TARSC has used participatory and community based research methods to explore the research issues brought to us by community and public sector organisations. We work with organisations to design, build skills in and implement community based research using a range of methods. We aim for scientific quality, innovation and relevance to communities and to public services in our research work. We aim to demystify research as a tool for building and using knowledge.
Research on climate change and health
TARSC is implementing research in co-operation with ZCTU and ZICEA in Harare and Masvingo in Zimbabwe on the public health, occupational health and environmental health risks and assets in informal residents and informal sector workers and how these are being affected by climate change. The work commenced in 2019 and is continuing in 2020 to explore the responses to the risks and the benefits from their activities for responses to climate change, to bring national stakeholder dialogue. The findings of the Zimbabwe work will be shared with similar work under way in India. The project is supported by IEED (UK).
Community based research training: building skills at community level
TARSC has implemented national and regional training on participatory methods for strengthening community focused, primary health care oriented approaches in health, and in various areas of public health. The training aims to raise community voice in strengthening the resourcing and functioning of primary health care (PHC) systems through the use of participatory approaches to build community roles in accountability and action.
Community Monitoring work at TARSC has drawn on experience and methods from UN and public sector sentinel surveillance programmes, and the monitoring of nutrition and food security by civil society. The current Community Monitoring Programme supported with evidence the efforts by state and civil society to improve conditions at community level.
The Community Monitoring Programme compiled quarterly information from community monitors in about 250 sentinel sites in all districts of Zimbabwe on key indicators of social and economic progress. The system is subjected to scientific and peer review and reported nationally. The quarterly survey reports are available on the website.
Latest Community Monitoring publications
Quarterly Community Assessment of the Socio-economic Situation in Zimbabwe: Health and Education
Types of work: Community monitoring
Areas of work: Community and Public health
URL: CMP HE April 2016.pdf
View all Community monitoring publications.
Participatory Action Research
Participatory action research has been the cornerstone of much of our work. Drawing on our experiences and skills in the use of participatory methodologies, we have worked with community based organizations and social groups to bring their knowledge and abilities into research and into development of programme and training materials. Our participatory research has covered areas such as prevention of child sexual abuse, adolescent health, occupational health, community health, food security, HIV and AIDS and community participation in local government health systems. TARSC supports organisations to design, implement and report on participatory research studies.
Community photography Since 2005, coordinated by Training and Research Support Centre and Ifakara Health Institute, institutions in EQUINET organisations working at community level have carried out participatory action research studies in nine countries in east and southern Africa, exploring different aspects of community interactions with health systems. In 2008, we went further and used photography as a tool for visual literacy and to support reflection and action, and trained community members in photography skills. These country teams and examples of their work are presented in a book of community photography on the TARSC website.
Latest Participatory Action Research Publications
How does target-driven funding affect comprehensive primary health care in east and southern Africa?
Types of work: Participatory Action Research, Community Based Research
Areas of work: Community and Public health, Equity in health
View all Participatory Action Research publications.