Engage for Equity: Development of Community-Based Participatory Research Tools

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We developed a set of four community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership tools aimed at supporting community-academic research partnerships in strengthening their research processes, with the ultimate goal of improving research outcomes. The aim of this article is to describe the tools we developed to accomplish this goal: (1) the River of Life Exercise; (2) a Partnership Visioning Exercise; (3) a personalized Partnership Data Report of data from academic and community research partners; and (4) a Promising Practices Guide with aggregated survey data analyses on promising CBPR practices associated with CBPR and health outcomes from two national samples of CBPR projects that completed a series of two online surveys. Relying on Paulo Freire's philosophy of praxis, or the cycles of collective reflection and action, we developed a set of tools designed to support research teams in holding discussions aimed at strengthening research partnership capacity, aligning research partnership efforts to achieve grant aims, and recalling and operationalizing larger social justice goals. This article describes the theoretical framework and process for tool development and provides preliminary data from small teams representing 25 partnerships who attended face-to-face workshops and provided their perceptions of tool accessibility and intended future use.