Using participatory and creative methods to research gender-based violence in the Global South and with indigenous communities: findings from a scoping review

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This review provides a synthesis of existing research on best practice recommendations for the use of participatory and creative methods to research gender-based violence in the Global South. Following a five-stage scoping review process, 44 papers, which each related to at least two of the three parts of the topic, were selected for inclusion. A frequency table was compiled to identify the elements of best practice, which were most common across the literature. Qualitative content analysis was then used to group these elements into inductive themes. An overarching theme of safety was identified, along with four broad and intersecting domains underpinning ethical research approaches in this area: contextual, reflexive, relational, and transformative. The validity of these themes was confirmed through consultation with partners, who also emphasized the importance of a survivor-centered approach. The aims, methods, barriers, evidence for practice, and research recommendations (AMBER) framework was developed for this project as an innovative tool for analyzing the data collected and drawing out the relevance for research practice. The framework draws out the aims, methods, and barriers involved in participatory research in this context and sets out best practice recommendations and directions for future research in the following areas: (1) ensuring safety of participants and researchers, (2) redressing power inequalities within the research process, (3) embedding locally responsive ethical frameworks, and (4) understanding cultural context and respecting cultural norms.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalTrauma, Violence and Abuse
Early online date22 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 May 2020


  • Global South, gender-based violence, participatory research, research ethics