Community-based participatory research has been seen to hold great promise by researchers aiming to bridge research and action in global health programs and practice. However, there is still much debate around whether achieving authenticity in terms of in-depth collaboration between community and academic partners is possible while pursuing academic expectations for quality. This article describes the community-based methodology for a qualitative study to explore intimate partner violence and HIV/AIDS among women in sex work, or female sex workers, and their male partners in Karnataka, South India. Developed through collaborative processes, the study methodology followed an interpretive approach to qualitative inquiry, with three key components including long-term partnerships, knowledge exchange, and orientation toward action. We then discuss lessons learned on how to pursue authenticity in terms of truly collaborative processes with inherent value that also contribute to, rather than hinder, the instrumental goal of enhancing the quality and relevance of the research outcomes.
Pursuing Authenticity From Process to Outcome in a Community-Based Participatory Research Study of Intimate Partner Violence and HIV Vulnerability in North Karnataka, India.