Since 2010, the Nutritional Improvement for Children in Urban Chile and Kenya (NICK) Project has sought to help two project countries, Chile and Kenya, reduce malnutrition in young children. This paper describes a social educational process by which a Multisectoral Participatory Action Reflection Learning Group (PARL) was established and supported as a tool to change the social determinants of child overweight and obesity in a low-income neighbourhood, in Valparaíso, Chile. In this area local municipal policies do not encourage or provide access to healthy eating opportunities and adequate physical activity. The aim was to bring together different groups and sectors, introduce a governance lens and enable the necessary mind shifts to assure dialogue and cross sector intervention. The findings show that the educational process used was effective in enabling multisectoral planning activities, stakeholder’s analysis and the development of a local Plan of Action. Finally the paper reflects on the complexity of childhood obesity and value of using this type of action research to find new ways to change the social determinants. It identifies what needs to be understood and to be done differently in order to introduce change and transform hierarchical and asymmetrical work models.
Charnes, G. Briefing paper 2: Setting up of Participatory Action Reflection Learning (PARL) Group - The Chilean Experience. (2014) 44 pp.