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Who is the community? Who determines who is the community? It can’t be the university-based researcher that determines who the community is.
Community of place
Community of identity
Community of interest
Just because we say it is community-based it doesn’t mean it is. As in participatory research, “You participate, I decide”
Doing research in a community does not mean community-based (should be called community-placed)
Doing research about a community does not guarantee that it is community-based
Doing research for a community is not necessarily community-based
The difference is in the purpose and the process
Insomuch that it is anchored in community the program evaluation decisions will be made with the community and uses of the information/findings will serve the purposes of the community.
Purpose and process are intimately related.
Too high expectations – e.g., findings will lead to funding
Too low (sceptical) expectations – What’s the point? Nothing will change. “Researched to death”
Burned by previous evaluation experiences.
Plural or conflicting agendas
Mistrust of researchers. Mistrust among community members.
University-based researchers as PI’s
Trampling others’ knowledge.
Appropriate methodology: Not only from a technical perspective but from a community perspective
Not culturally appropriate
Community-based research methods are to be judged on the basis of appropriateness, utility, practicality, credibility, and relevance. These criteria are necessarily situational and context-bound.
OCAP principles: Ownership, Control, Access, Possession
Ethics: Not simply signing a consent form
Community consent (eg, Chief and Council)
These issues should be dealt with upfront from the beginning.