Community-Based Research

The Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Program on Water Governance at the University of British Columbia were pleased to partner with the UNESCO Chair in Community based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education on a SSHRC Partnership Development grant– ‘Training the Next Generation of Community-based Researchers’ (2013-15). In the past 25 years, community-based research (CBR) has become recognized as an important method to conduct social and scientific research—one that is often considered to be more responsible and sustainable. CBR is an umbrella term that includes approaches such as participatory research, participatory action research, asset-based development, collaborative inquiry, in addition to other participatory research methods.

The ‘NextGen’ project was led by Budd Hall from the University of Victoria, which brought together four global partners, each responsible for a thematic area:

1) The Coady International Institute responsible for local asset development;

2) The Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) responsible for participatory governance;

3) The University of Victoria (UVIC) focuses on indigenous knowledge; and

4) The Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at UBC focuses on CBR in the realm of water governance.

The NextGen project has increased access to high quality CBR training materials and resources within higher education institutions and civil society organizations with a particular focus on the Global South.

Specifically, the research identified:

1) Current regional sources for the training of new community-based researchers;

2) Best practices related to local asset development, Indigenous research methodologies, participatory citizenship and water governance;

3) Lessons learned in several pilot studies on training in CBR; and

4) Potential for collaboration amongst the partners as a training network.

There are a number of important outcomes from this project including:

  1. Global Thematic review on training in CBR: Water Governance
  2. Global Thematic review on training in CBR: Indigenous Research Methodologies
  3. Global Thematic review on training in CBR: Asset –based Development
  4. Global Thematic review on training in CBR: Indigenous People and Perspectives in Latin America
  5. Global Thematic review on training in CBR: Governance and Citizenship
  6. Resource Guide for Video Collection of Training in Community Based Research
  7. Training in Community Based Research: Annotated Bibliography
  8. Training the Next Generation of Community Based Researchers: A Guide for Trainers
  9. Open-source free book on ‘Knowledge & Engagement: Building Capacity for the Next Generation of Community Based Researchers
  10. Open-access repository for studies, curricular materials, course modules, conference findings and policy recommendations, hosted by University of Victoria Library.


Dr. Leila Harris, Dr. Crystal Tremblay, and Kelly Sharp from IRES, and Dr. Leonora Angeles from SCARP were delighted to be collaborating on this project, which included co-creating a global survey, as well as literature review and case study analysis on best practices for CBR and water governance.  For more information please contact Leila Harris:


UNESCO Chair in CBR website:

For more information on the project, please visit the project page.