Exploring the potential for primary environmental care: rapid appraisal in squatter communities in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
This paper discusses the methods of collecting information in a field study carried out in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) a suburb of Salvador. The study was part of a training exercise for students of the "International Course for Primary Health Care Managers at District Level in Developing Countries" based in Italy. The study also aimed to explore the potential for Primary Environmental Care and identify ways by which the local health district could support squatter communities. A rapid appraisal was carried out in three squatter communities. Secondary data was analysed, life history interviews were conducted, a "risk map" was drawn in which local participants geographically located problems, focus groups and ranking, key informant interviews, ten institutions with an interest in environmental issues were interviewed, and a feed-back meeting was held for all community members. It is concluded that RRA is well suited to study fast-changing environments, a potential danger of the exercise is taken to be undue expectation-raising of the local community. Finally "microplans" are introduced as a possible means of making RRA action oriented. Five pages are devoted to illustrations arising from the exercises.
The bibliography reflects thinking about the theory and practice of popular participation. It focuses primarily on Africa and Latin America, with some reference to the Caribbean and Asia. The first chapter, on Approaches and Theories, contains sections on concepts and definitions, methods of research and analysis, and theories of participation. Chapter two, on Local Contexts, includes sections on projects, organisations, communities, and culture. Chapter three, on Strategies and Wider Issues, contains sections which focus on social movements, programmes, and public policy.
Discusses the methods of collecting information during a field-study carried out in Brazil, in the health district of Pau da Lima. It was intended to provide a learning experience for students as well as to explore the local potential for Primary Environmental Care (PEC) and to produce a number of recommendations to local bodies. Possible actors, conditions, means and resources to promote PEC within the Pau da Lima district were investigated. PEC integrates three components: empowering communities, protecting the environment, and meeting needs. The first step was a preliminary identification of present and future potential actors in PEC in the Pau da Lima district. A Rapid Appraisal (RA) was conducted in three squatter communities within the district, focusing on felt problems; interests and priorities in PEC; forms and conditions of community organisation; and instances and conditions of community-based action. Methods used include: review of secondary data, informal disucssions with informants, direct observations, laboratory analysis of water samples collected during the observation walks, life history interviews, focus groups and ranking exercises, semi-structured interviews. While the study found the RA methods useful, it suggested that they may not be sufficient to identify community-based solutions to specific problems. The techniques in "Making Microplans" (Goethert and Hamdi 1988) provide an example of how this action-oriented phase could proceed.
This paper considers the suitability of a housing project in Cordoba, Argentina for poor women-headed households. The project was designed to rehouse squatters who occupied land needed for public works. The paper considers the planning and the implementation of this project and examines the extent to which women-headed households participated in the project, documenting a considerable number of "hidden" women headed households. The objectives of the research were to make women and their needs visible, and to contribute towards developing a greater understanding of how women are affected by social housing policies directed at the poor urban sectors. Research methods used include interviews with women heads of households and key informants. The paper concludes with recommendations on how housing and human settlements policies can become gender-aware.
A Discussion of the Reliability of Measures of Hygiene Behaviours: The Case of the Health Behaviour Intervention Project, Lima, Peru
This paper discusses the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to eliminate systematic sources of error in quantitative measurement of hygiene behaviours in the Health Behaviour Intervention project in Lima, Peru. The authors argue that the combination of methodologies can give public health better data for the design and implementation of interventions to prevent disease. In relation to qualitative methods, the paper discusses the reliability of structured observation data for health intervention studies. It presents background on structured observation in Lima, reliability of measure across observers and over time, and preliminary significant associations between behaviours and diarrhoeal disease.
The Centre for Tropical Disease Research Medical School at the University of Guerrero, Mexico has been developing the Sentinel Survey process since 1985. Community-based Sentinel Surveys are a tool for developing dialogue among families, local leaders, district health services and regional and national level health planners about health risks (00). They are based on the premise that through careful, inexpensive measurement, dialogue and using the perspective of the family health possibilities can be changed (02). The video focuses on a village survey (one of 43 sentinel sites in Guerrero) which investigated family practices that might increase the risk of parasites and diarrhoea (10). All households in the village were surveyed by local health workers. Blood, faeces and saliva tests were processed quickly and the data fed back to the community (14). A preliminary risk analysis of common practices such as using contaminated water to wash vegetables or keeping pigs in the yard was also carried out by health staff in the field using laptop computers (15). The results were distributed to the community the next day and demonstrated to the community that by changing certain practices their families' health could be improved (15.30). The information gathered can be shared with other district health authorities, as well as with regional and national level bodies. It can also be used as the basis for dialogue with relevant sectors such as the water or education authorities (23).