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Technology and Health in Resource Limited Settings

Foundation for the Sociology of Health Symposium. University of Warwick September 2014

Report on the Symposium Grant on Exploring and Theorising Participation as Evidence in Health Research, Policy and Practice held on 22nd – 23rd September 2014 at the University of Warwick

This symposium was held on over two days at the University of Warwick and provided a lively and fruitful forum for exploring and theorising participation as evidence in health research, policy and practice.

The attendees included users, MPH students at the University of Cape Town via a Skype link, PhD students and early career researchers, and academics from universities in Europe including Warwick, Aston, St Georges and Kingston, and the OU in the UK, Babes Bolyai in Romania, Padua in Italy, Uppsala in Sweden, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. There were established sociologists such as Professors Bradby, Tritter, Davies and Lewando Hundt as well as other social scientists such as Boaz and Stuttaford, and others working in the field of public health or nursing such as Harting, Chambers, Camuccio and Ungureanu. The symposium had a skype link with an external camera and microphone to participants at the University of Cape Town in the School of Public Health which functioned well throughout the two days much to our surprise and relief. There was a split screen so that at Warwick and UCT they could see the room and the slides. This allowed participants to both present and contribute to the discussion in both locations. The presenters were both established academics, student and early career researchers.

In addition to the papers listed in the attached programme, we undertook a mapping of the field of participation in health research policy and practice to capture the different theoretical and conceptual frameworks being used, the current and future research themes, and the different levels, sites and actors involved. It was clear that research was being conducted at the micro, meso and macro levels using a range of sociological concepts and theories including critical realism, bricolage, rights to health approaches, Fraser’s weak and strong publics and politics of recognition and redistribution, and Foucauldian approaches to power and control.

The group drafted and submitted a response from the Symposium as a group funded by the SHI Foundation to the WHO consultation on the WHO Health Systems Building Blocks posted on the WHO Health Systems Expert Blog on Health Systems research policy and implementation (

The group has had a part special issue of papers on Exploring and Theorising Participation accepted by the journal Health Expectations from the symposium and an editorial group was identified as were potential papers and contributors. The group also established an email list for the circulation of interesting articles and funding opportunities for future collaboration. The organisers and the participants would like to extend their sincere thanks for the support from the SHI Foundation for this event and its outcomes.

(Word Document) SHI Symposium Programme (Word Document) SHI Foundation Symposium Attendees