Building community capacity: Sustaining the effects of multiple, two-year community-based participatory research projects

Marjorie S. Rosenthal, Jed Barash, Oni Blackstock, Shirley Ellis-West, Clara Filice, Gregg Furie, S. Ryan Greysen, Sherman Malone, Barbara Tinney, Katherine Yun, Georgina I. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: The time-limited nature of health and public health research fellowships poses a challenge to trainees’ and community partners’ efforts to sustain effective, collaborative, community-based participatory research (CBPR) relationships.

Objectives: This paper presents CBPR case studies of partnerships between health services research trainees and community organization leaders in a medium-sized city to describe how participation in the partnership altered community partners’ understanding and willingness to conduct research and to engage with research-derived data.

Methods: Trainees and faculty used participatory methods with community leaders to identify research questions, and conduct and disseminate research. Throughout the process, trainees and faculty included research capacity building of community partners as a targeted outcome. Community partners were asked to reflect retrospectively on community research capacity building in the context of CBPR projects. Reflections were discussed and categorized by the authorship team, who grouped observations into topics that may serve as a foundation for development of future prospective analyses.

Results: Important ideas shared include that trainee participation in CBPR may have an enduring impact on the community by increasing the capacity of community partners and agencies to engage in research beyond that which they are conducting with the current trainee.

Conclusion: We posit that CBPR with research trainees may have an additive effect on community research capacity when it is conducted in collaboration with community leaders and focuses on a single region. More research is needed to characterize this potential outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-374
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Capacity building
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Education
  • Fellowship
  • Social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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