Learning Qualitative Community Research
Pp. 27-45 (19)
Conceptualization and technical procedures drive research. Theoretical and conceptual
formulations, design and methodology are interrelated. A project’s aims and central questions directly
affect intended data sources. Two forms of QCR are community-based research (CBR) and communitybased
participatory research (CBPR). CBR uses a naturalistic community setting. Its objectives, design
and methodology are typically planned by non-residents. CBPR involves community-based individuals
and organizations in the research process, although the form and extent vary from project to project.
This chapter describes CBPR’s benefits and characteristics. Emphasis is placed on health, wellness and
health disparities. Suggestions for obtaining qualitative research funds are provided. Facilitators of
CBPR are highlighted, e.g., sharing feasible expectations; and partnering based on clear expectations,
specified deliverables, equity, and adequately anticipating and responding to challenges. Start-up
considerations can be complicated and perplex. Potential for success is maximized when potential
partners recognize and communicate their interests. Mechanisms and processes are promoted by mutual
perceptions of fair and acceptable claims regarding the research process, results and uses. Structures
and cultural styles of communities and research institutions also affect interrelationships and building of
trust. QCR’s guidelines and principles are dynamic. Sensitivity, respect, appreciation and valuation are
essential for rigor and collaboration. Thematic considerations affect QCR’s evolution, e.g.,
incorporating basic research and QCR in mixed method designs. Among other factors are linking
translational research with improved service delivery and an institutional research agenda of community
collaboration derived from mission-driven partnerships. Developing contacts and broadening
relationships between research institutions and community organizations also expand QCR.
QCR Learning Issues, Uses of Community-Based Participatory Research, Facilitating CBPR.
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.