Noting that the current, conventional approach to research does little to strengthen scholars’ participation in civic life, this article advocates and describes models of research that promote more democratic inquiry methods, more reciprocal relationships between researchers and their subjects, and new collaborations between research institutions and communities. Examples of programs and initiatives are offered. Ansley, F. & Gaventa, J. (1997). Researching for democracy and democratizing research. Change, 29(1), 46-54.
This paper describes the National Institutes of Health Director’s Council of Public Representatives’ (DCPR) community engagement framework, which was designed to educate researchers to create and sustain authentic community – academic partnerships that will increase accountability and equality between the partners. The framework includes values, strategies to operationalize each value, and potential outcomes of their use in community engaged research, as well as a peer review criteria for evaluating research that engages communities. Ahmed, S. M &. Palermo, A. S. (2010). Community engagement in research: Frameworks for education and peer review. American Journal of Public Health, 100(8), 1380-1387.
Relationships hold the key to trustworthy and productive translational science: Recommendations for expanding community engagement in biomedical research
Good relationships between research institutions and communities are an essential, but often neglected, part of the infrastructure of translational science. In this article, the authors report the results of a workshop they convened to learn how such relationships are best created and sustained. They highlight common barriers and challenges that hinder relationships, and provide recommendations that research institutions and teams can use to expand and strengthen their relationships with community members. Yarborough, M., Edwards, K., Espinoza, P., Geller, G., Sarwal, A., Sharp, R. R., & Spicer, P. Relationships hold the key to trustworthy and productive translational science: Recommendations for expanding…
Using culturally competent community-based participatory research with older diabetic Chinese Americans: Lessons learned
This articles shares culturally competent research strategies and lessons learned from a study with older adult diabetic Chinese Americans. The study used the CBPR approach and the vulnerable population conceptual model (VPCM) to develop these culturally competent research strategies. Wang-Letzkus, M. F., Washington, G., Calvillo, E. R., & Anderson, N. L. (2012). Using culturally competent community-based participatory research with older diabetic Chinese Americans: Lessons learned. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 23(3), 255-261. Full Text.
Digital animation as a method to disseminate research findings to the community using a community-based participatory approach
In academia, professional presentations and articles are the major ways that research is disseminated. There is little scholarly literature focused on how to disseminate research findings to the communities that participate CBPR. In order to fill this gap, this article presents a novel approach to the dissemination of research findings to communities through digital animation. The article then explains the foundational thinking and specific steps that were taken to select this specific dissemination product development and distribution strategy. Vaughn, N. A., Jacoby, S. F., Williams, T., Guerra, T., Thomas, N. A., & Richmond, T. S. (2013). Digital animation as a…
This report describes how members of the Yup’ik, Inupiat, Eveny, Inuit, and Sámi communities came together to develop and negotiate a research agenda to study indigenous youth in five international circumpolar communities. The planning workshop involving youth, adult community members, and academics is examined as a participatory methodology for international communities conducting research with shared interests. This paper is therefore useful to faculty and communities engaging in international participatory research projects or partnerships. Ulturgasheva, O., Wexler, L., Kral, M., Allen, J., Mohatt, G.V., & Nystad, K. (2012) Navigating international, interdisciplinary, and indigenous collaborative inquiry. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship,…
Community-based participatory research as worldview or instrumental strategy: Is it lost in translation(al) research?
This editorial explores how the development of CBPR as a worldview differs fundamentally from the use of CBPR as an instrumental strategy in translational research. The author analyzes a Katz et al paper (2011), included in the Exemplars Section of this Toolkit, which describes “an ambitious effort to blend the science of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with the processes of community-based participatory research (CBPR) in translational research. RCTs provide the science, while CBPR provides the processes of tailoring and implementation” (Trickett, 1353). He argues that this use of CBPR as an instrumental strategy differs fundamentally from accepted principles of CBPR…
Aligning community engagement with traditional authority structures in global health research: A case study from northern Ghana
Although literature on community engagement is growing, there is little empirical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of community engagement (CE) in biomedical research. For 20 years, the Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC) in northern Ghana has developed an approach to community engagement that is integrated with local decision making practices and authority structures. This paper describes a qualitative study aimed to understand the CE practices between Kassena-Nankana district and the NHRC. Tindana, P. O., Rozmovits, L., Boulanger, R.F., Bandewar, S.V.S., Arbigo, R.A., Hodgson, A.V.O. . . . Lavery, J.V. (2011). Aligning community engagement with traditional authority structures in global health research:…
This literature review focuses on ways that professional service providers (those with specialized skills, training, and knowledge) have engaged in CBPR, experienced benefits from their engagement, contributed to health promotion research, and faced challenges in collaboration. The authors discuss the implication of these topics on policy and practice. Spector, A.Y. (2012). CBPR with service providers: Arguing a case for engaging practitioners in all phases of research. Health Promotion Practice, 13 (2), 252-258. Full Text.
The term “engagement” in action research often refers to the participation and involvement of the research participants. In this article the authors take another angle, and explore the concept of engagement in relation to the main action researcher. Using an auto-ethnographic approach, the authors illustrate that the involvement and “closeness” of the action researcher, although necessary, can also have a darker side as people have the tendency to get trapped in their own beliefs and prejudices. They provide suggestions for how action researchers can realize productive engagement by using concepts such as mindfulness and mindsight. Snoeren, M., Niessen, J., &…
While exploring the current challenges facing academic institutions and the needs of their scholars to make their work relevant to the lives of university constituents, the author advocates a reactive and radical approach to engaged scholarship by out¬lining an 8-step process that considers the importance of trans¬formation, immediacy, and relevance in academic research in the field of human service. (Smith, 2011, p. 87). Smith, M. (2011). A reactive, radical approach to engaged scholarship. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. 15(4), 87-99. Full Text.
