Development dilemmas: the Community Health Worker program in northern Saskatchewan
Howard, Rosalyn Alice
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This thesis presents a case study of the Community Health Worker program and role in northern Saskatchewan, an area of rapid planned change. The role of the Community Health Worker is emergent and innovative and occupies an interface position between dependent and dominant groups, community and bureaucracy, native and white, northern and southern, lay person and professional. The planned change process in northern Saskatchewan and, in particular, the Community Health Worker program are demonstrated in this thesis to manifest the same basic contradictions and dilemmas which the literature has shown to be characteristic of community work. The contradictions are traced through the context of the program, through the program itself, and through the Community Health Worker's role development. The research process involved participant observation: extensive observation over a two-year period, semi-structured interviews with program participants, document analysis, introspection and literature review. The data are analyzed qualitatively. The research is also action research. It is hoped that parts of the research process, i.e., interviews, were clarifying for those involved. The researcher manages a program which includes the Community Health Worker program and therefore has an invaluable opportunity to feed information and insights from this study back into the program where, hopefully, they will be used by program participants in future program planning.