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What is community research?

We know that those who are most affected by health and broader inequalities are often the least involved in identifying research priorities, or shaping and conducting research which directly impacts them. As such, they remain under-served by health and social care research (NIHR Include Project 2020).

Community Research is a form of Participatory Action Research which is a dynamic and transformative approach to undertaking research that actively and authentically involves community members in the entire research process.

Community Research recognises the expertise and lived experiences of individuals within communities, empowering them as co-researchers and decision makers.

Community Research has co-production at its very heart, with the communities being studied being part of the research team itself. 

Community Research gives the power of creating meaning into the hands of those whose experiences are being shared and sought. The approach ensures that people have a say in the stories told about them and their communities, recognising people with first-hand knowledge as the true experts on their own needs and experiences.