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A REFLEXIVE TOOL FOR ASSESSING THE QUALITY AND IMPACT OF A COMMUNITYBASED RESEARCH PROJECT OR PROPOSAL

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What is community-based research? Community-based research can be defined as “a research approach that involves active participation of stakeholders, those whose lives are affected by the issue being studied, in all phases of research for the purpose of producing useful results to make positive changes” (Nelson, Ochocka, Griffin, & Lord, 1998, p.12). Community-based research has three hallmarks. It is research that strives to be: (1) community-driven (2) participatory (3) action-oriented By implementing research that embodies these three hallmarks, those involved aim to produce research processes and results that are useful to community members in making positive societal changes (Ochocka & Janzen, 2014).

Citation: Ochocka, J., Janzen, R. & Stobbe, A. (2018). Community Based Research Excellence Tool (CBRET). Centre for Community Based Research. Waterloo ON, Canada Formatting and design: Melody Morton Ninomiya, Katarzyna Gal, and Saa Bandabla For more information about this tool, CBRET workshop and customized supports to implement it: www.communityresearchcanada.ca

© 2018 Centre for Community Based Research - www.communitybasedresearch.ca Version 3.0 May 2019

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Glossary of Terms Community – a group of people that share a sense of belonging together, based on geographic proximity, special interest or similar situation. Community Researcher – someone with direct lived experience about the topic under study and who is being trained and supported as a researcher during the research study. Informed Consent – agreement to be involved in research after knowing what the research is about, including its risks and benefits. Methods Triangulation – using more than one method to gather data (e.g., surveys, focus groups) Research Participant – someone who is selected and agreed to answer research questions. Research Partners – people active in implementing the research project. Research Team – a group of researchers who work together on implementing all research project activities, often including professional researchers and community researchers. Stakeholders – groups of people who have a stake in the issue under study, including people with direct lived experience (e.g., refugees, people with disabilities), people who influence the lives of those who live the issue (e.g., supporters, service providers), people who have the power and resources to make changes that improves people’s lives (e.g., policy makers). Steering Committee – a group of stakeholders and researchers, who meets regularly to guide every stage of the research project. Professional Researcher – someone who is formally trained in research methods and conducts research as their regular employment.

References Cited Janzen, R., Ochocka, J., & Stobbe, A. (2016). Towards a theory of change for community-based research projects. The Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning. 2(2), 4464. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15402/esj.v2i2.165 Nelson, G, Ochocka, J, Griffin, K & Lord, J (1998). “Nothing about me, without me”: Participatory action research with self-help/mutual aid organizations for psychiatric consumer/survivors. American Journal of Community Psychology, 26(6), 881-912. Ochocka, J. & Janzen, R. (2014). Breathing life into theory: Illustrations of community-based research hallmarks, functions, and phases. Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement. 7, 1833. Ochocka J., Moorlag E. & Janzen, R. (2010). A Framework for entry: PAR values and engagement strategies in community research. Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 3, 1-19.

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What is CBRET? Community-Based Research Excellence Tool (CBRET) is a reflective assessment tool for those involved in community-based research. It aims to assess and improve the quality and impact of community-based research proposals and projects. It intends to challenge us to advance how research is done with communities. The tool is closely linked to the CBRET workshop. It could be only used by those who took a CBRET workshop. The common understanding of community-based research, including participation in facilitated group discussions, are essential prior the usage of the CBRET tool. CBRET is a tool that uses both quantitative (scores) and qualitative (words) assessment techniques. It has three main components: 1) research process; 2) research rigour; and 3) research impact. It can be used either individually or collectively; formally or informally; internally or externally. CBRET was designed for: 1) planning a community-based research project; 2) monitoring existing projects; and 3) evaluating proposals or completed projects.

How did this tool come about? • CBRET was collaboratively developed, beginning with the SSHRC-funded National Summit on community-based research indicators of excellence in November 2014 in Waterloo, Ontario.. • CBRET was tested nationally at workshop sessions held at Mount Allison University, NB and at C2UEXpo2017 in Vancouver, BC. • CBRET was tested internationally within two Indonesian universities: UIN Alauddin, Makassar and UIN Sunan Ampel, Surabaya.

