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Realist Researcher Group

The use of realist methodologies in Ireland is growing. This methodology can be both rewarding and challenging. The Centre for Global Health in Trinity College Dublin has established a working group for researchers currently using realist methods to provide peer support for this process.

The Realist Researcher (Support) Group aims to provide a platform for realist researchers to share experiences and trouble-shoot the methodology with others involved in the field. Meetings will be held in Dublin, and the group is open to all individuals currently engaged in realist research both in academic and practice settings.

Within the Centre for Global Health, we have partnered with World Health Organization (WHO) and World Vision Ireland using realist methodologies for reviewing evidence, programme evaluation and making recommendations. We have completed two commissioned, large-scale realist syntheses and have several other realist project underway as part of PhD research.

For more information, or if you wish to join the group please email Jessica Power at odowdje@tcd.ie or Brynne Gilmore gilmorb@tcd.ie.

Co-coordinators
Brynne Gilmore
Doctoral Researcher, Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin
Email: gilmorb@tcd.ie

Jessica Power
Doctoral Researcher, Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin
Email: odowdje@tcd.ie

 

Current Projects

Community Health Committees in Tanzania and Uganda
Abstract: Strengthening community actions to improve participation in health is an essential part of health promotion and health systems strengthening. To this end, community health committees (CHC) are frequently utilised in low-income countries (LICs) to achieve a specific goal and build community capacity. Though some evidence is available on CHC’s contribution to health outcomes, currently unknown is how, and to what degree, such committees are most effective in building community capacity for improved health.  This research therefore sought to explore how CHCs work to build community capacity by conducting a realist evaluation across multiple case studies in Tanzania and Uganda. Preliminary findings have been reported across several dissemination channels (see Publications below).
Contact: Brynne Gilmore

When Scaling Up How are Health Interventions Modified to Fit Local Settings: A Realist Synthesis.
Abstract: Health interventions are scaled up across diverse settings with differing needs and resources. In practice, modifications are often made to address this diversity however the processes used to make these decisions have not been fully researched.

This research is using a realist synthesis methodology to explore what processes were used across case examples of scale up to make decisions on modifications to the content of the intervention, context or delivery strategy. By using realist methodologies the research aims to discover under what circumstances these processes were used and what mechanisms and outcomes took place. This research has two phases with the first examining secondary data of published examples of scale up to develop and refine theories on these processes. The second phase will complete stakeholder consultations with health implementers to further refine and test these theories.

Contact: Jessica Power odowdje@tcd.ie

 

Past Projects

Research For Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) seed funding: In collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), University College Dublin (UCD) and International Medical Corps (IMC) in Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon, this work sought to understand the motivation and performance of community health workers (CHWs) within conflict settings. The CGH was awarded seed funding from the R2HC programme co-funded by DFID and the Wellcome Trust to develop an initial theory using realist evaluation and to propose a three-country realist evaluation for theory refinement. For more details and IPT findings please see https://global-health.tcd.ie/news/index54.php.
Contact: Brynne Gilmore

WHO Commissioned Research: Guideline Recommendations for the Work Force for Community Based Rehabilitation in Less Resourced Settings: A Realist Synthesis.
This research sought to identify best practices for human resources for health-related rehabilitation within the overall context of health systems strengthening. It has a particular focus on the integration and decentralization of the rehabilitation workforce within the health systems of less resourced settings.
Contact: Brynne Gilmore

WHO Commissioned Research: Guideline Recommendations for Leadership and Governance for Health-Related Rehabilitation in Less Resourced Settings: A Realist Synthesis. This research aimed to identify best practices for leadership and governance (with a particular focus on policies) of health-related rehabilitation within the overall context of health systems strengthening. Our approach to establishing good policy practices has been to undertake a systematic literature review, a realist interpretation of the literature and a Delphi sampling of expert opinion; and to synthesize these to answer questions posed in the commissioning of this research.
Contact: Joanne McVeigh

 

Publications and Presentations
Deimling Johns, L., MacLachlan, M., Power, J. 'Core skills associated with mental health intervention in community-based rehabilitation: A Realist Review'. 2nd International Conference on Realist Evaluation and Synthesis: Advancing Principles. Liverpool, UK. 2nd-6th October 2016.

