The development of an interdisciplinary research agenda at Ngala: An innovative case study
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Background: Ngala is an early parenting, not-for-profit organisation in Western Australia (WA). Research academics from three universities in Perth had been involved in separate research activities over recent years at Ngala. During 2007, a strategic decision was made to forge formal links and articulate an interdisciplinary research framework to promote a research culture amongst Ngala practitioners. Aim: To describe an organisational case study of the development of an interdisciplinary research agenda within Ngala. Methods: Collaborative methods were used. An action learning project was undertaken over a two-year period with the involvement of researchers, managers and practitioners across the five disciplines of nursing, midwifery, early childhood, psychology and social work. This project focused on the development of a research framework to guide future planning within the organisation. Findings: The development process enabled practitioners, managers and researchers to have conversations about the nominated theories and approaches that inform their work in early childhood and parenting settings, thereby improving the communications between the various disciplines represented. As part of this process, a small action research project was undertaken with practitioners that focused on understanding the barriers staff experienced to approaching research activities and to arrive at potential solutions for these barriers. Conclusion: It was anticipated that with leadership evolving at all levels of the organisation, the resultant research framework would be sustainable into the future and grow the evidence base necessary for a strong platform for practice and research.
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