Designing Participatory Needs Assessments to Support Global Health Interventions in Time-Limited Settings: A Case Study From Nigeria

Social scientists have advocated for the use of participatory research methods for Global Health project design and planning. However, community-engaged approaches can be time and resource-intensive. This article proposes a feasible framework for conducting a participatory needs assessment in time-limited settings using multiple, triangulated qualitative methods. This framework is outlined through a case study: a participatory needs assessment to inform the design of an ultrasound-guided biopsy training program in Nigeria. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for Nigerian women and most cases in Nigeria are diagnosed at an advanced stage; timely diagnosis is impeded by fractious referral pathways, costly imaging equipment, and limited access outside urban centers. The project involved participant observation, surveys, and focus groups at the African Research Group for Oncology (ARGO) in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Through this timely research and engagement, participants spoke about diagnostic challenges, institutional power dynamics, and infrastructure considerations for program implementation.

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