Community Arts Against Antibiotic Resistance in Nepal (CARAN)

Postgraduate students

Nichola Jones


Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council / Medical Research Council - Global Challenges Research Fund

The CARAN project was born out of a collaboration between public-health professionals, health education facilitators, participatory filmmakers, and creative arts practitioners, with research backgrounds in medicine, anthropology and the humanities. CARAN is developing, pilot testing and evaluating an arts-based participatory intervention aimed at developing community-led approaches to the prevention and control of antibiotic resistance in Nepal.

The reason for bringing such a diverse group together to help tackle antibiotic resistance in Nepal is a desire by all partners to find ways of better connecting policy-level decision making with the reality of those people living in affected communities. Our objective is to explore how participatory approaches can help ABR-related policy both better inform and be informed by the people whom it seeks to affect.

Combining arts-based approaches with science education to explore health issues in communities is not new. There have been a number of studies which discuss the advantages of combining these approaches to: a) empower participants to speak their ‘truth to power’ and better understand the wider context of the issues that affect them and, crucially; b) to encourage health organisations and decision-makers to better understand and listen to communities whose personal experiences may bring new light and new ideas for solutions to the issue at hand.

This project differs from many arts-science projects in that, through its focus on participatory film, it seeks not only to engage participants and facilitators in creating new solutions to important issues, but also to actively involve and engage policy and decision makers throughout, from production to exhibition. The process is about building the confidence, knowledge and voice of a group of participants, but it is also about directly engaging key stakeholders and gatekeepers throughout the process in order that they might more actively engage in community-level discussion and action longer-term.

Objectives of our project

  • Identify critical barriers to preventing and controlling ABR at the individual, household and community levels
  • To enable communities to identify solutions to overcoming these barriers
  • To present the identified issues and solutions in the form of documentary films and comics to community, district and national level stakeholders for maximum impact.

Methodology we plan to employ

Our project uses a unique blend of humanities, social sciences and public health approaches, which encompass the following methodologies:

  1. Engagement with national and international stakeholders via participatory workshops.
  2. Developing films in participation with communities to identify community-led solutions to antibiotic misuse.
  3. Developing contextually tailored and locally produced materials for health education and advocacy campaigns.
  4. Pilot testing and evaluation of our intervention in order to understand implementation processes, acceptability and feasibility.

Project outcomes

1) Knowledge on sociocultural, political and economic issues affecting antibiotic misuse

2) Knowledge on the process of developing a community led intervention

3) Films appropriate to the local context, health education and advocacy campaigns on antibiotic resistance

Project website