New Years bring new resolutions. My own vis a vis ARJ is to make more mental space for strategic intuition and action taking.
First and foremost on my mind is therefore to consider how to locate the perfect person/small team to lead the Action Research for healthcare division. We are currently without leadership in that arena. My filling in (someone has to!) has made me more aware of the growing importance of this domain and how much more impact the AR modality deserves to have. Healthcare costs are escalating as the population in the Western world ages. It is the hot topic of hot dispute in the US legislature this week again. A partial vision in this arena is to have the action research (often called “community based participative research”) community become more better known for its significant contributions. This is both difficult – medicine is primed to admire the gold standard double blind tests of validity which action research does not do. However medicine and its practitioners are some of the more pragmatic around. We must understand that the world of healthcare is only partly benefited by validity seeking tests. So many other areas need emphasis on behavior change and behavioral approaches to healthcare. It is with the latter that action research can work most productively.
For now we must “beat the bushes” for nominations including self nominations. We will use snowball methods to generate recommendations. We may ponder:
• what credentials a future associate editor for AR and healthcare should hold – one or a combination of: MPH, PhD? MD?.
• Which communities are best brought together in our efforts here…and how can we bring more attention to the action research work of the Southern Hemisphere.
All of this is on my mind as we start up the year…