Qualitative assessment: lay and civic knowledge

John Kemm

in Health Impact Assessment

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199656011
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748028 | DOI:
Qualitative assessment: lay and civic knowledge

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Participation is an important way of gathering evidence for an HIA and of involving stakeholders. “Expert” (often scientifically based) knowledge is certainly not infallible and there are many examples where civic or lay views have proved to be more correct. Where there is conflict an HIA may be used to help resolve that conflict. In arranging participation one should try to get representation of all voices and avoid tokenism. Questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, public meetings and other methods of encouraging participation are discussed. Lay knowledge is often presented in the form of stories rather than “scientific” discourse and it is important to see the underlying meaning in these stories. Criteria are suggested for the ordinal scales used to describe magnitude of impact in qualitative methods.

Keywords: qualitative methods; participation; lay knowledge; participation methods; lay discourse; stories and meaning; magnitude of impact

Chapter.  4887 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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