Evaluating Participatory Health Research

  • John G. OetzelEmail author
  • Jane Springett
  • Nina Wallerstein
  • Laura Parajon
  • Irene Sia
  • Mark Wieland
  • Abigail Reese
  • Rangimahora Reddy


This chapter explores some of the challenges in evaluating PHR. Firstly, it examines the reasons for evaluating participatory health research (PHR), placing that need in the context of different paradigms of public health research and the ongoing debates about methodology and different models of evaluation. Four key issues/challenges are identified. Secondly, this chapter introduces the community-based participatory research (CBPR) conceptual model as a framework that helps to address these key issues. Thirdly, this chapter includes several cases to illustrate ways of PHR evaluation: from New Zealand, the USA (including communities of immigrants/refugees), and Nicaragua. Finally, this chapter ends with a discussion on ways in which PHR researchers can proactively evaluate their research, so lessons can be learnt and case studies can be developed to showcase alternative ways of documenting process, impact, and outcomes. This discussion highlights how the conceptual model addresses some of the key issues surrounding the evaluation of PHR.


Process evaluation Outcome evaluation Community-based participatory research conceptual model 



The following authors are associated with the cases: (a) New Zealand, John Oetzel and Rangimahora Reddy; (b) Rochester, Mark Wieland, Irene Sia, and Abigail Reese; and (c) Nicaragua, Laura Parajon. We also thank our many community partners and colleagues with whom we have collaborated and learnt from over the years. The CBPR model was originally developed and tested with US National Institutes of Health NARCH funding (U261HS300293; U261IHS0036-04-00) and revised under “Engage for Equity” National Institute of Nursing Research funding (1R01NR015241-01A1).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Oetzel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jane Springett
    • 2
  • Nina Wallerstein
    • 3
  • Laura Parajon
    • 4
  • Irene Sia
    • 5
  • Mark Wieland
    • 5
  • Abigail Reese
    • 3
  • Rangimahora Reddy
    • 6
  1. 1.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.AMOS Health and Hope, Managua, Nicaragua and PotomacPotomacUSA
  5. 5.Mayo Clinic College of MedicineRochesterUSA
  6. 6.Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable TrustHamiltonNew Zealand

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