Community-based qualitative research to improve water and sanitation programs with the International Rescue Committee in Cote D'Ivoire
Cte d'Ivoire's recent history has been marked by episodes of violence and political instability. The devastating public health impact of armed conflict has been well documented and is an area of growing concern within the international health community. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has played a vital role in providing immediate relief and long-term redevelopment assistance in Cte d'Ivoire through programs in areas such as health care, environmental health (EH), gender-based violence, economic recovery, and development. In preparation for expansion of its EH programs, the IRC has recognized the need to engage in qualitative research to evaluate and improve its existing EH programs. The proposed research will include training IRC staff in qualitative research, conducting Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) of IRC EH program villages, and engaging community members and representatives from local water and sanitation committees through in-depth interviews and focus groups. Results from this study, in the form of recommendations for future EH programmatic work by the IRC, will reflect the perspectives of the communities in which the IRC works and be used to more effectively tailor IRC programs to the needs of these communities.