F.O.X.Y. Participatory Action Research Project

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Dehcho Region, North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: youth, participatory research, health awareness, sexual health

Principal Investigator: Lys, Candice L (5)
Licence Number: 15570
Organization: Institute for Circumpolar Health Research
Licenced Year(s): 2016 2015 2014 2013
Issued: Jan 16, 2015

Objective(s): To evaluate the effectiveness of the F.O.X.Y. (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) participatory action research project for empowering young NWT women and facilitating dialogue about sexual health issues in the North.

Project Description: The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the F.O.X.Y. (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) participatory action research project for empowering young NWT women and facilitating dialogue about sexual health issues in the North.

The F.O.X.Y. participatory action research project is a territorial-wide project that uses a grounded theory method and participatory action research, community-based research, and developmental evaluation research methodologies. Youth, health professionals, and community members are involved through every aspect of the development, implementation, and evaluation of the F.O.X.Y. project, and following the PAR and developmental evaluation methodologies, all aspects of the project, from examination of the process of developing the project to exploring the outcomes of the project participants, are extensively evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the project for meeting the needs of young NWT women.

This is a qualitative study, which means that the research team will gather words instead of numbers about the perceptions, experiences, and thoughts of young women in the NWT to evaluate the F.O.X.Y. Participatory Action Research Project. Young women aged 13-17 from across the NWT are currently being recruited for the F.O.X.Y. Peer Leader Retreat through their high school counselors, other school staff, health professionals in their home communities, and social media. All girls aged 13-17 years who live in the NWT are invited to apply for the F.O.X.Y. Participatory Action Research Project and Peer Leader Retreat. All participants who apply and are accepted to attend the F.O.X.Y. Peer Leader Retreat will be notified during the informed consent process (where consent forms will be offered to participants, and reverse consent forms offered to their parents) that the Peer Leader Retreat is a participatory action research project and that choosing to attend the Retreat indicates that they agree to participate in the evaluation of the Retreat. At the Retreat, the Evaluation Consultant will lead several participatory evaluation activities with participants, as developmental evaluation is on ongoing and iterative methodology. Evaluation tools will include anonymous pre- and post-test surveys of knowledge, and audio-taped focus groups and semi-structured individual interviews between the participant and Evaluation Consultant. Participants who participate in the Peer Leader Retreat will be contacted via email approximately six months after the completion of the Peer Leader Retreat and offered the opportunity to engage in a follow up individual interview with the Evaluation Consultant via telephone. All surveys will use identification numbers (rather than participant names), and all audio-taped focus groups or individual interviews will be transcribed verbatim before identifying information (such as names, place names, etc.) is removed to ensure participant confidentiality. Surveys will take approximately 15 minutes to complete, while focus groups and individual interviews will last approximately 30-60 minutes each.

For the evaluation of the F.O.X.Y. participatory action research project for activities not including the Retreat, the research team will only conduct F.O.X.Y. workshops, focus groups, and interviews in communities, schools, or youth centres where they research team has been invited, using similar evaluation tools used for the Peer Leader Retreat. Informed consent will be obtained from all participants and their parents prior to involvement in the F.O.X.Y. participatory action research project.

The research team will read over all transcripts and look for ideas that are similar (themes) or different between participants in order to come up with an evaluation of how effective the F.O.X.Y. project is for participants. Once the research team has prepared a description of these themes, participants who indicate on their consent forms that they want to participate in the "member checking" process will be sent the documents via email and asked to check the description of themes for accuracy and/or help with further interpretation of descriptions. Data collection of the F.O.X.Y. Participatory Action Research Project will occur until no new data occurs from the project (known as "saturation of data").

Young women have the social and educational opportunity to participate in all components of the F.O.X.Y. participatory action research project. To date, these components have included arts-based sexual health education workshops that have been offered free-of-charge in junior high/high schools and youth centres in communities where the researcher has been invited. In addition, a 9 day Peer Leader Retreat was offered free-of-charge to 21 young women from across the NWT at Blachford Lake Lodge, NWT in July 2013, and a further Peer Leader Retreat was done in July 2014. The F.O.X.Y. project to communities may contribute to new knowledge that community members can access through the project website (www.arcticfoxy.com) and use to inform current and future health promotion policies and programs. The researcher will also provide plain language reports to all schools and youth centres involved in the project, as well as to interested health professionals, community members, and research participants.

The project website (www.arcticfoxy.com) will have detailed plain language descriptions of research results. In addition, the research team will report findings to participants and community members through written plain language reports and will make these available to all schools and youth centres involved in the project. The media (such as newspaper and radio interviews) will be an important method for sharing results to community members as well. The research team will also share research findings with the academic community through conferences and publications in scholarly journals.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 12, 2015 to December 31, 2015.