How to carry out a successful CBPR partnership

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How to carry out successful CBPR partnerships
How to carry out successful CBPR partnerships

Promoting Healthy Public Policy through Community-Based Participatory Research: Ten Case Studies

Although not new, this report still has relevance for researchers engaged in community based participatory research and their research partners today. The report looks at 10 case studies of different CBPR partnerships in the US, that are focused on changing policy to improve community health.

Practical recommendations for successful partnerships are made on pages 51 to 54.  Read Report …


Image: Filipe Cabrera:


CBPR in counselling and psychotherapy research

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Here is a comment contributed via ResearchGate.  Identifying details have been removed.

My colleague and I have recently written an article (under review) about CBPR in counselling and psychotherapy research – the main areas of ethical challenges we identified in this particular field relate to data management and confidentiality, potential distress to co-researchers (including academic co-researchers) and participants – especially if they are current counselling clients. The nature of ethical issues in CBPR will be different for every project depending on the topic and the arrangement – for example, are participants also co-researchers or are co-researchers and participants separate? Are co-researchers part of the same community as participants?


Negotiating divergent interests

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Here is another comment from a researcher.  Identifying information has been removed:-

This is very topical for us currently. We are working with a University to teach and inspire students in Community-based and participatory asset mapping, and participatory action research whilst we complete our ethnographies .
Our emphasis on the participatory is welcomed, we feel, but the students have been set a task that involves door-to-door mapping of a survey type. We have stressed the importance of permissions, non-assumed consent, ongoing consent and so forth, and especially working together with villagers to set the strengths, needs and agendas to follow. This may not happen and if it does it may put the students and university in some degree of opposition to state and government drives for the region – something that culturally is not taken lightly by the students.

Our ethical and moral issues concern the integrity of what we are doing together with the people of the area and the interests of the students and university. These may be at odds and we have to negotiate these.

Ethics Review Process

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I would like to share a comment I have received on this topic from a CBPR researcher:-

          I think part of the problem is that ethics committees are generally not very well equiped   with dealing with these kinds of projects when they review them and try to review them within their normal framework (which traditionally has its roots in the biomedical/clinical), which is less than ideal. Work needs to be done to agree what might be an ethical framework for this and other kinds of “engaged” research and then this needs to be transmitted to ethics committees. This kind of work is iterative and the ethical approval process needs to be responsive to that.

Would you agree?  Was the ethical review of your CBPR research satisfactory?

Your CBPR and ethics experience

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If you have read the Participant Information Statement and would like to participate, this blog offers you the opportunity to reflect on the considerations related to ethics in the course of conducting CBPR.

You are welcome to write freely, however some questions that might guide your contribution are:-

  • What were your experiences of ethical considerations in setting up your CBPR project?
  • Outline some of the challenges you encountered at key stages (start up, conduct, closure and dissemination).
  • What were the factors related to ethics that either limited or enhanced your ability to achieve the aims of your CBPR project?
The Heart of Town

The early stages of my CBPR project raised questions about ethics for me.   We all know it takes time to build relationships and trust when entering a community as an outsider.  Although I was interested to a certain extent in the conversations in this rural community,  in the early days of getting to know people, I always felt that it was not really ethical to befriend strangers for the purpose of gaining entry to the community and to raise interest in the project.  This was even more difficult as it became evident that community members were reacting to being ‘over consulted/researched’ in recent times – was my presence just exacerbating an already delicate situation?  I suspect I am not alone in grappling with this ethical quandary.  How did you experience the early stages of your project?