My expertise lies in qualitative and participatory research methodologies. I earned my MA and PhD degrees in the study of communication, with a particular focus on participatory health promotion. These experiences, coupled with my involvement in community-based research and evaluation projets, have helped me to cultivate strong research and analytical skills.
I am friendly and adaptable, traits that allow me to develop meaningful research partnerships with individuals and groups of diverse backgrounds. I believe in the importance of using multiple research methods when working with communities, to account for the perspectives of all those who are affected by and involved in the work. I have experience developing and using diverse tools, including online surveys, questionnaires, key informant interviews (in person and on the phone), focus groups, body and community mapping, World Cafés, and literature and service reviews.
My recent research work includes
- 2016-2017 – Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) – Research and content development for the website Digital Liaisons: Lessons learned from using social media and ICT in HIV work
I worked with a committee to identify projects and organizations that make an innovative use of social media and ICT in HIV work. Drawing from an environmental scan and key informant interviews, I developed the content for a bilingual website that shares best practices through general information and 9 case studies.
- 2017 – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) – Development of the French Facilitation Guide, Positive Spaces Initiative
I conducted a community consultation (4 key informant interviews and two focus groups) with Francophone immigrants and service providers to adapt, translate and create materials for a 4-module training. The training aims to foster inclusive spaces within the settlement sector, by helping service providers to better understand and respond to the needs of LGBTQ2S+ newcomers to Ontario. The final guide offers a comprehensive tool for the delivery of the four-module training in French.
- 2017 – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) – Development of the French online training on sexual violence in immigrant communities
I conducted a community consultation (5 key informant interviews and an online survey) with Francophone immigrants and service providers to adapt an online training for the settlement sector. Using Articulate Storyline and Moodle, the trainings helps service providers to better understand and respond to issues surrounding sexual violence amongst Francophone newcomers.
- 2016 – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) – Development of the French Facilitation Guide, Accessibility Initiative
I conducted a community consultation (6 key informant interviews and a focus group) with Francophone immigrants and service providers to adapt, translate and create materials for a 4-module training. The training aims increase accessibility within the settlement sector, by helping participants to better understand and meet the needs of Francophone newcomers who are living with a disability.
- 2010 – 2012 – Canadian AIDS Society – Community-based research project, Women and HIV Testing in Canada: Barriers and Recommendations for Service Providers
Working with a national steering committee, I conducted a literature review, 12 key informant interviews and an online survey to identify barriers and develop tools to increase women’s access to HIV testing.
- 2006 – 2009 – PhD in Communication at the University of Calgary – (Re)Inserting Women’s Accounts into HIV Prevention in Ghana (click here to download the thesis as a PDF)
Carried out with financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, my dissertation draws from two years of theoretical research and eight months of fieldwork in Ghana. Through interviews and discussion groups with over 60 women, key stakeholders of the national response, and volunteer work with two women’s organizations (Women United Against AIDS in Ghana and the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa – Ghana), I compare the limited HIV prevention messages that are targeted to the general public, to what women have to say about their own relationships and experiences. The research demonstrates the need for multi-faceted health promotion interventions that are more responsive to women’s complex lives, while arguing for the continued importance of community involvement in the development of health promotion interventions.