CBRET is a work in progress. We welcome your feedback to the tool and invite suggestions for expanding CBRET’s indicators of excellence. Please send direct feedback to general@communitybasedresearch.ca

Who can use this tool?  Research teams

 Research trainees/students

 Individual researchers

 Research funders

 Research steering committees

 Peer reviewers

You can use this tool…  Retrospectively, to evaluate and learn from past research

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What is the theoretical framework?

1. Driven by community

Research Impact

Research Rigor

Research Process

This CBRET tool is based on a theoretical framework that synthesizes research traditions of Indigenous communities, the global south, and the global north. These theoretical underpinnings are described in more detail in a journal article written by CBRET’s authors (Janzen, Ochocka & Stobbe, 2016). The theoretical framework includes three main components of research: process, rigour, and impact. These three components are further divided into the six categories found in the chart below. On the following pages, you will see corresponding sub-categories and indicators for each of these six categories.

2. Meaningful participation of stakeholders

3. Quality and usefulness of data and interpretations

4. Mobilization of knowledge

5. Mobilization of people

6. Issues being innovatively addressed through research

The wholeness of this framework is important as much as its individual pieces. For example, the sixth category (societal impact) could only be expected when all other five categories are implemented well. The ordering of the three main components re-emphasizes the belief that both the quality (rigour) and utility (impact) of community-based research depends on facilitating a good research process. Or in other words, any successful community-based research project relies on community relevance and meaningful participation, in addition to rigorous methodology, in order to have societal impact.

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How do you use this tool? 3

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Describe the Project

Situating Yourself

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Assess Each Category

Summarize your Assessment

There is no right or wrong way to evaluate a communitybased research project or proposal. A suggested strategy for using CBRET tool is to follow a four-step process. Step One: Describe the project (or proposal) as a whole. Completing the prompted questions in “Describing the Project” section will provide you with a frame of reference for the remaining assessment. Step Two: Clarify your relationship to the project. Complete the prompted question in “Situating Yourself.” Are you a researcher, a steering committee member, or a proposal evaluator? Are you doing the assessment as an individual or as a part of a group? Step Three: In the “Assessing Each Category” section, assess the project (or proposal) according to the six categories of community-based research excellence: 1) driven by community 2) meaningful participation of stakeholders 3) meaningful and useful data and interpretations 4) mobilization of knowledge 5) mobilization of people 6) issues addressed through research Use the nine-point scale to the right when assessing each category, while also taking note of its key strengths and weaknesses. Step Four: Finally, in “Summarizing Your Assessment”, tally your scores across the six categories of community-based research excellence and complete the reflective questions.

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Describing the project Start by describing the overall project (or proposal). Read the project proposal, read other relevant project material, and/or talk with project partners. Then briefly complete the sections below. Describing the big picture in this way will help sketch out your project’s unique theory of change. This will provide a frame of reference when assessing the project (or proposal) in the next sections.

Project title

Project lead and partners

Stated project purpose

Stated project activities, according to four phases of community-based research (see slide #5 on www.communitybasedresearch.ca/our-approach)

Phase 1 – Laying the Foundation

Phase 2 – Planning Research

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Phase 3 – Gathering and Analysing Data

Phase 4 – Acting on Findings

Stated anticipated project impact in addressing a societal concern Anticipated short-term outcomes

Anticipated mid-term outcomes

Anticipated long-term outcomes

Situating yourself Because this is not a standardized but a reflective tool, it is best used by a group to deepen their conversation about implementing a research project/proposal. Please clarify your relationship to the project by identifying yourselves. Knowing who is making the assessment helps to understand the contributions, limitations, and biases within the group. Check the boxes that apply below:  Community member/partner  Researcher who conducts research with the community; describe the degree of your relationship to community (outsider – in between – insider) _________________________________________________  Practitioner who conducts research with the community; describe the degree of your relationship to community (outsider – in between – insider) _________________________________________________

      

Member of the steering committee Member of the research team Student/learner of community-based research Reviewer of community-based research project/proposal/publication Funder of community-based research Someone comfortable with qualitative research ___ quantitative research ___ mixed methods___

Other, please specify_____________________________________________________________________

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This is a preview of CBRET, a reflective assessment tool for those involved in community-based research. It aims to assess the quality and i...

CBRET Preview  

This is a preview of CBRET, a reflective assessment tool for those involved in community-based research. It aims to assess the quality and i...

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