Community-Based Participatory Research

Allowing the community to define their research goals can increase participation from underserved populations

What Is Community-Based Participatory Research?

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is the most common type of PAR and is well suited for collaborations with smaller underserved populations and for evaluating culture-centered practices. The research and theories developed about CBPR are extensive. A variety of models and frameworks have emerged that help stakeholders design successful collaborative research projects.

CBPR is a

collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community, has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities. [W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Health Scholars Program]

The PAR and CBPR frameworks share a common effort to

  • Address the conditions that contribute to health disparity.
  • Enhance community capacity by supporting equal community participation in the research from which they will directly benefit.
  • Recognize the strength of the community and each partner, who collaborate on all aspects of a project—including needs assessment, planning, research intervention design, implementation, analysis, and information dissemination.

Evidence emerging from CBPR efforts can reflect real-world practice. Communities can then use the emerging evidence to mobilize local healing and recovery.

Challenges of CBPR

Deciding to undertake CBPR can also produce challenges. One challenge is that in bringing together different stakeholders, the group must acknowledge and address potential conflicts of interest, conflicts in values and worldviews, and conflicts in communication. You may decide that the challenges are worth it because, when done well, CBPR can offer a path for practice improvement supported by client and community engagement.

CBPR Resources

This selection of links provides you with a few selected additional resources on CBPR. 

Last Updated: 08/21/2017