by Tara McWhinney, Research Assistant, CBO Tools Working Group
In Phase 1 of the CFICE project a series of community campus engagement projects looked at how to improve community impacts through collaborative research projects. The need for a toolkit to help guide community organizations on the process of partnering with academics for research projects was identified through this work. As a result, I have been working with the CFICE team, community stakeholders, and others to finalize a toolkit that will help community organizations navigate community-based research with academic institutions.
What is the toolkit?
The toolkit is essentially a project development list designed for community organizations trying to decide if they want to conduct research and whether they should seek an academic partner to work with to conduct this research.
There is no ‘right’ number of questions to have answers to before seeking a research partnership or conducting research. Instead, this toolkit can be used to help guide community organizations to think about all the elements of a research project to determine if it’s something they want to or are able to pursue.
What will it do?
The project development list covers each step of the research process. When using this the tool online, more information can be obtained about each step, including a resource list and sample tools to help develop answers to research questions. Resources provided include research toolkits, road maps, templates, frameworks, and definitions.
How will it help Community-Based Organizations (CBOs)?
The toolkit is essentially an informational resource for community organizations that promotes a community-first approach to partnering with academics. The informative project development list acts a research guide for things to consider for community organizations conducting a research project and helps explain the process of contacting and maintaining communication with academic partners.
How is it being developed (process)?
The toolkit was initially developed by Aaron Kozak a Research Assistant with the CFICE project and recent graduate from Carleton University. Tara McWhinney a PhD student with the School of Social Work has continued development of the tool by conducting a series of consultations on tool content with individuals from community organizations, social work academics and several academics and community partners involved in the CFICE project. This process has included one-on-one meetings with community organizations, a poster presentation at the CASWE conference at Congress, attendance at a regional roundtable on community campus engagement and email communication with those involved in the CFICE project. The feedback and information gained through these consultations and conferences is being incorporated into the toolkit.
When will it be ready?
Revisions of the tool are almost finished! We expect to have the toolkit online in the upcoming fall term of 2018.
How will it be shared?
The toolkit with be housed at the Centre for Studies on Poverty and Social Citizenship’s website at Carleton’s School of Social Work. Essentially the tool will form a series of linked webpages with information from the project development list as well as links to outside resources. Efforts will be made to promote the toolkit through the CFICE project networks and there are plans for a webinar in the fall to demonstrate and further promote the tool.
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