Community-based researchers: Building the next generation

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Did you receive formal training prior to your CBPR fieldwork?

YES ?                    NO ?


If not, it seems you are not alone.

In a recent survey conducted by the UNESCO Chair in CBR and Social Responsibility in Higher Education (2015) findings show that “most respondents have not had any formal learning experience in participatory research” (p.10)  and “16% of respondents were never trained to do CBR” (p.10). The survey attracted 413 responses from 60 countries and predominantly from members of higher education institutions and a small number of civil society organisations.

For the purpose of the survey, CBR was conceptualised as participatory research which “originates in the community and flows back to the civil society” (p.8).

Considering the complexity of CBPR and the ethical challenges that can arise, it is necessary to prepare researchers with appropriate CBPR capabilities. However it is insufficient to do this solely through researchers’ self-directed learning (56.9% of respondents) and on-the-job training (47% of respondents).

The survey highlights a strong interest in receiving more training opportunities in CBR around the world, across a range of training modalities and settings.  The survey is the first part of the Next Gen project, (Building the Next Generation of Community-based Researchers) which aims to increase access to high quality training in CBR within higher education institutions and civil society organizations.

I think that this commitment to a global approach for understanding and preparing the next generation of researchers is timely, given the ongoing interest in the challenges of conducting CBPR and the often cited need for training.

The report, including the survey schedule, findings and recommendations can be found at the link below:

Global Trends in Training Community-based Research in Higher Education Institutions and Civil Society Organizations: Survey Results – July 2015 (Prepared by Walter Lepore Coordinator, Next Gen Project, UNESCO Chair in Community-based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education)

See also:

International Symposium on Challenges in the Training of Community-Based Research (CBR) University of Victoria – September 15, 2015

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