The WK Kellogg Foundation Community Health Scholars Program has defined community-based participatory research as 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.”
In recent years, national organizations, funding agencies and researchers have called for a renewed focus on an approach to public health research that recognizes the importance of social, political and economic systems to health behaviors and outcomes. This renewed focus is due to many converging factors, including our increased understanding of the complex issues that affect health, the importance of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and the need to translate the findings of basic, interventional, and applied research into changes in practice and policy.
As a result, participatory models of research, in which communities are actively engaged in the research process through partnerships with academic institutions, have become central to the national prevention research agenda as articulated by the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Research!America, Partnership for Prevention, the Public Health Foundation and others.
For more information see: http://depts.washington.edu/ccph/commbas.html