What is Community-Engaged Research?
Community engaged research is when people who live in a community, or work in clinics, programs, or agencies PARTNER with researchers from universities to create ways to learn what works to improve the health of a community. Other names for it include:
- Community – Based Participatory Research
- Community – collaborative research
- Community – partnered research
- Participatory Action Research
In this approach to research, there is equality among all partners. As each individual involved brings different types of information, skills, or perspectives to the table, together they can develop ways to study programs and measure results to see what works in improving health in a community. The words below describe some of the tasks and roles that university researchers, community members, and staff from community agencies can take:
Collecting information consistently
Making decisions together
Listening to the ideas of others
- Problem solving
Making sense of the information
Talking with people
Community engaged research allows the time needed to:
- establish equal partnerships,
- determine roles,
- fully define the health problem of concern,
- gather information in systematic ways,
- analyze information, and
- take action.
There is more and more evidence that this approach to research can help link research with public health practice, and add to the ways in which we improve the health of people in our communities.