YWCA Study Partnering With Young Women on the Impact of Covid-19: Participatory Action Research (PAR) Through a Kaupapa Māori and Pacific Research Lens
Introduction: New Zealand’s early response to Covid-19 ensured the successful elimination of the novel coronavirus, but came with an economic and social toll, particularly among Māori and Pacific communities. Within these communities, young people have experienced higher levels of distress and anxiety. This report gives a synopsis of the YWCA study on the experiences and impacts of COVID-19 as told by young Māori and Pacific women.
Methods: Based on collaborative and empowerment-based methods, the YWCA study followed a Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology guided by both Kaupapa Māori practices and Pacific Research protocols. In doing so, participants were co-researchers and partners in the research process. The methods of data collection adopted for this study entailed wānanga (forum to deliberate and discuss) and talanoa (narrative style interview). 14 young Māori and Pacific women aged between 18 and 30 took part in a 2-day wānanga and shared stories and experiences living through the pandemic.
Results/Discussion: The YWCA study in partnership with the participants and co-researchers identified three key themes including response, recovery, and resilience. These key themes led to understandings and determinants of well-being for young Māori and Pacific women in New Zealand.
Conclusion: The YWCA study yields findings that relate to experiences of young Māori and Pacific women during the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020. Determinants of well-being and strategies in supporting young Māori and Pacific women were identified during the research process. The study can be useful in applying a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach through the lens of Māori and Pacific worldviews.