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Lesley Batten

Doctor of Philosophy, (Development Studies)
Study Completed: 2009
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
"Lady, is this civilisation?" A case study of community participation in a health development programme in Aotearoa New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Batten explored community members’ perspectives of community participation in a case study of a health promotion programme in Wanganui. This programme aimed to improve the nutrition of targeted population groups, using free plant distributions and the development of community gardens. Two projects that formed part of the programme were studied. Different types and degrees of participation emerged, reflecting how the projects addressed or failed to address community members’ and groups’ interests and needs. Programme groups established as mechanisms to foster community participation had contrary effects, engaging some community members as advisors, while failing to reach targeted communities. The groups were constrained by uncertainty over representative and stakeholder roles and accountabilities. Health sector bureaucracy both enabled and constricted the programme and community participation. Whilst community participation is orthodoxy in health policy and strategy, in this programme community engagement was complex and an ongoing challenge.

Professor Regina Scheyvens
Dr Maureen Holdaway