Charting a Course: Navigating Rigor and Meaning in Global Health Research.
Journal of physical activity & health 2023
DOI : 10.1123/jpah.2023-0611
PubMed ID : 37935191
In the rapidly evolving landscape of global health research, the tension between scientific rigor and contextual meaning presents a critical challenge. Drawing on our work with the Global Diet and Physical Activity Network, this commentary explores the complexities of conducting environmental audits for physical activity and diet in 4 rapidly urbanizing African cities: Yaoundé, Lagos, Cape Town, and Soweto. We illustrate the competing demands and tensions that researchers face in balancing rigor and meaning. We discuss the adaptation of internationally validated audit tools to local contexts and the importance of area-level deprivation in interpreting data. We also examine the feasibility of virtual assessment tools, emphasizing the value of local expertise. We argue for a balanced approach that marries research rigor with contextual meaning, advocating for transparency, humility, and meaningful community engagement.