Navigating and reimagining community engagement amidst COVID-19

Louw, S.
Taliep, N.
Ismail, G.
Bulbulia, S.
Community engagement is a critical manifestation of a humanising approach on how to respond to various psychosocial and structural violence challenges in the context of a pandemic. Community engagement within the context of the current global coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) requires creative and innovative responses. Institutions have had to reconfigure their community engagement due to restrictive measures instituted by governments to curb the spread of the virus. This paper aims to reflect on the conversations and experiences of community activist researchers in implementing creative ways of engagement to address pertinent psychosocial and structural violence issues affecting communities during COVID-19. Through a qualitative reflexive approach, we identified the following themes: (1) Challenges in community-engaged research during a pandemic; (2) Structural violence and psychosocial issues; and (3) Innovative opportunities to bridge gaps and confront community realities. The pandemic has produced challenges but has also allowed for opportunities to reimagine community engagement. It has created opportunities and novel ways of collaborating with multisectoral social actors to address the psychosocial challenges during the pandemic and to remain actively engaged with communities.
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University of South Africa (UNISA)
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Community engagement,COVID-19,Community activist researchers,Conversations,Reflections
Louw S, Taliep N, Ismail G, Bulbulia S. Navigating and reimagining community engagement amidst COVID-19. Social and Health Sciences. 2020 Dec 1;18(2):48-69.
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