After frequently talking to community service providers about the challenges they face with both academics and students on community-based research projects, School of Social Work Faculty Nimo Bokore decided to open up a broader conversation on these issues.
She organized a meeting on October 5, 2018, bringing together stakeholders within the social service sector, including community organization leaders, academics (social work, anthropology, political science, sociology), and graduate students from both Carleton and the University of Ottawa to discuss existing issues faced during the community-based research process.
The discussions focused on two main themes, increasing sector literacy and identifying community research interests or needs. The following questions were uses as discussions guides to address those themes:
- What is the program and planning cycles for academic research projects? What is the best time to contact community practitioners to plan community-based research projects?
- What is the basis of a good working relationship between sectors?
- What are the community center’s expectations, parameters, and capacities?
- What are the areas of research that practitioners would like to see?
- What are the research interests of academics, graduate students and what do they need to know about the community organization they want to collaborate with?
Dr. Bokore transcribed the main discussion notes and used them to create three easy-to-use guides for research project planning that are designed for: academics, students, and community organizations. These project-planning guides are meant to serve as clear and concise guidelines for collaborating with the community and the organizations that are serving them, as well as to address identified issues that are being faced in the field today.