A practical exploration of the feasibility of integrative multidisciplinary research from a broad ecohealth perspective in South Africa.

19 January 2012

This discussion is a deliberation on the progress towards the possibility of carrying out feasible research according to an Integrative Multidisciplinary (IMD) research methodology (theoretically and practically). To explore the IMD research methodology, a group of researchers from several disciplines started discussions in early February 2011 to plan a pilot research process in the Bekkersdal Township of the municipal region of Westonaria (Gauteng, South Africa). It was decided that the focus of research would be on exploring a broad definition of ecohealth to accommodate several disciplines and to attempt to produce a “package” of research results from many disciplinary angles. These results will eventually be discussed and refined through interdisciplinary (ID) and transdisciplinary (TD) research phases to “contain” consolidated reflections of the status of the well-being of the Bekkersdal community. However, the primary research question remains: whether it is possible to do research using IMD methodology, and whether this proposed methodology is more promising and constructive as an aid to understanding and disseminating research from various disciplinary angles than other methodologies.