Beneficiary Perspectives Regarding the Ethical Performance of Humanitarian Healthcare Missions (BPREP)

Do the choices made by medical volunteers, often in clinically and culturally unfamiliar contexts, coincide with the expectations and priorities of the locals who receive this care? Funded by a CIHR post-doctoral fellowship, this study seeks to improve the effective and ethical delivery of healthcare services in humanitarian settings by attending to locals’ experiences of trans-national health aid in contexts of crisis. This project is composed of two parts. It includes a comparative analysis of increasingly popular ‘perceptions’ studies within the humanitarian health sector towards clarifying the range of rationales, challenges, and findings emerging from these. A key debate at the 1st Humanitarian Healthcare Ethics Forum (2012) centered on how, at what point, and based on what evidence humanitarian healthcare workers might be better trained to listen to and integrate into their practice local concerns about foreign health missions. The resulting report will be made available as a resource to communities, individuals, and organizations interested in initiating or increasing the quality of perception-based evaluations of their humanitarian efforts.

The second component of BPREP involves collection and analysis of Nicaraguan community members’ (collaborating healthcare professionals, patients, family members, community leaders) accounts of what works well and what could be improved in the work of surgical and primary care missions in Nicaragua. This qualitative study is being carried out by Dr. Elysee Nouvet who has extensive experience working on health-related research in Nicaragua, and in collaboration with Nicaraguan communities and three NGOs. Findings from BPREP Nicaragua will highlight key areas of satisfaction and ongoing need in Nicaraguan humanitarian health efforts and be made available in reports delivered to participating NGOs by fall 2014. These findings will also inform the ongoing design of pre-departure training materials for Canadian and other healthcare teams heading to low and middle income countries on healthcare ‘missions’.

BPREP Study Reports by Elysee Nouvet, Elizabeth Chan, and Lisa Schwartz are available in English and Spanish:

BPREP: Beneficiary perspectives on the performance of humanitarian healthcare missions in Nicaragua .

Perspectivas de los beneficiarios sobre el desempeno de las brigadas de atencion medica Humanitaria en Nicaragua: El estudio BPREP nicaraguense.