Journal article

Ethical Use and Impact of Participatory Approaches to Research in Post-Disaster Environments: An Australian Bushfire Case Study

L Gibbs, K Block, C MacDougall, L Harms, E Baker, J Richardson, G Ireton, HC Gallagher, R Bryant, D Lusher, P Pattison, J Watson, J Gillett, A Pirrone, R Molyneaux, S Sexton-Bruce, D Forbes



This paper presents a case study of Beyond Bushfires, a large, multisite, mixed method study of the psychosocial impacts of major bushfires in Victoria, Australia. A participatory approach was employed throughout the study which was led by a team of academic investigators in partnership with service providers and government representatives and used on-site visits and multiple methods of communication with communities across the state to inform decision-making throughout the study. The ethics and impacts of conducting and adapting the approach within a post-disaster context will be discussed in reference to theories and models of participatory health research. The challenges of balancing loca..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Linkage Grant

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the research participants in sharing their time and experiences and the support from community organisations and local governments. The late Professor Elizabeth Waters, previous Principal Investigator, is also acknowledged for her leadership and role in establishing this study. Seed funding was received from the University of Melbourne. The study was then funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP100200164 including financial and in-kind contributions from Linkage partners Department of Health, Australian Red Cross, Australian Rotary Health, Centrelink, Phoenix Australia-Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, and six Primary Care Partnerships: Central Hume, Bendigo Loddon, North East, Outer East, Central West Gippsland, and Lower Hume. Additional salary support for Lisa Gibbs and Elizabeth Waters from the Jack Brockhoff Foundation is also acknowledged.