Community Engagement Research: A Question of Partnership
Butcher, Jude, Egan, Luke and Ralph, Ken. (2008). Community Engagement Research: A Question of Partnership. Australasian Journal of University Community Engagement. 2(3), pp. 106 - 112.
|Authors||Butcher, Jude, Egan, Luke and Ralph, Ken|
This paper puts forward a research framework within which future community engagement initiatives can be delivered and evaluated. The framework, known as the ‘methodology of engagement’, has been developed from reviews of and research within a number of community engagement projects that have been carried out by Australian Catholic University, and recently by the university’s new Institute for Advancing Community Engagement. Within the Institute’s community engagement research methodology, the participants in an initiative are active collaborators in the research process; they are not subjects to be studied and examined. The participants work with university investigators to shape the direction of evaluations and to formulate research questions. They share ownership of the research and make crucial contributions to the way in which it is conducted and documented. The methodology of engagement was developed in order to address the need for community members to feel genuinely engaged in the research carried out in their communities, and to feel respected and dignified in the process. The methodology ensures that community members are partners not only in the implementation of community projects but in their evaluation as well. The present paper reports on the origins and nature of this research methodology, and how it has been employed within the Institute’s recent projects. The paper suggests principles by which to address the issues that arise in the utilisation of the methodology, and discusses what lies ahead as the methodology continues to expand and evolve.
|Keywords||community; engagement; partnership; collaboration; participation|
|Journal||Australasian Journal of University Community Engagement|
|Journal citation||2 (3), pp. 106 - 112|
|Publisher||Australian Universities Community Engagement Alliance Inc|
|Page range||106 - 112|
|Research Group||Institute for Advancing Community Engagement|
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|Place of publication||Victoria, Australia|
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