Participatory Action Research (PAR): A Strategy to Achieve Transformational Change in Nursing Research and Policy Development in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs)

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Participatory action research as an approach to building research capacity and policy development among nurses and midwives in a low middle income country (LMIC).

Background: Transformational change is becoming increasingly necessary for effective service delivery in today’s health care systems (HCS). The impact of weak HCS is felt more in the developing countries where life expectancy has been on the decrease, compounded by systems’ failure to meet the health related millennium developments goals. The responsibility of transforming the health care system into a national asset rather than liability rests on different stakeholders and more so on nurses who form the highest number of health workers. Nurses in LMIC have minimal involvement in research productivity and policy development and these have been identified as barriers to effective health care.

Purpose: This paper presents the participatory action research (PAR) process of a study in Nigeria which seeks to mobilize nurses and midwives to engage in research and policy development in the context of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

Findings: The paper highlights the unique features of PAR including the democratic principles which educates, motivates and empowers members, as well as facilitates the creation of new knowledge through collective social action.

Conclusion: In this study, PAR approach provided the participants the collective identity, strength of solidarity and a common goal to active research engagement as well as pathway to decision making arena


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society