How can family scholars use action-oriented research to work with community partners and develop useful knowledge about their practices and programs? This article aims to answer this question by providing practical strategies such as how to: develop collaborative relationships; determine sound research questions; follow guidelines to select and design research projects; and collect and disseminate data. Small, S.A., & Uttal, L. (2005). Action-oriented research: Strategies for engaged scholarship. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(4), 936-948. Full Text.
This article is a call for exploring, valuing and using Indigenous knowledge and methods on an equal footing with Western knowledge and methods, and for integrating Indigenous and Western methods when appropriate. The authors present a case study of an intervention research project to exemplify a clash between Western research methodologies and Indigenous methodologies, and how they attempted reconciliation. They provide implications for future research based on lessons learned from their Native American community partners, who voiced concern over methods of Western deductive qualitative analysis. Simonds, V. W., & Christopher, S. (2013). Adapting western research methods to indigenous ways of…
A community-based participatory planning process and multilevel intervention design: Toward eliminating cardiovascular health inequities
CBPR methods can facilitate a research process that effectively engages local expertise, is informed by existing public health knowledge, and builds support from various sectors to implement solutions. This article examines a CBPR approach employed by the Healthy Environments Partnership Community Approaches to Cardiovascular Health (HEP-CATCH) to identify and develop intervention strategies. The authors provide background to cardiovascular disease in Detroit, Michigan, and then discuss in depth the three phases of the project: the community assessment, the community action planning, and the implementation of the multilevel intervention to address inequalities in cardiovascular disease. The article concludes with a discussion on…
In this article, the authors draw on Jurgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action to develop the concept of virtual participant. The authors argue that this virtual participant concept can enhance understanding of the complex role of the action researcher. The article explores issues faced by action researchers in three project phases—initial, implementation, and conclusion. It then explains how the concept of virtual participant can assist the action researcher in understanding their role at each of these phases. Sandberg, F. & Wallo, A. (2013). The interactive researcher as a virtual participant: A Habermasian interpretation. Action Research, 11(2), 194-212. Full Text.
International participatory research framework: triangulating procedures to build health research capacity in Brazil
This article presents the International Participatory Research Framework (IPRF), a set of triangulated procedures that researchers can use to conduct participatory research in myriad international settings. The IPRF comprises four recursive steps: (i) contextualizing the host country; (ii) identifying collaborators in the host country; (iii) seeking advice and endorsement from gatekeepers and (iv) matching partners’ expertise, needs and interests. The IPRF also includes the following sets of recursive participatory actions: (1) becoming familiar with local languages and culture; (2) sharing power, ideas, influence and resources; (3) gathering oral and written information about partners; (4) establishing realistic expectations and (5) resolving…
How can researchers create the conditions in which expertise is truly mutually constructed in a community-based research? In this article, the authors assess the definitions of community health, focus groups and dissemination used in community-based research to introduce an application of dialogical action that differs from traditional focus group methodology. This application aims to create an evolving and dynamic dialogue between university and community stakeholders. Six principles of dialogical action are presented and analyzed in a case study involving a Spanish-speaking urban community. Montoya, M.J., & Kent, E.E. (2011). Dialogical action: Moving from community-based to community driven participatory research. Qualitative…
Partnering to translate evidence-based programs to community settings: bridging the gap between research and practice
An important mechanism for bridging the discovery-delivery gap is using university-community partnerships to prepare community-based organizations to implement evidence-based practices (EBPs). The authors present their experience as an example of using a university-community partnership to help translate EBPs in a small community setting, to serve as a resource for others wishing to conduct such a project. They review the steps of systematic planning and client needs assessment to decide on an EBP, and highlight each research partner’s role and activities in facilitating the successful translation of an EBP. They present lessons learned and recommendations. Miller, A. L., Krusky, A. M.,…
Key informants and community members in community-based participatory research: One is not like the other
In a CBPR project, overdependence on a key informants’ perspectives misrepresents the perspective of community members themselves. This paper compares the perspectives of key informants and community members on health related issues to better understand how CBPR can accurately identify health priorities of a community. Findings of the comparison are presented, as well as recommendations for researchers on how to work effectively with both key informants and community members. McKenna, S.A., Iwasaki, P.G., Stewart, T., & Main, D.S. (2011). Key informants and community members in community-based participatory research: One is not like the other. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research,…
This article offers an explanation for how academic integrity can be achieved in action research (AR). The academic integrity of AR depends on both 1) relevance (the ability to solve pertinent problems) and 2) rigor (the ability to rigorously scrutinize the experiences from the field engagement in order to communicate research-based findings). Thus, the essence of building academic integrity into AR is the researcher’s ability to create a necessary distance between the involvement in a change process and the reflexive process that aims at explaining the phenomenon. Action researchers can develop this ability through appropriate training, which the author names…
Submit a Syllabus for the Archive
Renewing Democracy Teaching Collection
Community Colleges for Democracy: Aligni
Community-Engaged Learning and Teaching
Electoral Engagement in Community Colleg
Civic Action Plans
University of Mary Washington Civic Acti
Creating Space for Democracy: A Primer o
The Craft of Community-Engaged Teaching
Books & Publications
National Issues Forums Issue Guide: A Ho
Books & Publications
National Issues Forum Issue Guide: A Nat