Catherine Couper

Catherine Couper

Department: Global Health, 2014

Description of Work:
GHI funding allowed our team the opportunity to conduct qualitative research in the Bañado Sur community of Asunción, Paraguay. We built upon many of the skills we gained through our course in Qualitative Research Methods – designing interview guides, training research assistants in qualitative research methods, and conducting both individual interviews and focus group discussions. Our research explored the feasibility of faith-based organizations as sites for prevention interventions targeting health issues that impact adolescents (sexual-reproductive health, violence, substance abuse). Prior to departure, two presentations on initial findings were given to Mil Solidarios and Bañadense community members and to the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS). Data is currently being analyzed using MAXQDA. Our data will directly serve Mil Solidario’s interests in promoting healthy behaviors for the youth of the Bañado by informing Mil Solidario’s of challenges other local FBOs face regarding these issues, opening dialogue with FBOs about the need for interventions that address SRH, violence and substance abuse, along with determining age-appropriate content and venues. Our partner organization arranged host families for us inside the Bañado. Living with a family in the Bañado was an invaluable component in attempting to develop an understanding of the day-to-day struggles that this community experiences, which are many. The partnership between RSPH and Mil Solidarios not only makes for a rich and eye-opening research experience but also significantly contributed to my own personal growth.

Faculty Advisor: Karen Andes, RSPH

Partner Organization: Mil Solidarios

Recognition: Recipient of GHI Funding