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AFEW International hosted a webinar on Community-Based Participatory research

On July 28, AFEW International organized the first workshop on Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) for partners in the framework of the project “Combating stigma to end HIV/AIDS in EECA” supported within Gilead’s Zeroing In: Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) program.


CBPR is a partnership approach to research, based on the equal participation of community members, organisation representatives, and potential researchers in all research processes.

CBPR has proved to be an effective way of bringing together people from at risk and underserved communities around assessment of their own living conditions through data collection. The method enables people to reflect on their own situation in an action-oriented way and thus actively participate in affirming their rights to health and non-discrimination.

What was learned?

During the webinar, partners from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine, together with representatives of AFEW International reviewed principles of community-based participatory research and its ethical aspects. They also discussed how to motivate community participation in research, what data needs to be collected to design an effective campaign, what is a research protocol and which research tools work better.

Next steps

Within the project “Combating stigma to end HIV/AIDS in EECA” AFEW International will capacitate local organisations to provide 120 women with simple tools to collect data and use this as a basis for peer-to-peer meetings, further reaching out to and meaningfully involving up to 360 women.

AFEW International will coach coordinators and interviewers to make sure they feel confident to conduct interview, feel motivated and know how to motivate 360 respondents to take part in the research. Together with the expert trainer Daria Alexeeva, the organisation will also assist partners in developing questionnaire for the research to collect data for the development of a regional campaign aimed at decreasing stigmatization and discrimination towards women living with HIV and affected by HIV.

Photo credit: Maxim Trushev

Alexandra Lee, Project Coordinator, AFEW Kazakhstan

My colleague and I recently took part in a webinar on CBPR organized by AFEW International. Trainer Daria provided us with information on the CBPR methods, tools, and the story of this kind of research.  And now, with new knowledge, we are ready to talk about how to properly create surveys focused on decreasing stigma and self-stigma in an ethical way, involving women from Kazakhstan’s communities. Encouraged by the first webinar, we are preparing for a local focus group research and awaiting the second webinar to develop a questionnaire and the in-depth interview.

Photo credit: Maxim Trushev

Natalya Shumskaya, Director, AFEW Kyrgyzstan

AFEW Kyrgyzstan was represented at the webinar by our research team, including a coordinator, representatives of communities of women living with HIV and families affected by HIV, and an expert consultant.  The webinar became a good starting point for us for developing our research design. We got valuable knowledge on types, tools, steps and ethical principles of CBPR. The knowledge we gained about CBPR helped the team to develop interesting and useful questions for the research to implement the project “Combating stigma to end HIV/AIDS in EECA” in Kyrgyzstan.

Vera Varyga, a woman living with HIV, Board Member of “Positive Women” in Ukraine

For us, as a community of women living with HIV in Ukraine, there is a great need for CBPR research training to strengthen our capacity and empower us.

An opportunity to be involved in all the processes of designing the study, conducting it, transferring knowledge to other participants, getting reliable data on the prevalence of stigma towards HIV-positive women in different social groups and furthering our involvement in the stages of media campaign development is very inspiring on our way to countering stigma.

It was a pleasure to meet the project partners from EECA countries. The webinar gave us an important basic information about the principles, ethical aspects, methods and tools of research. It was very informative and interesting.

Irina Zarubina, Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator, AFEW-Russia

At the webinar, the AFEW Russia team involved in the project’s implementation got a good knowledge of what Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is. We have not only reviewed the main research components but also discussed the ethical principles for conducting studies – an important aspect that is not always given due attention. During the group session, our project team discussed the research questions and the main thematic groups of questions for the questionnaire, which will help us to collect the necessary data. This productive discussion turned into active work on preparing the questionnaire after the webinar. Now we are ready to move on.

For reference

In 2022 AFEW Partnership (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine) started implementation of the project “Combating stigma to end HIV/AIDS in EECA” supported within Gilead’s Zeroing In: Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) program. The project aims to reduce self-stigma of women living with HIV and affected by HIV and to change societal attitudes towards them through reducing social stigma.

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