“Dissemination as intervention”: building local HIV competence through the report back of research gindings to a South African rural community
What ethical obligations do researchers have to research informants in marginalised communities in serious distress? Our “dissemination as intervention” exercise reported research findings back to a South African rural community—using a dialogical approach which sought to strengthen participants’ confidence and ability to respond more effectively to HIV/AIDS. Nine workshops were conducted with 121 people. Workshops provided opportunities for participants to start developing critical understandings of the possibilities and limitations of their responses to HIV/AIDS, understandings which constitute a necessary (though obviously not sufficient) condition for further action. Workshops alerted participants to the valuable role played by local HIV/AIDS volunteers, facilitating reflection on how local people might better support the volunteers. These discussions served as the impetus for the establishment of a three-year community-led intervention to further these goals.