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Strengthening Pacific voices through Talanoa participatory action research

Radilaite Cammock, Cath Conn, Shoba Nayar

2021 Fiji, Pasifika

Approaches to health and social research and development in the Pacific are dominated by Eurocentric frameworks that fail to reflect the region’s ethnic diversity and inherent cultural knowledge and belief systems. We aimed to advance innovative, indigenous methodology with a focus on youth voice and transformative approaches that contribute to a decolonising and sustainable model of development. Talanoa—a Pacific framework for communicating and connecting— and participatory action research were adapted to create a unique Pacific “action cycle” focused on providing opportunities to (a) hear from fruit and vegetable young entrepreneurs and (b) foster healthy and sustainable food systems among young entrepreneurs in Suva, Fiji. A Fijian worldview helped to centralise Fijian concepts of knowledge enquiry and research. This article describes the way in which Pacific Talanoa can be incorporated within a Fijian epistemological paradigm for research and development undertaken in the Fijian context.

health, Pacific, participatory action research, Talanoa, youth