Good communication should lead to a shared understanding
(Quality information in field research training manual)
The utility of all research depends on the quality of the information,
and in the case of information collected from talking to people,
it depends critically on the quality of the communication
between the research participants and researchers.
(Kevin Marsh former Director KEMRI Wellcome research programme Kenya)
Communication is such a vital aspect of research work. Effective and active communication can benefit relationships (with colleagues, patients and research subjects), build trust and understanding, enable clarity of purpose and expectations, and convey critical information for informed decision making.
Despite this, communication both verbal and non-verbal can at times lack the clarity required and can be impacted by cultural and contextual differences and understandings, by a lack of confidence in the capacity to communicate effectively on sensitive issues and with empathy. When seeking ethical consent for participation in research processes it is critical to be clear with potential subjects to ensure informed decisions as well as clarify expectations.
In this section we focus on enhancing communication capacities within health and research settings, providing commentary and resources, and referrals to trainings, webinars and other resources relevant to this context for fieldwork and community health researchers.