Overcoming structural barriers to sharing power with communities in global health research priority-setting: Lessons from the Participation for Local Action project in Karnataka, India
Community engagement is gaining prominence in global health research. But communities rarely have a say in the agendas or conduct of the very health research projects that aim to help them. This paper provides new evidence on how to share power in priority-setting in ways that seek to overcome structural constraints created by the funding environment. The five strategies were identified through case study research on the Participation for Local Action project in Karnataka, India. That project was carried out by researchers in partnership with the Zilla Budakattu Girijana Abhivrudhhi Sangha, an indigenous community development organisation representing the Solega people. The paper describes each identified strategy for sharing power in priority-setting, followed by a report of the pitfalls and challenges that arose when implementing it. Thus, the study also demonstrates that even where actions and strategies are used to address power imbalances, pitfalls will arise that need to be navigated. Given those challenges, considerations to reflect upon before employing the identified strategies are suggested. Ultimately, the paper aims to communicate strategies for sharing power during and after priority-setting and lessons on how to implement them effectively that can be used by global health researchers in the current funding environment.
Bridget Pratt, Tanya Seshadri & Prashanth N. Srinivas (2022) Overcoming structural barriers to sharing power with communities in global health research priority-setting: Lessons from the Participation for Local Action project in Karnataka, India, Global Public Health, DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2022.2058048