5048.0 Community/academic partnerships aimed at bidirectional capacity building to effectively address critical environmental health concerns over the next 100 years

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Although the goal of public and environmental health research is to identify and ultimately prevent or mitigate causes of disease, challenges arise when well-resourced institutions approach communities with established research or service agendas. Community members, especially those closest to environmental health problems, often have fewer resources and inadequate leverage to ensure an equal voice in problem solving, even though their knowledge of the issues and probable solutions have the potential to both enrich research direction and drive effective policy change. This session will describe a series of public health and education projects that promote inclusion, co-learning and, ultimately, empowerment through building bidirectional capacity among collaborative community and academic partners. Educational structures used in Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) or CEnR (Community Engaged Research) incorporate dialogic methods to allow free flow of information among project partners and to encourage integration of local knowledge and research expertise. The use of CBPR or CEnR also aids in addressing inequities among partners based on differences in resources and relative position in social hierarchies. This approach ultimately restructures the typical expert/laymen relationship in research, empowering communities to become active participants in framing hypotheses, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data and in the dissemination of research findings. Bidirectional approaches simultaneously enhance research practitioners by promoting operationalization of values and principles of CBPR practice that allow agile and effective response to issues that emerge in the course of their work. This in turn, leads to enhancement of the relevance and feasibility of collaboratively developed research projects that are useful for informing policy initiatives focused on the health and well being of the community.
Session Objectives: 1. Describe how capacity development proceeds as a dialogic, transitive, bi-directional process on both sides of the research equation and how increasing capacity results in more informed participation by all research partners. 2. Describe how capacity building involves a co-learning process that informs and empowers all partners in the process. 3. Demonstrate how increased capacity allows for increased sharing of leadership and responsibility within the research enterprise and guides the research partnerships toward a more democratized paradigm of momentous and collaborative science.

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Organized by: Environment

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

See more of: Environment