Research seminar: May 1, 2020


Challenging the Status Quo in Global Health: Lessons from Reciprocal Community Engagement in Botswana

May 1, 2020


This presentation explores the processes of engaging communities throughout the research process – from conceptualization of the problem/issues to implementation and evaluation. Sunil Khanna shares lessons that he has learned while conducting long-term community participatory research in a rural community in Botswana since 2017.

Understanding community priorities and engaging community stakeholders involves constant negotiations between the researcher and the community. It is a “balancing act” of three sets of expectations - those of the community, the researcher, and the funding agency.

Khanna will discuss how the complexity of achieving balance between the ideals and the reality of community participatory research can be realized using a reciprocal community engagement approach, especially in the context of global health.

Sunil K. Khanna, PhD is a Professor and the Robert & Sara Rothschild Endowed Chair in Global Health within the College of Public Health & Human Sciences at Oregon State University. He earned a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Syracuse University and a PhD in Biological Anthropology and Human Genetics from the University of Delhi. He joined OSU in 1995.

His research interests focus on the complex interrelations of biology, culture, gender, ethnicity and health. He uses diverse yet complementary field techniques such as ethnographic research and qualitative methods, microdemographic survey, and nutritional anthropometry.