WHAT IS COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH?
Community-based research is done with communities, not on or about communities. It is an approach to research (not a single research method) that is community-driven, participatory, and action-oriented. Community-based research is gaining traction around the world and draws on rich global research traditions. Hover over the boxes to learn more.
Community-based research begins with a research topic of practical relevance to the community (as opposed to researchers) and leads to community self-determination. This hallmark honours Indigenous research traditions.
Community members and researchers share control of the research agenda through reciprocal involvement throughout the research. This hallmark honours the research traditions of the global South.
The process and results of the research are useful to community members in making positive social change. This hallmark honours the research traditions of the global North.
"A research approach that involves active participation of stakeholders, those whose lives are affected by the issue being studied, in all phases of research for the purpose of producing useful results to make positive changes."
Nelson, Ochocka, Griffin & Lord, 1998, p.12
GOALS OF COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH
Gaining new insights through systematic and rigorous research
2. Mobilizing Knowledge
Sharing what has been learned in ways that enable people to use the research results
3. Mobilizing People
Building stronger relationships among stakeholders so that they can use research learnings to address societal issues
STRIVING FOR RELEVANCE AND EXCELLENCE
Community-based research tries to understand issues of importance and relevance to community members and other stakeholders
Community-based research also tries to do research well and follow rigorous standards of quality
See this tool to assess the quality and impact of your community-based research project or proposal
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
Topic of relevance to the community
Stakeholders direct the research
End result is to work towards change
Topic of curiosity for researcher
Researchers control the agenda
End result is only to produce knowledge
Stakeholder - A person who has some investment or interest in the topic being studied
Community Partner - A community group that is actively involved in the issue under study and agrees to participate in the research project
Steering Committee - A group of stakeholders who meet regularly to guide the research project
Participant - Someone who is taking part (or participating) in the research data gathering
Informed Consent - Participants have given their agreement to be involved after knowing what the research is about and its risks and benefits