Community-based participatory research: A case study from South Africa

August 31st, 2007 · 2 Comments

Mélani Prinsloo
Abstract | read full article
Marketing research, often in the form of surveys, is one of the critical tools marketing managers use to guide decision making. Although this occurs in all environments, developing markets present problems in the paucity of information available and a desperate shortage of skilled information gatherers. This leaves those needing information with two alternatives: to import and utilise developed-world researchers and interviewers to gather, input and process information, at exorbitant costs, or to adopt a community-based approach to gathering information cost-effectively.

The community-based participatory research (CBPR) project discussed in this article trains, manages and pays reasonably well-educated, but previously unemployed, people to gather and input information in an attempt to provide a developing country (in this case South Africa) with information on markets and consumers.

This has benefits besides information-gathering: creating employment for people who would have been jobless, training and developing them and giving them marketable skills and experience, so bolstering their resumés to aid them in their future job search. This article explores the basic premise of community-based projects, specifically community-based research projects, while looking into the benefits as well as the challenges inherent in using this research methodology.

Tags: Information scarcity · South Africa · Developing country · Community-based participatory research · Social development

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nkosana // Oct 9, 2007 at 10:41 am

    I leave in Mangaung and work as a SMME Business Consultant, reasearched and scientic information on lifestyle and spending patterns of townships is very scarce but forms such a critical engredient for development. We badly need info urgently

  • 2 Thilo Dookhi // Nov 1, 2007 at 10:31 am

    I am currently completing a research masters. What would you like to see happening in terms of the research you are looking for.

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