Community-based research or Community-based participatory research (CBR or CBPR) is guided by the core principles of collaboration and partnership where research brings together community and academic expertise to explore and create opportunities for social action and social change.
At its best, CBR has the ability to reveal more complex understandings of health and health disparities. CBR has been particularly valuable in highlighting the experiences of health disparities for disadvantaged or marginalized urban populations. Documenting health beliefs and practices in a community context can help to recognize both the obstacles and the opportunities for change. It is here where critical opportunities are created for the development and implementation of timely, real-world solutions.
The Wellesley Institute works to support and promote the research principle that urban health research should reflect the interests of the communities it serves by ensuring that community perspectives, needs and insights are well represented and integrated in research. We believe that the active involvement of communities in research facilitates a greater understanding and investment in health care and preventive practices at the local level. Ultimately this work can help to strengthen communities and neighbourhoods.
The Wellesley Institute works to fund and enable community-based research initiatives that aim to address health disparities and improve population health.
Several years ago Wellesley Institute offered a highly successful CBR and capacity-building program for local researchers. Over twenty workshops were delivered on topics spanning both the conceptual (e.g., ethics, theories in health promotion, methods, etc.) and practical aspects of CBR and capacity-building (e.g., how to conduct a literature review, how to run a focus group, how to analyze data, etc.). Due to popular demand, we have made those workshop materials available for public use.