Action research: an innovative approach to promoting the fight against FGM in Guinea

In the framework of a project to combat FGM carried out in Guinea for GIZ since October 2020, Health Focus is carrying out action research, a socially innovative research and awareness-raising approach in the fight against FGM.

Our action research in Guinea is focused on deconstructing gender stereotypes to achieve a significant decrease of FGM practice in the country. As an innovative approach, and in contrast to conventional research, action research does not necessarily require a large sample size for the data collection and the achievement of concrete and relevant research results. Each conducted training and evaluation cycle helps to refine the teaching methodology, which means that the participants can immediately benefit.

Dr. Fabienne Richard, Director of GAMS of “Groupe pour l’Abolition des Mutilations Sexuelles feminines” (GAMS) in Belgium, and expert commissioned to implement the activity, is accompanied by the NGO AFASCO. Together they developed the training module which was first taught to the trainers and then rolled out to the target audience. Initially consisting of 5 modules, feedback from participants led to the adaptation of the training structure and the inclusion of additional modules.

Participants of the first cohort to complete the training had a good level of education. Feedback collected from this group and results of the training evaluation were presented to key stakeholders through a workshop who then made the following recommendations:

  • involve stakeholders in the fight against FGM more closely in the design of training modules
  • reach more rural communities in additional cycles
  • lower the educational level of the target group

Therefore, the international expert and the NGO AFASCO trained 16 trainers during the second half of July to conduct two new action research cycles in the region of N'Zérékoré, 64 participants will take part in these new cycles: 32 participants in an urban area (district of Nakoakpala, in N’Zérékoré City) and another 32 in a rural area (Village of Samoe). These cycles will be held from 6 August for 4 months every two weeks.

Marine Kololo, project manager at Health Focus, had the opportunity to visit the site and follow the training that was given.

Arbeitsgruppen Guinea