Using Participatory Action Research Methodologies for Engaging and Researching with Religious Minorities in Contexts of Intersecting Inequalities
This paper focuses on an Immersive Research Approach designed by Praxis, the Sanitation Learning Hub at IDS and WaterAid whereby researchers lived in villages in recently declared open defecation free districts, to gain an in-depth understanding of ground realities and community perspectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin.
The study shed light on key aspects and dynamics influencing local ownership, behaviour change and construction quality, and also revealed multifaceted exclusion processes. The immersive approach helped build trust with villagers and allowed a unique insight into the SBM in its ‘real life’ context, necessary to explore hidden dynamics and diverse perspectives, and understand the complexities involved.
Despite some practical challenges, undertaking immersive studies and experiences would be beneficial for improving the Swachh Bharat Mission and other sanitation programmes. The approach could be adopted pragmatically, but always respecting some basic principles and ethical behaviour.
The Disabling Menstrual Barriers research aims to investigate and address the barriers to menstrual health and hygiene that adolescents and young people with disabilities face in the Kavre district in Nepal.
It is a collaboration between WaterAid and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. During September 2017, qualitative data was collected using participatory methods, including PhotoVoice.
This Learning Note presents the research questions, timeline, data collection methods and ethics. It also captures the preliminary findings from PhotoVoice and highlights the emerging research themes from this.
This document accompanies Frontiers of Sanitation: Engaging men for gender transformative WASH, Part 2, which explores the extent to which engaging men and boys in WASH processes is leading to transformative change in gender roles, attitudes, and sustainable change in reducing gender inequalities across households, communities, organisations, and policy.
Practical examples are presented here from:
Each of these examples, all of which are from projects funded by the Australian Government’s Water for Women Fund, describe interventions that employed different gender-transformative approaches to engage with and reach men and boys. They also describe the projects’ successes and challenges.
Engaging men and boys is an exciting development in the WASH space; for too long our efforts to transform gender inequality focused too narrowly on women and girls.
Limiting ourselves to half the possible number of allies, partners for change, innovators, and leaders to address this issue held back progress, and also placed the ‘burden for change’ squarely on women’s shoulders
This issue of Frontiers of Sanitation explores the extent to which engaging men and boys in WASH processes is leading to transformative change in gender roles, attitudes, and sustainable change in reducing gender inequalities across households, communities, organisations, and policy.
This document is an update to Frontiers Part 1 produced in 2018. In Part 1, the differing roles of men and boys were reviewed in terms of objects to change (i.e. to change sanitation or hygiene behaviours), agents of change (in promoting improved practices), and partners for change in gender-transformative WASH processes.
This update reviews progress and provides practical examples of the opportunities and challenges with this endeavour. It also includes recommendations for those thinking about why and how to include engaging men and boys as part of their WASH programmes.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had direct and indirect effects on religiously marginalised groups, exacerbating existing inequities and undermining the ambitions of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reach (and include) those ‘furthest behind’. Religious inequalities intersect with other inequalities to compound vulnerabilities, particularly the convergence of low socioeconomic status, gender inequality, and location-specific discrimination and insecurity, to shape how people are experiencing the pandemic.
This policy briefing, written by Dr Joanna Howard (IDS) and a co-author (who must remain anonymous for reasons of personal security), draws on research with religious minorities living in urban slums in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states in India. Findings show that religiously motivated discrimination reduced their access to employment and statutory services during the pandemic. Harassment and violence experienced by Muslims worsened; and loss of livelihoods, distress, and despair were also acutely experienced by dalit Hindus. Government response and protection towards lower caste and religious minorities has been insufficient.
The report presents key findings on ways in which the experiences of people are accentuated by religious marginality in its intersections with other identifiers. The findings are drawn from discussions held during 24 participatory inquiry groups (IGs), drawings, reflections, ranking and scoring matrices, and 30 semi-structured interviews.
These activities took place with people living in poverty, brought together in separate groups of men and women of each religious minority, and with comparator groups from the mainstream religion. The selected sites were towns sheltering internally displaced people (IDPs) in Plateau and Kaduna states in Nigeria, and urban slums in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states in India. In each site, we also consider the experiences of comparator 9 groups, i.e. those also living in poverty but of the mainstream religion, such as dalit Hindus in India, Muslims living in a predominantly Christian area of Nigeria, and Christians living in a predominantly Muslim area of Nigeria.