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Working Together: Tips for Creating Successful Community-Academic Partnerships Leah Alexander, Ph.D. April 23, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Working Together: Tips for Creating Successful Community-Academic Partnerships Leah Alexander, Ph.D. April 23, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Working Together: Tips for Creating Successful Community-Academic Partnerships Leah Alexander, Ph.D. April 23, 2009

2 HOW DO YOU DEFINE PARTNER???? One associated with another especially in action A person with whom one shares an intimate relationship Either of two persons that dance together

3 Challenges to Academic- Community Partnerships Understanding the meaning of community Value added by transparent partnership Power sharing Community understanding the needs of the academic partner Lack of skill required to build relationships Limited resources as well as competing demands for those resources

4 More Challenges to Academic- Community Partnerships… Understanding organizational capacity Balancing excellent science with humility and respect Working together amidst ethnic, cultural, social class and organizational differences

5 More Challenges to Academic- Community Partnerships… Establishing and maintaining trust Developing agreed upon goals and objectives Significant time required to develop positive relationships and jointly carry out tasks

6 C B PR

7 C ommunity B ased P R esearch Collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings It begins with a research topic of interest to the community with the aim of combining knowledge and action for social change to improve health and eliminate health disparities articipatory W.K. Kellogg Community Scholars Program (2001)

8 Identified as one of eight areas of critical importance for public health professionals Not methodology Its an approach, a framework An orientation to research or a process by which research is conducted 9 principles that capture key elements (Minkler & Wallerstein, 2008) C ommunity B ased P R esearch articipatory

9 CBPR recognizes community as the unit of identity A group of people Linked by social ties Share common perspectives or interests May have characteristics in common (heritage, neighborhood, age, language, religion) Communities are not always homogeneous and dont always speak with one voice

10 CBPR builds on strengths and resources within the community Resources may include -Skill and assets of individuals -Networks of relationships -Churches and or organizations where community members come together Explicitly seeks to support and expand social structures

11 CBPR facilitates collaborative, equitable partnerships in all research phases and involves empowering and power-sharing process that attends to social inequality Focuses on issues and concerns identified by the community All parties participate in and share control over all phases of the research process – Problem definition – Data collection – Interpretation of results

12 CBPR promotes co-learning and capacity building among all partners. Reciprocal transfer of knowledge, skills, capacity Researchers can learn from community members local theories – understandings and commonly held beliefs about the community

13 CBPR integrates and achieves a balance between research and action for the mutual benefit of all partners CBPR seeks to build a broad body of knowledge about health and well being while balancing that knowledge with community and social change efforts that address concerns of the communities involved

14 CBPR emphasizes public health problems of local relevance and also ecological perspectives that recognize and attend to the multiple determinants of health and disease CBPR focuses a concept of health that includes physical, mental, and social well-being Ecological model of health -individual, social networks & family -community, culture, physical environment, policy

15 CBPR involves systems development through a cyclical and iterative process CBPR ensures that the partnership has competencies to engage in the cyclical & iterative - Partnership and development & maintenance -community assessment -problem definition -development of research methodology -data collection, analysis, interpretation -determination of action and policy implications -establishing sustainability

16 CBPR disseminates findings and knowledge gained to all partners and involves all partners in the dissemination process Peer-reviewed journal vs. popular media Language that is understandable & respectful Co-authors, co-presenters, reviewers of publication

17 CBPR requires a long-term process and commitment to sustainability Extend beyond a single research project Commitment to work together even if funding isnt available

18 Importance of partnership CBPR relies on trust, cooperation, dialogue, community capacity building, and collaborative inquiry toward its goal of improving health and well-being (Minkler & Wallerstein, 2003) Forming the partnership is the first step Building a strong partnership takes time, attention and reflection

19 A Community-Academic partnership grounded in CBPR…

20 PURPOSE Reduce cancer health disparities among African Americans by conducting community-based participatory research, education and training Significantly improve use of beneficial cancer interventions in partner communities Develop well-trained researchers who reduce disparities in the target communities

21 ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

22 CBPR PARTNERSHIPS… Bridge the GAP between community and research institutions Require GLUE- The adhesive substance of a partnership that promotes and sustains trust, communication, connectedness, and meaningful work efforts and products (www.cbprcurriculum.com)

23 Memorandum of Understanding Document roles and responsibilities Document commitment of resources Needs to be developed to suit the needs of the partnership

24 Partner participation in research tool development and data collection CNP Needs Assessment – Community survey (1200+) – Focus groups – Provider Survey The most serious mistakes are not made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question. Peter F. Drucker

25 Community Action Board Creating an effective road map for the partnership Provides key contacts and strategies Provides balance in articulating community health priorities Recruitment strategies, culturally sensitive approaches, guidance for dissemination

26 Some Recommendations for Community-Academic Partnerships (Norris et al. 2007, Ensure clear, open, and accessible communication between partners, making it an ongoing priority to listen to each need and develop a common language. Develop a memorandum of understanding to define roles of the partnership Value community resident experts Establish community advisory boards Recognize the existence of competing agendas- be open, respectable

27 Some Recommendations for Community-Academic Partnerships (Norris et al. 2007, Make sure partners share the credit for partnerships accomplishments. Ensure feedback to, among, and from all stakeholders in the partnership, with the goal of improving the partnership and its outcomes Respect community members time, effort, insights (recognized with payment for services, authorship) Build on existing resources Make no assumptions

28 Some Recommendations for Community-Academic Partnerships (Norris et al., 2007, Be enthusiastic about academic activities and community activities Ensure feedback to, among, and from all stakeholders in the partnership, with the goal of improving the partnership and its outcomes Use a model where community members act as co-mentors for entry-level academic faculty who are learning necessary skill to conduct respectful partnered research Be willing to share information about funding and grant opportunities

29 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Dr. Margaret Hargreaves, PI Prevention Research Unit Staff NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities CNP Partners


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