What is Community-Based Research?

“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. CBR approaches are marked by the following principles:

  • Collaborative: The communities in which the research is taking place are full partners in all stages of the process. Community partners and academic experts work together to develop questions that are responsive to community needs, determine appropriate data collection methods, and develop effective knowledge dissemination strategies.
  • Change-oriented: Although community-based research can make important contributions to knowledge, its ultimate objective is to promote positive social change. Community-based research seeks to empower communities and effect policy changes.
  • Inclusive: Community-based research seeks to democratize knowledge by recognizing and valuing the unique strengths and perspectives of all members involved in the research process. CBR projects often use multiple and innovative data collection strategies and analysis methods that reflect the diverse expertise and experiences of the research team.

For a longer description of CBR Principles, see this post on REACH 2.0’s website.

Why Community-Based Research?

CBR approaches are increasingly being adopted in HIV/AIDS-related research because they promote an interdisciplinary framework that recognizes the multiple social, economic, political and health implications of HIV/AIDS. The benefits to academic researchers and community stakeholders are numerous.

  • Benefits to academic researchers:  Incorporating the voices of local members at all stages of the process is a process that aligns with the UN’s Greater Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) Principles and that has the potential to produce research that is more socially relevant and equitable. Creating strong partnerships with community members can facilitate better recruitment of research participants. Recognizing multiple realities and sources of knowledge can increase the validity of the findings.
  • Benefits to communities: Community-based research that engages local members in setting research directions can influence policy decisions and improve their local members’ own practices and service-delivery. By partnering with academic and other research experts, community agencies can gain opportunities for capacity building in areas such as grant writing and evaluation skills.

Hallmarks of Successful Community-Based Research

Successful community-based research projects share a number of important characteristics:

  • Mutual respect and trust
  • Commitment to long-term, sustainable relationships
  • Flexibility
  • Built on existing strengths of the community
  • Methodological rigour and sound ethical practices

More about CBR on our site:

CBR Glossary

CBR at PAN

CBR Resources

 

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  • All Program and Projects
  • Community Based Research
  • Evaluation and Program Science
  • Positive Leadership Development Institute
  • Training and Leadership
  • 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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