Principle 3:

Principle 3:

Build on strengths and resources in the community

The principle explicitly recognizes and seeks to support or expand social structures and social processes that contribute to the ability/resources of community members to be part of project activities. The abilities may include individual skills and assets; networks of relationships characterized by trust, cooperation and mutual commitment; and mediating structures within the community such as religious institutions and other structures where community members come together. Recognizing community strengths and resources represents a transformative research opportunity to unite all partners by giving underserved communities a genuine voice in research/project activities, and therefore increases the likelihood of success in project outcome. Further, incorporating community resources enables partners to best contextualize cultural values and practices that enhances sustainability and ultimately democratizing science by valuing community resources in all activities and knowledge production processes.

Competencies and/or conditions

  • Commitment to become familiar with and understand the context, the people, their culture, and priorities.

  • Ability to explore and embrace existing strengths and resources within a community.

  • Understanding and appreciation of the value of different forms of knowledge; experiential, contextual, technical etc.

  • Capacity to identify personal capacities (from the head, hands and heart).

  • Capacity to identify existing community structures (physical spaces), institutions and citizens (political, social, historical, cultural, religious, others) that could contribute towards change.

  • Understanding of how to leverage existing formal and informal governance structures to make positive changes.

  • Understanding of the variety of skills/assets that can contribute to CBPR research at different stages.

  • Ability to assess and apply assets and strengths to collect, analyse data and contribute to change.

    • More comprehensive and coordinated responses to health and wellbeing issues than any single stakeholder could achieve.

    • Horizontal linkages with others in the community add local breadth and depth to the mobilizations, whereas vertical linkages (e.g., with national environmental organizations or mass media) provide access to a wider resource base and offer the potential for an impact on national policy.

    • Community partners leverage and optimize resources, share responsibilities and support each other’s efforts for a project’s success.

    • Asset identification process through authentic dialogue can lead to a richer and deeper understanding of community strengths and how these might be used or built upon to better address community concerns or problems.

    • Enriched understandings of the strengths, needs, priorities, and health concerns of communities, organisations, and health system and can lead to refined and new research questions.

    • Enhanced contextual readiness for research implementation thanks to a collaborative shaping of the research purpose.

    • Valuing and recognizing the contributions, skills and assets of team members are important for sustaining membership.

    • Build on prior positive working relationships and assets – social network analysis can help identify networks and partnerships
    • Identify participants and partnerships based on pre-existing trusting relationships
    • Recruit some community researchers for their leadership and their role as agents for change, such as respected community members who have credibility and visibility, and who are well-integrated in their community
    • Undertake asset-based community development (ABCD) assessments
    • Apply governance assessments like ‘Governance diaries’ to identify informal and formal networks that could support action
    • Employ a “flipped classroom” strategy: community researchers teach academic researchers and linked organisations how to bolster community engagement, research translation, and dissemination see ‘We met a committee and made the assumption we met a community: Researchers’ language and practice in poor urban neighbourhoods’
    • Each research partnership member reflects on the strengths, resources, and potential liabilities they- and their institution or community-based organisation-may bring to the work
    • Asset and problem identification process: these include, GIS mapping (remote/in person) walking and windshield tours, which involve walking or driving around the neighbourhood, documenting observations and impressions, or using a checklist to indicate assets or risks identified
    • Identify a few steps that local health departments can take to develop stronger ties with communities on health issues, for example, the creation of forums for two-way communication
    • Number of workshops and meetings held in community settings incorporating local resources and assets
    • List of assets and strengths of research partners and broader communities
    • Development of capacity strengthening strategy that identifies and evolves personal, organisational, physical, institutional and governance assets and strengths across research partners
    • Documentation of applied community assets in research stages and action
    • Self-reported strengths and application (visual, written, audio)
    • Number and quality of participatory sessions delivered exploring the value of different types of knowledge and assets
    • Evidence that local resources have been leveraged to generate change
      New links established with local assets and/or resources
    • The presence of a community organizer within the research partnership who is able to bring people in the community together, who has a history of community involvement, and who is respected and perceived as a leader in the community or marginalised group
    • Governance diaries
    • Structural maps (GIS, drawn) co-produced
    • Stakeholder mapping
    • Asset maps
    • Capacity strengthening strategies showing how different assets are shared and exchanged
    • Institutional map
    • Stories and narratives of asset application in the past, present and future
    • Peer capacity strengthening sessions
    • Outputs identifying personal, organisational, physical, institutional and governance assets and strengths
    • Asset based assessments Action plans showing asset application
    • Self-assessment of evolving skills and assets

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