Making it Work Project

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Making It Work (MIW) is an Indigenous-focused, community-based research project in British Columbia co-led by PAN and the AHA Centre at the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN). MIW was born out of conversations within the community when looking at the challenges people living with HIV, hepatitis C and other associated—and complex—social and health issues face every day. These discussions led to a realization that we need to understand better whether people facing these challenges experience better outcomes when they access services from organizations that approach care through an Indigenous view of health and wellbeing and also link case management services with community development programs.


MIW explores the relationship between improved outcomes and cultural safety, case management and community development by developing an understanding of how service providers adapt case management and programming to “make them work” in ways that are culturally safe for the people they serve. There are three primary goals for the project:

  • develop and implement an evidence-based evaluation plan for case management and community development programs across BC
  • support capacity building in community-based research and evaluation methods for Peer Evaluators, communities, and other stakeholders
  • document how Indigenous service delivery models can serve as a helpful tool to inform services for Indigenous and non-Indigenous service users


From a methodological perspective, Making It Work seeks to bridge Indigenous ways of knowing and doing and Indigenous research methodologies with Western academic Realist Evaluation methodology. The team has had many discussions of what this would look like and how it would work, and continue to do so. We envision our work as a kind of spiral, where everything we learn feeds into the next questions we seek to ask, and the information we glean from those questions then feeds into further questions and so on. In addition to the three primary goals of the project, we are actively working to document what this methodological approach looks like and how we are building it as the project goes forward.


Making It Work is funded by a CIHR Catalyst Grant and Operating Grant and the AHA Centre.


Study News and Updates




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For more information about the project please contact Joanna Mendell, Making It Work Research Coordinator: [email protected]

The Pacific AIDS Network would like to thank the Canadian Institute for Health Research for a Catalyst Grant and an Operating Grant to complete this study. We would also like to thank the AHA Centre and the University of Victoria for their support.

  • All Program and Projects
  • Positive Leadership Development Institute
  • Training and Leadership
  • Community Based Research
  • Evaluation and Program Science
  • The Research and Evaluation work at Pacific AIDS Network is funded through a partnership with the CIHR CBR Collaborative, a program of REACH 2.0.  REACH 2.0 is “a nation-wide, innovative, virtual laboratory for intervention research, participatory evaluation, and applied program science in HIV, hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted and bloodborne infections.” The PAN Research and… Read more »

  • “Community-based research is research that is conducted with and for, not on, members of a community.” (Kerry Strand. 2003. Community-Based Research and Higher Education: Principles and Practices, p. xxi) Community-based research (CBR) is a methodological practice that places community partnerships at the forefront. promote an interdisciplinary framework that recognizes the multiple social, economic, political and health… Read more »

  • PAN’s Community-Based Research (CBR) program facilitates and supports community-based research initiatives and partnerships to address HIV and HCV  in British Columbia and across Canada.  This program is possible thanks to our partnership with and funding from the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS. Through CBR  we work to help foster CBR in the province by linking… Read more »

  • One of the key pieces in our Training and Leadership program is the Positive Leadership  Development Institute (PLDI). The purpose of PLDI is to support people living with HIV/AIDS to realize their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community life. PLDI features three modules to engage people at various stages of… Read more »

  • As part of our Training and Leadership program, webinar topics are  developed with community input gathered at our annual meeting with people from across BC, through our annual Members and Stakeholder Surveys, and by following public health trends and emerging issues. Our goal is to provide member organizations and the community information they can use… Read more »

  • PAN works to facilitate, support and grow participatory evaluation initiatives and associated partnerships that address HIV, HCV and and related issues in British Columbia and across Canada.  This work is made possible through our partnership with and funding from the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS. PAN works within a participatory and community-based evaluation framework: we work to build… Read more »

  • Each year our Fall Conference focuses on key issues in HIV and HCV work in order to educate, support and connect people working across BC. The annual meeting, Executive Directors’ Summit and People Living with HIV forum also identify and prioritize advocacy issues for PAN to address.  The 2017 event will be October 25 and… Read more »

  • The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) supports people who are living with HIV to realize their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community life. Developed in partnership with the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN), these learning modules have supported many people to go on to pursue paid and volunteer work with new… Read more »

  • Going on a weekend training with peers who have HIV can be life-changing. People arrive to meet other attendees and often feel nervous and uncertain about what to expect and how they will do. When the weekend program is finished, people  don’t want to leave. But what does happen when people leave? How does PLDI training… Read more »

  • The Positive Leadership Development Institute News blog covers information about the multi-module PLDI training as well as information about PLDI grads. Some have gone on to work in the HIV sector as researchers, educators, support workers, and more. Read stories on what it’s like to work in community-based research work from someone with lived experience; read… Read more »


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