I have visited Brazil a few times in the past, and have conducted preliminary research in Rio de Janeiro over the summer of 2012. During the summer of 2013, I spent time looking at a community engaged research project in Salvador, Brazil, as well as building relationships with an NGO in Rio de Janeiro an NGO that empowers poor urban communities to create healthcare solutions with its own resources. Due to civil strife in Rio de Janeiro as well as an opportunity to spend time in Salvador looking at a community engaged research project addressing leptospirosis, I spent more time in Salvador documenting the various organizations that have been involved with the project for over a decade. I was able to interview the leaders of community organizations, representatives from the prefecture of Salvador in the ministries of health and housing, and private firms that were contracted to be involved in the project, I gained a new understanding on the type of research that I hope to do for my dissertation. Additionally, since this work involved working with community residents I got to see firsthand how I could structure my own dissertation field work. The results of this summer research may be combined with future field work I plan to conduct in January to enter into a book chapter looking at the ways in which community engaged research can address health concerns in the developing world.
September 24, 2013