This comparative case study formed part of the Indigenous Pathways to Resilience (IPR) project which aims to
contribute to an indigenous psychology knowledge base on resilience from an African perspective. This study
focused on contributing knowledge on indigenous pathways to appraisal processes as part of resilience
processes to mostly Western-orientated discourses.
IPR situated its investigation in two conveniently selected rural South African communities who
experience chronic circumstances of high risk and high need and had non-Western worldviews. Participants from
the two research sites were stratified according to location, age and gender. Indigenous Psychology (IP) was
selected as the theoretical paradigm for the study, with post-colonial research paradigm as the meta-theoretical
lens. Participatory reflection and action (PRA) served as the methodological paradigm to generate data in two
waves over a period of two years (eight days per site). Data sources included textual data (verbatim transcripts of
audio-recorded PRA activities translated into English) and observation data (researchers’ field notes and
observations). Trustworthiness was enhanced by capturing the process and context visually over time. Data was
analysed using thematic in-case and cross-case analysis lead to inductive themes indigenous pathways to
appraisal during resilience processes.
This study contributes a novel insight into (African) non-Western appraisal processes as part of resilience.
It points to interconnectedness (interpersonal, spiritual and environmental) as a core worldview point of departure
during appraisals. Appraisal from a non-Western (African) perspective is then followed by collaborative appraisal
processes, including consultation and consensus for problem solving. The non-Western (African) appraisal
converges in agency as motivation. This study was delimited to.