UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education
Description/achievement of initiative

Build capacity in community based participatory research (CBPR) in the global South and the excluded North for university based academics and workers in community based organisations and movements. We are undertaking research to determine the most effective ways to conduct community-university research partnerships, to explore how CBPR can best be expanded from to reach the scale required for regional and national impact. In addition we direct the Knowledge for Change International Consortium (K4C) which is a network of training hubs in all regions of the world, responsible for providing training opportunities for a new generation of community based researchers.

Implementation methodologies

The subsets of our overarching goal are to: (i) identify examples of CBR projects in the 11 thematic areas of our study through a global on-line survey; (ii) assist local community-university research partners to undertake thematic synthesis of 4-5 major CBR projects in the specific topics of their expertise under the SDG framework; (iii) produce an international collective synthesis of findings from the various partners; (iv) disseminate our findings using PechaKucha (a specific presentation format designed for communications impact based on 20 PowerPoint slides presented for 20 seconds each); (v) produce open access resources, including an e-book and a practical guide on the application of CBR to the 11 themes studies; (vi) provide opportunities to students and emerging scholars to develop their capacities in CBR; (vii) mobilize co-created knowledge through the UNESCO Chair website and open access knowledge repository; and (viii) organize 11 national policy symposia and 10 international knowledge mobilization events. To this end we ask: (1) What empirical evidence is there that CBR strategies can be valuable in the attainment of selected UN SDGs? (2) What have we learned about the questions of scale that need to be answered for CBR to be more effective at national and international levels? (3) What kinds of support do civil society organizations need in order to be able to be effective partners with academics in policy change? (4) If CBR is to be pursued vigourously as a strategy to meet the SDGs, what are the existing organizational models and funding implications involved? (5) How can we assess the impact of co-created knowledge to address the UN SDGs?

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Timeframes/schedule for the intended knowledge mobilization activities By the end of Yr 1 we will have: developed 10-20 training materials (including curricula, case studies and videos); created the K4C website, open access repository, listserv and social media accounts; delivered 3 regional webinars; participated in at least 3 dissemination events; co-organized 1 dissemination event; hosted 1 team meeting (virtual and/or face-to-face); co-developed an indicator system to monitor the K4C KMb plan. By the end of Yr 2 we will have: developed 20 additional training materials in English and local languages; published 1 book and 2 practical guides for CBR trainers; delivered 3 regional webinars; built the OAR; initiated the development of the smart phone application; organized at least 2 meetings and briefs for policy makers; organized learning exchanges for at least 10 trainees; co-organized 1 dissemination event; organized 1 team meeting (virtual and/or face-to-face). Between Yr 3 to Yr 5, we will: develop 50-60 additional training materials in English and local languages; publish 2 open source books and 8 practical guides for CBR trainers; deliver 9 regional webinars; furnish the OAR with at least 100 items; culminate the development of the smart phone application; organize at least 3 meetings and 3 briefs for policy makers; organize learning exchanges for at least 30 trainees; co-organize 3 dissemination events; host 1 team meeting per year.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

Our UNESCO Chair is coordinated by the two joint Chair Holders, Dr. Budd Hall, University of Victoria and Dr. Rajesh Tandon, President of PRIA. We have a team of 5 professionals, a network of nine training hubs and a collaborative partnership with eight global and national networks. Our work is supported by an Executive Committee with representatives from both UVic and PRIA.


University of Victoria, Canada Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), India
Progress reports
Goal 1
Goal 2
Goal 3
Goal 4
Goal 5
Goal 6
Goal 8
Goal 10
Goal 11
Goal 13
Goal 17
Training of 50 Mentors for Community Based Research hubs
Recommendations for using CBR in attainment of SDGs
Guildelines for Thematic synthesis
Global survey instrument on the use of CBR for selected SDG areas
Staff / Technical expertise
Other, please specify
Financing (in USD)
500,000 USD

Basic information
Time-frame: January 2018 - Open ended
University of Victoria, Canada Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), India
Contact information
Budd Hall, UNESCO CoChair, bhall@uvic.ca
United Nations