Gilmore, B., McAuliffe, E. Larkan, F, Conteh, M., Dunne, N., GMollel, H. 2016, Tumwesigye, N.M., Vallières, F. How do community health committees build capacity for maternal and child health?: A realist evaluation protocol. BMJ Open  6(11), p.e011885.

Gilmore, B., Adams, B.J., Bartoloni, A., Alhaydar, B., McAuliffe, E., Raven, J., Taegtmeyer, M. & Vallieres, F. (in-press). Improving the performance of community health workers in humanitarian emergencies: A realist evaluation protocol for the PIECES programme. BMJ Open 6(8), p.e011753.

Gilmore, B., MacLachlan M., McVeigh J. Methodological challenges in using Realist Synthesis for Global Health Promotion. Presentation to the Realist Working Group at Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, October 1 2014, Cape Town, South Africa

Gilmore, B., MacLachlan, M., McClean, C., Carr, S., Duttine, A., Mannan, H., McVeigh, J., McAuliffe, E., Mji, G., Eide, AH., Hem, KG. & Gupta, N. 2014. ‘Realist Review: Recommendations for the Health Workforce for CBR’. Oral presentation at the International Association for Critical Realism, 17th Annual Conference, London, UK.  19 July 2014

Gilmore, B., Tumwesigye, N.M., Mollel, H., Conteh, M., Dunne, N., McAuliffe, E., Larkan, F. & Vallières, F.  2016 (oral ) How do community health committees build capacity for maternal and child health?: A realist evaluation in Uganda and Tanzania. Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research: Resilient and Responsive Health Systems for a Changing World, Health Systems Global, Vancouver Canada, November 14-18.

McVeigh, J., MacLachlan, M., Gilmore, B., McClean, C., Eide, A. H., Mannan, H., Geiser, P., Duttine, A., Mji, G., McAuliffe, E., Sprunt, B., Amin, M., and Normand C. Promoting good policy related leadership and governance of health related rehabilitation: a realist synthesis. Globalization and Health 12(1), p.49.

McVeigh, J., Gilmore, B., MacLachlan, M., McClean, C., Carr, S., Duttine, A., Mannan, H., McAuliffe, E., Mji, G., Eide, AH., Hem, KG. & Gupta, N. 2014. ‘Realist Synthesis: Recommendations for CBR’. Oral presentation at the 1st International Conference on Realist Approaches to Evaluation and Synthesis: Successes, Challenges, and the Road Head. Liverpool, UK.  27-30 October, 2014

Muhumuza, J., Gilmore, B., Conteh, M., Dunne, N., Larkan, F., McAuliffe, E., Vallières, F. & Tumwesigye, N.M.  2016 (oral) Community Committees for Capacity Building: Lessons Learned from a Study in North Rukiga, Uganda. Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research: Resilient and Responsive Health Systems for a Changing World, Health Systems Global, Vancouver Canada, November 14-18.

Power, J., Larkan, F., McAuliffe, E., Mannan, H. Scaling up Healthcare Interventions
The Need to Contextualise for Local Settings. Poster Presentation. 2nd Clinical Trial Methodology Symposium. Cork. 25th and 26th October 2016.

Power, J (O’Dowd, J.). The Role of Context in Delivering Complex Interventions. Taking a Realist Approach. Conference Presentation. 1st Clinical Trial Methodology Symposium. Dublin. 24th Sept 2015.

Wall, PJ. A Critical Realist Perspective on Mobile Health (mHealth) – A Case Study in Sierra Leone. Oral presentation at the International Association for Critical Realism, 17th Annual Conference, London, UK.  19 July 2014

 


Last updated 20 February 2017 School Web Administrator (Email).