteers for a Participatory Analysis Working Group (or PAWG, for short).
As usual, several dedicated team members offered to help, and we got started on the interesting, if slightly daunting task of analyzing interview transcripts in a participatory manner. PAWG members have been busy over the past few months reading and writing about the themes they see in the transcripts, and results so far are fascinating.
Perhaps what’s most interesting in this process is the fact that different people interpret the same interview passages in quite different ways. Although it can make analysis a little tricky at times, we see these multiple interpretations as a benefit: the more perspectives we get on our data, the richer our understanding will be!
Although community-based research is becoming more and more common in the HIV sector, participatory analysis is less often tackled, and for understandable reasons: it can be draining on resources, and if teams are spread out, collaborating can be expensive and challenging.
We invite you to read this article by Sarah Flicker and Stephanie Nixon, who describe the DEPICT model of participatory analysis. Although PLPH does not use this model exactly, we have borrowed certain elements of it to fit our needs. We’re looking forward to sharing some of our results from the PAWG shortly, so stay tuned!