Bridging transdisciplinarity and action research

transdisciplinary action research

Transdisciplinarity brings a focus on real-world problems. Action research focuses on solutions. Yet, both transdisciplinarity and action research share similar principles such as reflexivity and participation. How, then, might transdisciplinarity and action research ‘speak’ to each other? In our new article, our group of four graduate students and one community partner reflected on our experiences…

Accounting for gender equity in evaluations

gender equality

Gender equity is an increasingly discussed priority and cross-cutting theme within international development evaluation. Evaluation matters for gender equity because it allows us to assess whether a program is meeting the needs of all people – women, men, girls, boys, and gender-diverse people. Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in demonstrating the impact of programs…

Is agricultural intensification a growing health concern?

In response to the global demand for food, agricultural practices have been intensifying rapidly worldwide, and concurrently, the production of substantial amounts of livestock waste. Waste and waste by-products, such as excreta and wastewater, are commonly used in crop agriculture in many parts of Southeast Asia. While reusing waste prevents the application of chemical fertilizers,…

What does ‘community’ in community-based research really mean?

community-based research

The 21st century has seen a resurgence of interest in community-based approaches to research. This interest is primarily driven by the ineffectiveness of top-down approaches in addressing the needs of many communities across the globe. Furthermore, there is greater recognition that local people should be at the center of determining project priorities and solutions.  Community-based…

Towards Indigenous-led and culturally-responsive evaluations

research evaluation co-creation

This year’s Canadian Evaluation Society conference centred around the theme of co-creation. Co-creation is fundamentally about producing mutually beneficial outcomes together. Throughout the three packed days in Calgary, we explored new approaches to evaluation, with a focus on Indigenous, collaborative, culturally-responsive, and sustainability-ready approaches. Further, we were challenged to reflect on our privilege, on what…

Climate change impacts, and is impacted by, food production: a paradox

climate change agriculture

As emphasized in my previous post, there is growing scientific consensus that the world’s climate is changing (1). Though the timing and extent of such changes are likely to vary from one place to another, climate change undeniably impacts food production and health worldwide. With extreme temperatures, droughts, and floods, overall crop productivity decreases while…

Towards understanding climate change evidence

global warming

There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is not only happening but also caused by humans. I think most people agree on this, although more so on the former. Perhaps, people have a basic understanding of how global warming works, and/or have noticed increasing extreme weather events lately such as record highs, or…

Evaluations can be scary, even for the evaluator

program evaluation public health

Around the same time last year, I was struggling to find my place in the world of evaluation. Even though I had been taught evaluation theory and practice in graduate school, and gained relevant work experience outside of academia, I still did not feel comfortable considering myself a “program evaluator”. Evaluations, particularly of complex developmental…

Public health in everyday life

What is public health? Most of the time I have a hard time explaining this, but here it goes. In medicine, doctors and nurses treat health problems one patient at a time. In public health, we are concerned with preventing health problems, and at the population level. Public health professionals work to identify the root causes of health problems, and implement…