What are the key principles and practices involved in conducting Community-based Participatory Research?

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a collaborative approach to research that involves community members as active partners in all stages of the research process. This approach is based on the belief that community involvement and participation are crucial in addressing complex social issues and producing meaningful and sustainable solutions. CBPR is rooted in key principles and practices that guide the research process and ensure that it is community-driven, equitable, and inclusive. In this article, we will explore the key principles and practices involved in conducting CBPR, highlighting the importance of community engagement, empowerment, and collaboration in promoting social change.

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is research that is conducted as an equal partnership between traditionally trained “experts” and members of a community. In CBPR projects, the community participates fully in all aspects of the research process. CBPR projects start with the community. Community is often self-defined, but general categories of community include geographic community, community of individuals with a common problem or issue, or a community of individuals with a common interest or goal. CBPR encourages collaboration of “formally trained research” partners from any area of expertise, provided that the researcher provide expertise that is seen as useful to the investigation by the community, and be fully committed to a partnership of equals and producing outcomes usable to the community. Equitable partnerships require sharing power, resources, credit, results, and knowledge, as well as a reciprocal appreciation of each partner’s knowledge and skills at each stage of the project, including problem definition/issue selection, research design, conducting research, interpreting the results, and determining how the results should be used for action. CBPR differs from traditional research in many ways. One of the principal ways in which it is different is that instead of creating knowledge for the advancement of a field or for knowledge’s sake, CBPR is an iterative process, incorporating research, reflection, and action in a cyclical process.

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