The challenge of balancing methodological research rigour and practical needs in low-income setttings: What we are doing and what we need to do better

M. Cardona*, R. Joshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A roundtable discussion was held with 29 experienced Public Health researchers and policy makers from 9 countries at an international conference in Australia. Their experiences were discussed about establishing and maintaining research projects and health programs in developing countries. This paper aims to (1) Highlight methodological issues relevant to the conduct of research and development in low income settings as discussed at the roundtable; (2) List the main barriers in implementing research and project initiatives in low-income settings; and (3) present recommendations for meeting researchers' needs across cultures without jeopardising methodological rigour. Lessons learnt on barriers for the conduct of methodologically sound research were classified in four domains: investigator factors, community factors, strategic factors and methodological factors. Proposed solutions emerged in the areas of strategic guidelines, attitudinal changes and methodological approaches. Practical solutions to individual and systematic barriers were also suggested. It is hoped that these recommendations will influence current practice and assist other researchers in preparing and undertaking appropriate research methods and health program delivery strategies in low-income settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalCritical Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


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