Principle 2:

Principle 2:

Address issues of race, gender, ethnicity, racism, disability, patriarchy and social class to attain equitable, trusting research partnerships

CBPR brings together academic researchers and support organisations – who often have more privileged backgrounds in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, education etc. – and community researchers who often come from the most marginalised groups due to the research area being addressed. Therefore, efforts must be made to address differences in power in order to build trusting, equitable partnerships. Several competencies can support efforts to acknowledge and embrace differences. This includes exploring, appreciating and embracing different cultures, knowledge, abilities, races, genders and social classes so as to attain mutual respect both within the research partnership and with the broader community.

Competencies and/or conditions

  • Openness to discuss race, class, colonisation, discrimination, disability, racism, gender and patriarchy, as these have contributed to the often-substantial distrust between academically trained researchers and community partners.
  • Cultural competence: cultural and linguistic accommodations, understanding of intra-group disparities and openness to making partners more culturally sensitive and open to alternative ways of thinking and ways of doing things(3).
  • Cultural humility: capacity to reflect on personal, institutional and structural power and to redress power imbalances to develop and maintain mutually respectful and dynamic partnerships with (as a researcher) and within communities (as a community researchers)(3).
  • Mindfulness of local cultures and ways of doing things(1). e.g., Who are the Local (informal) Leaders? Where Do People Gather? What Places or Organisations Hold Special Meaning, and Might Therefore Be Good Potential “Homes” for a CBPR project? Are There Existing Units of Identity That Researchers Could Become Embedded Within to Support CBPR Activities?
  • Ability to promote and practice equal participation by all members within the research partnership and beyond to address inequity and power differentials.
  • Ability to assess barriers to equal participation and to generate more inclusive mechanisms for all. 
  • Respect for (and ability to draw on) different forms of knowledge, capability, and resources.
  • Commitment to understanding the realities facing broader communities affected by the research area.
  • Demonstration of integrity and trustworthiness, emotional intelligence, compassion and a posture of humility.
    • Better understanding of what unearned privilege means, and how that may affect working relationships with diverse cultures.
    • Improved communication and quality of the relationship with partners with a different cultural background.
    • Improved cultural relevancy of the research undertaken and benefits to the community through a consensus decision-making
    • Improved and sound support from community-based organisations, leaders and members.
    • Shift in beliefs and norms that constrain cultural humility.
    • Minimized levels of distrust of vulnerable social groups toward academic and government institutions.
    • Actively and iteratively assess who is excluded and addresses this through learning and bringing different perspectives through time.
    • increased sensitivity to and competence in working within diverse cultures.
    • Suitable activities that foster participation and opportunity to give expression to relevant aspects of one’s identity and power within the partnership and within the wider community. E.g.

      Access and control matrix
      Chapatti Diagram
      Power line [3]
    • Use of ice breakers such as “what’s the meaning of your name?” to help build trust and familiarity while also increasing members’ understanding of each other’s backgrounds and cultures
    • Applying “privilege” checklists or tools to help members of dominant cultures to better understand the unspoken advantages they carry by virtue of their positionality and how it can affect work with other cultures. E.g.

      ‘Challenging Ourselves: Critical Self-Reflection on Power and Privilege’ tool
      Power Flower tool power
    • Design and develop research protocols in partnership with community research partners to ensure cultural relevancy
    • Explore different physical and mental capacities and tools that can maximise participation in research partnerships and data collection with community members

      See adapted photovoice methods for people with disabilities
    • Find out formal and informal protocols or processes within a community that must be used to engage with people in the context. Think about engagement of people beyond existing or dominant protocols who may often be excluded from these processes
    • Ongoing evaluation to ensure that the program remains adaptable and innovative in response to the changing needs of new community research partners or broader community members
    • Mapping activities to identify local ways of expressing, educating and facilitating change that embrace differences and assets. e.g.

      Transect walks
      Social mapping
    • Apply exercises and capture narratives that explore language, potential stigmatisation, pity or victimisation and review particular idioms in context for meaning so that the core research team understands these as they are meant see Daniella’s Story
    • Offer incentives for participation, conduct outreach to uninvolved sectors of population, provide residents
    • Demonstrated diversity of research partnership membership including community members, organisations, implementation partners and partners needed to promote social change and sustainability. Mix of age, gender, race/ethnicity, disability, sexuality and differing viewpoints within co-researcher/researcher groups
    • Evidence of new members invited into the research partnership or adapted sampling of participants during participatory and other research if initially not represented 
    • Engagement with other action groups representing marginalised populations
    • Number of training sessions/discussions about stigma, language, idioms used
    • Verified commitment to creating non-hierarchical structures within the research team. Evidence of this presented through meeting observations, use of language and titles between team members etc. 
    • Type and frequency of discussion spaces created for addressing power, stigma, language and cultural humility
    • Number and frequency of culturally appropriate practical exercises delivered that address issues of power and consider cultural aspects
    • Protocol/tool adaptations by co-researchers to respond to diversity and cultural relevance
    • Training/presentations delivered by co-researchers to researchers and policy makers on cultural and racial aspects of communities
    • Evidence of changes in beliefs, norms, perceptions and understandings of academic and community researchers in research partnership
    • Demonstrated changes in trust across the research partnership – through reflexivity
    • Number and quality of engagement or observation activities focused on a better understanding of local culture
    • Adapted participation mechanisms for people with different abilities
    • Value creation stories
    • Reflexivity session (audio/written/other)
    • Meeting minutes and attendance sheets
    • Memorandum of understanding
    • Terms of reference/Operational guidelines for core research teams 
    • Meeting minutes, photos, drawings capturing discussions related to power and diversity exploration activities
    • Outputs generated that show evidence of cultural diversity through narratives
    • Co-researcher and participant selection processes defined and inclusive
    • Adapted sampling strategies for engaging diverse research participants
    • Recordings, transcripts/quotes from exercises that explore diversity
    • Stories/narratives reflecting on issues of race, ethnicity, racism, and social class etc.
    • Evidence of changes in research protocols or approach that respond/adapt to cultural diversity – track changes or comments from original protocol – evidence of discussion/validation of appropriateness in relation to the original protocol
    • Research partnership list of members
    • Interviews and focus group discussions that explore relational aspects including the development of trust 

*Please note that some statements are adaptations or direct quotes from the papers listed in the reference section