Participatory health research with migrants: opportunities, challenges, and way forwards

Maria Roura, Sonia Dias, Joseph W. LeMaster, Anne MacFarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Context: Migration is one of the most politically pressing issues of the 21st century but migrant health remains an under-researched area. The International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research (ICPHR) working group on migration developed this position statement to address opportunities and challenges in relation to migrant health. It aims to contribute to a shift from a deficit model that sees migrants as passively affected by policies to their reconceptualization as citizens who are engaged in the co-creation of solutions. Methods: This paper examines the opportunities and challenges posed by the use of PHR with migrants. It draws on a broad literature to provide examples of successful PHR with migrants and highlights critical issues for consideration. Findings: Successful initiatives illustrate the value of engaging migrants in the definition of the research agenda, the design and implementation of health interventions, the identification of health-protective factors and the operationalization and validation of indicators to monitor progress. Within increasingly super diverse contexts, fragmented community landscapes that are not necessarily constructed along ethnicity traits, inadequate structures of representation, local tensions and operational barriers can hamper meaningful PHR with migrants. Conclusion: For each research context, it is essential to gauge the ‘optimal’ level and type of participation that is more likely to leverage migrants’ empowerment. The development of Monitoring and Evaluation tools and methodological strategies to manage inter-stakeholder discrepancies and knowledge translation gaps are steps in this direction. Patient or public contribution: This paper draws from contributions of migrant populations and other stakeholders to policymaking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-197
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • community involvement
  • community-based participatory research
  • Transients and migrants


Dive into the research topics of 'Participatory health research with migrants: opportunities, challenges, and way forwards'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this