Performance Improvement 2004. Evaluation of a new methodology for community participation research: final report


In recent years there has been an increased focus on the importance of community-based participatory research (CBPR)- research that engages members of a community with research partners in all phases of the research process. A variety of entities including the Committee on Public Health, the Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded that communities must address public health issues in a comprehensive, collaborative and participatory manner. The Committee on Public Health has determined that communities must work together with researchers to address their health issues. This project assesses the participatory research methods of the CDC Urban Research Centers located in Detroit, New York City, and Seattle. These projects are in various phases of using participatory action research methods to determine “what works” to improve the quality of life of inner city, impoverished populations. The research questions included: (1) how community-based participatory research has been fostered and developed; (2) how infrastructures have been established to facilitate collaboration across diverse community partners to address urban health issues; and (3) whether and how promising approaches to addressing urban health issues have been developed, evaluated, and disseminated. The assessment of CDC URC’s participatory research methods confirmed that while CBPR yields substantial community involvement and investment in community health, it  remains a time-consuming and resource intensive process. The Cross-Site Evaluation Team determined that participatory processes help build equitable partnerships; teach communities how to examine local health problems; and teach researchers about the perspectives of the people who live and work in communities. In addition, the team determined that funding institutions like the CDC should consider the time required to implement participatory processes when making funding decisions.

PIC ID: 7870
Agency Sponsor: CDC, Centers for Disease Control
Federal Contact: Cheal, Nancy, 404- 639-7222
Performer: Macro International, Inc., Calverton, MD

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