|Community Monitoring in Health Resources for the Practitioner|
The Principles of Community Enquiry
Community enquiry involves the systematic application of methods deriving from both research and participatory appraisal. Along with other participatory methods it shares the spirit of putting the community at the centre of the process, giving members of the community not only an opportunity to put their opinion and experiences forward but also participate in the process of designing the enquiry process, generating data and also in the analysis process. These methods are designed to allow local communities identify their priorities and make their own decisions. Some questions that could be raised during the design and conduct of the community enquiry process which would enable more effective community participation and ownership, along with some suggestions for what could be done, are given below:
- Are the community engaged in identifying the key issues for enquiry. Did they participate in finalizing the issues?
- Do the methods of enquiry allow the key community to contribute their experiences during the enquiry process?
- Do the methods of enquiry allow members of the community to participate in gathering and analyzing the data?
- Do the methods of analysis allow the community to incorporate its own perspective into the report card to make the report card not only community generated but community owned?