Phase 2 – 25th November, 09.00-11.00 GMT
Dr Karin Diaconu, Ms Giulia Loffreda, Ms Jennifer Falconer, Mr Ibrahim Bou-Orm

Details

This session introduces participatory group model building (GMB) – a method that is being used with promising results with community members, policy makers, program managers and researchers, to study a range of global health and health systems related scenarios.

Abstract

Securing improved and equitable population health requires careful appraisal and mapping of available systems for health, and identification of suitable areas and pathways for intervention. A systems for health framing acknowledges the complex and interconnected individual, community and (formal and informal) health system capacities needed to sustain population health, and challenges decision-makers, program managers, community members and researchers to consider multiple perspectives when appraising and designing health related programs, interventions or initiatives.

This session introduces participatory group model building (GMB) – a method that is being used with promising results with community members, policy makers, program managers and researchers, to study a range of global health and health systems related scenarios.

Learning objectives

Following this session, audiences will be able to:

  • Recognize how participatory GMB methods align with other social science methods;
  • Identify scenarios in which GMB methods may be used;
  • Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of GMB;
  • Construct and implement a participatory GMB session.

Target audience

This session is aimed at professionals involved in policy and decision-making, program management or delivery, and academics interested in the use of participatory GMB. We also strongly encourage advocacy-related organizations working with vulnerable communities (e.g. those affected by climate change, conflict, migration or urbanization) to join.

The session is tailored to allow for flexibility. The first 1.5 hours offers an introduction and case study examples. The latter 2.5 hours are a practical session providing more hands-on experience.

Session description

This is a half-day session intended to introduce participatory GMB and give participants hands-on experience in designing and conducting GMB sessions. The session draws on the expertise and case-studies of the National Institute for Health Research Global Health Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility (NIHR-RUHF).

30 minutes | Introduction

Prof. Ager and Dr. Diaconu offer an overview and introduction to GMB approaches, including reflections on how these methods can be used in conjunction with other social science or ethnographic research methods, including qualitative interviews. There will be a short opportunity for questions.

The speakers will then describe three main scenarios which GMBs can be used for and which the session will further focus on. Scenarios are specifically aligned to Themes 1 and 2 of the symposia:

  • Scenario 1: Mapping of community level systems: considering how political, social, economic and cultural forces shape help- and health-seeking in relation to emerging health challenges;
  • Scenario 2: Modelling the dynamics of health systems: identifying how power, professional norms and relations affect service delivery, and how strategic pathways and system-dependencies can strengthen health system resilience;
  • Scenario 3: Design and development of whole-systems interventions: investigating how multiple perspectives and viewpoints can be brought together to identify suitable areas and pathways for change to enable improved and equitable health.

50 minutes | Case studies

Participants will be invited to a world café. NIHR-RUHF facilitators will discuss and present short case studies illustrating the use of GMBs associated with each of the scenarios at individual tables. Participants will be invited to move between tables to hear about different GMB applications. This will feature illustrations drawn from the team’s work in settings including South Africa, Georgia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Jordan.

5-10 minutes | Refreshment break

2.5 hours | Practical

Participants will be invited to select specific scenarios for which they might consider the use of GMB and to form smaller groups in which they can discuss and design a GMB session associated with that scenario. The NIHR-RUHF will prepare one problem per scenario which the group can use as a prompt for elaborating their GMB. Each group will be allocated an experienced NIHR-RUHF facilitator and a pack of resources, including descriptions of typical GMB exercises and materials that may be used during GMBs (sticky notes, colours, paints).

Groups will be encouraged to both design their GMB – i.e. choose the types of activities included, identify suitable participants, set the order of activities – and try out the activities chosen. Participants themselves will act as facilitators and GMB team members during these exercises so that everyone in the group has a chance to gain hands-on experience. NIHR-RUHF facilitators will offer feedback and guidance throughout the process.

Contributors

The session includes members of the NIHR Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility, a collaboration between Queen Margaret University, the American University of Beirut and Sierra Leone College of Medical and Allied Health Sciences.

Researchers experienced in the use of GMB methods have been chosen specifically. Professor Alastair Ager and Dr. Karin Diaconu both have extensive experience of designing and conducting group model building sessions and will chair the overall session. Other facilitators include doctoral candidates of the RUHF (Mr. Ibrahim Bou-Orm, Ms. Zeina Jamal, Ms. Ayesha Idriss, Mr. Jawo Bah) and RUHF researchers who have used these methods (Dr. Haja Wurie, Ms. Aya Noubani, Ms. Nadine Zablith).

Summary of the Planned Session

This session introduces participatory group model building (GMB) – a method that is being used with promising results with community members, policy makers, program managers and researchers, to study a range of global health and health systems related scenarios.

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