Community-Based Participatory Research is an innovative methodological approach designed to bridge the sometimes contentious divide between researchers and the communities they are studying. CBPR is designed to build trust with the community while in turn making the research more accurate, relevant, and vital. Here’s how it works: professional researchers get together with community stakeholders and devise a plan in which one or more of the stakeholders is involved at every stage, from preparation to evaluation. While many research methods stress community participation, CBPR specifically emphasizes that the relationship between researchers and community representatives needs to be an equal partnership.
The CEAL-UNC Collaborative have just come out with a detailed manual on CBPR. The Collaborative have been active practitioners of CBPR within the assisted living community, but they wrote the manual to be broadly applicable to any organization. Read the report here.
The higher ed community in the Pioneer Valley has shown a strong desire to have a more meaningful, and more mutually beneficial relationship, with the communities in Springfield. This resource provides regional colleges and universities with a practical way to make that desire a reality. In turn, communities that are eager to reap more benefits from the higher ed sector can use the manual to become a little more informed about how those relationships can work.