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Community-Based Participatory Research for Building Community-Based Organizational Capacity: A Programmatic Assessment

  • Author(s): Tran, Jacqueline
  • Advisor(s): Ponce, Ninez A
  • et al.

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a paradigm for developing partnerships to address health disparities, however few studies have examined the role of CBPR principles in contributing to organizational capacity and leadership development, especially among community-based organizations (CBOs) in a partnership. A keener understanding of influencing factors for organizational capacity and development helps an organization to strengthen its capacity and sustain services. The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in Orange County, CA, has been engaged in CBPR partnerships for over 15 years. While they have engaged in the CBPR paradigm, they have not had the opportunity to evaluate its impacts on their partnerships and organization. The study examined PATH for Women, a breast and cervical cancer disparities collaborative framed in CBPR principles. This was a qualitative cross-sectional study focused on PATH for Women. The study explored CBPR principles, infrastructure, relationships and leadership and their associations to organizational capacity and leadership development. Key informant semi-structured interviews were conducted with PATH for Women partner organizations. The study revealed that the nine core CBPR principles were present and promoted in the partnership contributing to individual and organizational capacity building and leadership development. In particular the principles of building on strengths and resources, facilitating collaboration, and recognizing the community as a unit of identity were highlighted as important facilitators for organizational development. The study also revealed positive correlations between facilitating collaboration, integrating knowledge and action for social change, and the empowering process to address social inequalities with organizational visibility. In addition, the CBPR principles of an empowering process for social inequalities, integrating action for social change and facilitating collaboration were also positively correlated with leadership development. Increased skills, leadership development, increased and additional funding support, increased and leveraged relationships and networks, organizational recognition and visibility, and the ability to sustain programs and meet mission were described. The study identified that the PATH for Women partnership, framed in CBPR principles, provided growth and development for the participating organizations. Recommendations for consideration in implementing CBPR principles and promoting organizational capacity and development were also provided for consideration by community-based organizations.

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